Deborah is a writer, healer, and teacher. She enjoys helping people work towards healthier lives.
I noticed the wart while clapping my hands during cheerleading practice. After examining the bump closely in the semi privacy of our small trailer, I realized it must be a wart. I tried to pull it off. Biting didn't work. Bleach. Scissors. Finally, I took my mother's nail clippers to it, and after several painful minutes, the wart was removed from my palm bloody palm. Unfortunately, it returned with a vengeance weeks later, and my hand sprouted several new growths. I didn't know much about warts, except that they were itchy, a little painful, and extremely embarrassing. They came back often, and I never found a reliable cure.
Warts are a local skin growth caused by the human papillomavirus. Although they are considered contagious, it is not uncommon for only one family member to have them. Warts can be transmitted by contacting an infected person's wart, or any other surface that has come in contact with a wart. Once one family member has it, it's pretty likely that everyone else will get a wart as well. Often, warts affect only one area of the body. The common wart is most often found on the hands and knees.
After acne, warts are the most common dermatological complaint seen by doctors. According to research, warts are fairly common. It turns out 33% of teens and children and only 3 to 5% of adults have warts. Children are most commonly affected, and warts are contagious. You can spread them to other parts of your own body by shaving or cutting near the affected area. Warts can be spread through direct contact. If you have a wart, be careful to wash the infected body area and keep the wart covered with a bandaid or other covering.
There are many different kinds of cures for warts. I have a large family, and most of my children, at one time or another, have been infected with warts. We have tried most of the following methods for removing them and can speak to their effectiveness.
Waiting the Wart Out
Usually, when a child has warts, you are told to wait for them to go away. While this may work, it often takes a very long time. My experience has been that as you wait, some warts go away, some warts get bigger, and sometimes, new warts appear.
Waiting for warts to go away is disheartening. You never know how long they will last, and often new warts appear. Kids can be impatient, and when you have a wart it can be embarrassing. You don't want other people to see it, and you don't want to bring attention to the wart. Waiting for a wart to go away can feel like an eternity.
My children have suffered from warts on their hands, their feet, their knees, and even their faces. It is frustrating, as a mother, to be told to wait. One nurse said she could burn warts off, but warned that the treatment could leave permanent scarring.
When I was a child and had warts, they were embarrassing. As a mother whose children have warts, it can be disheartening. I wanted to help them get better but struggled to find much help out there. We tried just about every treatment out there, and learned over time, that some are more effective than others.
Over the Counter Remedies
A common over-the-counter wart remedy is salicylic acid. This is found in products such as Compound W. The wart is covered with the product, often in the form of a liquid or gel, then usually covered with a band-aid.
Try Salicylic Acid!
The salicylic acid dissolves the protein which makes up the wart. Within about ten days, the wart is gone. While this is effective at treating most common warts, there are some downsides.
- First, it is not inexpensive. If you have several children with warts, or one person has many warts, it takes a lot of treatment. The tiny jar of salicylic acid is somewhat expensive and doesn't go far if you are treating numerous warts or many people.
- Second, the liquid is sticky and takes a bit to dry. Not a problem if you are an adult. However, with children, the acid sometimes gets rubbed off before it has time to dry. Even with a bandaid, it can still get rubbed off before it has time to be effective.
- Third, the acid dries in an unattractive white lump. As long as you cover it with a bandage, it won't be seen. If you don't cover it, then your skin-colored warts become bright white lumps. This is nearly as embarrassing as the wart itself.
- Finally, salicylic acid burns. The burning pain you feel means the acid is doing its job. Once again, if you are an adult, this is no big deal. Children do not have the same pain tolerance as adults do. The burning sensation can be intolerable for young children, and difficult for a parent to impose on a child.
For an adult with one or two warts, salicylic acid is a useful treatment for warts. For children, or for someone who has numerous warts, it is not as effective.
Burn (or Freeze!) Your Warts Off
Freezing is another over-the-counter method that works but has some drawbacks. The treatment freezes warts at minus 70F. This is usually effective after several treatments. It does not just work the first time but takes repeated application.
In my experience, the freezing does not work as well as salicylic acid. It is also more expensive. It also hurts more. I have found that treating large warts with a combination of over the counter freeze medication, followed by salicylic acid is more effective than one or the other. Neither method is any faster than the other. Most warts still take about ten days to die.
Natural Wart Remedies
There are a variety of home remedies to treat warts. You can find pages of herbal and home remedies online or at the local library. Home remedies are often cheaper, easier and more environmentally friendly. In addition, they are typically less harsh for children and adults.
