I had tried everything to get rid of the large, embarrassing warts on my feet. Or at least I thought I had.
I had nearly given up and accepted my doctor’s advice that “they would just go away on their own…eventually.” But they just kept growing!
Until I came across a low cost natural treatment for healing warts and decided I would attempt to get rid of them. One. Last. Time.
Spoiler alert: it worked!
What Causes Warts?
Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). But before you get concerned, please know there are many strains of HPV.
There are over 100 strains of HPV and only about 13 of them are thought to increase cancer risk (most notably, cervical cancer) .
It is estimated that 50% of people worldwide will get a strain of HPV at some point in their lives . Basically, it’s nothing to feel embarrassed or ashamed about.
But in this post, we’re talking about benign (not harmful), cutaneous (skin) warts. Skin warts are mostly caused by HPV strains 1, 2, 3, 4, 27, & 57 .
Per my doctors’ advice, my warts had been frozen off (twice), surgically removed, covered in salicylic acid and duct tape, and bathed in the toxic-smelling Compound W. I tried it all.
All of these treatments were painful, some were expensive, and none seemed to work.
Low Cost Natural Treatment for Warts…That Works!
The inspiration for this treatment came from a case study I read on PubMed. The woman in the case study had stubborn common warts on her hand that she had tried to treat (unsuccessfully) with salicylic acid, apple cider vinegar, and an essential oil blend intended to treat warts.
The treatment that worked for her: topical application of vitamin A daily.
I picked up a bottle of the same supplement she used: NOW brand Vitamin A 25,000 IU gel caps. I got it from Natural Grocers for less than $10.
You can also get this supplement online or likely at your local health food store. (P.S. I discourage purchasing supplements on Amazon, especially ones that are heat sensitive like this one as storage conditions and authenticity are questionable).
Please Note: Consuming oral doses of vitamin A above 10,000 IU/day may be dangerous, especially in pregnant women or those who may soon become pregnant. Vitamin A can be absorbed through the skin, but I am not aware of any guidelines on what amount is considered safe. Please consult your doctor for safety information.
Here are the other supplies you will need:
- Hydrogen peroxide (or another way to sterilize implements)
- Good quality bandages (see photo for the ones that worked well for me)
- A needle (I used one from my sewing kit)
- Nail clippers (or cuticle clippers or something similar for trimming away skin)
Steps for Getting Rid of Warts
Once you have your supplies, it’s time to get disciplined and be patient.
Here’s what I did:
- Nightly after showering, I sterilized the nail clippers (with hydrogen peroxide) and trimmed away the white part of the skin that swelled up in the shower.
- I used a needle (sterilized with hydrogen peroxide) to poke a small hole in the capsule.
- I squeezed the contents of the capsule over the warts and applied bandages. I then put on socks to help the bandages stay in place.
- Then I washed my hands thoroughly with soap (this is my favorite natural soap brand) to prevent the chance of the warts spreading.
- And I jumped into bed to let the vitamin A do its work!
I repeated this treatment nightly for approximately 6 weeks (I definitely missed some days when I was tired..and it still worked!) But for optimal results, it’s best to be disciplined.
For the woman in the case study, her warts took longer to disappear than mine: 70 days-6 months, depending on their size. My guess is that hers took longer because they were on her hands, while mine were on my feet.
Why Does Vitamin A Heal Warts?
Vitamin A is an important nutrient for the immune system. It has been coined the “anti-infective” nutrient .
So because warts have an infectious cause (a virus) and because vitamin A has anti-infective properties, ta-da! Goodbye warts!
Vitamin A in Food
To support overall immune health (and therefore help prevent future warts!), it’s important to consume adequate vitamin A.
Vitamin A comes from both animal and plant-based foods. But as I’ll explain, the forms differ.
Plant Sources of Vitamin A
Many orange- and green-colored plant foods such as winter squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, and spinach are rich in provitamin A carotenoids (such as beta-carotene).
In the small intestine, provitamin A carotenoids get converted by an enzyme into a more usable form of vitamin A .
And in some of us, this conversion works better than in others. Look into the BCM01 gene if you want to nerd out about this.
Animal Sources of Vitamin A
Alternatively, animal-based sources of vitamin A don’t require this same conversion. Animal foods rich in vitamin A include cod liver oil as well as liver from other animals.
To a lesser extent, it is also found in fish (such as salmon and trout), dairy products (such as cheese and butter), and eggs. Choose grass-fed or wild-caught for higher nutritional value.
My advice: diversify your diet!
Other Natural Treament Options
Sandalwood essential oil
While researching for this post, I came across another natural treatment for warts that looks promising: sandalwood essential oil. It is more expensive than the vitamin A fish oil-based capsules I shared above.
In the study, 10 people applied sandalwood essential oil twice daily for 12 weeks. 8 of them had full resolution and the other two had moderate resolution. Read the study here.
Echinacea, Propolis, & Zinc
I also read an article mentioning that there is some limited research on internal (oral) use of echinacea, propolis, and zinc for healing warts. These treatments may work by stimulating the immune system on a more systemic level.
Tell me Your Story
Have you struggled to get rid of stubborn warts? Have a success story? Share your story in the comments below!
 Stanley M. HPV vaccination in boys and men. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2014;10(7):2109-11.
 Brianti P, De flammineis E, Mercuri SR. Review of HPV-related diseases and cancers. New Microbiol. 2017;40(2):80-85.
 https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-A. Accessed 09-01-2019.
 Kohlmeier M. Nutrigenetics, Applying the Science of Personal Nutrition. Academic Press; 2016.
Hi Riley! I just started this treatment for my plantar wart. I’ll let you know the results!
