So You Wanna Get Rid of a Wart
What Are Warts?
Warts are skin growths, basically fleshy bumps that pop up on the outer skin layer. They’re caused by HPV, or human papillomavirus and, if you’ve ever had one, you know that they can be pretty annoying. Generally, they’re painless, maybe a little itchy, but they can also be embarrassing and lead to self-esteem issues, especially in young children. Nobody wants to feel like they’ve got to walk around hiding their hands.
Generally, warts tend to disappear on their own, but some can be unfortunately stubborn. If you find your warts uncomfortable or embarrassing, you probably want to find a way to make them go away a bit faster than they would naturally. Maybe you’re even itching to get rid of them as soon as possible. No pun intended.
How to Get Rid of Warts
If you look into how to get rid of a wart, you’ll find that you have a few options, most of them painful, uncomfortable, and/or expensive. For example, you can have a doctor use salicylic acid to essentially burn the wart off one layer at a time. Another option is for the doctor to apply liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart, causing a blister to form under and around it, which will fall off eventually, taking the wart with it. This method, though common, also tends to be the most painful.
If either of those don’t work for you, you could try trichloroacetic acid. If you go this route, your doctor will shave the surface of your wart, apply the acid with a toothpick, and repeat once a week. It’ll sting – maybe a little, maybe a lot – depending on your pain tolerance. Or, if you’re open to pain and scarring, you might choose laser therapy for the wart, which uses an intense beam of light to burn and destroy the wart tissue, with or without local anesthetic.
Maybe you’re more the one-and-done type, in which case you can ask your doctor to just cut the dang thing off. You might even receive a nice scar as a parting gift, a permanent reminder of what you had to go through to get rid of your wart.
Let’s say you don’t feel like making a trip to the doctor’s office and want to get rid of your wart at home. Your traditional options include:
- Using over-the-counter liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart away yourself
- Covering the wart in duct tape, soaking it in water, filing away the top layer, and repeating the process until it’s gone
- Applying salicylic acid at home via a patch, ointment, pad, or liquid on a daily basis for a few weeks. This isn’t the best choice for pregnant women, by the way.
None of those sound appealing?
Yeah, we don’t think so, either. If you want to try something cheaper, easier, less painful, and more natural, we have good news for you: banana peels get rid of warts. That’s right, this delicious and healthy fruit can play a bigger role in your life than just being consumed in the form of tasty banana bread. It can also help to boost your confidence by getting rid of those pesky warts. (And acne, but that’s a story for a different blog post.)
How To Get Rid of Warts Using Banana Peels
All you need to make this method work are some bananas, a knife, and bandages/tape/medical tape. Tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, an emery board, washcloth, and baking soda are optional additional supplies. Note that you’ll want to make sure to use the peels of ripe bananas – not green ones – for maximum effectiveness.
Here’s how it all works:
- Cut a square from the banana peel large enough to cover the wart, or warts, that you want to treat. Like we mentioned earlier, the riper the banana, the better. A brown, spotted banana peel works great.
- Soak the wart in warm water for five minutes. Dry it thoroughly.
- Roughen the wart with an emery board or by rubbing it with baking soda on a washcloth.
- Optionally, place a drop of tea tree oil directly on the wart. Or, for double effectiveness, you can use apple cider vinegar, which is another common natural wart remedy.
- Cover the wart with the banana peel square, inside side of the peel down. Tape the peel in place with medical tape or a bandage. Masking tape has also been said to work well.
- Wait at least eight hours before removing the banana peel.
- Wash the area with warm, soapy water.
- Remove the dead skin that is coming off of the wart.
- Repeat this process once a day until the wart disappears. This can take up to a few weeks to work.
How Long It Takes
Reports vary on the amount of time that will pass before your wart will disappear completely. For some, it has taken five weeks. We’ve also seen reports of two weeks, three days, and even a few months. Because it’s so varied for each individual case, we recommend sticking to the method, not getting discouraged, and waiting patiently for the process to work. And you’ll be happy to hear that nearly everybody reports that once the wart is removed using the banana peel method, it never comes back, making it well worth the wait.
How It Works
We have to be honest: no one really knows exactly how the banana peel method works or just how effective it is exactly. Outside of anecdotal evidence of the banana peel method’s success – of which there is a lot – only one study published in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in 1981 has shown that “banana skin is most suitable in the treatment of plantar warts.” However, the article doesn’t explain why or how the treatment works.
One theory is that, though warts are caused by HPV, they can be exacerbated by nutritional deficiencies, including a potassium deficiency. The idea is that bananas – and apple cider vinegar, by the way – are high in potassium, making them an effective wart treatment. This theory is supported by a 2012 study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology that showed that KOH, or Potassium Hydroxide solution, is an effective and safe treatment of plantar warts (those that appear on the heels and feet). It doesn’t make any mention of other types of warts.
There are other theories, too. According to the American School of Natural Health, the high potassium content in the banana “burns away the wart layer by later,” while another source claims that the banana’s moisture softens the wart, allowing for the supposed virus-killing enzymes in banana skin that break down starches and fibers to penetrate to the root of the wart.
And, of course, there’s the theory that it’s all in our heads. According to Quora user Kat Kinns, warts respond to placebo treatment better than any other condition. If this is true, then banana peels work for treating warts simply because we want them to.
Even if that’s the case, it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth trying out the miracle cure. There are plenty of medicines out there that doctors recommend despite not entirely understanding how they work. And, ultimately, the mechanism behind the cure doesn’t actually matter as long as it’s effective and gets rid of those annoying bumps once and for all.
The bottom line is that the banana peel method is cheap, easy, painless, safe to use, and has no side effects, so you might as well give it a try!