Warts are mysterious growths on the skin that are caused by the human papillomavirus. If you wonder why we term them mysterious, just think back to a case of warts you have witnessed or experienced. Why did they crop up? When did they leave? How can you make warts disappear? There are a lot of remedies, and some of them are pretty peculiar.
A Penny for Your Wart:
Q. I had a wart on my right middle finger beginning in fifth grade. It was big and ugly, running from the bottom of the nail to the first joint. It didn’t hurt, but it bothered me.
Somewhere I heard you could rub a penny on a wart to get rid of it. So, nutty as it sounds, that’s what I did when I was a junior in high school. I’d had the darn thing for years.
I got a shiny new 1964 penny and rubbed it on the wart exactly at midnight. I dug a hole in my mother’s flower bed and buried it. My boyfriend helped me, and we laughed and laughed about how silly it was.
Within two weeks, that ugly wart was gone without a trace. You couldn’t even tell where it had been. It seems to me that this phenomenon should be studied!
A. There is rich folklore around wart treatment. Some remedies called for the wart to be rubbed with a piece of potato that was then buried. Others would “sell” the wart for a small sum. Certain people insist that the coin must be made of copper. It certainly sounds as though your “silly” remedy worked very well, even though beforehand you may have doubted it would.
Modern medicine doesn’t understand how such wart remedies work. Too bad. It would be great to harness this healing power.
Can You Make Warts Disappear with Suggestion?
Q. Years ago, I lived next door to a little girl who had lots of warts. She had been to many doctors without success.
My little boy brought her to me (he thought I knew everything). I told her I would buy them for a dime, but she could never have them back. I made a big thing about buying them and soon they all disappeared.
A few months later, I met her dad in a grocery store and he whispered to me, “Are you a witch?” Just too cute.
I learned this when I was a kid. A cousin had warts and one of our uncles bought them from him. It worked then and it still works, decades later.
A. “Buying” warts is a trick that goes back generations. Suggestion can be powerful medicine. It works especially well for youngsters with warts. Apparently the immune system is capable of making warts disappear under the influence of the placebo effect.
Warts should be examined by a doctor to make sure that they are not a more serious problem, such as a skin cancer, posing as a wart,
Other Remedies That Can Make Warts Disappear:
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.
If you can’t find someone willing to buy them, 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 to make warts disappear 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.