Wart Removal: Natural VS Clinical Methods

(Last Updated On: November 6, 2019)

When it really comes down to it which way is better to remove warts the natural way or the clinical way? It seems like as long as they both remove warts it really should not matter which method is used. Even Though the natural way may be more economical to use and less painful. The clinical method could get very expensive, especially if you have to go to many appointments. They are many natural methods available on the market today. The clinical method may yield information that could be very valuable that your doctor would share with you.

Using the clinical method may be more effective because you would be attended by a medical professional who knows the ins and outs of wart removal. What if you use the natural method and you apply the medication wrong and develop an infection? In this article, we will determine which is the best method to use to remove warts through the clinical method or the natural method.

Natural Methods for Wart Removal

Let’s start by defining what a wart is. Warts can show up on the genitals, face, and hands. It seems like the most common place they show up on are the hands. Wart removal is more for cosmetic reasons than for health reasons. Warts are benign tumors that are caused by about 100 different types of papillomaviruses. Warts are ugly in appearance but they are harmless tumor growths. They can be removed because they are painful and uncomfortable for people as well.

*Warning never treat genitals with natural remedies because the genital skin is so sensitive that topical medications can harm the skin. Always seek out clinical methods to remove genital warts with.

Natural methods do not have a lot of research behind them to prove they are really effective methods to use to remove warts. They are cheap and safe to use and they do seem to work. Natural methods have not been around as long as clinical methods. Clinical methods have been supported by plenty of clinical research.

Essential Oils for Wart Removal

Essential oils seem to help to remove warts. Specifically, tea tree oil has been proven to be effective in removing warts. In a minor study, it was shown that applying tea tree essential oil to warts on young children in 12 days. This was proven in a small clinical experiment and there are no major studies to support that essential oils will consistently remove warts.

There are other essential oils that will help to remove warts naturally:

Neem Oil: is taken from the tropical evergreen tree also known as the Indian lilac plant. Has been known to remove warts and it is used as a natural pesticide and it is used in many beauty products. If it is used as a natural pesticide it is a strong deterrent for warts. So, it may be used with caution on warts. It contains antifungal and antibacterial properties which may help to kill warts. It is a very potent essential oil and it should be diluted with other essential oils to reduce the mustard smell.

Cinnamon Bark Oil: It has been used for many therapeutic uses including removing warts. These properties help to remove warts historically. Cinnamon oil is very potent and it needs to be diluted with a carrier oil or blend it with other essential oils and blend only a little bit of cinnamon essential oil.

Both of the above essential oils are very potent so they need to be diluted with other essential oils so maybe they are not the safest method to use to remove warts. Be careful when using essential oils to remove warts. If you apply too much of any essential oil to the wart you may damage your skin. Follow the instructions carefully when you use essential oils to remove warts.

Oregano Oil: this essential oil is taken from the flowering mint plant. It has been historically used as a popular herb in cooking but recently it has been used for various home remedies. It contains antifungal, antioxidant, anti inflammatory, and pain-killing properties. These properties help to remove warts. Here is another essential oil that has powerful properties that can damage the skin so care must be used when using Oregano oil. It must be diluted with a carrier oil or it will cause skin irritation. Another case where an essential oil could harm the skin. Do not use this oil if you are pregnant.

Frankincense Oil: It is used as a cleaning product, a beauty product and has been used as aromatherapy by ancient cultures. It has astringent and antimicrobial properties that may heal warts. Put one drop of this oil with six drops of carrier oil on a cotton ball and put it on the wart. Put a bandaid over the cotton ball and leave the cotton ball in place overnight. Try this procedure two times a week and it should remove the wart.

If this procedure is not appealing then try then add the combination to a cold press and placed it on the wart. Do this twice a day. If you are breastfeeding or pregnant do not use this oil. Again, another essential oil must be diluted to avoid damage to the skin.

Essential Oils for Wart Removal

Clove Oil: this oil is taken from a bud of a tree native to Indonesia. If it is ground it is used as a kitchen spice. Clove is an ancient remedy used in for many applications in ancient cultures. Warts are included in these applications. Clove has unique qualities including antiseptic properties. It will numb the skin which may help to reduce painful warts. It could have antiviral properties that could further help to remove warts. Warts are formed from a virus.

Diluted clove oil can be applied to the wart once or twice a day but be warned. Clove oil can cause abnormal bleeding so if you bleed easily or are using blood thinners do not use clove.

Cypress Oil: It is cultivated in many parts of the world and it is used in many soaps and perfumes. It contains properties that have been used for medicinal remedies for wounds, acne, headaches, muscle pain, and respiratory infections. It is used for herpes simplex virus-1 and may help with this condition. It may help with warts but it must be used in conjunction with jojoba oil so it must be diluted. It can be applied to the wart a few times a day but pregnant women should not use it.

Essential oils are suggested to be used for removing warts but they must be diluted because they are so strong they must be diluted or they will damage the skin.

Apple Cider Vinegar: is a popular modern day remedy to remove warts. Put a couple of drops on the wart with a cotton ball and leave the cotton ball on the wart. It is advised that you dilute it because apple cider vinegar is so strong it could damage the skin if it is used too much. Use it in this manner until the wart is gone/ The band aid is used to protect the wart.

Another natural method that can be used to remove warts but must be used in a diluted form or it could damage the skin. It is acidic and it could cause the skin some pain. Be careful when using the apple vinegar.