Here, I will share the three home treatments I have found to be the most effective. The best thing about these treatments is they are inexpensive, natural, mostly pain free and effective. Using any of the following methods, you can be rid of warts within two weeks. These methods don't hurt, and there is no scarring afterward. Unfortunately, there is no fast way to remove warts. They take about ten days to die, regardless of the method. This is true, whether you try over the counter remedies, or utilize a natural or homemade treatment.
Apple Cider Vinegar
One home remedy for warts is apple cider vinegar. Simply soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar, then with a bandage, affix the cotton ball to the wart. This is most effective if the wart is softened in water first, then rubbed lightly with an emery board, to roughen the area and prepare it to absorb the vinegar. I used this treatment on my children after they got out of the bath. It does work and takes about ten days to two weeks. Be sure to dispose of the contaminated emery board.
There are a few drawbacks to using the vinegar method. First, this works mainly on the hands, as it is too difficult to keep in place anywhere else on the body. Second, it is difficult to keep kids from pulling off the bandaid to look at the wart.
This is a simple, safe and effective treatment that doesn't cost much money. It doesn't sting or burn, as do other treatment options, but you will smell slightly of apple cider vinegar.
Duct Tape for Wart Removal
A second natural wart remedy is duct tape. The theory behind it is that the wart suffocates under the tape. Again, it is quite simple, pain-free, and it takes about ten days to two weeks.
This treatment method is my personal favorite, for several reasons. First, it is easy and inexpensive. Second, it is fun. Third, it's pretty cool to watch the wart turn white and fall off.
When using duct tape to remove a wart, wrap the wart with duct tape so it's air-tight. After one week, replace the duct tape with a fresh piece. Repeat this procedure until the wart is gone.
For improved effectiveness, soak the wart in warm water, then gently rub it with an emery board. Be sure to dispose of the emery board before someone uses it to file their nails. They could give themselves a nasty case of warts on their hands or feet.
This was the favorite treatment of one of my sons. He liked the look of his finger wrapped in duct tape. It was a lot cooler than a band-aid. The girls did not favor the look of grey tape on their hands. That was back in the old days before they had all the cool duct tape colors.
Now, with many different designs and colors, even my girls would be willing to put duct tape on their fingers to cover up an ugly wart. Even the fancy colorful brands of duct tape are a lot cheaper than other treatment options.
Again, a drawback to duct tape is that it is hard to put anywhere other than on the fingers. It is easiest to use on the hands. This, however, seems to be the only drawback I have found. It is easy, inexpensive, and kind of fun. You can try sticking it to your feet, but it's hard to keep in place. And no one wants duct tape on their face!
My Personal Favorite: CoQ-10
I found the most effective herbal remedy for warts to be CoQ-10. One daughter was plagued by several large warts on both hands and wrists. She had even developed a few on her face. For her hands, we tried every over-the-counter remedy available. We even tried different brands with similar ingredients. We tried some of the home remedies that had worked on her siblings. Nothing helped, and her warts got so bad that the school nurse called me. She suggested a dermatologist.
My daughter was embarrassed and self-conscious about her warts and didn't want to go to school. Kids made fun of her, and I think all of her attention on her warts, and the fact that she picked at them, plus the stress of our lives at the time, only made matters worse.
When I took my daughter to the doctor, he was hesitant to remove the warts, for fear of scaring her beautiful face. He suggested waiting and trying another round of salicylic acid. He gave us a stronger prescription and said to call in two weeks. I was concerned about the concentrated acid on her face, not only because of the pain she would endure, but also because of the damage it could cause.
Desperate for another solution, I phoned a friend. She is a fellow massage therapist and holistic practitioner. Immediately, she suggested CoQ-10. It is a health supplement, taken for heart health. It also supports immune function. I was doubtful, but at that point, was willing to try anything.
After a week of taking one 100 mg tablet daily, her warts appeared to be getting smaller. I watched closely, and by two weeks, they had disappeared entirely. The huge wart on her hand was gone. The two warts on her face were gone. Even all the tiny warts on her hands were gone. The school nurse phoned again. She explained that her teenage son also suffered from warts, and some had become embarrassingly large. She wanted to know our secret. I told her our solution, and within a month, his warts had also dissolved.
After that first round of CoQ-10, I have used it exclusively for my children when they are plagued by warts. I have seen it dissolve warts on hands, wrists, knees, feet, and faces. Ingest one tablet daily, until the warts are completely gone. I say this because one of my older children called to get the name of the "magic wart pill." She heard from some of the younger kids that it worked well, and she had developed a wart on her face. She wanted it gone, but was concerned about scarring. A visit to the dermatologist had previously left a scar as the result of her treatment. I suggested she try CoQ-10. After she purchased it, she asked how to best break the capsules open to rub it on her warts. Don't rub it on your warts. Ingest it daily, and you will see amazing results.
