I noticed hot pink duct tape covering the fingertips of a little girl recently, and it turned out it was a home remedy for warts.
I’m sure the preschoooler (and her mom) were thankful for the new fashion line of duct tape (so cute!), and really, the duct tape thing is a great way to get rid of warts, for some people.
But what about warts on the face? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to put up with duct tape on my face for many weeks, up to a year, even if it is leopard print.
It just so happens that somehow, the good Lord decided that every time I make a baby, I make warts too.
Apparently it’s sort of normal, in that abnormal-feeling weird sort of way, because pregnancy depresses your immune system a bit, and warts, being a virus, see that as an open door.
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I have a vivid memory of nursing a fussy Paul (now 7) while getting my first wart burned off my foot, and Leah (now 4) was in utero when I evicted a virtual condo association of plantar warts off my heel.
It was at that appointment that the dermatologist explained the immune system thing.
Pregnancy brain prevented me from remembering the connection when I was in John’s first trimester in January 2011.
There was clearly something growing on my chin, and after a week or two, I realized it was not simply the most indestructible zit ever created.
It was something else.
It was growing, and changing.
Of course, my female (read: paranoid) mind went straight to skin cancer. Scenarios of rejecting chemo therapy to protect my unborn child ran rampant in my thoughts.
To my credit, this wart on my face didn’t just look like your run-of-the-mill plantar wart “bump.”
It had fingers.
I’m not kidding.
Eventually I could separate each finger-like projection, about a dozen of them.
I picked at it.
I tried to pull it off.
I might get little parts (it would bleed, ow!)…but it always came back as big as before.
I was simultaneously grossed out by the “thing” on my face and freaked out about what it might be until I finally went to the dermatologist.
In one second she glanced at my chin and said, “It’s a wart,” and started preparing to freeze it off.
I wasn’t as freaked out anymore…but still pretty grossed out that I had a wart on my face!
Luckily the cryotherapy worked to get rid of my warts every time with one shot, although statistically, I’m a lucky one. For many, warts grow back after being frozen/burned off.
Time to Find a New Way to Get Rid of a Wart – at Home!
With every year that passes, I seem to take more steps into living naturally, so when a new indestructible zit appeared this winter – in the same spot as 2011’s wart – I knew exactly what it was. And I wasn’t about to go to the dermatologist again, at least not right away.
It was time to try some warts home remedies. I’m excited to share them with you as part of the Safer in September series.
At first, I just cautiously watched it. Grow. Fast!
Then at night, when I’d remember, I stuck some Redmond Clay on it because that’s become my first response for any skin issue. I allowed it to dry overnight and picked it off in the morning.
I felt like this strategy was keeping the wart from taking over my face, but I certainly wasn’t really gaining any ground.
My naturopath explained that a wart surrounds the virus with a protein coating, rendering it invisible to the immune system, which is why our own immune system can’t fight it. Weakening that protein using essential oils was her line of attack to get rid of a wart, with the goal of allowing my immune system to get at the wart and do its job properly.
I applied undiluted tea tree, clove, or Frankincense essential oils when I thought it of it (it was supposed to be 2x/day). Edit: If I were to do it over again, I would dilute with a carrier oil, but I had been in the care of a trained naturopath – so don’t take my word for it. Essential oils are too powerful to just use without much knowledge…in fact, here’s my 2014 post on the potential dangers of EOs.
Do you know how to properly dilute essential oils?
Katie here, popping in to tell you how important it is to be sure you’re diluting those essential oils properly. Knowing you’re supposed to dilute essential oils for use on the skin is a good start – but as usual, I did it wrong for a few years before I got smart enough to find some resources and do the math.
I took a moment to make a one-page printable for you so you can snip an easy-to-read chart and tape it right onto your medicine cabinet door – wherever you keep your essential oils – so it’s always handy. It includes all the dilutions in drops of EO + tsp. or Tbs. of carrier oil for babies, toddlers, younger and older children, and adults. You shouldn’t have to do any math when you need a remedy now (you’re welcome).
UPDATE: Plant Therapy now sells a pre-diluted roll-on bottle of a Kid-Safe wart removal synergy! It doesn’t get easier than that, and I love love love that Plant Therapy offers so many Kid-Safe oils. Hooray!
I was cautiously pleased at this point. Rather than getting bigger, the wart on my face was either staying the same size, or sometimes a piece would come off with the clay and it would be beaten back – but it always grew again.
Yes, I hoped everyone just thought it was a zit, and believe me – with a wart on my face and mixing up home remedies and natural health concoctions, I was starting to feel a little more like a witch than I’d like to admit!
Bringing in the Big Guns
It was not until I started using propolis regularly in conjunction with the clay that I really started winning the battle instead of just holding my ground.
I had purchased some propolis, otherwise known as royal bee jelly, from Trilight Health with my last order, for two reasons:
1. It seemed like an incredibly versatile natural remedy; check out all the conditions propolis can work with:
arthritis, acne, asthma, bleeding gums, the common cold, rashes, diarrhea, eczema, flu symptoms, hay fever, hair loss, joint stiffness, any type of inflammation, sore throats, stress, toothaches, ulcers and warts. The amazing thing about propolis is that it has so many healing properties. It is an anti-fungus, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibiotic.
2. Propolis is used in drops, not teaspoons, so it’s awesomely inexpensive. My 2-ounce bottle is still half full, and I’ve used it internally and externally for all sorts of things.