Please do! It worked for my plantar warts so I’m crossing my fingers for it helping you, too! I did find that it wasn’t as clear when it no longer needed treating with the plantar ones.
Hi I’ve just started doing this too for my incredibly painful and large verrucca. I have been treating this for over a year. I’ve been seeing a chiropodist for a year and have been seeing a podiatrist for 5 months and was waiting for a needling procedure before covid19 lockdown. I read about this elsewhere for warts on hands- I will treat it twice a day as mine is so bad and located in the ball of my foot
Sorry to hear you’re going through that Heather! I hope it works for you! I’d love to hear how it goes if you’re open to sharing.
My flat warts is super deep and many, one time I dig them and I got 3 seeds and they looks like white heads..I tried so many things to treat my warts and until now I’m suffering I’m crying and embarrassed of it because its in my front leg. SO I will try Vitamin A, if its work for me…thank you and I will let you know if how it works for me…
I hope it helps you! Keep me posted!
Any update, Diane? I have flat warts on my legs (as well as arms, torso, and face) like you and it’s really affecting my self esteem.
Hi. I ran across ur story and thought I would share. I had the seed warts and I was about 10 or 11 years old. They were all over my hands and knee caps and someone told my mother about the vitamin A. It was in around 1986. Anyways cut open a pill every day and put on warts and then consumed one. They were gone in a month. Fyi. Yall should definitely try 🙂
So interesting! Thanks for sharing your story!
Can I just cover with masking or duct tape to reduce cost?
It could work in a pinch! But I’ve tried duct tape and found it slid around more.
Just stumbled on your blog about vitamin a for wart removal. So about 7 years ago my son had a crazy amount of warts. We had already had two cut off by the family doctor. It was not only painful but my son had two terrible scars. So I refused to have anymore cut off. I told my dr that I knew this was due something his body was lacking and I would figure it out. I tried all the tricks. Wart away, duct tape, banana peel, garlic, oregano oil, ACV…you name it. One night while researching I saw a comment about vitamin A on an old blog. So I decided to give it a shot. I would put 2-3 25k iu liquid caplets on every wart in the evening (BY THIS TIME HE HAD 42 WARTS!!!). We did this for 2 weeks straight. He went to stay with my in-laws for a few days and called one night to tell me that every single wart had fallen off! He had zero pain. In fact, we noticed every morning, the area around each wart looked healthier and looked as though it was healing. Fast forward to today and my husband has a very questionable mole on his temple. The dermatologist is months out and our family dr won’t be in office till next week. So 4 nights ago I started applying vitamin A straight on it The mole has shrunken and has drastically changed. It’s black around the edges and it looks like it may fall off soon. Fingers crossed we can cancel that appointment!
Wow, what an awesome story of healing, Lindsey! Thank you so much for sharing it with us! And way to persevere and do your own research. Your son is lucky to have you for a mom! Crossing my fingers that it helps your husband as well.
jo jacki lee says
my story is from mid 1980’s. my mom got me in to see a podiatrist who scheduled me to have the plantar wart on my right foot cut out, with the caveat: you might lose your little toe! I happened to be staying with an aunt who told me that mega doses of vitamin A (+ D which aids in absorbtuon) I had, by this time had this wart for a couple of years and was learning to drive with my left foot because the pain of pressing on the gas pedal with my right foot was excruciating. I was skeptical, but what did I have to lose? oh, my little toe! so I figured it was worth a try. my aunt warned me that vitamin A can be toxic if you ingest too much but if you have this type of wart, you are appreciably deficient. the treatment called for 10,000 units of vitamin A + D x 3 daily (orally). by day 3 with no results, she suddenly proclaimed ” oh! you’re a smoker! you need to double up”
…ok, this made me nervous, but not as much as my date with the toe taker, and she reassured me that the wart split could not exist if I had adequate vitamin A, and I would only take it until the wart was gone…so I upped the dosage to 20,000 units x 3 daily and each day I could see it shrivel up until on day 5 it JUST FELL OFF MY FOOT! GONE TO THIS DAY
if there were any side effects from this remedy, they were not noticeable. 5 days is all it took. and it sure opened my eyes to how smoking cigarettes leeches vitamins from us
Amazing! Thank you for sharing your story with us!
Tammy Baker says
I learned about this trick 35 years ago when my aunt had several warts and started using Vitamin A oil on them.
So 30 years ago my sons best friend would come over every day and I noticed the boy had like 30 warts all over his hands and I decided to try out this Vitamin A oil treatment. I bought some capsules and every day he would come over I would put some of the oil on his warts. Within a week I started to see them miraculously getting smaller. Within 3 weeks every one of them were completely GONE!!! A few years later my son got one on his ankle and it had gotten quite large when I remembered the vitamin A oil treatment..I applied it every day and it immediately started disappearing. It is the ONLY THING I have ever known to work.
My sons friend still remembers how I helped him with this embarrassing problem and thanked me for helping him.
That is SO SO cool! Thank you for sharing your story, Tammy!
Scott Peters says
I have a similar life story. When I was 15 years old I had issues with acne on my face and warts on both of my hands. As result, my mother took me to see a dermatologist. After the initial consultation, the dermatologist gave me acid strips for my warts and Accutane to treat my facial acne. However, both treatment protocols were very irritating to my skin. Within 2 weeks of treatment, I decided to stop using the acid strips on my warts so that I could solely focus on taking care of my acne issue first. What came to my surprise, as well as the dermatologist, the Accutane within 5 weeks of time removed all 32 of my warts from my hands. Come to find out, Accutane is a derivative of Vitamin-A. To this day, I still tell people about the viral infection fighting power of Vitamin-A. It’s natural and it works. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10604208/
That’s super fascinating, Scott! Thank you for sharing your story!