(The Best Years in Life) Warts are an infection of the skin that become those
unsightly bumps on various parts of your body or the
soles of your feet, and are caused by specific wart
viruses. They come and go, sometimes with or without
treatment, and sometimes won't go away no matter what
treatment is given. Some individuals are more
susceptible than others to having warts. As any virus,
warts are contagious, but not in the normal sense of
being contagious as in catching someone else's cold. The
other person needs to be susceptible to the virus. Only
genital warts and those around the anus are contagious
in the normal sense, and care must be taken not to
spread them to others.
Plantar warts, those on the soles of your feet, are also
contagious and are frequently picked up in moist areas,
such as bathrooms, locker rooms and around swimming
pools. Keeping your feet dry after being in one of these
areas is the best method of prevention.
General Information about Warts
There are five types of warts:
1) The common wart has an elevated, rough, dry surface,
and may occur anywhere on the body;
2) Flat warts are usually flat, multiple lesions that
can occur anywhere: faces, arms, backs of hands and legs
are the most common areas. This type is especially
common in women who shave their legs and also in bare
areas of men;
3) Plantar warts are found on the soles of the feet;
4) Genital warts are found around the genital areas of
men and women and around the anus. They can be large and
fleshy or look like regular warts;
5) Warts can also be found on the lips and in the mouth.
These appear as small, moist, whitish bumps. This type
is not common.
Do you have a wart? How do you tell? There are two
diagnostic points to look for, and you must have them
both. First, regular lines on your skin do not run
through warts - they stop on one side and begin again on
the other. Second, warts are granular and not smooth and
clear as some other types of bumps are.
Should you treat your wart? That really is left to
personal preference. Plantar warts are painful, so
treatment for these is usually necessary. Genital warts
or those around the anus also need to be treated by a
physician so they don't spread. Don't try to treat this
type yourself. Other warts may go away on their own, or
you may want to treat them. Vanity and personal comfort,
as in having warts in areas that need shaving or where
clothes rub them, may be the determining factor. If you
do decide to treat them, start with the simplest method
and if that hasn't worked in three weeks progress to
more aggressive methods.
You must treat all the warts in a given area so they
don't continue to spread. If they are in an area you
shave, stop shaving if you scrape them or use a hair
removal cream, as the scraping will spread the wart
virus. For plantar warts, start with the tape or tape
and castor oil methods, then, if they aren't effective,
progress to a more aggressive method. Use a pumice stone
or some other type of scraper to get off the dead skin
before applying more medicine. Plantar warts are
difficult to get rid of and may take three to six weeks
before any progress is noted.
One remedy to try that may well heal the wart is using
A recent study (2002) done at the Madigan Army Medical
Center in Tacoma, WA found that placing a piece of duct
tape the exact size of the wart over it was successful
in removing the wart 85% of the time and was better than
the standard method of freezing the wart (60%
successful). So give it a try: place the tape on the
wart for six days, then remove it; soak the wart in
water; gently scrape the wart with an emery board or
pumice stone; leave the tape off for a night; repeat for
up to a month.
Other Remedies for Warts:
Apply vitamin E oil to the surrounding skin, then
crush a clove of raw garlic, place it on the wart,
and cover it with an adhesive bandage. The raw
garlic causes a blister to form, and the wart
generally falls off within a week. Apply vitamin E
oil to the area to help it heal.
Chop one raw onion in a dish, cover with salt and
leave overnight. Apply the resulting juice to the
warts twice a day, until warts disappear.
Cut fresh pineapple into thin slices. Apply to warts
several times a day until they are gone.
Apply the milky juice exuding from the stems of figs
Gently rub the wart with your finger for 15 seconds
at the same time each day. Rubbing the wart
stimulates blood flow to the area and prompts your
immune system to fight the wart virus. Doing this at
the same time every day trains your immune system to
kick in on its own.
Apple cider vinegar. The best treatment for warts
is prevention, and warts are usually a sign of
potassium deficiency. Apple cider vinegar is high
Aloe Soak a small piece of cotton in aloe gel and
tape over the wart. Add more gel every three hours
with an eye dropper. Change cotton daily. The wart
should begin to dry up in a few days and in a few
weeks may disappear.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) Soak your wart in warm
water for twenty minutes; dry thoroughly; apply full
strength apple cider vinegar with a cotton ball and
leave on for ten minutes; wash off with tepid water;
Another way to use ACV is to keep a plastic
container with a lid in the bathroom with enough ACV
to cover your foot. After each shower (or daily, if
you can), dip your foot with the plantar wart in the
container. Place a towel on the floor to dry your
foot off after the vinegar bath. Don't rinse the
vinegar off. Our reader said the pain from the wart
disappeared after one bath, and, over a period of
several weeks the warts got smaller, turned dark,
and disappeared. As a side benefit she said the skin
on her feet turned pink and smooth, like a baby's.
She had tried everything over a period of 15 years,
including surgery, nitrogen, creams and ultrasound,
but no luck. For her this remedy worked wonders.
Courtesy Rebecca Leighton Katers.
Ashes Apply wood ashes to the wart.
