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Did COVID Vaccines Erase Warts?

Vaccines work by stimulating the immune system. Is it possible that COVID or the vaccines erase warts through the same mechanism?

In early October, 2021, a reader of our syndicated newspaper column alerted us to a most unusual reaction to the Moderna vaccine. This person reported that a persistent wart disappeared after vaccination against the coronavirus in January and February. Since we wrote about that event, we have heard from a surprising number of other people that COVID vaccines erase warts. In addition, one reader reports that experiencing COVID-19 itself made a wart go away.

Wart Vanishes After COVID Infection:

Q. I’d had a large deep wart on the ball of my foot for over 20 years. It disappeared within 10 days of having COVID (with pneumonia).
Although I’d had one dose of COVID vaccine months earlier, it seemed to be the COVID infection itself that cleared it. This wart hasn’t returned for two years now.

A. We have heard from a surprising number of readers that the COVID vaccines helped rid them of persistent warts. Before your report, however, we were not aware of any cases in which the infection itself cleared the wart.

We assume that the mechanism for this was increased immune surveillance triggered by the virus. Perhaps a fever during your bout of COVID would also have contributed to the power of the immune response. (For more information about warts and the immune system, keep reading.)

Do Cold Sores and Warts React to Vaccines?

Warts are not the only lesions that may disappear following a COVID vaccination. Surprisingly, one reader reports that cold sores also went away.

Q. Somehow, I never contracted COVID, but I did get all the shots and boosters. Since receiving my first vaccine, the cold sores that I used to get on my lips two to four times a year for the past 30 years have completely vanished.

So have my plantar warts, which I’ve also had for even longer. They resisted multiple treatments, including surgical removal. Now they are gone.

But I’ve not seen any mention of similar experiences. Is my experience unique?

Possibility That COVID Vaccines Erase Warts:

A. Shortly after people started getting COVID vaccinations we began hearing that some had long-lasting warts disappear. There are some case reports in the medical literature as well (JAAD Case Reports, Jan. 2023).

Another reader had a different experience:

“I just got over COVID, for which I took Paxlovid for three days. I now see that all my warts are gone!

“That is the only positive thing that came out of the illness. I had two vaccines and a booster in the past year, which didn’t faze the warts.”

On the other hand, we discovered a number of case reports that COVID vaccination had reactivated herpes simplex eye infections (Ocular Immunology and Inflammation, July, 2022). That is a frightening potential reaction.

Who Else Found That Vaccines Erase Warts?

Within days of writing about the initial case, we began hearing from others who had similar experiences.

Dan sent this message:

“I saw your column today and just wanted to let you know that I also had a finger wart for many years which also apparently disappeared sometime after getting the Moderna vaccine.”

Patty added her story:

“Having read the COVID that the vaccines might vanquish warts I looked at my arm. All 3 rather large warts were gone. There is a red dot where the largest one was.”

It wasn’t always the Moderna vaccine. After getting the Pfizer vaccines in March and April, 2021 Jody wrote:

“I had a very persistent wart on the ball of my left foot since at least 1999.  Despite everything I tried to get rid of it, the wart persisted. I hadn’t paid any attention it, but in early October I was going to apply a wart remedy again when I noticed I did not have a wart anymore. I’m very perplexed but glad the wart is gone. Could the vaccine be the reason my wart went away?”

Shortly after hearing from Patty we got this message from Rita:

“I’m behind on my papers. I just read the column from Sunday, October 30. A person noted that they had a wart disappear and wondered if it could it be related to the Moderna vaccine.

“I looked at my left hand. The warts that were there are gone or reduced to not being able to see them. I had three shots of the Pfizer vaccine.”

Why Would Vaccines Erase Warts?

We have continued to receive stories describing how vaccines erase warts. If you are interested, you can read about some possible reasons for this phenomenon at this link.

In our first book, The People’s Pharmacy (St. Martin’s Press, 1976), we cited a dermatology textbook that discussed immune system stimulation. The author of that chapter noted that warts are caused by a virus (New York State Journal of Medicine, June 1, 1963).

He went on to add that:

“The disappearance of these tumors is the result of stimulation of the immune mechanism of the patient and the resulting production of the required antibodies or other still poorly defined immunologic agents. This is the same mechanism by which all other true virus diseases are resolved, and warts should not be considered differently.”

In conclusion, this dermatologist made the point that stimulating a person’s immune system often leads to the disappearance of warts.

The Messages Keep Coming:

People continue to tell us that vaccines erase warts. Here is an additional one:

Q. When I searched the internet to see if COVID vaccines by chance made warts go away, I found your article. I’d had a wart at the base of my left index finger for 15 or 20 years.

I got the Pfizer vaccine in February and March of 2021 and the booster in October. I just noticed, in January 2022, the wart has disappeared completely. Could the COVID vaccine be responsible?

A. We have heard from quite a few readers that they too had warts disappear following COVID vaccination. Your question prompted us to search the medical literature for similar reports.

We found two cases (Transplant Infectious Disease, Aug. 2021; Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, Oct. 26, 2021).

One patient had a:

“15-year history of treatment-resistant warts that regressed during COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019) treatment.”

The other was a young woman who’d had warts on her thumb for two years. They disappeared after she got vaccinated.

Dermatologists have been experimenting with injections of other types of vaccines (measles mumps rubella known as MMR) directly into hard-to-treat warts (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, Jan. 8, 2022). The success rate has been significant. This suggests that vaccines can stimulate an immune response against the viruses that cause warts.

Don’t Assume That All Vaccines Erase Warts:

We are not suggesting that COVID vaccines erase warts for everyone! As far as we can tell, no wart treatment works 100% of the time. Even the most modern dermatological approaches won’t rid all patients of warts.

On the other hand, we have received enough case reports to think that this is more than coincidence. If you would like to read more about the possible mechanism, here is a link:

Unexpected Benefits and Risks of the Moderna Vaccine

Share your own wart story below in the comment section.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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