Q. Several weeks ago you had a question from someone about using poison ivy extract to get rid of warts. You suggested that this is a bad idea and not very safe.

I am a retired dermatologist and disagree with your opinion. It is much better to have poison ivy dermatitis than a mosaic plantar wart. Poison ivy is a nuisance that clears in a week or two and is nicely controlled. Very severe cases are uncommon but even those are no match for a mosaic plantar wart. Having one on the sole of your foot would be like walking on a 50 cent piece in your shoe.

If I can relieve a patient by scratching in a drop of poison ivy extract and exciting an immune response to the wart I have done a great favor for that patient.

A. We discouraged the use of poison ivy as a home remedy for warts because it requires great caution. A dermatologist who can apply an extract under controlled conditions would be much less likely to create a serious complication for a highly susceptible patient.

Thank you for sharing your expertise. We still think using poison ivy against warts is best left to professionals.

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  1. JS

    I had a plantars wart that was on my foot for 4.5 years. I tried everything to get rid of it and it wasn’t until I came into accidental contact with poison ivy that it finally cleared up. Next time those warts appear, I’m totally using the poison ivy healing method. For people extra sensitive to ivy, I’d say get professional assistance, but I swear by the approach.

  2. Kirk

    I had bad warts on my hands for over 5 years and had them cut off, burned off, frozen off, etc. At 23 I saw a dermatologist asked if I ever had poison ivy, when I told him no, he recommended the poison ivy extract. IT WORKED. However, he not only put it on my warts, he put a 1 1/2″ diameter scar on my left arm that I still have to this day (at 44). I think this is a viable option, but should be left to professionals.

  3. BT

    I think it all depends on the individual person, if you know your allergic to poison ivy then don’t try it out, it’s common sense really but for most people including me its worked really well.

  4. cpmt

    I GREATLY disagree with the dermatologist. I am very sensitive and allergic to Poison Ivy, it takes weeks before everything disappears from infected area; redness, constantly itching etc.etc… I WILL NEVER recommend.

  5. CJ

    Nearly 30-years ago, I had a very stubborn (over 8 yrs) plantar (seed) wart on my thumb. One day, my kids had me carry a “bouquet” of dandelions home. Once we got home, I put the flowers into a vase and hurriedly put a bandaid over my wart.
    Whenever the bandaid started to fall off, I’d put another one on it. I think it was 2-3 days later when the bandaid started to fall off, I noticed most of the wart was gone. Within another day or so, the wart was completely gone! It never came back and I’ve never had another one since then.
    I believe it was the dandilion “juice” from the stem that “poisoned the wart’s because it’s never come back. Come to think of it, I haven’t had any warts since! Hmmm.

  6. AAD

    I have had plantar warts several times. The easiest and most effective solution to getting rid of them is placing a slice of Eggplant on the wart and securing the piece with a bandage or wrap overnight every night until the wart peels off. Trust me, it works every time without the pain that chemical removers have.

  7. C.C.

    Both of my children had plantar warts and in both cases the use of Castor Oil worked great to rid them of the warts. Just need to be persistent. Cheaper than a dermatologist too.

  8. RMD

    I absolutely agree with your answer, these warts are best treated by a professional. If your Doctor wants to use Poison Ivy as a treatment that’s fine. The application is being done under a doctor controlled environment. I think it would lead to all sorts of problems for an individual to apply the poison ivy treatment themselves, unless it was in an extreme emergency such as the individual being stranded miles from help in the woods on a camping trip and unable to walk.

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