Generally, if a person has diabetes or a weak immune system than the natural methods will not work to remove warts. So keep this in mind before applying any natural methods.

The Duct Tape Method: this is definitely not a clinical method or a natural method. It is a home remedy that may or may not work. The rumor is that if you use duct tape or electrical tape or some other non-porous tape. Cover the wart with tape and take the tape off for a few hours and recover the wart with the tape. Supposedly the tape will remove the wart. It can be intrusive and whether it will cause pain or not is not known. Is it safe this is unknown?

Clinical Methods to Remove Warts

As we discussed earlier a wart is caused by a virus and they can be very ugly and they never seem to go away on their own fast away. They will go away at some point on their own but they are ugly. They grow in the upper epidermis of the skin and they grow faster than normal skin does. They can be treated by non-intrusive methods.

Stronger Peeling Medicine(Salicylic Acid)

Prescription strength wart removal medicine–containing salicylic acid–will remove warts over time. But quicker than if you just let it go its own course. These prescriptions remove the wart layer by layer over time. Medications with salicylic acid work the best to remove warts by freezing them. The prescription may be more expensive than natural methods but they are clinically-proven to remove warts. The method is unintrusive and relatively pain-free but it is safe and it works. It a common clinical method used to remove warts.

It will most likely involve repeated visits and it will stimulate the immune system to fight warts. It could become more expensive but it will work.

Freezing–cryotherapy–is used to remove warts. It is an expensive method most likely and it will work. But it is painful because liquid nitrogen is applied to freeze warts. The freezing forms blisters under and around the wart. The tissue sloughs off in about a week and the wart falls off. But there are side effects to cryotherapy which are: pain, blistering and discolored skin in the treated area. This is why this method is not used for young children because it is so painful.

Other Acids– If salicylic acid or freezing does not work than other acids may be applied to remove warts. Trichloroacetic acid is used in these clinical methods. The doctor will shave off the top layer of the wart and then applies the acid with a wooden toothpick. It will cause pain and sting in the affected area. It will require repeated visits. The burning and pain are side effects of this method and it will not be used on young children to remove their warts.

Clinical methods may be painful and require repeated visits but they are a certainty to work. They may work faster than natural methods. The time it takes for natural methods to remove warts really was not discussed.

Minor Surgery- It is just what it says it is a surgical method. The doctor will cut away the wart and this is a very fast way to remove the wart. The only weakness of this method is that it may leave a scar. So, it may defeat the whole purpose of having the ugly wart removed because it could leave an uglier scar where the wart was. It could be expensive to have this minor surgery performed.

Laser Treatment-This is perhaps the quickest way to remove warts but the laser will not remove the wart immediately. The wart is pulsed-dyed by a laser which cauterizes or burns the wart off. It burns the blood vessels off and the wart falls off. It is painful and it too may leave a scar. The method is not a proven method and the results are limited. This is a new way to remove warts but it has not been clinically proven to work all the time.

Immunotherapy– this is used a lot of times on plantar warts. The doctor will examine the lesion to see if it is a plantar wart. He may cut away the lesion and examine the tissue to see if there are pinpoint marks which are tiny clotted blood vessels. Or the doctor will send a biopsy to the lab for analysis.

This method is when the doctor will apply medications or solutions to stimulate the immune system to fight warts. Or the doctor will inject warts with a foreign substance–antigen is a toxin or other foreign substance that induces an immune response in the body, especially the production of antibodies–into the wart or apply a cream to the wart to remove it.

Another clinical method is using a vaccine which is the HPV vaccine. This vaccine has been used with some success to remove warts. This vaccine is not targeted for the virus that causes plantar warts but it still will remove plantar warts.

We said earlier that clinical methods to remove warts will not be intrusive but this is not always the case. Most of the time they are very intrusive because warts will either be frozen, lasered or burned off. They include injections as well. They can be very intrusive because they will cause pain and in some cases, they will burn the tissue.

Remove Warts

The clinical methods may also cause scarring from being removed surgically or being removed by a laser. Some of the clinical methods have been proven clinically to successfully remove warts but not all clinical methods are effective in removing warts.

The laser method is painful and it may leave a scar as we mentioned before. But the results are limited and warts may come back or not be removed from the initial treatment. The success of laser treatment is sketchy at best. It just has not been clinically proven to work every time. The other clinical methods will work successfully but warts will not be removed quickly.

The clinical methods are often intrusive and they can be painful and leave scarring where the wart was. So the choice is, do you want the wart to be removed or do you want the scar. It depends on whether the person is bothered by the look of the wart or if it is painful and uncomfortable for the person.

Let’s examine the natural methods which are on the other side of the health fence sort of speak. Some natural methods are successful but they may take time to remove the wart completely. They may cause pain and damage the skin if they are used on the wrong parts of the body. The natural methods are by no means clinically proven to work. In fact, the clinical proof that natural methods are effective is limited at best.


In the course of this discussion about which method of wart removal is more effective or safer than the other method has not been proven conclusively. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages. The clinical methods are expensive and they are intrusive. They will cause pain and they can leave scarring on the affected areas.

The natural methods may be cheaper and they may remove warts quicker than the clinical methods will. But they have not been proven clinically beyond a shadow of a doubt that they will work every time. Specifically, essential oils are very potent and they need to be diluted by carrier oils and they are not guaranteed to work every time. Have a look at https://warts.org/wart-removal for more information.

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.