12 Home Remedies For Warts

Medically reviewed by Dr. Millie Lytle, ND, MPH
by Atulya Satishkumar

Having warts on any part of your body can be a lot more challenging to deal with than you think. Warts can occur on your face, hands, and legs. They not only cause discomfort in the form of itching and pain but can also be a stubborn skin-related issue to get rid of.

Warts aren’t dangerous, but they are ugly, embarrassing, and even contagious. Your self-confidence and self-esteem can also take a hit if you have a nasty wart anywhere on your face, neck, or limbs.

Fret not! In this post, we will share a few natural ways to manage warts right at home. Read on.

What Are Warts?

Warts are small, bumpy outgrowths on the surface of your skin. They are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). They can be painful, benign, and usually rough to the touch. Warts can be of a color close to your skin tone. They can occur on your face, neck, and limbs.

Warts vary depending on the part of the body they appear on and their appearance. The types of warts are discussed below.

What Are The Types Of Warts?

  • Common Warts: These warts usually appear on your fingers and toes. Common warts have a rough texture and are rounded at the top with a grayish tinge.
  • Plantar Warts: If you have a wart on the soles of your feet, you have a plantar wart. What makes these warts different is that they grow into your skin. These warts can look like a hole in your foot surrounded by a layer of hard skin and can hurt when you walk.
  • Flat Warts: If you have a wart on your face or arms, it is probably a flat wart. These warts are not easy to notice and are a lot smaller. Flat warts have a flatter appearance and may look pink or yellow.
  • Filiform Warts: Sometimes, warts can grow around your mouth, nose, or near your neck. These warts look like a flap of skin and usually are of the same color as that of your skin.
  • Periungual Warts: Warts that grow under your fingernails and toenails are called periungual warts and can be quite painful. Periungual warts can affect nail growth.

Read on to find out where you are most likely to observe the occurrence of warts.

Where Can You Get A Wart?

Warts can appear on any part of your body. Warts can appear on your face, neck, hands, legs, and even under the fingernails and toenails. Sometimes, you may see warts around your genitals and inner thighs.

We will explore the cause of warts in the next section.

What Causes Warts?

Warts are a viral infection caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Some strains of the virus can be contracted via sexual contact. In most cases, however, the virus spreads through physical contact and sharing of objects, such as towels. The virus gets into your body through a break in the skin surface, hangnail, or an open wound.

Biting your nails can also cause warts to spread on your hands and nails. It is interesting to note that every individual’s immune system responds to HPV differently. This means that not everyone who comes in contact with HPV develops warts (1).

Let us now understand how to determine if you have warts.

What Are The Symptoms Of Warts?

The signs and symptoms of common warts include:

  • Appearance of small, rough bumps
  • They could be of the same color as your skin or darker.
  • Rough texture
  • Presence of black spots on the wart, which are clotted blood vessels

Warts are contagious. Although they can disappear on their own, the process may take several weeks or months or even years. If you want a faster solution or notice bleeding or pus, visit your doctor immediately.

When To See Your Doctor

Dermatologists usually suggest OTC medication for common warts. In case the wart does not go away after treatment, you will have to seek immediate medical help.

Seek medical intervention if the wart bleeds or if pus drains out of it. At this stage, your dermatologist will use a stronger treatment technique to facilitate the removal of the wart.

Another point to note is that all warts are possibly ‘mother’ warts. This means that they can give rise to more warts. Therefore, it is necessary that you get rid of the wart as soon as you can.

Now that we have discussed all these points, it is time that we find out how you can deal with warts using simple home remedies. Read on to learn more.

Note: Do not try these remedies for warts on your face or genitals. In such cases, consult a doctor. Also, though there is little or no scientific evidence to back these remedies, anecdotal evidence suggests they are effective in removing warts.

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Warts

1. Garlic

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Garlic contains compounds that exhibit antiviral properties and inhibit the proliferation of virally infected cells (2). This may help in treating the viral infection that causes warts.

You Will Need

  • 1-2 crushed cloves of garlic

What You Have To Do

  1. Crush the garlic cloves and apply the paste to the wart.
  2. You can keep the wart covered with a bandage.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily for 2-3 weeks.

2. Castor Oil

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The ricinoleic acid in castor oil exhibits analgesic properties (3). These properties may help reduce the pain caused by the wart.

