Michelle is a blogger, cook, freelance writer, and editor living in Seattle, Washington.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Warts
When it comes to warts, nothing matters more than getting rid of them cheaply and with as little pain as possible. For those of us who would rather avoid the doctor or the painful freezing, burning, and laser treatments, we have apple cider vinegar (ACV) to thank. ACV is a natural home remedy option with substantially less potential for both pain and scarring. Who knew that one application of this useful substance was also a wart remover?
Here's How It Works
The acidity of ACV is its weapon here. The acid works on the wart, causing the afflicted skin to peel away from the healthy skin. The two effective methods of wart removal below take just a few days to do their work (a few weeks for plantar warts). Rather than freeze off the wart, spare yourself the headache (and doctor bill) by going the home remedy route with one of these two cheap, easy, and natural methods.
Under no circumstances should anyone with genital warts attempt to use apple cider vinegar as a cure. Genital warts require treatment from medical professionals and will not respond to this home remedy. Vinegar belongs nowhere near your precious bits!
ACV Wart Removal: Method 1
You will need:
- 4 cups warm water
- 4 cups apple cider vinegar
- a big bowl or pot
This method works well for hands and feet, especially if the sufferer has several warts. This method also tends to produce less skin irritation, so those with sensitive skin should take note.
- Mix together the 1:1 solution of water and apple cider vinegar in your bowl or pot.
- Carefully place the afflicted part of your body into the solution until it covers the wart(s).
- Soak for 15 minutes a day if you have sensitive skin; 20 minutes a day if you don't.
ACV Wart Removal: Method 2
You will need:
- a cotton ball, pad, or piece of cotton cloth—very clean
- a BandAid (medical tape also works)
- a little Vaseline (optional)
This works for warts that crop up in more difficult areas, like the face or neck. You should try to do this before bed each night. If you prefer, you can wear this treatment at all times, refreshing it three to four times each day for faster results.
- Clean the area thoroughly. Try to remove all the makeup, grime, or dirt on and around the afflicted area.
- Soak the bit of cloth or cotton ball in pure apple cider vinegar.
- Place the cloth or cotton ball over the wart and use the BandAid or medical tape to keep it in place.
Note: To prevent irritation to surrounding skin, try dabbing a little Vaseline on the healthy areas around the wart before applying the vinegar treatment.
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What to Expect
Here's a breakdown of what to expect when using this treatment:
Many people experience no pain, while others experience a short period of pain. For a very few, the wart will grow a little in size, throb, or sting within a few hours or days after beginning the treatment. Do not be alarmed. If, however, the pain is intense and consistent, another method of treatment may be appropriate. Those with a low pain threshold or sensitive skin should start with Method One.
The wart will begin to darken or turn black and purple. That's the acid at work! Discoloration is normal and means that the apple cider vinegar is causing the wart to detach or peel away.
After a few days or a week, the darkened wart will begin to fall away. It is essential that you allow the wart to peel away at its own pace: do not pick at the wart. Peeling off the wart prematurely may leave behind its core. This risk is much greater with plantar warts.
- Sufferers should wait for the wart to peel off on its own. Picking at the wart may cause only the top part of the wart detach, leaving the root in place. With the core intact, the wart will regrow within a few days or weeks.
- For areas with extensive warts, try applying large gauze pads soaked in apple cider vinegar and wrapping the area with an ACE bandage.
- Those with diabetes or other illnesses that affect the ability of the body to heal should consult a doctor before beginning this or any treatment.
- Plantar Warts - MayoClinic.com
Plantar Warts — Comprehensive Overview
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
YeshuaLover on December 07, 2016:
Thank you so much for this advice! It took only 3 days to remove a wart from my nose using this procedure !
We tried for a much longer period of time on some of the raised brown growths on my back but only one faded and is mostly gone. Don't recall the name for these but dermatologist says they are not cancerous but common with aging. My dad also had them as he aged. Wish I was more successful removing these spots as well .
YeshuaLover on July 11, 2016:
The ACV worked like a dream on an ugly wart on my nose! It only took 2 days for it to turn black and crusty and fall off. Then there was a little pus. I stopped treatment and let it air dry and it healed totally within a few days.
We are now trying the treatment on one of my many dark raised age spots on my back. This is taking much longer but some cracks have formed... hoping it works. Anyone try this? We poked sterialized needle to create holes for the ACV to penetrate.
