Health Check: do home remedies for common wart... - CLL Support

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Health Check: do home remedies for common warts really work?


Rodney Sinclair, Professor of Dermatology, University of Melbourne and William Cranwell, Doctor, Melbourne Health look at the evidence:

Note particularly (and these warnings are for healthy people!):

'Never try to remove the wart yourself as this carries a high risk of infection, bleeding and scarring. Self-surgery also increases the risk of the wart spreading. Avoid scratching and picking the wart for the same reasons.

Any topical treatment (from the doctor or a home remedy) may cause an allergic skin reaction. If you see redness or a rash, stop using the treatment immediately and see your doctor.'

I know from personal experience in my first year after my CLL diagnosis, how warts can take advantage of our CLL compromised immune system. I found a salicylic acid over the counter remedy worked fairly well, but I had to be careful to avoid skin infections, given I was neutropenic. Strangely, despite my neutropenia and immunoglobulin levels worsening over time, I haven't had a subsequent outbreak of warts.


Photo: Sunset on an avenue of eucalyptus trees on a country road

9 Replies

Wow, love the photo Neil. Looks like something you would see in a Harry Potter film 😀

I have had a multitude of warts on my hands and feet, sometimes quite painful. Despite the best efforts of the Dermatology dept of the regional hospital they still persist but at a tolerable level. Apparently I achieved legendary status in that I tolerated the nitrogen gun "assaults" such that the tip froze over before I said stop!!

I have tried various applications to try to kill them off to varying degrees of success. One particular brand required the application of barrier pads round the wart and the treatment was applied through an access hole, this might be practical as a one off on a flat area of skin but was totally useless on hands and feet. I acquired a pair of gloves from an American outlet which allowed reasonable dexterity when the warts were covered with a treatment solution.

I now accept that after a variety of remedies it's just a fact of being in a immunosuppressive state - and as my young daughter once said when I was moaning about something "Deal with it Dad". And I do......

My hands have been treated by my Dermo for the last 6 years using Cryo (freezing) as my GP wouldn't stock it.

Dermo has even tried acitretin which would work on a normal person!! It was affecting my lipid levels so i had to stop.

Saw Dermo last week where he even froze a lump on top of my scalp which i was panicking about thinking it would hurt more than my fingertips.

He also froze every fingertip and other warts on my right hand before stopping & giving me a month to recover before treating other hand.

My hand blisters up terribly and i do worry about infection as one finger had bad infection in it last year and i had to have antibiotics.

My feet are covered in warts on tops of toes and both feet are layered thickly on soles.

Dermo leaves the feet to my Podiatrist as Dermo won't freeze feet as would be too painful.

Podiatrist i see weekly and he uses a scalpel to carefully cut away layers of skin and also uses an abrasive wheel on a machine he has in the treatment room a bit like a hobbyists sanding tool.

Where my feet have badly cracked he was using medical superglue last year but unable to re order it any more which is a pain.

I have tried soaking my feet in medical cream, covering in clingfilm then wearing socks but it's like walking on a bowl of jelly which is no good as i often have to dash to the toilet as also have Crohn's disease.

Having a crap immune system from Crohn's and CLL i don't stand a chance of the warts going away.

It is very painful to walk anywhere at all times even when i virtually live in Croc shoes as other shoes are too painful to squeeze my feet into.


AussieNeilAdministrator in reply to teakbank12

I feel for you - particularly regarding warts on your soles, which I appreciate are very painful. I got off lightly, with the worst affected area being just one finger joint stiffened by a large wart.

ballyhoo in reply to teakbank12

Very sorry for all the pain that you are going through I also have some on my foot and legs. And have to wear Croc,s. Best wishes.


It must be awful for you especially when walking. You are abrave heart.

My best wishes are sent to you.


Hi Neil,

Thanks for that information, some weird and wonderful ideas to cure warts!

I have had warts for a couple of years now and no amount of medical intervention such as salicylic acid or cryotherapy (freezing) has worked on them. I found that cryotherapy worked the best after three treatments but after a short while the warts just came back. I started with two warts and two years later now have ten of them. Sadly the IVIG treatment I have been having for some time has not helped with the warts. I am tempted to try the Duct tape method just in the vein hope that it might work?

Kevin - Essex, UK

Beautiful photo! Looks almost unreal!


I was thinking the same about the photo as NooNoo14 and Theramae have said. It looks unreal, like a fairy tale place (as in Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings). I love the turns in the path and the archway of trees. Thanks Neil. :-)


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