How to Get Rid of Periungual Warts (Fingers or Toenails) with Home Remedies

What are Warts?

Warts are skin growths that appear to be small bumps that are hard or firm to the touch. Sometimes rough in texture, warts can be unseemly and can cause minor pain but are typically otherwise non detrimental to health. Affecting anywhere on the body but most commonly found on hands and feet, warts are caused by certain strains of the human papillomavirus or HPV. The virus is usually transmitted via broken skin and causes the top layer of skin to grow rapidly. Appearing as lumps, warts usually disappear on their own in a year or less. For those who do not want to wait for the warts to go away, over the counter medication and home remedies can be used to safely remove warts. Common warts are very common and should not be a cause for concern. Other types of warts, such as genital warts, should be seen by a medical professional.

What Causes Periungual Warts (Fingernails or Toenails)?

Periungual warts are warts that affects the fingernails and toenails. Periungual warts can occur near and under toenails and fingernails. Its appearance differs from their more common counterparts that affect the hands and feet. Unlike the common wart, periungual warts appear in tightly packed clusters that resembles the head of a cauliflower. These warts are also commonly white in colour and are rough and hard.

While these warts can affect tissues surrounding the fingers and toes, the main concern for these warts derives from its location on the nail bed. Serious cases of periungual warts can pose several health risks. For one, if left untreated, periungual warts could lead to the complete deterioration of the cuticle which increases the susceptibility of infection. Other health risks include damage to surrounding skin, pain, and even partially detaching the nail from the nail bed. In severe cases, periungual warts can resemble conditions found in onychomycosis and can permanently warp the nail and stunt its growth. To prevent periungual warts from getting to such a state, there are many different types of treatments available.

Periungual Warts Pictures – What Do Periungual Warts Look Like?

How to Remove Periungual Warts?

There are a number of at-home solutions to get rid of periungual warts. Whether you want to purchase accredited over-the-counter medication or trying natural home remedies, the removal of periungual warts does not have to be expensive or time consuming. Here are a list of treatments that a sufferer of periungual warts can use to relieve their symptoms.

Freezing Treatments – Dr. Scholl’s Freeze Away Wart Remover

Freezing treatments, or cryotherapy as they are also known as, is a type of treatment that is used to freeze the top layer of skin to help reveal new and healthy skin below it. These treatments are safe to use at home without the assistance or need of a doctor because it only freezes the affected top layer; making it risk free. Although warts exist deeper into the skin, freezing treatments can be used to disrupt and damage the structure of the skin growth. By attacking the structure, the body can then heal the area whereby the warts will fully dissipate within a few days.

Contrary to popular belief, freezing treatments are not a way of freezing off warts. Instead, it is a treatment used to alert the body’s immune system to target those specific areas for the regeneration of healthy skin. The freezing can also create a clot so that blood vessels know not to feed the warts. Freezing treatments can be bought in any pharmacy.

A recommended brand is Dr. Scholl’s. Dr. Scholl’s has several products that targets warts via cryotherapy. The Freeze Away Wart Remover is a tried and true product that has been a mainstay in correcting various warts. Being a top selling wart product, the Freeze Away Wart Remover takes only a few seconds to apply and results are immediate. Skip the wait at the doctor’s office with Dr. Scholl’s. Doctors use a very similar technique that provides the same results as at-home wart removing kits so there is no need to wait for your appointment at the clinic when Dr. Scholl’s offers instant results in a matter of seconds.

A great article with a lot of information about this can be found here: Dr. Scholl’s Freeze Away Skin Tag Removal Kit.

✔️ Only 1 treatment need

✔️ Fast results after use

✔️ gets rid of Warts permanently

✔️ High Success rate among users

If you’d like to purchase the product you can do so from Amazon.


Wart Remover Salicylic Acid – Compound W

Afraid of freezing your skin no matter how harmless it may be? Luckily for you, there are also products from Compound W that uses salicylic acid to cure warts. Another proven company is Compound W. Compound W has several products that are meant to target warts. Much like Dr. Scholl’s, Compound W also has freezing treatments but the allure lies in their more natural alternatives to wart treatment.

Salicylic acid is a common ingredient that helps to facilitate the regeneration of healthy skin. Over time, the upper layers of affected skin will peel off to reveal smooth, and healthy skin underneath. Salicylic acid, being a keratolytic, increases the moisture levels on the skin which in turn dissolves the compounds that makes skin cells adhere together. Warts are thickened layers of skin so the dissolution of these compounds leads to the warts falling off. Compound W has adhesive patches, liquid applications, gels, and pads.

✔️ Fast acting solution

✔️ Gets rid of Warts permanently

✔️ Suitable for all skin types

If you’d like to purchase the product you can do so from Amazon.


Wart Stick

Wart Stick is another product that does not require freezing. Wart Stick is perfect for people who are on the go but still want the ability to discreetly apply fast relieving medication to their fingers and toes. Wart Stick resembles a tube of lip balm and is applied in very much the same way. Small in size, Wart Stick can be tucked away in a purse of pocket for convenient use.