AME on July 11, 2014:
Here's my story. I had 2 warts that I did ACV treatment with. One on my middle finger which I had for at least 10 yrs, and the other on my index finger that just started about 6 months ago. I believe the one on my index finger started from the one on my middle finger. Both were relatively small and just looked like raised bumps on my fingers. It took about 20 days, but older wart turned black, dried up and fell off. I continued with ACV until it fell off. After wart fell off I continued for another 5 days with ACV just to make sure wart virus was gone. So it has been 25 days total. I am pleased with how the first wart came off. No scar, nothing. The newer wart on my index finger has behaved completely opposite. It swelled up, turned puffy/red/white. Then it leaked pus. So I stopped ACV for a few days and I used a wet nail file to "rub" off pus layer. I applied Neosporin to it for a few days and did not do ACV. Once it started to form a scab, I continued the ACV. This time, the scab got puffy, turned yellow and fell off, leaving a hole. But I still don't think the wart is gone. I have a hole in my finger, but in the middle of the hole is round yellow tissue. I am assuming this is the wart or wart core still??? My friend, who is a nurse thinks I have an infection in my finger now. So I think I am going to stop the ACV for now. I will mention that the ACV was painful, but only for this stubborn wart. It would make my entire finger ache and sometimes into my hand. But I felt no pain at all for the older wart. So I guess each wart reacts/behaves differently, wart to wart and even person to person. I will let this start to heal and I might try again with the ACV later.
Ebonny from UK on December 09, 2013:
Will bookmark for future reference. In the past I had a wart removed by my doctor. If I get any more I'll certainly try this method. Thank you for sharing.
vmeefmviam on May 19, 2013:
Does anyone know of any treatments that actually works are haemorrhoids. I don’t want to go to the doctors I feel very embarrassed.
Lori on May 15, 2013:
The wart that I had was on my finger and I tried the salicylic acid for about 3 weeks and then tried oregano oil for another 2 weeks when the acid did not work. I also went to the doctor and had the wart frozen. None of these methods worked. Then someone told me to try ACV. I persisted every night for 3 weeks to get rid of this difficult wart and it is gone! It did involve some pain and throbbing at night and some irritated and dry skin around the wart, but the advice and tips online were helpful like vaseline to irritated skin and putting less cotton on with bandaid to hold it on. I also had to gently peel a few layers as the skin dried up and now my skin is smooth and back to normal. By the way, I spent almost $200.00 between the doctor freezing it and buying the acid etc. to try to get rid of the wart and in the end the ACV did the job for very little cost. I will definitely use the ACV again if I get another wart!
Neil on April 21, 2013:
I had a small wart on an annoying spot on my index finger. I had it fozen off by the dermatologist 3 times and ir grew back bigger every time. So now its a big wart. I tried the acv. My wart turned black and i let it fall off however underneath the black part that fell off, there is more wart! This has happened twice to me. Its like the wart is growing faster then i can get rid of it or its deeper then the acv can go. Theres always more wart underneath. Im still trying this treatment but im not sure if it will help me. My wart is very stubborn and its in a horrible spot on my finger. Has this happened to anybody else? I dont know what to do when everytime the black scabby wart falls off and theres more. What should i do?
The mom on December 27, 2012:
My heal is covered in plantar warts. I've begun passing them on to family members. I've had them frozen, burned and scraped. I[ve even used duct tape. NOTHING has worked so far and they continue to spread like crazy. I got me some raw, unfiltered apple cidar vinegar. For the past few nights I have soaked a cotton ball in the vingar and taped it to my foot each night. A few of the warts have turned black already, some are a little more stubborn. The skin around the warts is staying healthy. If there is too much vinegar, it causes my heal to throb and I wake up in pain, ripping off the cotton ball. But, usually I don't feel a thing. I really think this is going to work, as I'm seeing fast results.
sona1985 on August 29, 2012:
hello Michelle :) i have been using acv for almost 10 days now, the wart looks yellow and it has brown dots in it, it's getting really hard, is this a good sign? should i remove the wart now or leave it to fall off on its own?
LindaMRamos on August 28, 2012:
I wanted to update on the results of using acv on the wart on my forehead. I stopped using the acv after the pus started and let it heal a bit. The scab fell off and the wart is gone. I have a small indent where the wart used to be. Actually, you can see that two small warts had also started forming next to it. Completely gone and thrilled!
