Q. I read in your column about a person who got rid of warts using Dead Sea salts from Israel. It sounded crazy, but I tried it.
I had 12 warts on my hands and feet. I had tried duct tape, banana peels, Compound W and having the dermatologist freeze them off and use a laser. NOTHING WORKED.
I got some Dead Sea salts and bathed for about 15 minutes with six spoonsful in the water. The results were visible immediately. Within two weeks, all my warts were gone, though I only bathed in the solution once or twice a week. Incredible!
A. No one understands why wart remedies work for some people and not for others. Yours is not the first success story we have heard regarding sea salt soaks. How this works is still a mystery. We have no better explanation, however, for most other wart remedies, such as banana peel, castor oil, lemon juice, milkweed sap, turmeric or vinegar.
DBK reported results after persisting with a home remedy: “White vinegar and duct tape was the quick cheap cure for my finger wart. Previously, I tried Salicylic acid (Compound W) and after I priced freeze treatments (at $25), I decided there must be a cheaper better way. This finger wart was painful if I accidentally brushed it against something and it was unsightly. I used the vinegar to soak the wart and put a small bit of paper towel soaked in vinegar (1/2″ square) on the wart to stay.
“The duct tape on the finger secured the vinegar pad and made an airtight seal. The vinegar does cause some stinging initially but that means it is killing the wart. Soon the wart was less painful to the touch. Within a day there was skin material to scrape off (with a #11 Exacto craft blade) and I am convinced that is part of the solution. That is you must remove the hardened skin so the vinegar can penetrate deeper into the wart. I wore the vinegar and duct tape on my finger part of the day and then removed it part of the day. This allowed the finger wart to be exposed and dry out at night. Daily I would cut off little bits or slices of the wart that had hardened. If the wart was still sensitive or bled, I stopped scraping and applied more vinegar. It was apparent within days that the wart was ‘dead’ and left just an ever smaller callus.
“The duct tape keeps the wart from ‘breathing,’ hastens the penetration of the vinegar, and I am also convinced that removing the very sticky duct tape helps remove virus laden parts of the wart out of your finger wound. Any dark material should be gently scraped or picked from the wart wound with a vinegar soaking to follow.
“This vinegar method worked for me. This treatment was done in August 2012 and I had the wart off in a week with some additional skin healing that is to be expected. I would also add that I tried using black electrical tape previously and this material did not work as well as plain old duct tape.”