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of castor oil
  • 2-3 drops of carrier oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix a teaspoon of castor oil with two to three drops of a carrier oil like coconut oil in a bowl.
  2. Apply it to the wart with a sterile cotton ball.
  3. Leave it on.

How Often You Should Do This

You can repeat this remedy 2 times daily.

3. Duct Tape

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Duct tape is a medical adhesive tape that can help in removing warts. Research shows that duct tape method can be more effective than cryotherapy in removing warts (4).

You Will Need

  • 1 roll of duct tape
  • A pumice stone

What You Have To Do

  1. Take a piece of duct tape and stick it on the wart.
  2. Change it every three to five days until it falls off on its own.
  3. Once it has fallen off, you can scrub the area with a pumice stone to clean any remnants of the wart.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this method every 3-5 days until the wart falls off on its own.

Caution: If you have sensitive skin, you must be careful in using the adhesive tape as it may cause skin irritation.

4. Lemon

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Citric acid is one of the main bioactive compounds of lemon juice. Citric acid possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent further infection of the wart and reduce inflammation (if any) around the affected area (5).

You Will Need

  • 1 lemon
  • A few drops of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Squeeze a lemon to extract its juice.
  2. Dilute it using a few drops of water.
  3. Apply this solution to the wart using a clean cotton pad.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this method once daily for about 3-4 weeks.

5. Oregano Oil

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Studies show that oregano oil contains a compound called carvacrol that possesses antibacterial properties (6), (7). This may help in fighting the infection caused by a wart.

You Will Need

  • A sterile cotton ball or gauze
  • 2-3 drops of oregano oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Take a sterile cotton ball and dab two to three drops of oregano oil on it.
  2. Place this on the infected site.

How Often You Should Do This

  • Do this 3-4 times daily for a few weeks.

6. Tea Tree Oil

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Tea tree oil is one of the oldest essential oils used for its antimicrobial properties (8). It can be used topically at the site of the wart to help prevent further infection.

You Will Need

  • A sterile cotton ball or gauze
  • 2-3 drops of tea tree oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Take a sterile cotton ball and dab two to three drops of tea tree oil on it.
  2. Place this on the wart.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat 3-4 times daily until you see visible change at the site of the wart.

7. Thuja Oil

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Thuja occidentalis or American arborvitae is widely used in homeopathy to treat warts. It exhibits antiviral properties that can help in treating the virus that is causing warts (9).

You Will Need

  • 2-3 drops of thuja oil
  • A clean cotton ball

What You Have To Do

  1. Dilute two to three drops of thuja oil with a few drops of carrier oil like olive oil.
  2. Dab this mixture onto a cotton ball and place it on the wart.

How Often You Should Do This

You can repeat this remedy 1-2 times daily.

8. Turmeric

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Turmeric contains curcumin, which has antimicrobial and antiviral properties that can help in clearing HPV infection (10).

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • A few drops of carrier oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Add a few drops of a carrier oil to a teaspoon of turmeric powder to make a thick paste.
  2. Apply this paste generously on the site of the wart.
  3. You can keep it covered and use a pumice stone over the wart.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this procedure every 3-6 days until the wart falls off.

9. Beetle Juice

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Beetle juice or cantharidin is a tried and tested remedy for treating warts. It causes a blister to form underneath the surface of the wart, slowly pushing it until it falls off (10).

You Will Need

  • A bandage
  • 2-3 drops of cantharidin

What You Have To Do

  1. Apply a few drops of cantharidin on the wart.
  2. Keep the area covered with a bandage.
  3. Check the site after a few days and repeat if needed.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this procedure every 3-6 days until the wart falls off.

Note: You may experience pain and tenderness in the affected site after using this remedy.

10. Neem Oil

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Neem is a popularly used home remedy for viral infections. It possesses antiviral properties that make it suitable to treat the viral infection that causes warts (11).

You Will Need

  • 2-3 drops of neem oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Dab 2-3 drops of neem oil onto a cotton ball.
  2. Apply it on the wart and leave on for 20 minutes.
  3. Wash it off with water.

How Often You Should Do This

  • Do this daily.

11. Vitamin A

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One effective and non-invasive method to treat warts is to use vitamin A topically. Topical application of vitamin A can help inhibit the replication of HPV replication by promoting the growth of skin tissue cells (12). However, more studies are needed to establish its effectiveness in treating common warts.

