How to Get Rid of Common Warts

What are Common Warts?

Warts are a skin infection that can affect various parts of your body. There are different kinds of warts that affect various parts of your body. Common warts are small, grainy skin growths caused by a virus that is grown on hands, fingers, and toes. They are a common dermatological problem like acne. Common warts are harmless and disappear over a period of time. Warts are contagious and can spread if it comes in contact with other parts of your body.

Common warts are formed on the top layer of the skin, they are caused by the human papillomavirus or HPV. This virus can form on your skin through a tiny scratch, causing rapid growth of cells on the outer layer of the skin resulting in a wart.

Children and young adults are most prone to the growth of common warts as their body’s defense mechanism are not fully developed. Although warts pose no danger, they make your body look ugly and can also be painful.

Common Warts Symptoms

Common warts appear on your body and are easy to identify. They are small, fleshy, grainy bumps that are pink in color. They are initially flesh colored but change to white or pink over a period of time. Common warts are rough to touch and have small, black dots around them.

What Causes Common Warts?

Common warts are caused by the human papillomavirus or HPV. The virus causes warts by entering through any skin tissues that is slightly damaged. There are more than hundred kinds of HPV, of those the ones that cause common warts are HPV types 2 and 4.

Most cases of warts do not require any treatment and it subsides on its own in a few weeks or months.

Where can Common Warts Show Up?

There are six major types of warts: Common warts, genital warts, plantar warts, flat warts, filiform warts, periungual warts. Each wart appears on a different part of the body. Common warts usually grow on your fingers or toes, but can also occur in other places in your body.

Common Warts Pictures

Here are a few images to show you what a common wart looks like and where it normally occurs.


When to See a Doctor

Common warts do not require a visit to the doctor as they are not as serious as genital warts or warts that grow on other parts of your body. Common warts subside on their own, however, you must visit a doctor if you find the following symptoms in your body:

  • The warts are painful and change their color
  • Common warts keep recurring in your body despite treatment
  • You are unsure if they are common warts
  • You have several warts sprouting, which indicates that you have a weakening immune system

Children have a developing immune system which makes them susceptible to warts, take your child to the doctor if they have any of the following symptoms:

  • If there is a red streak spreading from their warts
  • If the warts causes fever and pain
  • If there is any pus draining from the wart


Common Warts Treatment – How to Get Rid of Common Warts

There are several options you can make use of to get rid of common warts. From ointment, to spray to even homeopathic tablets, you have various pain-free and instant relief solutions for warts. Here are some of them:

Freezing Treatments (Dr. Scholls Freeze Away Wart Remover): You can treat common warts by spraying Dr. Scholl’s Freeze Away Wart Remover. Freezing the wart breaks it down, your body’s tissue then regenerates new tissue that replaces the wart tissue.

Wart Remover Salicylic Acid – Compound W – Compound W is a wart treatment cream consisting of salicylic acid that penetrates and removes common and plantar warts. Apply the cream on any wart affected area to remove warts conveniently.

Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil has a strong smell and antimicrobial properties that make it an effective treatment for warts. Warts spread on your body if you have a weak immune system, tea tree boosts your body’s immune system that helps reducing warts.

Wart Stick – The Wart Stick Remover is an ointment consisting of salicylic acid that helps in treating common and plantar warts.

Boiron Thuja Occidentalis – Homeopathic Quick Dissolving Pellets


Natural Home Remedies to Get Rid of Common Warts

You can also try natural and safe home remedies that get rid of common warts. Home remedies are cheaper and easier to find.

Green Tea

Green tea is rich in antioxidants and is an excellent solution for skin care remedy. 2-3 glasses of green tea every day will increase the antioxidant supply to your skin and reduce warts.

Instead of discarding a used green tea teabag, you can also apply it on the wart-infected skin. Place the tea bag on the wart for 10-15 minutes and repeat the process thrice a day along with drinking green tea.

Green tea reduces skin damage and repairs your skin by making it glow from within. There are also polyphenols in green tea that reduces skin inflammation.

Duct Tape

It may sound strange, but the duct tape is a tried and tested method to clear common warts. Duct tape occlusion is the process of removing warts using duct tape, in this method you cover the wart with a duct tape, thus covering the wart depriving it of air and sun exposure. Remove the duct tape once a week and wash the affected area. Keep the area exposed overnight and reapply the duct tape again in the morning.

Duct tape occlusion is a slow process and it may take up to eight weeks to clear the wart. To speed up the process, you can apply salicylic acid on the wart and cover it with duct tape.


Garlic is known for its medicinal properties that help fight fungal infections and have been used as a remedy for a long time. Allicin, an anti-viral component present in garlic makes it of great medicinal value.

  1. To remove warts using garlic, clean up the affected area with soap and water and keep the area dry.
  2. Crush a clove of garlic and place the crushed garlic on the affected area.
  3. Cover the area with a bandage or a duct tape. Make sure that the crushed garlic is not in contact with any unaffected area or any part of the skin that has cuts or wounds.
  4. Apply fresh cut garlic to the wart-affected area every day. The healing process will take 3-4 weeks.