Aspirin Dissolve a regular aspirin with a small drop
of water and apply to the wart; cover with a
Band-Aid; repeat twice daily. If this method
irritates the skin around the wart, apply some
Vaseline around the area with a Q-tip.
Baking soda Rub the wart three times daily with a
solution of baking soda and water.
Banana Take a ripe banana peel and cut a piece and
apply the pulp side to the affected area and tape
securely. Leave the peel on except when bathing,
changing daily. This remedy may take several months,
but has been effective in getting rid of stubborn
plantar warts. Other sources suggest using an unripe
banana, as certain healing compounds are more
concentrated in the peels before they ripen.
Cashews Rub a cashew on the wart several times a
day. Another remedy is to chew the cashew and take a
small amount of the mixture and place it on the
wart. One reader stated that he had used this remedy
to get rid of a wart he had had for 25 years. It
took 2-3 weeks for the wart to disappear.
Castor oil Apply castor oil to the wart and rub
twenty times or so with your finger. Do this at
night and in the morning. The wart should disappear
in three to four weeks.
Another castor oil remedy is to apply a half drop of
oil to the wart twice daily and cover the wart with
some form of first aid tape or bandage. Keep the
bandage on 24 hours a day for three weeks, removing
only to put on a new one.
Another variation is to touch the wart with a
toothpick soaked in castor oil. (See vitamin A
Chalk Rub the wart daily with a piece of white
Dandelion Break open the stem of a dandelion and rub
the milky sap on the warts in a circular motion. Do
this two or three times a day until the wart
disappears. This was the favorite remedy of Will
Greer, Grandpa Walton on the TV show "The Waltons."
Glue Apply Elmer's glue to the affected area. Leave
on as long as it stays; scrape off and reapply.
Garlic Dice some garlic and rub on the wart.
Grapefruit seed extract This extract is a powerful
all-around antimicrobial product and is an excellent
disinfectant. Apply a drop directly to the wart and
cover with a Band-Aid; repeat twice daily. The wart
will turn white and fall off in about a week.
Hydrogen peroxide Dab 35% (food grade) hydrogen
peroxide on the warts with a cotton ball or Q-tip.
Hydrogen peroxide can burn your skin, so be very
careful when applying it.
Iodine Apply iodine daily.
Lemon juice Apply lemon juice to the wart and rub in
gently. Repeat two or three times daily.
Liver, desiccated Take three tablets three times
daily. This supplement is rich in B-vitamins and
Milkweed Apply milkweed juice to the wart.
Onion Cut an onion in half, scoop out the middle and
put in about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. After several
hours the salt will draw the onion's juices which
can be applied to the wart several times a day.
Oregano, oil Place one drop of oil of oregano on the
wart nightly. The wart should disappear in a few
Papaya Lightly apply the milky latex juice from a
green papaya to the wart; repeat several times a
day. Within a week or less the wart should be gone.
Pineapple Rub a slice of fresh pineapple on the
wart. Keep applying frequently, as needed.
Potato Rub the wart with raw potato peelings.
Radishes Rub the wart daily with a radish.
Salicylic acid (15%) Salicylic acid is a more
aggressive treatment method and should be used with
care as products containing salicylic acid can burn
your skin. Products with this ingredient work by
destroying wart tissue. Check with your doctor or
pharmacist for suggested products, and be sure to
read the label and follow the directions carefully.
To use these products, apply them only to the wart,
not on the surrounding skin; allow to dry
thoroughly. Do this twice daily and soak and rub the
dead wart tissue away before reapplying. If you get
pain or irritation, stop for a few days, then start
again. For small flat warts, apply the salicylic
acid with a toothpick or other small applicator, and
follow the above directions. The British Medical
Journal surveyed 50 trials and reported that this
remedy cured nongenital warts in 75% of the cases as
opposed to 48% using a placebo.
Salicylic acid plaster This remedy is good for warts
on the soles of your feet or the palms of your
hands. This product destroys wart tissue, and, as
the remedy mentioned above, must be used carefully.
Tea A tea made from purple coneflower (echinacea),
burdock root or red clover may build up your
immunity to warts.
Thuja Apply a drop of thuja tincture (an herbal
remedy) directly on the wart from a dropper.:
Vitamin E Put the contents of one 100 I.U. of
natural vitamin E capsule on a Band-Aid
and cover the wart. Warts will soon disappear.
Vitamin A (palmitate) in doses of 25,000 I.U., taken
daily for a week to six months, had very good
results in several tests.
Vitamin A Another remedy: crush a vitamin A capsule
and mix it with just enough water to make a paste;
apply directly to the wart; in the afternoon apply a
drop of castor oil; in the evening apply a drop of
Walnuts, black Take some green (not fully ripe)
black walnuts and make a few incisions in the outer
shell; rub the juice on the warts. There may be a
slight stinging sensation or the area may turn
brown, but this is only temporary. Very effective.
Washing soda Dissolve as much soda as the water will
take up and wash the affected area for a minute or
two; allow to dry without being wiped. Doing this
for several days will destroy most warts.