Warts are undoubtedly one of the most common skin problems that can develop anywhere on the body, however, they are most commonly found on hands, feet and genitals. They can appear single or in groups, and have a rough skin surface, sometimes with a black spot in the middle of it.
There are many remedies to get rid of warts, but apple cider vinegar offers one of the most effective remedies for it. But, before using apple cider vinegar for warts, let us first understand the causes and symptoms of warts.
Causes of Warts
Warts are actually caused by a virus called Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is actually an umbrella term for more than 60 strains of warts that develop all over the body. Certain strains of HPV can also put a person at higher risk of developing some types of cancer. However, the strains that cause warts (HPV 6 and 11) are not the ones responsible for cancer (HPV 16, 18, 31, 33, 52 and 58).
Symptoms of Warts
The following are the common symptoms of warts:
- Round or oval bumps on the skin
- Feels rough when you touch it
- Pink or white tan on the skin
Types of Warts
According to American Academy of Dermatology, there are 3 common types of warts, such as common, plantar, and flat. They are determined by the part of the body where they grow and the way they look like.
Common Warts: These are small, flesh-colored, hard warts that generally develop in areas where the skin is broken. They are often associated with a black spot or seed in the middle of it, and that is the reason they are also called as seed warts.
But, what appears as a seed is not actually a seed; it’s merely a dot, produced by blood vessels that supply blood to warts. Most often, they feel like small, rough bumps.
Plantar Warts: These are gray or brown, seedy, hard warts that generally develop in
weight- bearing areas of the foot. Unlike common warts, plantar warts don’t protrude out of the body, as they are under the constant pressure from walking.
They can cause sharp pain at times and can also spread out in groups called as mosaic warts. Plantar warts normally feel like as if you have pebbles in your shoe.
Flat Warts: These are tiny, gray, brown, or flesh-colored warts that are found in groups of 20 to 50 and even more. They usually develop on the face, neck, and chest. In men, a bearded area is a common place for developing flat warts, while women can get them on their shaved legs. They are very small and generally have a smooth surface.
There are also many other types of warts. At the same time, there are also many other skin conditions that look like warts. If you observe something unusual, it is better to consult a physician, as it can be something as serious as a skin cancer.
Are Warts Contagious?
Yes, warts are highly contagious. You can get warts by touching someone else’s wart or even by coming in direct contact with the surfaces that have been in contact with warts, like bath mats and towels.
Warts also spread from one part of the body to the other unaffected parts of the body. It is also essential to remember to not shave over a wart with a razor. Shaving over warts will transfer the virus to the razor, which will further spread the virus to other parts of the body.
Home Remedy for Warts
Even though researchers have been able to find medicines for some of the most life-threatening ailments, they have been unsuccessful in finding a lasting cure for warts. As a result, the sufferer is left with only two options: taking a dermatologist’s help or trying some home remedies.
As far as treating warts with the help of dermatologists goes, it can prove to be very expensive and you also carry a risk of developing side effects, as they will try to remove it by cutting, burning or freezing it.
On the other hand, home remedies have been successfully helping people in eliminating warts without causing any severe side effect.
However, it is very important to note that before you attempt to remove warts at home, you need to be sure whether they are actually warts or moles or any other type of lesion, which is malignant. Thus, it is very important to get a confirmation from a health professional before trying to remove them at home.
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Warts?
When it comes to home remedies for warts, apple cider vinegar is something that has been a favored by many. There are many ways in which you can use apple cider vinegar for wart removal. Before getting into different apple cider vinegar remedies, let us first understand how apple cider vinegar works in eliminating warts.
Contrary to popular beliefs, apple cider vinegar does not kill the HPV that is responsible for causing warts. Instead, the acid in apple cider vinegar attacks the affected area, making it turn black, and ultimately peel the wart apart from the skin, along with the HPV virus itself.
