Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Home treatment is often effective in removing common warts. Many people have removed warts with:

  • Peeling medicine (salicylic acid). Nonprescription wart removal products such as salicylic acid are available as a patch or a liquid. For common warts, look for a 17 percent salicylic acid solution or a 15 percent patch. These products require daily use, often for a few weeks. For best results, soak your wart in warm water for 10 to 20 minutes before applying the medication. File away any dead skin with a disposable emery board or a pumice stone between treatments.
  • Freezing. Some liquid nitrogen products are available in nonprescription liquid or spray form (Compound W Freeze Off, Dr. Scholl's Freeze Away, others). The Food and Drug Administration cautions that some wart removers are flammable and shouldn't be used around fire, flame, heat sources (such as curling irons) and lit cigarettes.
  • Duct tape. Cover the wart with silver duct tape for six days. Then soak it in water and gently remove dead tissue with a pumice stone or disposable emery board. Leave the wart exposed for about 12 hours, and then repeat the process until the wart is gone.

    Study results have been mixed on the effectiveness of duct tape in removing warts, either alone or with other therapies.

April 09, 2015