Warts

Warts are raised growths of skin. They can appear anywhere on the body, but are most common on the hands and feet. A person may have one wart or a cluster of warts. There are many types of warts, but all are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).

Warts may go away on their own, but it can take months. They may also be treated with medicine to dissolve the wart. They can also be removed with cold, heat, or laser therapies. Some people may benefit from therapies to boost the immune system.

Natural Therapies

Likely Effective

These supplements are likely to treat warts:

  • Vitamin D is found in very few foods and added to other foods. It is also available in a supplement. It can be injected into the wart A1-A2
  • Zinc is a nutrient found in cells in the body. Zinc forms, such as nitrate, oxide, or sulfate can be injected into the wart B1-B6

May Be Effective

These therapies may provide benefit:

  • Bee propolis is a compound made by bees.G1
  • Duct tape is a strong cloth-backed waterproof tape.C1-C5
  • Nutraceuticals (supplements) E1, E2
  • Smoke of burnt populus euphratica tree I1

Not Enough Data to Assess

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.

References

Vitamin D

A1. Aktaş H, Ergin C, et al. Intralesional vitamin D injection may be an effective treatment option for warts. J Cutan Med Surg. 2016;20(2):118-122.

A2. Raghukumar S, Ravikumar BC, et al. Intralesional vitamin D injection in the treatment of recalcitrant warts: a novel proposition. 2017;21(4):320-324.

Zinc

B1. Sharquie KA, Al-Nuaimy AA. Treatment of viral warts by intralesional injection of zinc sulphate. Ann Saudi Med. 2002;22(1-2):26-28.

B2. Al-Gurairi FT, Al-Waiz M, et al. Oral zinc sulphate in the treatment of recalcitrant viral warts: randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. Br J Dermatol. 2002;146(3):423-431.

B3. Khattar JA, Musharrafieh UM, et al. Topical zinc oxide vs. salicylic acid-lactic acid combination in the treatment of warts. Int J Dermatol. 2007;46(4):427-430.

B4. Cusini M, Micali G, et al. Efficacy and tolerability of nitric-zinc complex in the treatment of external genital warts and "difficult-to-treat" warts: a "proof of concept", prospective, multicentre, open study. G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2015;150(6):643-648.

B5. Mohamed EE, Tawfik KM, et al. The clinical effectiveness of intralesional injection of 2% zinc sulfate solution in the treatment of common warts. Scientifica (Cairo). 2016;2016:1082979.

B6. Loo SK, Tang WY. Warts (non-genital). BMJ Clin Evid. 2009 Sep 24;2009. pii: 1710.

Duct Tape

C1. de Haen M, Spigt MG, et al. Efficacy of duct tape vs placebo in the treatment of verruca vulgaris (warts) in primary school children. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160(11):1121-1125.

C2. Wenner R, Askari SK, et al. Duct tape for the treatment of common warts in adults: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. Arch Dermatol. 2007;143(3):309-313.

C3. Focht DR 3rd, Spicer C, et al. The efficacy of duct tape vs cryotherapy in the treatment of verruca vulgaris (the common wart). Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2002;156(10):971-974.

C4. Kwok CS, Gibbs S, et al. Topical treatments for cutaneous warts. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;(9):CD001781.

C5. Loo SK, Tang WY. Warts (non-genital). BMJ Clin Evid. 2009 Sep 24;2009. pii: 1710.

Lipid Garlic Extract

D1. Kenawy S, Mohammed GF, et al. Evaluation of TNF-α serum level in patients with recalcitrant multiple common warts, treated by lipid garlic extract. Dermatol Ther. 2014 Sep-Oct;27(5):272-277.

Neutriceutical

E1. De Luca C, Kharaeva Z, et al. Coenzyme Q(10), vitamin E, selenium, and methionine in the treatment of chronic recurrent viral mucocutaneous infections. Nutrition. 2012 May;28(5):509-514.

E2. Cassano N, Ferrari A, et al. Oral supplementation with a nutraceutical containing Echinacea, methionine and antioxidant/immunostimulating compounds in patients with cutaneous viral warts. G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2011 Jun;146(3):191-195.

Other Therapies

F1. Simonart T, de Maertelaer V. Systemic treatments for cutaneous warts: a systematic review. J Dermatolog Treat. 2012 Feb;23(1):72-77.

Propolis

G1. Zedan H, Hofny ER, et al. Propolis as an alternative treatment for cutaneous warts. Int J Dermatol. 2009 Nov;48(11):1246-1249.

Homeopathic Medicine

H1. Loo SK, Tang WY. Warts (non-genital). BMJ Clin Evid. 2009 Sep 24;2009. pii: 1710.

H2. Kainz JT, Kozel G, et al. Homoeopathic versus placebo therapy of children with warts on the hands: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial. Dermatology. 1996;193(4):318-320.

H3. Labrecque M, Audet D, et al. Homeopathic treatment of plantar warts. CMAJ. 1992 May 15;146(10):1749-1753.

Smoke of Burnt Populus Euphratica Tree

I1. Rahimi AR, Emad M, et al. Smoke from leaves of Populus euphratica Olivier vs. conventional cryotherapy for the treatment of cutaneous warts: a pilot, randomized, single-blind, prospective study. Int J Dermatol. 2008 Apr;47(4):393-397.

Hypnosis

J1. Spanos NP, Williams V, et al. Effects of hypnotic, placebo, and salicylic acid treatments on wart regression. Psychosom Med. 1990 Jan-Feb;52(1):109-114.

Last reviewed December 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 6/30/2020

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