Now let us have a look at different methods of using apple cider vinegar for warts:
Method 1: Apple Cider Vinegar and Water
You will need:
- Apple cider vinegar – 2 tbsp
- Water – 1 tbsp
- Cotton ball – 1
- Bandage or duct tape
- Mix 2 parts of apple cider vinegar in one part of water.
- Apply this solution on the affected area with a cotton ball.
- Cover the area with tape or bandage.
- Remove the bandage the next morning.
- Repeat this remedy for a few weeks to get rid of warts.
- Within a few days, warts will start turning black and will eventually fall off, leaving a small mark on the skin that will eventually vanish.
Method 2: Apple Cider Vinegar and Warm Water Solution
You will need:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Warm water
- Mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and warm water in a large container.
- Submerge the affected area in this solution for about 10-15 minutes every day.
- Run fresh water on the affected area after keeping it submerged.
- This method is highly recommended if you have warts on hands or feet.
Method 3: Apple Cider Vinegar Bath
You will need:
- Lukewarm water – a bucket
- Apple cider vinegar – 5 to 8 tbsp
- Add 5-8 tbsp of apple cider vinegar to a bucket of lukewarm water.
- Bath with this lukewarm water twice a day to get rid of warts.
- Apart from removing warts, apple cider vinegar bath also reduces the chances of getting warts.
Note: Acetic acid is a strong acid. It is also the main component of apple cider vinegar. If you see that the unaffected skin around the wart is turning red when treated with apple cider vinegar, you can reduce the amount of vinegar by adding more water.
You can also apply petroleum jelly to the warts before applying apple cider vinegar to ensure that it does not affect the healthy skin.
Once you peel off dead warts from the skin, chances are that it might leave some sort of scar behind. Such scars are avoidable with this above mentioned apple cider vinegar remedy.
Tips on Reducing the Chances of Getting Warts
It is very difficult to prevent warts. However, you can reduce the chances of developing and spreading warts. Let us have a look at different measures that you can take to reduce the risk of developing and spreading warts.
- One of the most important things is to wash your hands and clean the scratches or cuts on your hands regularly.
- If you have a habit of biting your fingernails or cuticles, stop it as soon as you can. Biting creates an opening for the HPV to enter the skin.
- Use clean, fresh towels in the gyms, common bathrooms, and other public places. Wear rubber-soled sandals or flip-flops in public showers or locker rooms to further reduce the chances of getting a wart.
- Ensure that you have a strong immune system that can fight warts. For this, you can add sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, and garlic to your daily diet.
Tips to Reduce Spreading of Warts
- Warts are contagious and you yourself can spread the wart from one affected area to the other unaffected area of your body. Thus, you should never rub, pick, scratch or shave an area with warts.
- Keep a separate pumice stone or nail clipper for the wart-laden area and never use the same on healthy areas.
- Wash your hands carefully after touching a wart.
- If you have a wart, try to keep it covered with a bandage to reduce the chances of touching and spreading it further.
If you are convinced with the ability of apple cider vinegar to get rid of warts, here are some additional tips to ensure that the treatment is both effective and lasting.
- Apple cider vinegar is a very effective wart remover, however, some people can experience mild to severe pain/burning sensation when apple cider vinegar is applied on the affected area. This pain/burning sensation is normal, but ensure that you visit a doctor if it continues over a long period of time.
- Never use cheap quality apple cider vinegar for this treatment as it can worsen the condition.
- Be very careful if you are using any OTC treatment for your warts. These treatments can cause scarring and chemical burns.
Warts are mostly painless, and many a time disappears without any treatment. However, this can take months and years. Thus, it is advisable to remove warts as soon as you can as it not only looks ugly but can further affect the other parts of your body and others around you.
Visiting a dermatologist for removing warts is absolutely fine; however, it comes with its own share of side effects as well. And, why would you visit a dermatologist when you can simply remove warts at home without the fear of developing any side effects.
Use the above-mentioned remedies that have used apple cider vinegar for warts and follow the tips for preventing warts to ensure that you never get them again.