Although small in size, Wart Stick does not skimp out on the medical properties. Wart Stick has the highest concentration of salicylic acid allowed at 40%. Moreover, the solution dries quickly and is odourless. Odour is one of the biggest downsides of liquid salicylic acid applications but there is no need to worry about unpleasant smells with Wart Stick. The formula also will not cause scarring from the removal of warts and is completely pain free.

✔ Main component is Salicylic acid

✔ Dry form (odorless)

✔ Absolute painless

✔ Easy to use discretely at home

If you’d like to purchase the product you can do so from Amazon.


Handcraft Tea Tree Essential Oil 

Tea tree oil is a topical oil used to relieve a variety of skin infections and maladies. Tea tree oil is known for having bacteria killing properties and has been used for many years. Popular for acne, infections, and scabs; tea tree oil is an effective treatment for periungual warts.

Tea tree oil can be easily purchased in any beauty supply store, pharmacy, and holistic shops. Completely natural, tea tree oil should be applied to the affected areas twice daily to eliminate fungal and bacterial components that can cause or exacerbate periungual warts. Moreover, tea tree oil is moisturizing and can smooth out the warts. Its healing properties nourishes the nails and eliminates redness so that the healing process will not leave a scar.

Although tea tree oil is accessible, cost efficient, and natural; it does take a longer time for its effects to be noticed. While freezing treatments takes mere seconds and salicylic products takes a few days, tea tree oil may take several months. The upside of using tea tree oil is that there is a significant decrease of scarring and it not only helps to treat the warts but nourishes the nail and the skin around it as well.

If you’d like to purchase the product you can do so from Amazon


Natural Home Remedies to Get Rid of Periungual Warts

Periungual warts can also be treated at home with household items. Although not as fast acting as the previous solutions listed, using household items to cure your periungual warts means you get to save on money and it allows you to develop a routine if you are someone who is prone to warts.

Green Tea

The first of the natural home remedies is green tea. Green tea has long been touted as a miracle ingredient that helps with anything from circulation to cleansing toxins but unbeknownst to many, green tea is also an excellent way to get rid of pesky warts.

Green tea is chalk full of helpful antioxidants which can remove and prevent warts. Drinking 2-3 cups a day can reduce the HPV symptoms from within which results in lessening of warts. Unlike the previous medications and solutions, green tea targets the actual virus as well as the skin, whereas freezing and other topical solutions only target the skin. Soaking green tea bags and then directly placing the tea bags over affected areas for 10-15 minutes can be used in conjunction to ingesting the tea for maximum results.

Adding green tea to your diet will also help to purify and cleanse the body of other toxins so even if this is not the option you choose for your warts, consideration should still be given.

Duct Tape

Duct tape is a very popular home remedy for wart removal. Duct tape is used to cover the affected areas to limit its contact with environmental aggregators that could worsen the condition. Leaving it on 3-6 days as a time, people who have had success using duct tape will then soak the area before removing the tape and rubbing the spot to remove the dead skin. This technique can take several attempts before the wart is fully removed.

This technique is common but is not as safe as using freezing techniques or the other solutions listed. Because rubbing and the adhesive can irritate the skin, there is a higher likelihood of scarring or damaging the skin itself.


Garlic has a long history for being an all-natural antiviral. For over 5000 years people have been toting the wonderful anti-fungal infection properties found in something as simple as garlic. Garlic is perhaps the most viable of solutions in this list and is definitely fits the definition of home remedy. With its anti-viral and anti-inflammatory characteristics, garlic is a surefire way to get rid of pesky periungual warts.

To use garlic for the removal of periungual warts, simply take one clove and crush it into a paste. The paste should be spread evenly across the areas of infection and then covered with a band-aid to prevent the mixture from coming off and staining clothes. After a few days, the skin of the scab should slough off to reveal healthy, flat skin underneath.

Garlic may seem like a ridiculous answer to a medical condition but the research on the benefits of garlic are not ill founded. The necessary ingredient for the facilitation of healing is allicin. Allicin is also the reason for why garlic has its distinctive odour. Allicin is the main anti-inflammatory and antiviral ingredient in garlic. When placed on infected areas, allicin effectively targets the skin. The downsides of using garlic are obvious.

For one, the smell of freshly grated garlic can be off putting for some people. Moreover, the constant need to have garlic on your person could cause some concerns when working or in the presence of others. Another downside is that it may take longer for results to appear compared to medicinal alternatives. However, anyone who wants a holistic, all natural, and readily available solution should consider using garlic.

Apple Cider Vinegar

The last of the suggested solutions is the ever-popular apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has been used for a plethora of health issues for thousands of years. Weight loss, acne, and even warts can see major improvements with the regular use of apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar is an acid that kills bacteria and cleanses the area when applied. The acid also helps to break down the top layers of skin that forms the hardened warts. While the vinegar burns away at the affected skin, the body’s immune system sends a signal to the area letting it know that it is irritated and needs healing. The stimulation from the vinegar elicits the immune system to attack the affected areas resulting in new skin.

