3 Ways to Treat a Wart at Home

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3 Ways to Treat a Wart at Home
3 Ways to Treat a Wart at Home

Warts are benign (non-cancerous) skin bumps that can appear anywhere on the body. They are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which enters the top layer of the skin and infects it through small cuts and abrasions. Warts are contagious and can be spread by contact, especially among people with weakened immune systems. Getting rid of these bumps can be a challenge, but there are several home remedies you can try, as you'll see below. However, don't hesitate to see a dermatologist if natural treatments aren't working or if the wart is hurting or disrupting your daily life too much.


Method 1 of 3: Treating Warts at Home

Treat a Wart at Home Step 1
Treat a Wart at Home Step 1

Step 1. Exfoliate the area with a pumice stone

One of the simplest and most cost-effective methods of removing a wart is to exfoliate it with a pumice stone. Naturally abrasive, it works well when scraping and grinding out bumps, especially those on the soles of the foot (plantar warts, or the famous fisheye) that form thick, coated calluses.

  • Pumice is an inexpensive alternative for getting rid of superficial warts, but remember that they have "roots" under the skin surface. Therefore, exfoliate most of the wart with a pumice stone, then apply a product that treats and destroys these "roots" to prevent it from growing again.
  • Before using the pumice stone as an exfoliant, soak the area of skin with the wart in hot water for about 15 minutes to soften it. This is especially important for plantar warts, which are covered by a thicker coating of skin.
  • Be very careful when using the pumice stone on genital warts, as the skin on the penis or vagina is much thinner and more sensitive. In these cases, prefer to use a small nail file to treat the area.
  • People with peripheral neuropathy or diabetes should not use the pumice stone on their hands or feet, as they have reduced sensation, and they can end up hurting the skin around the wart.
Treat a Wart at Home Step 2
Treat a Wart at Home Step 2

Step 2. Apply some salicylic acid

Another technique often used to remove the part of the wart that is above the level of the skin (and the calluses on the plantar warts) is the application of a solution of salicylic acid, purchased over-the-counter from pharmacies. Salicylic acid is a type of keratolytic, that is, it dissolves the keratin (protein) on the surface of the wart and the calluses that cover it. You may need to use this product for a few weeks to finally get rid of the bigger warts, so be patient.

  • Keratolytics also irritate and damage healthy skin, so be very careful when applying the acid, whether in liquid form, gel, cream or adhesive. Before running it over the wart (up to twice a day), wet the skin around the wart and file most of it with a pumice stone or nail file so that the medicine penetrates better into the roots of the wart.
  • In some cases, salicylic acid products contain dichloroacetic (or tricoloroacetic) acid, which helps to burn the visible part of the wart. However, again, be very careful not to rub it on the healthy part of skin around the wart.
  • As a general recommendation, use a product (in liquid, gel or cream) with 17% salicylic acid or a patch for warts with 40% of that acid in the composition.
  • Warts are not considered a health problem, nor do they usually require medical treatment, especially if they do not cause pain. They even sometimes disappear on their own.
Treat a Wart at Home Step 3
Treat a Wart at Home Step 3

Step 3. Try cryotherapy

This method freezes warts and is increasingly adopted by dermatologists. However, in a more practical way, you can use a liquid nitrogen or spray product, which is sold without a prescription in pharmacies. At first, the application of liquid nitrogen will form a blister around the wart, but both will fall off after a week or so.

  • It usually takes several applications of this product to prevent the wart from appearing again.
  • Despite being considered painful, cryotherapy usually only causes mild discomfort at the site.
  • Liquid nitrogen can leave a small scar on fair skin or stain darker skin. So, be very careful when applying it to the wart.
  • Making an ice pack is also a form of cryotherapy, but it only works for sprains and strains. Never try to put ice cubes on the warts as this will not work and could still burn your skin.
Treat a Wart at Home Step 4
Treat a Wart at Home Step 4

Step 4. Cover the wart with tape

There are those who say that this method works, although it is not clear how this is actually possible. In this method, just cover the wart with tape and change the tape every few days. Because it's cheap, easy to make and without major risks, it's worth a try.

