Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar on Warts

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Warts are a common dermatological complaint. As a result, there are a variety of over-the-counter wart-removing compounds from which to choose, as well as numerous home remedies. One of the most effective home remedies is apple cider vinegar, although there can be some minor side effects.

Treatment With Apple Cider Vinegar

The active ingredient in over-the-counter wart removers is salicylic acid, while dermatologists will sometimes burn warts off with liquid nitrogen. Apple cider vinegar, however, is an easy, inexpensive, all-natural alternative to wart removal. To remove warts, simply soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar, apply to the wart and hold it in place overnight with an adhesive bandage. It can be left on 24 hours a day, but should be changed daily. The wart should be gone within 10 days to two weeks. Continue treatment for a few days to a week after the wart falls off. This will ensure the wart doesn't grow back.

How It Works

Warts are benign skin tumours that can occur on just about any part of the body. Warts are created when the human papilloma virus (also known as HPV) enters the body through cuts or cracks in the skin, most commonly on the fingers or, in the case of plantar warts, on the soles of the feet. After two to three days of treatment with apple cider vinegar, the wart will typically turn black and eventually fall out, leaving a fresh pink scar. Although there have been no medical studies to back up claims of its effectiveness, there are numerous anecdotes that report success in treating warts with apple cider vinegar.

Genital Warts

Genital warts are also caused by HPV infection, but are typically spread through sexual contact. Apple cider vinegar is also effective in treating genital warts. Treatment is similar, and involves soaking a cotton ball or pad in apple cider vinegar and applying directly to the wart. This area of the body, however, is far more sensitive than hands and feet, so some pain should be expected. Unlike warts on the hands or feet, apple cider vinegar should only be applied to genital warts for short periods, generally under an hour. Treatment should be continued until the warts blacken and fall off.

Negative Side Effects

In both genital warts and those on other parts of the body, the acid within the vinegar will react with the wart, causing it to swell and throb. This will cause a certain degree of pain, which seems to vary from user to user depending on the severity of the wart. According to numerous testimonials on the Natural Health Ezine website, the initial pain can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Although some users report minimal pain, others reference pain so intense it interrupted sleep. In this case, an over-the-counter pain reliever should be used.