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.