Warts are one of the most common – and troublesome -skin conditions in childhood. A common infection caused by a virus, warts can turn up anywhere on the body but for most children, warts are most commonly found on the hands and feet.
While many warts will eventually disappear on their own after being reabsorbed by the body, they can bleed when knocked and cause the sufferer some pain and embarrassment. Other warts simply won’t leave on their own so in most cases, so it is generally recommended by health professionals to take some type of action towards wart removal to avoid cross-infection and the possible spread of warts to other parts of the body.
Wart removal products
With warts being so prevalent in the community, it’s no surprise that there are many wart removal products methods available. However, what may work well for one wart may have no impact on another so it pays to be prepared try a range of methods when aggressively tackling a wart problem head-on.
The most common methods of wart removal include:
- At-home application of salicylic acid – most the wart removers sold in chemists use salicylic acid to burn the wart off.
- Chryotherapy – this involves a health professional freezing the wart off, usually with liquid nitrogen.
- Cantharadin – this is the juice of a blister beetle that is painted on by your doctor and left to form a blister over 24 hours. The dead skin of the wart is later removed by the doctor.
Frustratingly, some warts don’t respond to any of the OTC wart removal products at all. But before you consult a dermatologist, or other specialist, consider instead trying one of the old-fashioned home remedies for wart removal that so many sufferers swear by. Like all wart removers, you may have to try a couple before you find the perfect remedy that works for each wart.
Home remedies for warts
- Cut a potato in half and rub the wart firmly with the potato half, making sure that the skin becomes saturated with raw potato juice. Repeat morning and night for two weeks to start seeing results.
- Soak a cotton wool ball in apple cider vinegar and apply directly to the wart. Use a bandaid to fix the cotton ball to the wart. Remove after three to four hours. Repeat every day for three days to start seeing results.
- Place a small square of duct tape over the wart and leave in place, removing only when you want to replace the tape. Continue for two weeks to start seeing results.
- Rub the wart with the peel of an orange. The wart will turn orange and then darken and finally drop off. Continue for two weeks to start seeing results.
- Paint the wart with a layer of clear nail polish. Repeat every second day. Continue for two week to start seeing a result.
- Soak a cotton ball in fresh aloe vera and apply directly to the wart. Repeat each day for two weeks to begin seeing a result.
- Rub a raw garlic over the wart every day for two weeks to begin seeing a result.
- For plantar warts, apply the inside of a banana peel to the wart. The peel must remain in contact with the wart at all times. Continue for 3 – 4 days to see a result.
- Apply the milk of a dandelion directly to the wart. Repeat every day for two weeks to begin seeing a result.
- Rub castor oil onto the wart twice a day for two weeks to begin seeing a result.
- Surprisingly, the duct tape cure remedy is the only remedy to have been medically researched and proven to work.
- The most popular – and anecdotally successful – home remedy is the apple cider vinegar remedy, which apparently work to redress the skin’s pH balance and thus eliminate the wart.
It’s not just foods (and duct tape) that work a miracle wart cure. Some vitamins reportedly work miracles too:
- Before going to bed, prick open a vitamin E capsule and carefully cover the wart with the oil. Cover the treated area with a band-aid, sock or glove and leave the oil on overnight. Repeat for two weeks to start seeing results.
- Break a vitamin C tablet down to a similar size as the wart you are treating. Using a bandaid to keep it in place, tape the vitamin C tablet directly onto the wart. Change the bandaid and vitamin C tablet each day and repeat for two weeks to start seeing results.
Additionally, when you have warts you should eat a diet rich in vitamin A – the orange foods such as pumpkin, carrots, papaya, mangos and apricots – and garlic to boost your immune system.
This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot, New Zealand’s best family health resource.