Choosing the best natural wart removal method might simply hinge on what a person believes will work. Just about everything imaginable has been used remove warts, including wood ash, banana peels, and cashew nuts. Folk remedies for warts have existed for centuries, and stories abound on how each remedy might be effective. These folk remedies may work because of the power of suggestion.
Studies done as early as 1946 show that a psychological suggestion that a certain remedy will work for wart removal caused warts to disappear in about half the patients. If the patient believes in the expertise of the doctor or authority figure giving the advice, the power of suggestion might be greater. The research was especially effective in children, who can be more gullible, with some warts disappearing in only four days.
Some psychologists believe that is why natural wart removal methods are so varied and seemingly magical. Centuries ago, it was commonly believed that only certain people were empowered with the ability to make warts disappear, sometimes using only mysterious words. Others used a slice of potato, garlic, herbs, or magic potions to treat warts. In more modern times, hypnosis has been used successfully to remove warts.
Apple cider vinegar is one home remedy for wart removal that some people believe is effective. The vinegar can be applied full strength with a cotton ball, or the affected area can be soaked in vinegar. If soaking, the vinegar should not be rinsed off, but left to dry. Some people believe plantar warts on the feet will disappear with this technique.
Duct tape or medical tape worked on warts in a 2002 study at a military medical center. Tape cut to the exact size of the wart was changed about every six days. The wart was soaked in warm water and scraped with a pumice stone each time the tape was taken off. Warts went away in more than three-fourths of cases within a month, according to the study.
More than 100 different strains of the human papilloma virus can cause warts, which are contagious if someone is susceptible to the virus. Plantar warts appear on the bottom of the feet and resemble calluses. The common wart is characterized by a rough surface, often appears on the hands and fingers, and may show up in groups. Genital warts affect the vaginal, penile, and anal areas, are spread by close physical contact, and are linked to cervical cancer.
Doctors commonly use liquid nitrogen to freeze warts, or a topical acid to kill the spores. Some warts may be surgically removed, but this approach might cause scarring. Other physicians recommend strengthening the immune system to address the virus that causes warts.