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Nail Varnish

So this works on the premise that a wart needs oxygen to survive - remove the air from the wart and it will die. Many patients put a layer of varnish over the verruca and then appy duct tape over the top, protecting the layer of varnish and also reducing the oxygen level further.

Many websites suggest the varnish should be clear. I don't see how the colour of the varnish would make the slightest bit of difference. So I suggest a range of neon and glitter party shades. Hey, having a verruca can't be all doom and gloom!


Vinegar was one of the first treatments I used. I would dab a little over the verruca and then duct tape it up. Eventually, I just taped up a small piece of cotton wool soaked in vinegar over the verruca. It certainly made the verruca softer, although that could have been the effect of the duct tape rather than acid.

Anecdotally, patients swear by Apple Cider Vinegar specifically. With my scientist head on, I can't see how one particular vinegar is beter than another as it is the acid that would do the work - bear in mind that products such as Bazuka use salycilic acid, so using vinegar isn't so out of the ordinary.

People do report quite a bit of pain when using vinegar. I guess applying acid to your skin might do that. If the pain becomes too much, please stop! Now might be the time to see your doctor, just to make sure everything is as it should be.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil, or melaleuca oil, comes from the Narrow-leaved Paperbark (Melaleuca alternifolia), a tree native to Australia. The oil ranges in colour from yellow to almost clear, and is generally used as a treatment for coughs, colds and sore throats.

'Studies' have shown that Tea Tree Oil is antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic. 

It can be applied to the verruca nightly using a cotton bud.


Thuja is a type of coniferous tree in the Cypress family. It is usually found in the US and Canada. The oil from one particular species of tree, Thuja Occidentalis, has been used since the 19th century to prevent warts, ringworm and thrush and people used to inject them directly into venereal warts to kill them off. Rather them than me...

It can be applied directly onto the verruca, or taken in tablet form.


Salycilic Acid

The most conventional home remedy for verrucas, salycilic acid is the active ingredient in products such as Bazuka gel, Cuplex, Duofilm, Occlusal, Salactol, Verrugon and Salatec. Generally, you paint these products over the skin and they dry out the wart. Most form a protective skin over the wart, but some require a plaster over the top. Also, most require you to lightly rub away the top of the verruca with a supplied emery board, to help the treatment work its way in. Many users have found it useful to soak the verruca for 5 to 10 minutes before applying the treatment, but as ever, follow the instructions on the packet. Salicylic acid can irritate the skin around your wart. This isn't usually serious, and can be prevented by applying vaseline around the verruca. If the skin does get irritated, you can temporarily stop the treatment for a couple of days. Some salicylic acid gels can mark or stain, so be careful not to get them on your clothes or carpets.

Read more: Salycilic Acid


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