The People's Perspective on Medicine

Simple Treatment Healed Warts

Q. One reader asked about wart treatments for his 7-year-old grandson. The banana peel treatment you suggested works okay, but we found something that worked like a dream!
For two years our 8-year-old daughter battled warts on her feet, hands, forearm and elbow. We used apple cider vinegar and duct tape.
Apply the vinegar on a tiny piece of cotton ball, place it on the wart, cover it with duct tape and leave it on for a few days. Remove the tape and cotton ball, wash the spot with warm water and repeat if needed.
Our daughter only needed two treatments before all her warts were gone, never to return. She’s been wart-free for over a year.

A. There are so many wart remedies we have lost count. What works for some may not always be effective for others. Here are just a few options our readers have shared: castor oil, milkweed juice, Listerine, garlic, potato, turmeric paste and cimetidine (Tagamet). Details on each are available at
When all else fails, a dermatologist can freeze, burn or cut warts off. Whatever treatment is used, warts sometimes come back.

Rate this article
4.2- 9 ratings
About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
Tired of the ads on our website?

Now you can browse our website completely ad-free for just $5 / month. Stay up to date on breaking health news and support our work without the distraction of advertisements.

Browse our website ad-free
Join over 150,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

We're empowering you to make wise decisions about your own health, by providing you with essential health information about both medical and alternative treatment options.

Showing 7 comments
Add your comment

ACV WORKS! I tried everything, and I mean it. I had loads of warts on my hards for nearly 2 years and acv worked very quickly. Just apply once or twice a day and keep applying a few days after the scabs fall off (LET THEM FALL OFF, don’t rip them off and keep applying until they fall off.) Prepare to face the pain, it can get bad.

When I was young I suffered from warts on my hands and head. My grandmother had a fig tree in her yard and she broke some leaves off at the stem. She told me to apply the sap on the warts and after 3-4 days they were gone.

I wanted to add three tips on my vinegar/duct tape method of removing warts. Another method of “shaving down” the dead wart tissue (after the vinegar does its work) is to use an Emery board (fingernail type) or fine sandpaper. The wart top is becoming hard after treatment by the vinegar. The hard wart top must be taken down just a bit after the daily vinegar treatment in order for subsequent vinegar soaks to reach wart tissue.
Secondly, it helps immensely to have a cheap magnifying glass to view the progress on the wart removal. Thirdly, the initial vinegar/duct tape treatment will cause the wart and surrounding skins to be puffy and white initially; this is similar to the puckery appearance when your hands are in water too long. This skin appearance confirms that the duct tape is providing a tight seal. But don’t cut or sand the wart while the skin is soft like this. Allow the wart area to air out after a vinegar/duct tape treatment and, after an hour or so, the skin and wart will return to normal color and texture; this is the time to shave or sand the wart lightly to remove dead skin.

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 apparently 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.

Several people have mentioned the banana peel for removing warts, but what is the procedure? How long does the peel have to stay on, or where can I find the instructions???? Please, any info will be greatly appreciated….. jr

I have “flat warts” on 2 fingers. My dermatologist prescribed Aldara cream. A small amount goes on the finger each night, then a piece of (traditional grey) duct tape is used over that, like a bandaid. The doc says there is something in the adhesive that helps, so not to buy the other kinds of duct tape (different colors, etc.) that may not have the same adhesive. This is every night, plus once a month freezing of the wart, until it is gone. I have been to two different dermatologists, and both prescribed the same treatment.
Initially, the warts (that look like an eczema, no bump) were on 8 fingers. Two are left, but this has gone on for years now. I have lost faith, and am ready to try the vinegar, banana peel, and whatever else I read about.

Is the duct tape necessary for this procedure? Might it not be the case that the vinegar does the work? In other words, would adhesive tape work just as well? Thanks in advance for your response.

* Be nice, and don't over share. View comment policy^