Warts are harmless, but they can be embarrassing for those who have them. Conventional treatments include freezing, surgery, chemical peels and laser treatments, but these options can be expensive. Fortunately, there are home remedies that work to get rid of warts due to their antiviral or acidic properties. Just keep in mind, these remedies are not to be used for warts on your face or genital warts.
What Are Warts?
Warts are small, grainy skin growths that typically develop on the hands and feet. They vary in appearance and can develop singularly or in clusters. Warts are benign (noncancerous), and tend to affect children and teenagers more than adults, but can form at any point in your life. The length of time it takes for a wart to grow varies from person to person, and they can go away on their own but it can take weeks, months or even years.
What Causes Warts?
Common warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). This virus is very common and although some forms of HPV are spread through sexual contact, most are spread by casual skin contact or by contaminated objects, like towels. The virus typically spreads through breaks in the skin, such as a hangnail or shaving nick. Biting your nails can also cause warts to spread on your fingertips or around your nails.
4 Types of Warts
1. Common Warts
Common warts often develop on the fingers, nails, toes or back of the hand. They can also sometimes develop on the knees. They’re rough in texture and can vary in size from pinhead to pea size. Some contain tiny, seed-like black dots.
2. Plantar Warts
Plantar warts typically grow on the feet or ankles. Plantar warts that develop on the soles of the feet and toes are often referred to as verrucas. Plantar warts resemble thick, calloused skin and often have black dots on the surface. They’re often flat and can be pushed into your foot as you walk.
3. Flat Warts
Flat warts are slightly raised and smooth in appearance. They’re often light brown and typically develop on the forehead and cheeks. They can also develop on the hands, lower arms and legs.
4. Periungual Warts
Periungual warts grow around the finger and toenails, and usually spread underneath the nail. These warts can be tough to treat because of their location.
How Do Warts Spread?
Warts can spread from an infected person to another person. However, if you touch someone else’s wart, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a wart. Everyone’s immune system reacts differently to HPV, and some people are exposed to the virus but never develop warts.
On Your Body
Warts can also spread from one part of your body to another. If you pick at, scratch or touch a wart on one part of your body, then touch another part of your body, the wart can spread. Be extra careful not to touch your warts to prevent this from happening, or make sure to wash your hands immediately after touching them.
You can also develop warts from touching an infected surface. This means that a person with an active infection touched a surface, most commonly pool areas, shared showers or a towel. You can also get warts if you share personal care items like razors. HPV is hard to kill with disinfectants so if someone you know has a wart, it’s best not to share personal items with them while the infection is active.
7 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Warts
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an acidic substance that has natural antimicrobial properties. It’s thought to work by killing bacteria and viruses and slowly destroying the affected skin, causing the wart to fall off. This is similar to how salicylic acid works, a popular wart treatment. Combine 2-parts apple cider vinegar with 1-part water. Soak a cotton ball and place it on the wart, covering it with a bandage and leaving it on for at least three to four hours. Overnight is even better.
Since Aspirin is made of salicylic acid, it’s thought to have a similar effect to the over-the-counter wart remedy. Salicylic acid works to heal warts by peeling back the affected skin, removing the wart over time. Crush up a few Aspirin tablets and mix them with water. Apply the paste, cover it with a bandage and wear overnight.
Garlic’s key ingredient is allicin, which has antimicrobial, antiviral and immunomodulating properties. Chop up one clove of garlic and mix it with water. Apply this mixture to the wart and cover it with a bandage. You can also apply garlic juice or rub a clove on the wart.
4. Baking Soda and Castor Oil
This duo is another great home remedy to treat warts. Baking soda is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, which can reduce pain and inflammation at the site of the wart. And the addition of castor oil reduces the burning sensation afterward. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one to two drops of castor oil, and use this paste on your warts daily.
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is amazing for the skin, and can be useful in treating warts due to its malic acid. Plus, if your warts are itchy or painful, aloe has antibacterial and antibiotic properties to provide relief. You can use the leaf of a real aloe plant or buy organic aloe gel. Apply it on the wart and repeat daily.
Dandelions have been used in ancient Chinese and Middle Eastern medicine for centuries due to their medicinal properties. Dandelions have antimicrobial properties that can potentially get rid of warts. Break apart a dandelion and squeeze out the sticky, white sap, and apply to the wart once or twice a day. Be sure never to use dandelions that have been sprayed by chemicals.
7. Onion Juice
With antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, onion juice is known to inhibit the growth of viruses and bacteria, which helps to get rid of warts. Peel the outer skin of a small onion, crush it in a mortar and pestle and apply it to the affected area daily.
Warts are no fun, but these tips and remedies can help you get rid of them with remedies you can find at home.
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