12 Home Remedies for Warts You Can Actually Make Right at Home
Warts can be treated with natural remedies whether they are on your face, hands, or feet. Try these tips to clear away warts from home.
Apple cider vinegar
Although this is one of the home remedies for warts that does not kill the virus that causes warts to form, the acidic nature of the vinegar attacks flesh to get rid of the wart. It’s just one of many, many health benefits of apple cider vinegar! Laura Stix, a naturopathic doctor and clinical hypnotherapist in Ontario, Canada agrees that it may be helpful. “I have heard of some success stories when using apple cider vinegar by soaking a cotton ball and taping it on to the area for a few hours,” she says. At the same time, she says to exercise caution. She explains that acidic treatments have the potential to destroy skin.
Milkweed is a perennial plant that can often be found growing along roadsides and pastures, as well as in gardens and parks. “The juice of milkweed is said to help resolve warts,” says Ranella Hirsch, MD, president of Skincare Doctors in Boston. “They contain natural poisons (which is why they cannot be ingested) but it is not understood if that is the mechanism that helps treat the warts.” Still, if you want to give it a go, file or use a pumice stone on your wart. This will slough off the top layer of skin and make the treatment more effective. Then, break the plant so that you are able to extract enough of the milk-like sap. Apply this to the wart. Reapply as needed, but if a rash or irritation occurs rinse the sap off immediately and choose another method of treatment. The enzymes in the substance are thought to dissolve the wart.
Similar to the way that milkweed sap works, enzymes found in banana peel may help to make warts disappear. Twice a day, scrape the white mush from the inside of a banana peel and apply it to the wart. Continue to do so until the wart disappears. “The theory with banana peel is that the wart is impacted by the high potassium concentration in the peel,” says Dr. Hirsch.
Vitamin C paste
Vitamin C has numerous health benefits. Crush up a vitamin C tablet and throw in enough lemon juice or water until you’ve made a paste. Apply to this home remedy to your wart so it is thoroughly covered, cover with a bandage, and repeat daily until it’s gone. The vitamin C is thought to destroy the virus, while the acidity of the lemon juice adds an extra boost. Vitamin A may also work. Stix says that in one older, single-patient research study, 25,000 IUs of vitamin A applied to warts daily completely resolved them. “Most warts recovered in just over 2 months,” she explains.
The antiviral components of basil are thought to be helpful in destroying viruses, making the herb one of the great natural home remedies for warts. Crush up ¼ of a cup of basil leaves until they take on a mushy consistency. Apply to the affected area and cover with a bandage, reapplying daily for one to two weeks.
Honey can be used as one of the natural home remedies for warts because of its antibacterial and antiviral properties. Thoroughly covering a wart in honey will deprive it of all oxygen and may help to kill it. File the top layer of the wart away if you can, then cover with a think layer of honey and a bandage. Change after 24 hours, repeating until the wart dies. Tip: Dr. Hirsch suggests using skipping the honey you may have in your kitchen cabinet and instead using medical-grade honey.
Pineapple juice is highly acidic and contains a dissolving enzyme that may help destroy a wart. Two or three times a day, soak your wart in pineapple juice for three to five minutes. Just be aware that when you first submerge the wart, the affected area could sting. Interestingly, it’s this stinging reaction and not necessarily the pineapple juice per se that may make this remedy effective. Jonathan Kantor, MD, medical director at the Florida Center for Dermatology in St. Augustine, FL, explains that “anything that is irritating will help provoke an immune response.” This response, he says, is what’s really behind clearing up your warts in the first place. “Warts will almost always go away on their own and are taken care of by your own body’s immune system.”
Garlic has antiviral and antibacterial properties that may attack the virus causing your wart. “The main component of garlic, allicin, is said to have antibacterial effects,” says Dr. Hirsch. Consider covering your wart with a crushed garlic clove and secure it with a bandage. After 20 minutes, remove the clove and rinse the area. Do this twice daily for a week. Taking garlic capsules three times a day could also produce a similar effect. But again, as with many of these remedies, be mindful that they can be irritating, so use caution. Here are more surprising health benefits of garlic.
This is one of the easier home remedies for warts. The Cleveland Clinic suggests soaking your wart in warm water for up to 20 minutes. This softens skin. Next, use a disposable emery board to file down the wart (be sure to break off the used section and dispose of it). Finally, they suggest applying an OTC wart treatment like salicylic acid and covering with duct tape. Yes, you read correctly: duct tape. “I do usually recommend duct tape (leave on for a few days to cause irritation) as a first line treatment for warts,” says Dr. Kantor, “though your doctor can pare them down or recommend other treatments if needed.” Ultimately though, he says it’s always up to your own body’s immune system to help resolve warts. If you’re still intrigued, here are 8 genius first aid uses for duct tape.
“Baking soda is usually recommended as a paste with vinegar or castor oil,” says Dr. Hirsch. She explains that therefore, it’s more of a vehicle to treat than it is a remedy purely on its own. Mix a teaspoon of white vinegar with enough baking soda to make a thick paste. Use twice daily to destroy the wart. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of baking soda will help to destroy the wart.
Twice a day, coat a wart in aloe gel, either extracted from a plant or purchased from a store. Cover with a bandage and wait for the anti-inflammatory properties found in aloe to work their magic as a natural remedy for warts. After two weeks, the wart should be significantly smaller or disappear altogether. There are also other healing benefits of aloe vera, including treating burns.
Because the main component in castor oil is an acid with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, it is very effective for treating warts, especially on the face and hands. Apply castor oil to the wart multiple times a day, and before bed tape a cotton ball soaked in castor oil over the wart. In the morning, rub the dead skin away with a pumice stone. After a few days, the wart will become dark and gradually fall off. Consider using it as a paste; Dr. Hirsch sayst that mixing some with baking soda can be helpful. Baking soda, she explains, when used with castor oil or vinegar, acts as a treatment vehicle.
- Laura Stix, naturapathic doctor and clinical hypnotherapist, Ontario, Canada.
- Ranella Hirsch, MD, president, Skincare Doctors, Boston.
- Virology Journal: "Topical Vitamin A Treatment of Recalcitrant Common Warts."
- Jonathan Kantor, MD, medical director, Florida Center for Dermatology, St. Augustine, FL.
- Cleveland Clinic: "Warts: Management and Treatment."