Natural Remedies for Warts

They are the single most common skin complaint—and sooner or later, one in every ten people develops at least one. Though many warts disappear on their own, a variety of natural treatments can hasten healing for the millions of Americans who suffer from these unsightly blemishes.

Natural Remedies for Warts

What Are Warts

Although warts may look serious, in most cases these small skin growths are harmless. There are many different kinds, including common warts, usually found on the fingers or hands, and plantar warts, which appear on the feet. Genital warts are considered the most serious because, unlike other types, they are highly contagious, and some types may increase the risk of skin, cervical, or penile cancers.

What Causes Warts

Warts result when a human papilloma virus (there are dozens of different types) invades the top layer of skin, usually through a small cut or abrasion. Once an infection occurs, it may take from one to eight months—or sometimes many years—for a wart to appear. Low immunity may play a role in activating the wart virus and causing the growths to emerge.

How Supplements Can Help

Because the development of warts is often linked to the health and potency of the immune system, supplements that strengthen immunity—including vitamin A and vitamin C—may also help eliminate the growths and, when taken long term, prevent recurrences.

Supplement Recommendations

Vitamin A Dosage: 50,000 IU twice a day for 10 days.
Comments: Women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy should not exceed 5,000 IU a day.
Vitamin C Dosage: 1,000 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Powdered vitamin C (1/2 tsp.) can also be mixed with a little water and applied as a skin compress twice daily.
Vitamin E Dosage: Break open a capsule; add contents to a skin compress.
Comments: Apply at bedtime, remove in morning, until wart heals.
Garlic oil Dosage: Moisten a skin compress with garlic oil.
Comments: Apply at bedtime, remove in morning, until wart heals.
Tea tree oil Dosage: Put several drops on a skin compress.
Comments: Apply at bedtime, remove in morning, until wart heals.
Goldenseal Dosage: Soak a skin compress with tincture.
Comments: Apply at bedtime, remove in morning, until wart heals.
Pau d’arco Dosage: Soak a skin compress with tincture.
Comments: Apply at bedtime, remove in morning, until wart heals.
Aloe vera gel Dosage: Put dab of gel on skin compress.
Comments: Use fresh aloe leaf or store-bought gel.

In addition, try one of the following topical treatments: vitamin E, garlic oil, and tea tree oil; goldenseal and pau d’arco tinctures; or aloe vera gel. A powdered form of vitamin C, mixed with water, can also be used topically. All need to be applied to a skin compress, such as a piece of flannel or cotton gauze. Each is believed to contain virus-fighting ingredients that may promote healing. If one doesn’t seem to work, experiment with another. If skin irritation develops, dilute the preparation with a little water or vegetable oil, and rub a dab of petroleum jelly on the surrounding skin. Always dilute the preparations if you’re applying them to the genitals, which may be especially sensitive. Change the compresses daily. Benefits should be noticed within three to four days. Continue topical treatment until the wart heals.

Other supplements that can be applied as skin compresses are castor oil (mix it with a little baking soda) and clove oil. You can try these remedies on most warts, even genital ones. But consult your doctor first, especially in the case of genital warts, which require close medical attention.

What Else You Can Do

  • Wear shower shoes at the gym or by the pool. Some plantar wart viruses are spread via locker room floors.
  • Persistent warts may require prescription wart removers or freezing, burning, or laser treatments in a dermatologist’s office.

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