Method 2 of 3: Using Herbal Remedies

Treat a Wart at Home Step 6
Treat a Wart at Home Step 6

Step 1. Use garlic extract

Garlic has been a home remedy used since the early days to treat a variety of conditions, although it has been discovered that its great antimicrobial properties are due to allicin, a chemical that fights various types of microorganisms such as HPV. Raw, crushed, or extract garlic purchased at health food stores or supermarkets can be applied directly to the wart twice a day for one to two weeks. After applying it, cover the wart with an adhesive bandage for a few hours until you need to reapply it. A good idea is to do this before bedtime so that the allicin can be absorbed deeply into the wart, reaching its roots.

  • A study carried out in 2005 showed that chloroform extract from garlic can completely cure warts after a few weeks, with no signs of recurrence even after four months of treatment.
  • A less effective alternative to fight warts are refined garlic capsules, which are taken orally and attack HPV directly in the bloodstream.
Treat a Wart at Home Step 7
Treat a Wart at Home Step 7

Step 2. Apply thuja essential oil

Also found under the name Arborvitae essential oil, it contains immune-stimulating compounds that are effective in finding and fighting viruses or virus-infected cells, which works by destroying HPV and killing warts. Apply thuja oil directly to the wart and allow it to soak in for a few minutes, then cover the wart with an adhesive bandage. Do this twice a day for up to two weeks.

  • This oil is derived from the leaves and roots of red cedar, and is a remedy used for centuries in Ayurvedic (or Ayurveda) medicine to treat various illnesses and health problems due to its strong antiviral properties.
  • Because it is very strong, thuja oil can easily irritate sensitive skin, something that should be taken into account especially if you are applying it to a genital wart. So, if you are going to use it on more sensitive skin, dilute it in mineral oil or cod liver oil before applying it to the wart.
  • This oil is often recommended for warts resistant to other treatments. Still, the really significant results with these more "persistent" warts are only seen after a month or two of using thuja oil daily.
Treat a Wart at Home Step 8
Treat a Wart at Home Step 8

Step 3. Use tea tree essential oil

Also found under the name tea tree essential oil (or tea tree, in imported products), this natural remedy is an antimicrobial that also works by boosting your immunity, which is very helpful in preventing new HPV infections. Start by dropping two to three drops of this oil onto the wart twice a day for at least three to four weeks to get the desired results.

  • Tea tree oil is an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial used for many years in Australia and New Zealand, but it has become more and more popular around the world over the last decade.
  • This oil can cause irritation and allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin, but adverse effects are very rare to occur.
  • Never take tea tree oil as it can be toxic.

Method 3 of 3: Seeking a Doctor

Step 1. See a dermatologist if natural remedies don't work

Warts usually go away with home treatment or on their own, but if you don't, it's best to see a dermatologist. He may be able to prescribe a stronger medicine to properly treat your case or remove the wart in the office.

  • Your dermatologist will be able to treat or remove your wart using some specific products in the doctor's office.
  • Depending on your case, your doctor may also prescribe a topical medication, such as a cream, for you to rub on the wart until it goes away.

Step 2. See a dermatologist if warts are interfering with your daily life

Sometimes warts can develop on your hands and feet, which can make it difficult for you to go about your daily activities. If this happens, see a dermatologist to see what is the best and fastest treatment option for you.

Medical treatments are generally more effective than homemade ones

Step 3. See a dermatologist if your warts hurt or change appearance or color

Try not to worry, but this could be a sign that what you have is something more serious than a simple wart. It is possible, for example, that this lump is skin cancer, but only a doctor can really confirm this assumption. Then see a dermatologist for a proper assessment and diagnosis and discuss your treatment options with your doctor.

For all intents and purposes, it could just be a wart, so you don't need to despair. The tip here is that prevention is better than cure

Step 4. See a doctor if warts start to appear "out of nowhere"

Although you don't need to worry, developing multiple warts at once can be a sign that your immune system isn't working properly. In that case, see a dermatologist to see if that's right, or go straight to an endocrinologist to see if your immune system is really compromised and what you need to do to treat it.

It could be that you have an infection or an autoimmune disorder, for example


  • Avoid direct contact with warts, even your own, as this can cause them to spread to other parts of the body.
  • Do not use the pumice stone used on warts to treat healthy parts of the skin or nails.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after touching any warts, whether yours or someone else's.
  • There is no scientific evidence to prove the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar, banana peel, bleach, pineapple juice, baking powder, and basil in removing warts. The ideal would still be to stick to the remedies actually indicated for the treatment of this condition.

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