12. Ripe Banana Peel

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Several studies have shown that banana peels are rich in phenolic compounds (13). These bioactive compounds exhibit antiviral and antibacterial properties that can help in treating warts (14).

You Will Need

  • Peel of a ripe banana
  • Medical tape

What You Have To Do

  1. Cut a small square of a ripe banana peel and place it on the wart.
  2. Tape it in place with medical tape.
  3. You may use an emery board to scrape off the wart once it heals.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this process by changing the peel once a day for about two weeks.

Try any of these home remedies to get rid of warts. Below are a few tips to prevent the recurrence of warts.

How Can I Prevent The Occurrence Of Warts?

You cannot prevent warts, but you can always follow precautionary measures to reduce the chances of getting warts. Here are a few tips:

  1. Wash your hands regularly.
  2. Refrain from biting your nails or cuticles.
  3. Take care not to share personal items like towels and footwear.
  4. Keep your skin moisturized and free from cuts.
  5. Always keep your feet covered in public spaces like public showers or locker rooms.

You will surely get some respite from warts by using the easy-to-do remedies and following the tips we have suggested above. However, consult your dermatologist in the case of genital warts or if warts recur.

We hope that you found this post helpful. Do you know of any other hacks that might help in dealing with warts? Share them with us in the comments section below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Are warts contagious?

Yes. Research shows that warts can spread easily by skin-to-skin contact. However, not all strains of HPV are contagious, and not everyone reacts to HPV in the same way.

Can warts spread from one part of my body to another?

Yes, warts can spread from one part of your body to another. Do not touch your warts repeatedly and wash your hands thoroughly after tending to warts.

Why do some warts have black dots in them?

The black specks on warts are blood vessels that supply them with oxygen.

How long do warts last untreated?

If left untreated, warts can last for a year or two. While your body fights off the viral infection that causes warts, you must remember not to pick at them as it can spread to other parts of your body.

How do I know when to stop treating a wart?

When the wart falls off, and the skin surface resembles the surrounding skin texture and appearance, you can stop the treatment.

What happens if a wart bleeds?

If a wart bleeds or if pus drains out of it, you must seek immediate medical help.

References

  1. Warts (non-genital)” BMJ Clinical Evidence, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  2. A clinical study of efficacy of garlic extract versus cryotherapy in the treatment of male genital wart” Dermatologica Sinica, ScienceDirect.
  3. Therapeutic role of Ricinus communis L. and its bioactive compounds in disease prevention and treatment” Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine.
  4. The efficacy of duct tape vs cryotherapy in the treatment of verruca vulgaris (the common wart).” Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  5. Evaluation of the efficacy of 50% citric acid solution in plane wart treatment” Indian Journal of Dermatology.
  6. A study of the minimum inhibitory concentration and mode of action of oregano essential oil, thymol and carvacrol.” Journal of Applied Microbiology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  7. Antimicrobial activity of essential oils and carvacrol, and synergy of carvacrol and erythromycin, against clinical, erythromycin-resistant Group A Streptococci” Frontiers in Microbiology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  8. Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)-An Efficient Treatment for Warts: Two Case Reports” International Archives of Biomedical and Clinical Research, ResearchGate.
  9. Successful treatment of verruca vulgaris with Thuja occidentalis in a renal allograft recipient” Indian Journal of Nephrology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  10. Clearance of cervical human papillomavirus infection by topical application of curcumin and curcumin containing polyherbal cream: a phase II randomized controlled study.” APJCP, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  11. Neem: A Tree For Solving Global Problems.” US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  12. Topical vitamin A treatment of recalcitrant common warts” Virology Journal, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  13. Bioactive compounds in banana fruits and their health benefits” Food Quality and Safety, ResearchGate.
  14. Antibacterial and phytochemical analysis of Banana fruit peel” IOSR Journal of Pharmacy.
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Atulya Satishkumar

‘Techie by day, writer by night’ is how she described herself before embarking on the journey of writing. Her strong belief in the magic of the written word, coupled with a very keen eye for detail, helps her guide her team to create quality content. When she is not editing beauty, fashion, and lifestyle-related content, she writes prose and poetry, plays her ukulele (and/or guitar), and pets floofs.
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