The application of apple cider vinegar in the treatment of warts is straightforward and easy. Simply rubbing some of the vinegar on problem areas is an option. Another option is to soak a cotton ball with apple cider vinegar and securing it on the skin with a band-aid. Keeping the cotton ball overnight would give the best results. This process can take a few days before results are visible. The last application of apple cider vinegar is to mix equal parts vinegar and water in a tub for a foot and/or hand soak for 15 minutes a day.

Should I Get Surgery to Remove Periungual Warts?

It is not necessary to have surgery performed to get a periungual wart removed. Using the above at-home or over the counter methods are more than sufficient to reduce, eliminate, and prevent warts from returning.

What are the Different Types of Warts?

There are numerous types of warts that vary in their severity. Periungual warts are not considered to be a serious type of warts like genital warts. Periungual warts can be easily treated with a number of at home and store-bought remedies. The most common types of warts include:

Common warts

common wart

As its name describes, common warts are the most common among wart types. These warts usually pop up on fingers and toes but can develop elsewhere.

Plantar warts

plantar warts

Plantar warts grow into the soles of feet and can cause pain or discomfort. Plantar warts do not extend outside of the skin, instead it sinks into the skin creating a hole like appearance.

Flat warts

Flat warts are less common and grows on thighs, arms, and/or the facial region. Small in appearance, they can appear to be pink, brown, or yellow if irritated. As the name suggests, flat warts are flat instead of rounded.

Genital Warts

genital- warts

Usually transmitted through sexual contact. Genital warts are much more contagious as it is easier to spread and should not be treated at home.

Are Periungual Warts Contagious?

Warts are caused by specific strains of the papillomavirus or HPV so in essence it is contagious in that it is a virus that can be passed on through broken skin. However, the strains that cause warts is very common and most people will suffer from warts at one time or another in their life. This means that while the virus can be passed on, it is not something that is uncommon and people should not be alarmed if they interact with someone who has warts. Warts are like colds. It is identifiable by most people and is not a serious concern. In fact, warts are more difficult to pass on considering that it is caused when broken skin comes into contact with the virus. Even so, contact with the virus does not necessarily mean that you will get warts. This makes “passing on” the virus to another person unlikely.

Other types of warts, such as genital warts, are much more contagious and medical assistance should be sought for STIs.

What Happens if you Cut Off a Wart?

Cutting off your warts is not a recommended solution to eradicating the growth. Cutting warts can lead to scarring and opens up wounds for infection. This rings especially true for periungual warts since they grow around finger and toenails. Your hands are feet are more susceptible to getting infected since they are always in use. There are many ways to treat warts and

Do Removed Warts Grow Back?

Warts are caused by the HPV virus so if the virus is there, then there is a chance that warts will grow back. However, warts do typically disappear within a year or less. Certain types of warts warrant medical attention. People suffering from genital warts should seek medical attention for the removal of the warts but despite medical attention, it may still grow back.

Wart Removed? Aftercare Help & Advice

Warts pose the threat of leaving behind scars. In the case of periungual warts, the nail bed can be damaged to the point where the nail does not grow back properly. To make sure this doesn’t happen, it is recommended that sufferers use creams and oils that do not irritate the skin. Picking on scabs can cause inflammation and scarring. Early signs of warts should not be overlooked because they do have the potential of getting worse and causing irreparable damage to your toe and fingernails. There are also many aftercare products to reduce scarring including tea tree oil.

Warts vs. Skin Tags

Skin tags are very similar in appearance to warts in that they are both protrusions of the skin. However, there are significant differences between the two. While warts are thick and rough, skin tags tend to be slender and soft. Skin tags often resembles hanging skin and can appear anywhere although it is most commonly seen in areas where there is chafing. Skin tags are not caused by HPV but are instead benign skin tumors. Common in occurrence, skin tags can be found in folds on the skin where there is more irritation. Skin tags are not painful and occur more frequently after midlife. Warts are more serious since it is caused by HPV and it can cause pain and/or discomfort in certain cases. That being said, both skin tags and warts are easy to remove and will disappear on its own in a few months.

Read this article on difference between Warts and Skin Tags.

Where else can Warts Show up?

Warts most commonly appear on hands and feet but can appear anywhere on the body depending on the type of warts a person has. For example, filiform warts grow on the chin and neck area whereas flat warts appear on the soles of feet. Certain areas can cause more discomfort than others and the transmission of the virus may differ as well. Genital herpes is usually transmitted through sex and will require medical attention. Most other strains are treatable at home so long as it does not get worse as time goes on.

Last updated on February 6th, 2021 Team

Academic Association of Medicine is the go-to resource for all health-related issues. We are an independent body that seeks to offer general information on various health topics and unbiased reviews on health products.

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