Flat warts are found most commonly in children and teenagers. Caused by the human papillomavirus, they are flat-topped, smooth and small—around the size of a pinhead. Flat warts often form in clusters on the face, and also on the neck, hands, arms and legs. While warts frequently resolve on their own within two years, home remedies for wart removal may speed the process 3. However, facial warts should always be treated by a doctor.
Commonly found in over-the-counter wart medications, salicylic acid applied topically irritates the skin and peels off infected tissue. Make your own topical solution by wetting an aspirin tablet (which contains salicylic acid as the active ingredient) and securing it to the wart area with an adhesive bandage. Soak the warts in warm water for 10 to 20 minutes prior to applying the aspirin tablet. Apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly to the area around the warts to prevent irritation of surrounding tissue. Repeat this treatment daily for several weeks or until the warts are gone.
- Commonly found in over-the-counter wart medications, salicylic acid applied topically irritates the skin and peels off infected tissue.
- Make your own topical solution by wetting an aspirin tablet (which contains salicylic acid as the active ingredient) and securing it to the wart area with an adhesive bandage.
Home Remedies for Removal of Plantar Warts
As a home remedy for wart removal, duct tape offers ease and convenience that make it suitable for use in children who may not tolerate other treatments. According to the Mayo clinic, the duct tape may set up a local irritation in the wart-infected tissue, allowing the body’s natural immune response to attack the wart virus 23. Apply a piece of duct tape, cut slightly larger than the wart area, to the warts and leave the duct tape in place for six days. If the tape falls off, replace it with a fresh piece of tape. After six days, remove the tape, soak the area in warm water, and slough off dead skin using a pumice stone or emery board. Leave the area uncovered overnight, then repeat with new duct tape. Continue the process for several weeks or until the wart area has cleared.
- As a home remedy for wart removal, duct tape offers ease and convenience that make it suitable for use in children who may not tolerate other treatments.
- Apply a piece of duct tape, cut slightly larger than the wart area, to the warts and leave the duct tape in place for six days.
Tea Tree Oil and Garlic
According the University of Maryland Medical Center, a topical application of tea tree oil and garlic may be effective for treating flat warts 1. Both tea tree oil and garlic offer antiseptic properties and may also irritate the wart-infected tissue. Place two to four drops of tea tree oil onto the wart area, cover with a thin slice of fresh garlic, and hold in place with tape or an adhesive bandage. As the wart tissue dies, it will darken in color. Repeat the process daily for up to three weeks.
- According the University of Maryland Medical Center, a topical application of tea tree oil and garlic may be effective for treating flat warts 1.
Home Remedies for Removal of Plantar Warts
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- Warts Information Center: Flat Warts
- Mayo Clinic: Warts
- Mayo Clinic: Wart Home Remedies
- Tufts University: Duct Tape & Your Wart
- InformedHealth.org. Warts: Overview. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). Updated November 7, 2019.
- InformedHealth.org. What are the treatment options for warts? Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). Updated November 7, 2019.
- Al Aboud AM, Nigam PK. Wart (Plantar, Verruca Vulgaris, Verrucae). Treasure Island, FL: StatPearls Publishing. Updated September 27, 2019.
- Liu J, Li H, Yang F, et al. Epidemiology and Clinical Profile of Cutaneous Warts in Chinese College Students: A Cross-Sectional and Follow-Up Study. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):15450. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-33511-x
- Goldman RD. Duct tape for warts in children: Should nature take its course?. Can Fam Physician. 2019;65(5):337-338.
- Cockayne S, Hewitt C, Hicks K, et al. Cryotherapy versus salicylic acid for the treatment of plantar warts (verrucae): a randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2011;342:d3271. doi:10.1136/bmj.d3271
- Baker DA, Ferris DG, Martens MG, et al. Imiquimod 3.75% cream applied daily to treat anogenital warts: combined results from women in two randomized, placebo-controlled studies. Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol. 2011;2011:806105. doi:10.1155/2011/806105
- Gaston A, Garry RF. Topical vitamin A treatment of recalcitrant common warts. Virol J. 2012;9:21. doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-21
- Walczuk I, Eertmans F, Rossel B, et al. Efficacy and safety of three cryotherapy devices for wart treatment: A randomized, controlled, investigator-blinded, comparative study. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2018;8(2):203-16. doi:10.1007/s13555-017-0210-5
- Dalimunthe DA, Siregar R, Tanjung C. Comparative clinical efficacy between electrodesiccation with curettage and application of 80% phenol solution in treatment of common warts. Open Access Maced J Med Sci. 2018;6(2):326-9. doi:10.3889/oamjms.2018.074
- Chauhan PS, Mahajan VK, Mehta KS, Rawat R, Sharma V. The efficacy and safety of intralesional immunotherapy with measles, mumps, rubella virus vaccine for the treatment of common warts in adults. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2019;10(1):19-26. doi:10.4103/idoj.IDOJ_142_18
- Nofal A, Elkot R, Nofal E, Mazen M. Combination therapy versus monotherapy in the treatment of recalcitrant warts: A clinical and immunological study. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2018;2018;12848. doi:10.1111/jocd.12848
- Raghukumar S, Ravikumar BC, Vinay KN, et al. Intralesional vitamin D injection in the treatment of recalcitrant warts: A novel proposition. J Cutan Med Surg. 2017;21(4):320-4. doi:10.1177/1203475417704180
A writer since 1985, Jan Annigan is published in "Plant Physiology," "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences," "Journal of Biological Chemistry" and on various websites. She holds a sports medicine and human performance certificate from the University of Washington, as well as a Bachelor of Science in animal sciences from Purdue University.