When I decided to really get rid of the wart once and for all, I focused on using propolis at least once a day. I would just put it on when I took my other supplements for the day.
I use propolis in conjunction with the bentonite clay on the facial wart overnight, and it really seemed as though the wart, which I now knew was called a filiform or digitate wart, was getting smaller.
I’ll admit – I’m a picker. I picked at the wart absent-mindedly – and with a vengeance and a purpose! – during the day. I was happy that the Redmond Clay would peel off bits of the wart when I peeled it off, dry.
Then one day, when I took off the clay, the whole thing came off.
I was excited, but skeptical. I knew from experience that it would probably keep growing back the next day, so I kept up the propolis and clay a few more days.
It was like a miracle the day I realized it was gone, that my skin was flat and clear. I assumed it would come back, but it’s been a few months, and I haven’t heard a peep from it.
Does the Wart Home Remedy Work for Everyone?
This is how I felt some days… (photo source)
I can’t say for sure, but we have been testing the propolis alone on a little wart on my 4-year-old’s forehead. Again, I feel as though we are gaining ground but not yet winning (it’s only been a few weeks).
Sometimes I can hardly find the thing, it’s so small, so I feel confident that we’ll beat it.
If it takes too much longer, I’ll start adding the clay to our regimen.
UPDATE FALL 2014: Daughter is 6 now, and we battled a quite ugly and quite large wart on her thumb, right near the nail, for quite some time this year. We used propolis, clay at night, and some essential oils, but it’s really hard to remember to do something daily on someone else’s body when it’s hard enough to remember for your own face! So we weren’t incredibly consistent about doing anything on a daily basis. We’d see little black spots and say, “We’re winning!” and it would decrease in size, and then we’d get lazy and miss a lot of days and it would seem to get bigger again. 🙁
At her well checkup in early summer, I was very pleased that the doctor said it was “dead” and we could file it down and try to get it to fall off. The doc also confirmed that warts are notoriously hard to get rid of and that even a dermatologist might not be able to get it in one try. We used a nail file from time to time and continued a very scattered regimen of clay, mostly, when we thought of it.
And one day…I said, “Where’s your wart???”
It literally fell right off, I guess, somewhere. This thing was about 2mm x 2mm and at least a mm tall as well. And now it’s gone! I love it when a natural living plan comes together (and when I don’t have to subject my sensitive little girl to a dermatologist freezing her wart off, which probably would have traumatized her for all doctor’s visits for the next five years.
Ironically, she still has the tiniest of little warts on her forehead. It hasn’t been there the whole time since she was four and I wrote this post, but it surprised me to get back in her today and realize it had been around, off and on, for so long! Might be time to focus on nixing it for good more consistently!!
What is Propolis?
Bees collect resins from the buds of various botanicals. These include poplars, pine and birches. The honeybees chew on the resin, adding their saliva to the substance. This combination is called propolis, and is vitally important to bee survival. It is fundamental in building their hives, protects them against disease, and strengthens the hive walls to shield the honeybees from harsh weather.
Bee propolis contains many flavonoids, which have healing and antibiotic effects. Propolis is a rich source of flavonoids, minerals, vitamins C, E, provitamin A, and B-complex. There is also a selection of amino acids, fats, trace minerals and bioflavonoids.
In the congested beehive, propolis and royal jelly employ their antibiotic, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties to inhibit undesirable bacteria and promote helpful bacteria.
You can buy propolis from Trilight Health, with free shipping on orders over $25.
How to Get Rid of Warts at Home, Naturally
No need for expensive dermatologist appointments, pain, or chemicals (or duct tape!). Here’s the short version for the warts home remedies:
- Apply an essential oil like tea tree, clove, or Frankincense two times a day to begin to weaken the protein around the wart or use this pre-diluted roll-on bottle of a Kid-Safe blend.
- Apply a drop of propolis to the wart once or twice a day. (vital to success!)
- Smear a bit of hydrated bentonite clay on the wart before going to bed; allow to dry overnight. Peel off in the morning.
What I love about this home remedy for warts is that it’s such an easy application, and painless, and natural – and fairly inexpensive, especially since you can use every component of the regimen for numerous other purposes, not just warts.
Plus, I don’t have to wear duct tape on my face.
I was pretty excited to find a real, effective, natural way to get rid of warts that didn’t cause undue embarrassment in public.
The only fashion hazard of this method comes in if you forget to wash the clay off your face before you walk your child to the bus in the morning…
Here are some more ideas from readers (see comments for details):
- plain white chalk!
- apple cider vinegar (only on the spot, covered with cotton ball and band-aid
- banana peel
- spit on it first thing in the morning…
- lysine supplements
- oregano oil (dilute! Not kid-safe)
- coconut oil + garlic
- colloidal silver gel
- turmeric + water paste
- straight garlic clove held on with a band-aid
- lemon essential oil
- probiotics supplements; healthy diets
- breastmilk topically
Other Natural Health Posts:
- Fighting Infection without Antibiotics
- Are Hand Sanitizers Safe?
- Get Rid of Warts Naturally
- Natural Remedies for Ear Infections
- Real Food BRATY Diet
- How We Kicked Whooping Cough
- You Probably Need a Parasite Cleanse
- Natural Pneumonia Treatments For Toddlers
- Natural Remedies for Croup
- 10 Reasons I Drink Bone Broth
Disclosure: Trilight Health sponsored this post about how to get rid of warts. See my full disclosure statement here.