Medical science probably will never be able to explain how burying a coin or rubbing a potato can remove a wart, but the mind has powerful influence over the immune system that almost anyone can use to advantage.
Medical treatment will get rid of warts. The problem with most methods of wart removal one encounters in a doctor's office is that they change the pigment of the skin so that the removal of a wart leaves a freckle, age spot, or a lightening of the skin called vitiligo. This effect is most noticeable on dark skin. Medical treatment of warts can also leave scars or ulceration.
That is why most people prefer natural home remedies for warts removals. Here are thirteen natural home remedies for warts removal. If one doesn't work for you, another surely will!
- For children, the more outrageous the cure, the more likely it will work. Natural health experts Joe and Teresa Graedon suggest touching a wart with colored chopsticks and uttering an ancient "proverb," such as "The touch of the chopstick will surely dissolve the water." Other possibilities are shining a laser pointer at the wart (taking care not to point the light in the child's eyes) or poking the wart and rubbing it with an ice cube. Just don't ruin the effect by telling the child the cure will not work—because it probably will.
- Dr. Samuel Moschella published an article in the Cleveland Clinic Quarterly about a technique he used with his adult patients who did not want to undergo wart removal surgery. Dr. Moschella ordered his patients to soak their feet in warm (113° F/45° C) water for 30 to 90 minutes a week. And if they added one part vinegar to four parts of water, they killed any foot fungus as well.
- Dermatological researchers conducted a scientific study of the use of adhesiotherapy, the use duct tape to remove warts, to treat children's warts. The children were divided into two groups. Half were given the standard liquid nitrogen treatment to remove the warts. The other half were treated with a tiny piece of duct tape to be placed over the wart for six days. At the end of the sixth day, parents were told to remove the duct tape with warm water and put on a fresh piece of duct tape for another six days, repeating the process every six days for two months.
At the end of the study the skin care scientists found that warts had disappeared in 60 per cent of the children treated with liquid nitrogen. But warts disappeared in 85 per cent of the children treated with duct tape. A safe and non-threatening treatment, duct tape may have modulated the children's immune systems so that they could fight the viruses that cause the warts.
- The only ingredient in over-the-counter wart removers with scientifically proven wart-removal power is salicylic acid, which is also the active ingredient in Aspirin. Salicylic acid is found in Clear Away, Compound W, and Wart-Off. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that over-the-counter wart removers work better than laser surgery, liquid nitrogen, and other high-tech treatments.
Any wart removal plaster than contains salicylic acid is also great from removing splinters. Put a small disk of Clearaway Wart Removal System or Mediplast on a splinter for 12 hours, and it should work its way out in several days.
- Smoking encourages the growth of warts, and increases the rate at which genital warts become cancerous.
- Don't touch warts. Although the human papillomavirus within them lies beneath a horny layer of keratin, any breaks in the skin can transmit the virus to cause new warts.
- Hypnosis has been used to treat warts. Success rates range from 55 per cent in children to 27 per cent in adults.
- Raw garlic cloves have antiviral activity. Rubbing raw garlic on a wart at night and then covering the wart with a bandage sometimes removes the wart.
- Tea tree oil, usually applied as a cream, kills bacteria and sometimes removes warts. It is usually necessary to use the tea tree oil cream for 2 to 3 months to get rid of the wart.
Genital warts, caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), the same virus that causes cervical cancer, are hard to remove without medical treatment. Even genital warts, however, respond to nutritional and natural home remedies for warts. Here are some suggestions specifically for dealing with genital warts.
- In laboratory studies, vitamins A, C, and E increase the multiplication of healthy cells but prevent the multiplication of warty skin infected with HPV. Vitamin E has the greatest effect on the viruses that cause warts, but all three vitamins should be taken together because they recharge each other.
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is important in preventing the progression of genital warts to cancer. Oral contraceptives, as well as most of the drugs for controlling seizures and eating disorders, increase the body's need for vitamin B6. Don't take B6 if you take L-dopa for Parkinson's disease, valproic acid for seizures, or theophylline for asthma, because the vitamin can interfere with those medications.
- Beta-carotene is especially important for women who have genital warts. One study found that women who develop cervical dysplasia (a condition that sometimes leads to cervical cancer) have an average of two-thirds as much beta-carotene in their bloodstreams as uninfected women. Beta-carotene boosts the immune system in both men and women, and encourages the adhesion of skin cells to each other. Since warts are a result of skin cells coming loose from the membranes beneath them, beta-carotene both keeps new warts from forming and helps old warts heal.
- Selenium is important as a co-factor for vitamin E. Medical researchers that selenium helps heal abnormal skin growths by assisting in the formation of the antioxidant glutathione perioxidase, which reduces inflammation all over the body but especially in the skin.
Add to these 13 natural home remedies for warts removal one more: Benign neglect. Warts that receive no treatment at all typically go away in about two years. Treatment is only needed for warts that are growing, spreading, or that have been on the skin for more than two years.