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.
Deborah Demander (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on March 17, 2015:
Hello Serena Gabriel,
Yes, I agree that there is definitely a connection between our thoughts and our health.
I think the Louise Hay book is "You can heal your life" or something like that. It is a great book.
And the CoQ10 capsules are taken by mouth daily.
Thanks for reading,
.... on March 17, 2015:
Take capsule in mouth? Soft gel? Or hard?
Serena Gabriel on September 07, 2011:
Never heard of CoQ10 as a remedy for this. Good info.
P.S. Witches don't get warts - we just give them to other people. Just kidding! LOL!
Have you heard the theory that warts are related to our thoughts - as many diseases and particularly those with a viral component seem to be. The thought associated with warts is that something is dirty. I think there may be something to this because I've only had them twice on the bottoms of my feet (got rid of them with tea tree oil and crushed aspirin) and both times I was living in a situation I constantly felt was unclean and my feet were touching the floor. (I once had a boyfriend who kept a dog in the house and I never felt the floor was clean enough!) Different writers on the subject of healing have talked about this, but the most famous one is Louise Hay - the title escapes me at the moment - but the book lists thoughts commonly associated with various disease conditions.
Voting you up! :-)
Deborah Demander (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on March 02, 2011:
Hi Tami, Thanks for stopping by. I have not seen a CoQ10 for kids. I would give her one capsule, I don't remember the mg. amount in a capsule. I think it is 100mg. Give her one daily. It should take six to eight weeks to see results.
Tami on February 26, 2011:
How much CoQ10 should I give my 5- year old daughter - she has a rather large wart on the bottom of her foot. Is there a CoQ10 for children? Gummy CoQ10? How long does it take to see results?
Deborah Demander (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on January 14, 2011:
Cutting off the offending appendage would surely cure the wart. But it seems rather drastic and draconian. I'm glad they only cut off your wart.
arthurchappell from Manchester, England on January 12, 2011:
Fascinating - only ever got one wart, on a finger, when I was about ten - I remember seeing it being cut away - the wart, not the finger.
Vivian on September 26, 2010:
Hi Deborah, I started taking coq10 a few days ago. I understand that I need to be patient and give it a few weeks. However, I have noticed that I have gotten a lot more small ones surfacing around the one I was trying to treat. Now, one of my fingers has 30 small warts surrounding the big one I was trying to treat. Is it normal? Thank you in advance.
Deborah Demander (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on July 27, 2010:
Hi Rory, I am currently using Nature Made brand, from Wal-Mart. A bottle of 100mg tablets cost about $12.
My son is seven and came home from vacation with several warts on his face. I have been giving him one tablet daily, and started three weeks ago. The smaller warts are dissolving into bumps, and the largest wart is getting smaller.
Hopes this works for you. I would give it 6-8 weeks. It is safe and natural and won't leave any scars.
Welcome to hubpages
Rory Chaney on July 27, 2010:
Hi Deborah, I have an 8 yr old with 25-30 warts on his hands going on 2 yrs. One is HUGE. We tried all the over the counter remedies but they have not worked. We also had them 'burned' off by a doctor at which point they came back with a VENGENCE! I am currently putting tea tree oil on the warts and bought a bottle of collodial silver. I am a little nervous about the collodial silver because I have heard of negative side effects. That brings me to you about the coq10...what dosage would I give to my son? He weighs about 55-60 lbs and is 8 yrs old. I would trust the advice of a mom who has used this method with their own child =) . Any advice is greatly appreciated! Sincerely, Rory
Deborah Demander (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on July 10, 2010:
Springboard, I hope you find relief. Thanks for reading.
Springboard from Wisconsin on July 10, 2010:
The last few years or so I get tiny ones on my hands. Tried some of the other OTC remedies, but I like the supplement idea. I'm a firm believer in vitamins, and already take multis, C, D, E, and B-Complex, and I swear by them. Besides, the added benefit of perhaps a healthier heart is always a plus.
Deborah Demander (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on May 23, 2010:
Thanks to everyone for stopping by.
theherbivorehippi from Holly, MI on May 23, 2010:
What fabulous remedies and information!! oddly, I have never had a wart but I know my mom gets one on the bottom of her foot from time to time...I think she calls it a planter's wart? I will have to pass on this information to her for sure!
Jamiehousehusband from Derbyshire, UK on April 26, 2010:
Good information - your wart removal reminds me of my obsession as a 10 yr old with digging out my own verruca - ugh makes me shudder to remember what I did to myself every night for a week only to have it return ten times more painful!