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Home Remedies Banish Warts

Part of: (has many other home remedies)

They come unbidden and without warning. They are ugly and sometimes hard to eradicate. Even the medical name is nasty: verrucae vulgaris.

Warts are caused by any of 60 strains of the human papillomavirus. Children are especially susceptible, but anyone can develop this common infection. The hands and feet are prime targets.

Dermatologists might prescribe acid plasters to gradually eat away at the rough tissue, burn them off with electrical cautery devices, freeze them with liquid nitrogen or remove them with a laser. Even with such high-tech treatment, many warts return time after time.

One reader pleaded: "I am going nuts with warts on my hands. I have had them removed by doctors and they return. The wart 'paints' work, but the warts come back. Do you know of any old timey cures or anything I could try?"

That is why home remedies are so appealing to people. No one understands why the mind is so powerful in ridding the body of this unwanted virus. For centuries techniques like "buying" the warts with a shiny new penny have been amazingly effective. Even doctors have utilized "magical spells" to relieve their younger patients of this plague.

Over the years we have collected a lot of wart remedies. Here are some of our favorites.


"Take a banana peel and cut a round piece the size of the wart. Put the inner side next to the wart and tape it on with surgical tape. Change this every day with a fresh piece of banana peel. It may take a week or so to see results."

A nurse sent us the following remedy: "Peel the skin off a potato as thin as possible. Take a small piece of potato skin and rub the POTATO side on the wart twice a day. In one or two weeks the wart will turn black and fall off.

There is apparently a chemical in the potato near the skin which kills the wart. I have used this for warts large and small on several people, and it never fails."


Another person offers a doctor-recommended remedy: "Clear nail polish works for warts. My dermatologist told me to try it. I gave up after a short time because it was tedious to apply it every day. But when our dog developed a huge wart, I put a coat of polish on daily and within a week the thing flaked off."

The nail polish approach has been around for a while. Another reader relates: "When I was a freshman in college my biology professor said that warts could be removed by 'smothering' them with frequent applications of nail polish or heavy cold cream.

"I had my first wart then and really hated it. Having no nail polish at the time, I used cold cream, applying it every time I was in my dorm room. It took about two weeks for the wart to disappear."


Vinegar is another popular home remedy for warts. "I was plagued by a wart on my index finger. Because of the location, a physician said there was nothing to be done that wouldn't cause disfigurement.

I soaked a piece of cotton in apple cider vinegar, put it on my finger and wrapped it with tape. In the middle of the night I woke up from a dead sleep. My wart was throbbing. The next day the wart was gone without disfigurement."


Castor oil is another perennial favorite. "Just dab a little drop on the wart at night before bed and do the same each morning when you get up. Soon you'll find you have no wart to treat."

Such home remedies have not been clinically tested, but they are inexpensive, safe and work at least as well as some medical treatments.

Colloidal Silver

We are very concerned about the increasing popularity of colloidal silver. It was used to fight infections in the late 1800s and early 1900s. When antibiotics were discovered, silver compounds fell out of favor.

A few years ago we met a woman whose family had given her colloidal silver when she was a child. Her skin is now severely discolored and appears grayish blue. This is an irreversible and disfiguring condition.

The FDA has stated that products containing colloidal silver are "not generally recognized as safe and effective and are misbranded." We discourage their use, especially for children.

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