Home remedies for the removal of common warts, like those on the face, arms, hands, legs or feet, can be as easy as applying apple cider vinegar, duct tape, tea tree oil, or clear nail polish directly on the wart. 

Warts are small skin lesions caused by HPV. They are generally harmless and can appear in people of any age on any part of the body. 

Although warts do not cause health problems, some conditions, like skin or vaginal cancer, can be confused for warts. Therefore, before treating a wart, you should see your doctor for assessment to confirm what the lesions are. Please note that these home remedies should not be used in sensitive areas, like the genital region. 

Some ways to treat warts naturally with home remedies include: 

1. Apple cider vinegar 

Apple cider vinegar is an acidic substance that helps to chemically exfoliate the skin. This helps to remove excess skin around the wart, which is why it is commonly used as treatment for warts. 

To use apply cider vinegar, soak a cotton ball in the vinegar and apply it over the wart over night. You can secure the cotton ball with a microporous tape. 

This vinegar is very acidic and can cause skin irritation, therefore it is important to discontinue treatment if you notice redness or have discomfort. This treatment should not be used on your face. 

Read more about the different uses and benefits of apple cider vinegar

2. Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is a potent, natural antiviral that can help to treat viral, bacterial or fungal infections. This makes tea tree oil a great option for treating skin HPV and removing warts. 

To use tea tree oil, apply a drop directly on the wart twice per day, allowing it to soak into the skin for as much time as possible. When used for children or on sensitive skin, you should dilute the oil in a teaspoon of plant-based oil (like almond oil, coconut oil or avocado oil).

3. Duct tape

Duct tape is a simple and easy way to remove warts naturally. It helps to remove dead skin cells and stimulates the immune system to eliminate the wart quickly. This treatment option is natural and recommended by the American Association of Dermatology. 

To treat with duct tape, cover the entire wart with the tape and keep it on for 24 hours. If the tape falls off, it is important to put on another. You can keep the duct tape on the wart for 2 to 3 weeks, until the wart disappears. 

When the wart becomes white and soft, you can pare it down with a nail file to remove the outer layer of skin. You should then cover the wart again with duct tape for another week, until it disappears. 

To prevent contaminating other parts of the body or transmitting the virus to other people, be sure to keep the nail file for your own personal use. 

Learn more about different types of warts and how to get rid of them. 

4. Propolis extract 

Propolis is a resin with antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains healing action. To gain benefits from propolis, apply 1 drop of this resin on the wart at night, then cover it with a microporous tape. Leave the wart covered and remove in the morning. Apply propolis on the wart on a daily basis until it resolves completely. 

5. Banana peels

Banana peels contain tanins, leukocyanidin and thymidin, which are bioactive compounds with antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These components help to fight bacteria and viruses, which can help with the removal of warts. 

Cut a piece of banana peel approximately the same size as the wart, and place it over the wart with the inner peel. Secure the banana peel with tape and keep it on overnight, being sure only to remove it in the morning. You can do this on a daily basis until the wart is gone. 

6. Nail polish 

Clear nail polish, when applied directly on the wart, decreases the amount of oxygen that is reaching it. This causes cellular death in the area, which helps to get rid of the wart faster. 

This treatment is not recommended by all dermatologists, however, which is why you should consult your doctor before applying duct tape over the wart. 

Was this information helpful?

Atualizado por Tua Saude editing team, em June de 2022. Clinical review por Manuel Reis - Registered Nurse, em June de 2022.

References

  • CUSTÓDIO, L, Philipe; LIMA, M, Sílvia; MORITA, P, S, Ana Beatriz. Uso Popular da Casca de Banana para a Remoção de Verrugas. Saúde e Biociências. Vol.1. 1.ed; 82-93, 2019
  • J, C, Sterling et al. British Association of Dermatologists’ guidelines for the management of cutaneous warts 2014. British Journal of Dermatology. Vol.171. 696–712, 2014
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  • VUA, T, Hang; SCARLETTA, J, Christopher; VUONG, V, Quan. Phenolic compounds within banana peel and their potential uses: A review. Journal of Functional Foods. Vol.40. 238-248, 2018
  • HERTFORDSHIRE COMMUNITY NHS TRUST. Managing your verruca: what you can do. 2012. Available on: <https://www.hct.nhs.uk/media/2476/managing-your-verrucae.pdf>. Access in 06 Apr 2022
  • MILLAR, Cherie; MOORE, John. Successful topical treatment of hand warts in a paediatric patient with tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia). Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. Vol.14(4). 225-227, 2008
  • MULHEM, Elie; PINELIS, Susanna. Treatment of Nongenital Cutaneous Warts. Am Fam Physician. Vol.84(3). 288-293, 2011
  • AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DERMATOLOGY. Warts: tips for managing. Available on: <https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/warts-self-care>. Access in 23 Jul 2020
Clinical review:
Manuel Reis
Registered Nurse
Manuel graduated in 2013 and is licensed to practice under the Ordem dos Enfermeiros de Portugal, with license #79026. He specializes in Advanced Clinical Phytotherapy.