Apple Cider Vinegar

The vinegar in apple cider vinegar acts like salicylic acid. It burns the infected area and treats the infected skin causing the wart to fall off. The irritation you get from applying vinegar stimulates your immune system’s ability to fight the wart.

Mix two parts apple cider vinegar with one part water and soak a cotton ball in the solution. Apply the cotton ball on the wart and cover it with a bandage or a tape. Leave the cotton ball overnight on the wart-infected area. Remove the cotton ball and the bandage and repeat the process until the wart falls of.


Should I Get Surgery to Remove Common Warts?

Warts can be painful and cause discomfort, but they reduce in size and eventually disappear within a few weeks after medicinal treatment. Surgery of any kind to remove warts are generally avoided because there are chances of scarring. However, please note that a surgery should be performed only if the warts are large and uncomfortable.


Are Common Warts Contagious?

Common warts can be spread through skin-to-skin contact or through direct contact with an object used by an infected person. Warts can also spread to other parts of the body if it comes in contact with the infected area. However, if you have a strong immune system, chances are that your body may be able to resist HPV.


Common Warts Prevention

Spreading of warts is a sign of a weaker immune system, however, common warts can be prevented from spreading with the following steps:

Avoid Direct Contact With Warts

Practice good hygiene when you come in contact with someone with warts, this also includes your own warts. Avoid scratching or picking at your warts as it has chances of spreading to other parts of your body.

Don’t Bite Your Fingernails

Warts can spread on broken skin. Chewing your skin around the fingernails may cause HPV to spread across your fingers.

Avoid Shaving Around Warts

Be more careful with your grooming when you have warts. Shaving with a razor may cause the wart to break and spread to other parts of your skin. Avoid shaving or use an electric razor if shaving is required.

Keep Yourself Clean

Wash your hands and feet every time after treating warts. Wear flip-flops when using a public shower or a shared washroom.


What Happens if You Cut off a Wart?

Warts are itchy, it can affect your looks and even spoil your mood. No wonder you want to get rid of them as soon as you can. There are a few warts that can be removed using surgery and laser treatment, but removing a common wart through cutting it off is not recommended for the following reasons:

It Causes Bleeding and Pain

Warts are sensitive and connected to your skin, trying to pick off a wart can result in excessive bleeding and pain.

It Can Lead to Scarring

You can remove warts from your body painlessly by using proper medication like ointments or home remedies. Medication removes all traces of warts in your body, but cutting off a wart not only causes bleeding but also a permanent scar on your body.

It Can Cause Infection

Cutting a wart may cause wounds which later can result in infections. It is advisable to use medicines to treat a wart.


Do Removed Warts Grow Back?

Most warts disappear when given proper treatment. Sometimes it may take months or years for a wart to disappear. But there are chances that a wart may reappear if the HPV still remains. This will result in the wart growing back on your body.


Wart Removed? Aftercare Help & Advice

So you have removed your wart now? Excellent! Now to prevent it from spreading or recurring ensure you boost up your immune system. Follow a healthy diet, eat a lot of green, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale that are high in B-vitamins and calcium. Broccoli, tomatoes and bell pepper that are high in antioxidants strengthen your skin’s immunity and help your body fight HPV.

Fruits are rich in antioxidants and vitamin-C that helps improve your immune system to fight warts. Blueberries and cherries are high in antioxidants and good for your diet. Avoid processed food that contains unhealthy fats and is high in sugar. Baked goods such as white bread, donuts, and cake should be had in moderation as it contains unhealthy trans fat.

Try to avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco as they are known to have a detrimental effect on your skin.


Warts vs. Skin Tags


Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus or HPV. Common warts are small, grainy skin growths caused by a virus that is grown on hands, fingers, and toes. Warts are known to affect various parts of your body, they are also highly contagious. Warts mostly affect children, teens and young adult as they have a developing immune system. Warts often go away on their own but as they are contagious there are various over-the-counter medicines and home remedies that you can try. People also opt for surgery in case of genital warts which can be painful and uncomfortable.

Skin Tags

Skin tags or acrochordons are caused in areas where the skin surfaces rub together forming creases. It can be found in the neck, armpit or groin areas and may also appear on the eyelids. Skin tags are tiny, flesh-colored or brown goths that hang from the skin surface. Skin tags mostly occur in middle-aged or older adults. As skin tags do not cause any irritation or discomfort, medical treatment is not necessary. However, if a skin tag is located on the face or any area that causes discomfort, you can visit your doctor’s clinic to get it removed.


What Are the Other Types of Warts?

Apart from common warts, there are other warts that caused by HPV that affect various parts of the human body.

Flat Warts: Flat warts grow on your arms, face, or thighs. They cannot be noticed as they are small. They are pink, brown or light yellow.

Filiform Warts: Filiform warts are the color of your skin and commonly grow on the face, especially near the eyelids or the lips.

Periungual Warts: Periungual warts can be quite painful as they grow under the toenails and fingernails.

Genital Warts: These are warts that occur around the genital area.

Plantar Warts: Plantar warts are painful lumps that can be found on the soles of your feet. They make walking uncomfortable as they are tiny in size but are surrounded by hardened skin.

Last updated on December 17th, 2018

Chris Riley

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