Warts are harmless growths on the skin. They’re caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infections.
Warts are contagious. They can go away on their own, but it can take weeks, months, or years.
Conventional treatments include chemical peels, surgery, freezing, and laser surgery, but these treatments can be expensive and cause skin irritation.
Another option is to try natural home remedies for warts.
Not for genital warts or warts on your face
If you have genital warts or warts on your face, do not try these remedies. The skin in these areas is extremely sensitive, so visit your doctor instead.
Why certain home remedies may work
Natural remedies to get rid of warts include using foods, plants, or other products that have either antiviral or acidic properties or enzymes that inhibit the HPV virus.
Natural antiviral remedies might help suppress the virus that causes warts, while natural acids can help remove layers of infected skin. However, you should know that the evidence for many of these remedies is anecdotal, at best.
Many home remedies have little or no reliable scientific evidence to back them up; however, individuals report success using them to remove warts.
Home remedies from your kitchen
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an acidic substance made from fermented apple juice. It’s thought to work like salicylic acid, a common wart treatment that peels away infected skin, eventually removing the wart.
Vinegar also has natural antimicrobial properties that may help fight HPV, but more studies are necessary.
To try it, mix 2-parts apple cider vinegar and 1-part water. Soak a cotton ball with this mixture. Place it on the wart, and cover it with a bandage. Leave it on for three to four hours.
Always dilute apple cider vinegar with water. The acidity may cause irritation and chemical burns. Also, don’t apply it on open wounds.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that banana peel might help get rid of warts.
However, there’s not actually any research linking banana peels to the treatment of warts or viral skin infections, nor is there scientific evidence that banana peels fight HPV.
If you want to try it, cut a piece of banana peel and tape it over the wart before bed, so that the inner part of the peel is touching your skin. Leave on while you sleep and repeat daily.
Garlic, a traditional home remedy
Garlic has a long history of being used to heal skin conditions like psoriasis, keloid scars, and corns. It’s also used for bacterial, fungal, and viral infections such as warts. In an older 2014 garlic extract got rid of warts within four weeks. The warts didn’t come back.
Allicin, a key component of garlic, has antimicrobial effects and is often studiedTrusted Source for its antiviral and immunomodulating properties.
To treat warts with garlic, crush up 1 clove and mix it with water. Apply to the wart and cover with a bandage. Repeat daily for three to four weeks. You can also apply garlic juice or rub a clove on the wart.
Another popular wart remedy is orange peel. It’s an inexpensive option, but there isn’t scientific data to back it up.
This remedy involves rubbing an orange peel on the wart once a day. Supposedly, the wart will change color, darken, then fall off. This may take two weeks or more.
Pineapple is rich in bromelain, a mixture of protein-digesting enzymes that may help remove dead and damaged skin.
While there is some data to support the potential effectiveness of bromelain in treating a few medical conditions, there aren’t any scientific studies supporting its use to remove warts.
People have reported success removing warts using pineapple juice in several ways. One method is to soak the wart in pineapple juice every day. Another technique is to apply fresh pineapple daily.
People claim that potato juice can “dehydrate” a wart, but no studies exist regarding its effectiveness.
To try this method, cut a small potato in half. Rub the cut side on the wart until it’s covered in potato juice. Repeat twice a day.
Many people think of dandelions as pesky weeds. However, ancient Chinese and Middle Eastern medicine use dandelions for their medicinal properties.
Dandelions have antimicrobial properties, which may be useful for fighting warts, but more research is needed to confirm.
To try this method, break apart a dandelion and squeeze out the sticky white sap. Apply to the wart once or twice a day. Repeat for two weeks.
Never use dandelions that have been sprayed with chemicals.
Home remedies from your bathroom cabinet
Aloe vera gel is commonly used for skin conditions like burns and psoriasis. If your wart is itchy or painful, the gel may provide relief.
Aloe vera gel is also known to fight pathogens, including viruses. A 2016 studyTrusted Source found that it works against herpes simplex virus type 1, but no studies exist on its effectiveness against fighting HPV.
To use aloe, remove a leaf from an aloe vera plant and cut it open. Apply the gel to the wart. Repeat daily.
Aspirin is made of salicylic acid, a common ingredient in over-the-counter wart treatments.
Salicylic acid works to heal warts by peeling away the infected skin. Over time, this removes the wart.
Aspirin is thought to have a similar effect. The suggested method is to crush aspirin tablets and mix with water. Apply the paste on the wart and cover with a bandage overnight.
Clear nail polish
Clear nail polish is another anecdotal wart remedy. It’s said to “suffocate” the virus, but there isn’t hard evidence on its effectiveness.
At the very least, clear nail polish can act as a protective coating.
The method involves coating the wart with clear nail polish. Some people do this every other day, while others do it two or three times a day.
Vitamin C has immune-boosting properties and is essential for wound healing and healthy skin tissue. An older natural history study from 2003 Trusted Sourcesuggests that higher amounts of Vitamin C consumption are inversely associated with persistent HPV infection, but more reliable evidence is needed.
To try Vitamin C as a topical treatment for warts, crush up a vitamin C tablet and mix it with water. Apply the paste to the wart, cover with a bandage, and leave overnight. Repeat daily.
Some people claim that lemon juice and vitamin C make a more effective paste. This could be from the acidity of lemon juice. Lemon juice may cause skin irritation, so use it with caution.
Another home remedy for warts is vitamin E. This nutrient is vital for a healthy immune system. It’s thought to improve your body’s reaction to HPV, but there aren’t any studies to support this claim.
You can puncture a vitamin E capsule and apply the oil to the wart. Protect the wart with a bandage and keep it on overnight. Repeat daily for two weeks.