Warts are the second most common skin problem, next to acne. There are as many treatments as there are types of warts and several of them, like apple cider vinegar for warts, can be used at home.If you are sure that what you have is a wart, and not a different skin problem like seborrheic keratosis or squamous cell cancer, it’s ok to try an at-home treatment to get rid of them.
Apple cider vinegar can be a quick, and effective home remedy for warts on the hands and the feet. Read below to learn why apple cider vinegar is the best kind of vinegar to use, how to apply the treatment and how long it takes to see results.
Table of Contents
How to Remove Warts With Apple Cider Vinegar?
Removing warts with apple cider vinegar is a relatively easy procedure. It requires attention and patience, but if you follow the instructions carefully, you should see results in a few days.
What makes apple cider vinegar better than white vinegar for warts? The usual type of clear, commercial vinegar is produced from ethanol distilled from grains or produced in a laboratory using acetic acid which is then diluted with water. Apple cider vinegar, on the other hand, is an unfiltered product produced from apples and “mother of vinegar.” It is a much more natural product to use on the body.
Today, people use ACV as a natural remedy for everything from controlling blood pH to promoting weight loss to, of course, removing warts.
ACV Wart Removal Stages
Removing warts with apple cider vinegar isn’t an instant process.
It takes a few stages and will happen over a few days or weeks:
- Application: Before you start with your first application, inspect the area and make sure you don’t have any cuts or bruises. If you do, wait till they are healed.
- Reapplication: You will need to reapply the vinegar several times before the wart is healed. It can take several days to a couple of weeks, so you will need to be vigilant. Don’t skip a treatment because you are too busy.
- Softening of the wart: Your skin will become wrinkly around the area of the wart due to soaking and the wart becomes soft.
- Wart turns black: Your wart will become black and begin to die.
- Wart falls off: Don’t pick or pull it off out of impatience. The wart will fall off when it’s fully dead at the base, meaning it has less likelihood of returning. If you pick or pull it off, it may not be fully dead at the base and the result will be a new nasty wart in a matter of weeks.
If you do not begin to see results like this within a couple of weeks, you should consider an alternative type of remedy like tea tree oil. You can read more about tea tree oil for warts here.
How to Use the ACV Remedy
Make sure that you have all of the supplies you need before you start treatment. You may want to make sure you have an over the counter painkiller available as well, because the treated area can become a bit painful, especially if you have a low pain tolerance.
- Step 1 – Gather your supplies: You will need apple cider vinegar, sterile cotton balls or sterile gauze, Band-Aids (easier on skin than tape), and petroleum jelly.
- Step 2 – Clean the affected area: Wash the wart and the area around it with soap and water. It’s good to use anti-bacterial soap if you have it.
- Step 3 – Protect the healthy skin: ACV can irritate healthy skin, so rub the petroleum jelly on the healthy skin around the wart to protect it.
- Step 4 – Soak the cotton ball: Take the cotton ball, or a small piece of sterile gauze, and soak thoroughly it in the ACV.
- Step 5 – Secure it on the wart: Use the Band-Aid to secure the cotton ball or gauze to the wart and leave it in place overnight.
- Step 6 – Repeat: If you can, repeat the process in the morning and again in the afternoon.
Never apply apple cider vinegar to open wounds or bruises. This can cause severe irritation and damage to the skin. Instead, wait till the affected area has healed.
Is it Possible to Remove Genital Warts with Apple Cider Vinegar?
Most people don’t recommend using apple cider vinegar for warts because the skin of the genitals is very sensitive and ACV treatment can be painful. You may be better off with a less painful treatment.
Also, the genitals area a very hard to reach area. Attempting self treatment can miss spots and result in the warts being transmitted to others after you thought they were fully removed.
Are There Any Side Effects?
The most common side effects are:
The pain can be anything from a mild stinging to a rather strong, throbbing pain. You can lessen the pain by effectively using petroleum jelly to protect the surrounding skin, but it can still hurt. Of course, other wart removal methods can cause significant pain as well.
Redness is to be expected during treatment. This is because vinegar contains acid, and acid irritates the skin. If it becomes to severe, it’s best to seek the advice of a doctor before you continue treatment.
The other possible side effect is scarring. No matter how careful you are in protecting your healthy skin, the warts themselves can cause scarring. The gentler the method of wart removal, the less likelihood there is of developing a scar. Apple cider vinegar is one of the most gentle methods, so you may be luckier in the scar department if you choose this method. But do understand that scarring is still a significant risk.
Some try to avoid the risk of scarring altogether by using more gentle treatments. If you are very concerned about scars, or you have a tendency to develop severe scars such as keloids, you may want to seek the advice of a dermatologist to mitigate the risks.
You can read about more methods such as garlic for warts here.
Do not be impatient with wart removal. Peeling or filing it off before it’s dead won’t remove the root, and it will come back, which will increase the risk of scaring. Follow the full course of treatment to fully remove the wart at the base.
Whatever method you choose to eliminate your warts, use proper precautions to prevent their spread in the meantime. Warts are very contagious until they are brought under control, and they are most capable of spreading while they are visible.
Wash your hands very thoroughly every time you touch the affected area. This is not just necessary to prevent the spread of warts to other people, it’s necessary to prevent the spread of warts to other areas of your own body.
As long as you take the proper precautions you will not spread your warts to others and you should recover quickly and hopefully suffer little or even no scarring. Many people can and will suffer from recurrence of warts, either because the original wart wasn’t completely killed before it was removed or because the immune system hasn’t brought the virus fully under control. But ultimately, most cases of warts resolve and don’t return because the body has learned to properly combat the virus.