wart on a finger

Warts are one of the most common skin problems children develop. They are rather mysterious. We know that human papilloma viruses cause warts, and the warts can be treated with any one of a large number of medications or home remedies. But what is the best remedy for warts?

Will Warts Go Away by Themselves?

Q. My 6-year-old granddaughter has warts on her legs. The doctor said to leave them alone, as they will go away in a year or two. The problem is they spread, maybe because they blister and scab. Is there anything we can use to rid her of these ugly, itchy warts?

Choosing the Best Remedy for Warts:

A. The dermatologist is right that warts often go away on their own, especially in children. Most people don’t want to wait a couple of years, though.

Here are some of our favorite wart remedies:

  • Cut a piece of banana peel the size of the wart and tape it over the wart with the fleshy inner side of the peel on the skin. Change it daily.
  • Apply a few drops of castor oil to the wart, cover with a bandage and reapply daily.
  • Cover the warts with duct tape cut to size. Replace the duct tape after several days.
  • Rub the warts with lemon juice or vinegar several times a day.
  • If all else fails, ask the pediatrician if it would be OK to use cimetidine (Tagamet). One mother reported that her 7-year-old son suffered with more than 20 warts for over two years. Nothing worked. Then she gave him Tagamet twice a day. Within a month most of the warts were gone.

Selecting the best remedy for warts will depend to some extent on what you and her parents are willing to do, and what she is willing to put up with. Children are particularly sensitive to suggestion when it comes to warts, so make sure that you talk up the remedy you use and let her know it is super-effective. Some dermatologists use pseudo-magical incantations to help boost the power of a wart treatment, and it does seem to help.

If you need other suggestions on treating her warts, you may be interested in our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies. This book offers remedies from readers for all manner of problems.

Get The Graedons' Favorite Home Remedies Health Guide for FREE

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

  1. Chris N.
    Minneapolis, MN

    There are a LOT of odd suggestions that are made on this site, but until you try them you may have doubts, as I did. In my case I had a stubborn wart on my index finger that slowly got larger over time. When it got to be the size of a pea I decided to do something about it. After reading about the cures here, I decided to try using duct tape. I cut a couple of thin strips that were wider than the wart, and wrapped them around my finger covering the wart. I used 2 strips because I cut the narrow part of the tape. You could cut the duct tape the long way and have 1 strip long enough to go around your finger.

    I kept this on all the time and replaced the tape once because it was starting to get a little ratty. At that time I noticed the top part of the wart was loose and I pulled it off carefully. There was still some wart left. I kept the tape on about another 2-3 weeks and then stopped wearing it. Most of the wart came off, and I didn’t think about it until about 6 months later which was last week. There is only a small mark where the wart used to be and the skin feels smooth. It seems that the wart needs air and perhaps light to survive and when you take those away, it slowly dies.

  2. Sharon

    Just curious, do those remedies work on adults at all? I am told that I am going through my second childhood? I do have them and they’re spreading. The other skin problems I’m dealing with is preventing prescribed medication to be used for an indefinite period?

  3. Donna A

    Years ago, I lived next door to a little girl that had many warts, some even in her nose. She had been to many Doctors. So sad. My little boy brought her to me (he thought I new everything) and I told her I would buy them for a dime but she never could have them back. I made a big thing about buying them and sure enough they all disappeared. A few months later I met her Dad in a store and he whispered to me, “Are you a witch?” Just too cute.
    Many years before, a family member had the same problem and our uncle bought them. It worked then and still works. Never forgot and its been over 6 decades.

  4. Martha
    Denver, Colorado

    Regarding wart ‘cures’ = I’ve had success by mixing castor oil and baking soda into a paste and applying that to warts. Cover with a bandaid. The wart doesn’t disappear rapidly but after awhile, it dries up and falls off. This is an Edgar Cayce ‘recipe’….

  5. Donna

    I cured my adolescent son of several painful plantar warts on the soles of his feet many years ago by using the banana peel method. He would soak his feet in very warm water (about 105 degrees) for about 15 minutes before bed. The banana peels would go on, held in place by duct tape, until morning. I was skeptical, but within about three weeks, they disappeared and, more than ten years later, they have not returned. Made me a believer in home remedies.

  6. PattyPR

    Duct tape removes warts and plantar’s warts. You must wash the area regularly, dry, and keep old fashioned silver duct tape then over the spot 24/7. It can takes weeks to over a month, but it does somehow cause the body to reject the wart from the surrounding tissue. At some point, you will remove the tape and the wart comes off with it. For tiny planter’s warts on the bottom of your foot, you may not even notice at first that one is actually gone. The key is persistence! Don’t ever give the wart a “day off” from the tape.

  7. Sandra

    My grandson had a wart on hid thumb that just wouldn’t go away with a trip to have it burned off, wart remover or banana Peel. My daughter uses Cider vinegar and now it’s gone, gone, gone.

  8. felicity

    i had a persistent wart (had been on my finger for years) that i’d tried various methods to get rid of and none worked. i heard about cider vinegar on your show and thought i might as well try it–i soaked a small cotton ball in the vinegar and covered it with a bandaid. did this a couple times a day and within 2 weeks it was gone, like a miracle!’

  9. Mariana

    I had a wart for over 6 years and tried just about every medicine at-home medicine you can think of with no positive results whatsoever until one day I decided to put arnicare on it. Because it was on the sole of my foot u put a plaster and a sock on it. By the end of the day when I got in the bath it looked very different so I decided to do it again. 4 days later it fell off leaving a massive “crate” in its place. I carried on putting the arnicare for a couple of weeks or so until it started to look normal. This was 2 years ago and it never came back. My sisters have used it on their kids warts with the same fantastic, pain free, low cost effect.

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted.

Your cart

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.