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Though genital warts may clear up on their own in two years, treatments can help speed up the process. Here are eight ways you can treat genital warts at home.

If you have genital warts, you are not alone. Genital warts (condylomata acuminate) are very common. According to 2012 research, there are up to 1 million new cases of genital warts diagnosed each year in the United States. Many cases are not diagnosed.

Most cases of genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are more than 120 strains of HPV, but low-risk types (lrHPV) 6 and 11 are the strains that cause genital warts. Those strains of HPV don’t usually cause cervical cancer, though. The 14 most cancer-causing HPV types include types 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66 and 68.

It may be necessary for you to visit your doctor for treatment for genital warts. You may also want to try some home remedies for treatment. Read on to learn about seven remedies that may help treat genital warts.

Essential oils have been studied for use as antifungal agents, along with other health benefits. Tea tree oil is an essential oil that has been found to be useful against fungi and other organisms, including head lice.

To use, dilute the tea tree oil by mixing 1 drop of tea tree oil with 1 to 2 drops of a carrier oil, such as almond or coconut. Apply a drop of the diluted oil directly to the wart.

Some people may be allergic to tea tree oil, so test a small amount of the diluted oil on your arm first. If there is no reaction after 24 hours, it should be safe to use.

Tea tree oil can be irritating and cause some burning or inflammation — this is how it reduces the size of the wart. Do not take tea tree oil internally by mouth or through the vagina. You will need to apply the oil repeatedly for several weeks. Discontinue use if it is too irritating.

Find tea tree oil on Amazon.

While research suggests there are health benefits, the FDA doesn’t monitor or regulate the purity or quality of essential oils. It’s important to talk with a healthcare professional before you begin using essential oils and be sure to research the quality of a brand’s products. Always do a patch test before trying a new essential oil.

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Witch hazel is an astringent that comes from the witch hazel plant. Similar to tea tree oil, witch hazel is often used to treat skin ailments. It is mild, so it typically does not irritate sensitive skin.

A 2014 study found that witch hazel might be effective against HPV type 16. This is one of the strains of HPV that causes genital warts. However, this study is limited and did not involve humans, so more research is needed.

Keep in mind that you should not use witch hazel on mucous membranes, including inside the vagina or anus.

Green tea has been shown to be effective against genital warts, according to 2009 research.

An ointment called sinecatechins (Veregen) is available by prescription. In it, the green tea is concentrated into a compound.

You can also purchase green tea extract and use it at home by adding a drop or two to coconut oil and applying it to warts.

There is some evidence from 2006 that applying garlic extract to warts can help clear them up. However, this research is older and more studies are needed.

If you want to give it a try, though, you can purchase garlic extract and apply it directly to warts. You could also soak some gauze pads in a mixture of garlic and oil, then apply it and let sit on your warts.

Apple cider vinegar may help you treat genital warts at home. It may work in a similar way to prescription medications that use acidic ingredients to kill off the virus. However, research has not examined the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar on genital warts, so studies are needed in this area.

If you’d like, you can soak a Q-tip, cotton ball, or piece of gauze in apple cider vinegar and apply it to warts.

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Vegetables are good for you in a number of ways. It’s generally recommended that you eat 4 to 5 servings of veggies every day.

Try eating crunchy vegetables like:

  • cabbage
  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cauliflower
  • kale

These vegetables contain indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which can help clear up genital warts.

There is an association between folate and B12 deficiency and an increased risk of contracting HPV.

Taking a multivitamin or folate and B12 supplements might help your body fight off an HPV infection and clear up warts.

Having genital warts puts a strain on your body. It can be difficult for your body to deal with any other health conditions along with warts.

To help your body heal faster, you try to avoid immune stressors like smoking or a diet that is heavy in processed or low nutrient foods.

Foods to incorporate into your diet include:

These foods can help boost your immune system and minimize the recurrence of HPV.

Foods to avoid include:

  • any possible food allergens (dairy, soy, corn, food additives)
  • refined foods like white bread and pasta
  • red meat
  • processed foods with trans fats
  • caffeine and other stimulants

It’s important to remember that getting rid of an external genital wart doesn’t mean that you have gotten rid of the HPV virus. Although rare, HPV can cause both genital warts and cervical cancer. You may also have more than one type of HPV.

It’s important to contact a doctor about your warts even if you treat them at home.

The virus that can cause genital warts can stay dormant in your body for a long time. So, even if you treat your warts and get rid of them, they may come back.

According to a 2012 research review, there is no one standard treatment for genital warts that healthcare professionals agree on. Different doctors might use different treatments for genital warts, depending on the type of warts or how long you’ve had them.

Treatments may include:

Can toothpaste remove genital warts?

No, toothpaste cannot remove genital warts. Toothpaste can do more harm than good to your skin, especially in your genital area. It may cause irritation to the skin.

Can genital warts disappear naturally?

For some people, genital warts may clear up on their own within 2 years. That said, it’s important to get treatment to speed up the process.

If I have HPV, will I get genital warts?

No, having HPV does not mean that you also automatically will have genital warts.

You can help treat genital warts at home. But you should still see a doctor to check for and treat any sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that may be causing the warts.

If an STI is causing your warts, you may need additional medication to treat the condition and prevent passing the infection on to any sexual partners.