Lillith on August 28, 2012:
I had a pretty big one on my leg near my ankle. After weeks of disappointing freeze away treatments I decided to try the acv treatment. I can't even tell you how thrilled I am. It stung at first, but it was so worth it. Left it on over night and continued to change it over the next two days. Day 3 came around and that sucker finally fell off. Cheap, fast, and almost pain free solution. Hang in there! Be patient and persistent and you'll get the results you're looking for.
Shelly (author) on August 21, 2012:
Give it some time, a week at least. Discoloration doesn't always happen, it just commonly happens.
If it's a plantar wart, it can take up to two weeks for this treatment to kill everything off (crazy, right!). Just be patient, keep at it, and let us know if you've seen no improvement at the end of those two weeks!
sona1985 on August 21, 2012:
6 months ago i guess i started noticing a wart in the periungual area of my little finger, at the beginning i started using salicylic acid to remove the wart which for me was a very bad choice since the wart went from being unnoticeable to painful and ugly looking, at that point i decided to go see a doctor & i had my wart frozen, i honestly thought my wart would be gone after freezing, but freezing only made things worse, my nail was damaged and the wart has seeded under my nail and even got bigger :( i went to see another doctor to try to fix the damage caused by the first one, and he used crystallized phenol to treat the wart once every three weeks, i didn't see any improvement!! the doctor said i had to boost my immunity which is what i'm trying to do now with different kinds of food!! i reached the point of being really hopeless to ever find a cure, then i started searching the internet for home remedies and i read about apple cider vinegar and its benefits, i have been using acv for 3 days now and yet it has not turned black or brown :( my question is should i continue using acv?? is it ok if the wart didn't turn black till now?? i'm desperate for help!! :(
paul on August 02, 2012:
i have a wart on each hand and i started last night treating them with acv. it already looks better, so i will keep trying. i have tried everything and nothing works.
Donna Hilbrandt from Upstate New York on June 13, 2012:
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I was just driving home and thinking about this very topic. I have developed a wart on my hand, and it must go! I love that this is a natural remedy. I am going to try this.
LindaMRamos on June 13, 2012:
Thank you for answering Michelle! I have left the acv off for 24 hours and the infected area seems to be getting better. The black is still there which doesn't bother me. I will definitely wait til the surrounding skin heals before trying again. It does not hurt to the touch at all. I am feeling much better about it. I am still amazed at how fast it worked since I didn't even realize what it was til this week. I have been picking at it for a year.
Shelly (author) on June 12, 2012:
I wanted to drop in and address your issue with the pus. Often, pus and white seeping fluid (white blood cells!) occur with this method for very serious warts that tend to be resistant to other forms of treatment or which have become infected. It is not very common for warts to become infected, but it can and does happen.
I would suggest (in my completely non-medical opinion) that you watch for another 24 hours, letting the wart breeze and stopping the ACV treatment. If things improve, begin the treatment once again. If things do not improve, or if after you begin the ACV again things go downhill once more, you should go see a medical doctor because something more serious may be going on.
I'm glad to hear the method has been effective in killing off the wart, but less thrilled to hear you have a stubborn wart on your hands. Let me know how it turns out!
Linda on June 12, 2012:
I have a question. I started putting acv on my wart (forehead) 2 days ago and re-applied every 8 hours or so. The bump is gone, spot is black but also getting pus around the area. I am letting it breathe this morning and slightly afraid to keep trying. The wart area looks so much better (aside from the blackness of it) but the pus is what's bothering me. It doesn't hurt much although I feel the cider working when I apply it. Has this happened to anyone?
Shelly (author) on June 04, 2012:
I would definitely mix up a new batch of solution to apply each evening, for the sake of freshness and hygiene.
Tamara on June 02, 2012:
Do you use the same solution night after night, or do you use new solution each night?
Shelly (author) on August 27, 2011:
Thanks ChristinS and S.G. Hupp!
ACV truly is a panacea. I use it for just about everything around here, including my hair. :)
S G Hupp from United States on August 27, 2011:
This is interesting. I already use vinegar for so many things. It's great to learn of something else it can be used for.
Christin Sander from Midwest on August 27, 2011:
great hub - apple cider vinegar has many wonderful uses in the body. I would definitely rather do this than the freezing. I had a scar for a long time after having one frozen off. If I get a wart again I'm definitely using patience and cider vinegar :)