Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center

Font Size

Warts: Treatments and Home Remedies

Skin warts are common, and there are many treatments. If home remedies for warts don't work, you can try over-the-counter wart removers. If your warts still don't disappear, you can turn to treatment by a doctor, who can freeze or cut off the wart.

Here are some home remedies and treatments for common warts, such as plantar warts on the soles of the feet or palmar warts on the hands.  For the most part, these remedies do not work very often.

Recommended Related to Skin Problems & Treatments

Pre-Op Norwood IV-V

Read the Pre-Op Norwood IV-V article > >

Home Remedies for Warts

People try countless home remedies for warts, but most do not help. They rub warts with garlic, or apply a paste made of baking powder and castor oil. They crush vitamin C tablets into a paste to cover the wart. They even soak warts in pineapple juice.  Prolonged application of duct tape also has its fans, although evidence does not support its use.

Over-the-Counter Wart Removers

Most dermatologists say it’s safe to try drugstore wart removers -- as long as you’ve confirmed that it’s really a wart. Sometimes calluses or corns are mistaken for warts. If in doubt, ask your doctor.

Many over-the-counter wart treatments contain salicylic acid. The success rate is about 50% over 6 weeks or so. Other treatments work by "freezing" the wart. After two or three treatments, each lasting about 10 days, the success rate is about 40% to 50%.

Over-the-counter treatments aren't recommended for common warts on the face or lips and should not be used on genital warts. See your doctor about treatments for those warts.

Warts Treatments From a Doctor or Dermatologist

If you go to a doctor, you can choose from many wart treatments. Some focus on destroying the wart and others on boosting your immune system so your body clears the wart. Among the options:

  • Liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart off
  • Prescription-strength salicylic acid applied at home to get rid of the wart
  • Laser or surgery to cut the wart off
  • Topical immune system stimulants such squaric acid, applied to the skin for several weeks, to help fight the virus that causes the wart

Immune therapy for warts can take 6 to 12 weeks to work. Removing warts with a laser or surgery is the fastest treatment, but is also the most expensive and invasive.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Norman Levine, MD on May 10, 2012

Today on WebMD

chafing
Pictures and symptoms of the red, scaly rash.
woman with dyed dark hair
What it says about your health.
 
woman with cleaning products
Top causes of the itch that rashes.
atopic dermatitus
Identify and treat common skin problems.
 
itchy skin
Article
shingles rash on skin
Article
 
woman with skin tag
Quiz
Woman washing face
Video
 
woman washing her hair in sink
Video
close up of womans bare neck
Tools
 
Feet
Slideshow
woman with face cream
Quiz