Apple cider vinegar is a home remedy lover’s dream. The vinegar can be used as a natural home cleaner and may also offer probiotic benefits and improve the look of skin. Apple cider vinegar may also be effective in removing warts. Here, we’ll break down how it works and show you a few other treatments you can use to remove warts.
Types of Warts
Before we dive into wart removal using apple cider vinegar and other remedies, it’s important to understand the different types of warts. Warts are extremely common and are mainly caused by the human papillomavirus, known as HPV. Here are the main types of warts:
Plantar warts are found on the bottoms of the feet. These warts are unlike other warts in that they grow inward rather than outward. The most common sign of a plantar wart is an indentation in the sole of the foot surrounded by hardened tissue. These warts are often painful, particularly when walking.
Flat warts grow on top of the skin but feature a flat surface. These raised warts are most commonly found on the face, arms, and legs — particularly the thighs. They can range in color from yellow to brown and are typically not very painful.
Flat warts are warts that
Periungual warts are found underneath the fingernails and toenails. These warts are painful and can cause damage to normally healthy nails.
Common warts appear on fingers and toes and tend to have a rough exterior. They are generally round in shape and slightly more gray or brown than the surrounding skin.
How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Work on Warts?
Apple cider vinegar is an acidic compound that contains acetic acid, which essentially burns warts off (1). The process can take anywhere from a couple of days to a few months depending on the type of wart and how stubborn it is. The process simply involves soaking a cotton ball in two parts apple cider vinegar and one part water. The cotton ball is then applied directly to the wart and covered with duct tape or another adhesive like a Band-Aid. The vinegar is left on overnight and replaced each morning.
Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar on Warts
This natural remedy is an effective treatment of warts but does come with a few minor side effects. The vinegar can burn your skin so it’s a good idea to minimize contact with the vinegar to just the wart area.
Make the cotton ball small enough to cover the wart without touching too much of the surrounding healthy skin. Don’t use this method if you develop a skin rash or severe irritation. Apply the vinegar-soaked cotton ball for a few hours rather than overnight the first few times you use it. Don’t leave the vinegar on longer than overnight to reduce the risk of chemical burns.
Make sure to dilute the vinegar with water to reduce the risk of skin irritation. Never put vinegar directly on an open cut and don’t use vinegar on genital warts —n this type of wart requires treatment and medical advice from a dermatologist or qualified medical professional.
How To Get Rid of Warts Naturally
Salicyclic acid is not just an effective acne treatment, it’s also an excellent option when it comes to wart treatment. It is an over-the-counter (OTC) medication that comes in different strengths and can be applied as a gel, cream, or medicated pad. Since the strength of the salicylic acid varies, it’s a good idea to make a visit to your dermatology office to find out the right strength for your specific wart needs.
Start by soaking the affected area in warm water for 15 minutes to help soften the skin. Gently use a pumice stone or emery board to remove the dead skin on top of the wart. Rinse the wart well and then gently apply the salicylic acid. Repeat as needed over the next few weeks until the wart is gone.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil boasts antibacterial and antiviral properties that may help to remove warts. The oil also contains antioxidants that can help the immune system fend of viruses. Combine a few drops of tea tree oil and a carrier oil like jojoba oil and apply it to a small piece of cotton. Place directly on the wart overnight and repeat as needed.
Cryotherapy is a professional wart removal method that uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart off. The liquid nitrogen is applied either topically or injected directly into the wart.
Laser therapy is a star in skin disease treatment. The technology is used in everything from reversing the effects of aging to treating kin ailments like rosacea. In wart removal, the lasers directly target blood vessels, causing them to shrink and thus starving the wart of its critical blood supply. After a few treatments, the wart will fall off, though this technique may leave behind some scarring.
Cantharidin may help to finally remove tough warts. This chemical is applied directly to the wart and creates a blister underneath the wart. The dermatologist will apply the chemical and allow it to work for several hours before removing the wart by scraping or cutting. While effective, this method can cause intense pain.
Treating Skin Conditions Like Warts With Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can be used for everything from killing cockroaches and alleviating constipation to creating your own homemade shampoo. Acetic acid treatment of warts may also be effective when used consistently for a long period of time. The vinegar also offers beneficial effects for other skin problems including acne and uneven skin. In addition to apple cider vinegar, there are many other home remedies and professional treatment options for removing warts.