Warts are rough bumps of skin caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). The efficacy of using apple cider vinegar (ACV) to treat warts hasn’t been scientifically proven and there are reports of risks and complications using ACV.
Effectiveness of ACV to treat HPV
Currently, there is yet no research to prove that apple cider vinegar is a potent treatment for warts. Salicylic acid at high concentrations has been proven to be effective in the treatment of warts. This is perhaps the reason why a lot of people believe apple cider vinegar can help get rid of warts.
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Vinegar can be used to kill some types of bacteria including Escherichia coli (E. Coli) and Salmonella, according to one study. However, scientists have not tested this theory with apple cider vinegar.
How to use apple cider vinegar to treat warts
When using apple cider vinegar to treat a wart, note the following steps:
- Get a bottle of apple cider vinegar, cotton balls or cotton-tipped applicators, and a small bandage.
- Soak the cotton ball in apple cider vinegar, and apply this to the affect area.
- Place the bandage over the cotton ball and leave it in place overnight. Some people may leave it on for up to 24 hours.
- Replace the cotton ball with a fresh one dipped in apple cider vinegar each night.
- The wart may swell or throb. The skin on the wart may turn black in the first 1 to 2 days, which might signal that the skin cells in the wart are dying.
- The wart might fall off within 1 to 2 weeks. Ongoing use apple cider vinegar for a few days after this may avert the skin cells that caused the previous wart from shedding and growing elsewhere.
Apple cider vinegar is a form of acid. It is powerful enough to cause burns on the skin, even though it is less concentrated compared to hydrochloric and sulfuric acids.
People should be cautious when using ACV. Avoid applying apple cider vinegar to warts in sensitive areas, such as on the genitals or face.
Other treatments for warts
The American Academy of Dermatology also recommend the following treatments for warts:
A freezing spray can be used to freeze off a wart. This procedure can be done at the doctor’s office, but wart-freezing sprays are also available over the counter.
These sprays should create a blister around the wart, which will eventually fall off. Apart from freezing, a doctor can remove wart with a laser or scalpel.
When salicylic acid is applied to damp skin on a daily basis over several weeks, the acid can destroy skin cells on the wart. Always follow the instructions from the manufacturer. To use salicylic acid:
- Soak the wart for around 10 minutes, using warm water.
- Gently rub the wart with an emery board or pumice stone.
- Once the wart has softened, follow the instructions on the packet to apply the acid.
- The wart should eventually peel off.
Apply duct tape over the wart and change it every few days. While it is unclear whether this works, it is possible that it causes the skin cells of the wart to come off.