Flat warts are found most commonly in children and teenagers. Caused by the human papillomavirus, they are flat-topped, smooth and small—around the size of a pinhead. Flat warts often form in clusters on the face, and also on the neck, hands, arms and legs. While warts frequently resolve on their own within two years, home remedies for wart removal may speed the process. However, facial warts should always be treated by a doctor.
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Commonly found in over-the-counter wart medications, salicylic acid applied topically irritates the skin and peels off infected tissue. Make your own topical solution by wetting an aspirin tablet (which contains salicylic acid as the active ingredient) and securing it to the wart area with an adhesive bandage. Soak the warts in warm water for 10 to 20 minutes prior to applying the aspirin tablet. Apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly to the area around the warts to prevent irritation of surrounding tissue. Repeat this treatment daily for several weeks or until the warts are gone.
As a home remedy for wart removal, duct tape offers ease and convenience that make it suitable for use in children who may not tolerate other treatments. According to the Mayo clinic, the duct tape may set up a local irritation in the wart-infected tissue, allowing the body’s natural immune response to attack the wart virus. Apply a piece of duct tape, cut slightly larger than the wart area, to the warts and leave the duct tape in place for six days. If the tape falls off, replace it with a fresh piece of tape. After six days, remove the tape, soak the area in warm water, and slough off dead skin using a pumice stone or emery board. Leave the area uncovered overnight, then repeat with new duct tape. Continue the process for several weeks or until the wart area has cleared.
Tea Tree Oil and Garlic
According the University of Maryland Medical Center, a topical application of tea tree oil and garlic may be effective for treating flat warts. Both tea tree oil and garlic offer antiseptic properties and may also irritate the wart-infected tissue. Place two to four drops of tea tree oil onto the wart area, cover with a thin slice of fresh garlic, and hold in place with tape or an adhesive bandage. As the wart tissue dies, it will darken in color. Repeat the process daily for up to three weeks.