Using Apple Cider Vinegar For Warts: Benefits, Side Effects

Using apple cider vinegar to treat warts is a popular home remedy.

The acidic nature of the vinegar may help break down the hard outer layer of the wart.

It’s better than or as effective as both prescription and OTC medicines, as per public opinion.

Yet, there isn’t enough evidence to support its effectiveness as a cure for HPV. The evidence, it turns out, is largely anecdotal.

A few recent studies state that vinegar does not kill the virus (Human PapillomaVirus) that is causing this infection. It only burns off the infected skin.

Treating warts with apple cider vinegar is not recommended.

You must seek advice from your doctor before starting any new treatment.

What are warts?

A wart is a small, hard, benign growth on the skin. It has a rough texture. This condition is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), and there are many types of it.

This virus enters the body through bruises, injuries, or open wounds on the skin. They are contagious, but their spread from one person to another is minimal.

The virus from the finger can spread to other areas like the face through nail-biting or touch.

Most people get common warts, mainly on the hand. They typically appear on fingers, around the nail, and mainly on the back of the hands.

Other types include flat, filiform, periungual, and plantar warts.

Genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus. But they are different from all other forms of HPV infection.

It’s a sexually transmitted infection caused by certain strains of the human papillomavirus.

Does apple cider vinegar work for warts removal?

Vinegar has been used in traditional remedies for thousands of years to treat a variety of different ailments.

Hippocrates (c.420 BC) used vinegar medicinally to manage wounds.

In folklore, you can find hundreds of such facts about several natural remedies and household uses of vinegar.

In the 18th century, US medical practitioners used vinegar to treat many ailments, such as warts, croup, poison ivy, stomach aches, and obesity.

ACV consists of both malic acid and acetic acid. It contains pectin, potassium, and several other minerals, vitamins, and trace elements.

Vinegar is an acetic acid that can kill certain types of bacteria and viruses upon contact.

Vinegar is a weak acid with four to eight percent acetic acid, but even weak acids can cause chemical burns.

Malic and acetic acid in ACV is antifungal and antiviral agents. The use of apple cider vinegar helps to get rid of various viral and fungal infections.

The acid causes an irritation that in turn boosts the immune system’s ability to combat the virus responsible for the infection.

It works well to get rid of common warts (Verruca Vulgaris) and is effective for plantar warts as well.

It seems to be reliably effective for treating warts. Yet, there isn’t any evidence from studies that explains the actual benefits of ACV in wart removal.

It is a traditional treatment that has been carried on down the ages as a trusted home remedy. In addition, it is also easily available and very affordable.  An easy way to get rid of HPV without treatment for warts is costly and painful.

ACV burns and peels off warts from the skin, and in this process, viruses housed in the infected area also get peeled off.

Be patient, the result from this plantar wart home remedy can take a few weeks.

Even after the peel-off, some latent HPV viruses might still remain lodged in the skin tissues. For this reason, warts may reoccur in the future.

How to use apple cider vinegar to treat warts?

Removing warts with apple cider vinegar involves only very simple procedures. It should be done regularly for a week or more to get the desired result.

Here are the simple steps involved in the treatment:-

Ingredient required:

  • apple cider vinegar,
  • salicylic acid (optional),
  • water,
  • cotton balls,
  • adhesive bandage (duct tape).

Treatment procedure:

  • Soak the affected area in water and scrub it with an emery board or pumice stone.
  • wash and clean the area with water
  • Take enough amount of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Add a few drops of Salicylic acid in ACV to increase the effectiveness of the treatment.
  • Take a cotton ball and drop a few drops of diluted vinegar on it
  • Do not over-soak the cotton ball to the extent of dripping
  • Place the cotton ball and apply apple cider vinegar directly on the infected skin.
  • Fix the cotton ball on the virus-infected area using duct tape.
  • Let the bandaged cotton ball stay on the wart overnight
  • Remove the cotton ball and rinse the area the following day
  • Rinse the area with water
  • Repeat this treatment every day till warts peel off.


  • If you have sensitive skin, dilute the vinegar with water in 2:1 portions.
  • Pure ACV is harsh on the skin and does not apply to facial skin or neck without diluting
  • Apply petroleum jelly on the skin around warts to protect the skin from acid burns.
  • Do not spill pure apple cider vinegar anywhere on the skin except on warts
  • For children, dilute ACV with water in a 1:1 ratio
  • Discontinue using ACV if your skin is allergenic to it
  • Seek medical help if your skin gets burned or develops an allergy

Stages of plantar warts treatment

The procedures for the treatment are relatively easy. But, you should know a few important stages of this treatment.

Initial stage

The first 2 days of treatment are critical and bothersome. When you apply the ACV for the first time, it will begin to swell up and cause pain in most people.

In the initial days of treatment, burning or itching sensations might also happen to some. You are lucky if you do not experience pain and irritation.

Second stage

Under the influence of ACV, the wart turns black and becomes dry after 2 to 3 days of treatment. It destroys the infected skin.

After it has turned black, you can expect it to peel off within the next few days.

There is no guarantee that the treatment will respond similarly to every user.  Some might take more days for blackening and final peeling off.

Final stage

Finally, the wart peels off. But do not try to pull them out forcefully.

Allow them to fall off on their own. Usually, some portions of them will still stay inside after the outer peel-off.

You need to continue with the treatment till you can feel that they are removed fully.

ACV Side Effects

In general, all acids are a bit harsh on the skin.

Most patients who use ACV might experience pain and discomfort immediately after applying it.

Salicylic acid (usually mixed in ACV) and cryotherapy are the most frequent treatments for removing the wart. They can fight the virus that caused the infection. It can be painful, cause scarring, and have high recurrence rates. Chemical burns from this vinegar can cause erosion of the skin and scarring.

Side effects include:

  • It causes pain and a burning sensation
  • It may cause mild irritation or a burning
  • It may take up to a week’s regular treatment to see the results
  • Pure ACV is harsh on the skin and can damage the skin tissues
  • May create deep scars on the skin
  • It does not eliminate the HPV virus from the skin completely
  • HPV infection may resurface in the same area where it was peeled off.

Vinegar is generally safe, but there is a reported case of chemical bum from vinegar following an internet-based protocol for self-removal of nevi.

Does ACV help in removing genital warts?

ACV is not recommended for genital warts. It’s a more complicated disease with different symptoms and causes altogether. Let a physician treat them in the right way.

This vinegar is harsh on the skin. Skins in the genital area may not withstand the harshness of the treatment.

The acids present in apple cider vinegar work on the skin, peeling off in the area of its application. Acid burns can lead to skin inflammation and viral infection in the genital area.

Using apple cider vinegar to remove genital warts has failed in most cases. Because of the strong acids in it, it is not at all possible to use ACV on the inner skin of genital organs.

Does ACV cause scars on the skin?

This treatment may not be safe for all types of HPV infections.

You may vinegar to remove warts lodged in the internal area of the skin. In this case, the acids in ACV may burn off some skin tissues as well.

It will result in scarring on the skin. The scars are sure to happen, especially if you have skin prone to hyperpigmentation.

To avoid scarring on the skin, you should use a mild and diluted form of ACV. Also, do not spill or spread the solution on the skin surrounding the infected area.

It is safe to apply petroleum jelly on the skin around the wart to prevent the skin from burning.

If you know that your skin is prone to scars, you could even think of other alternative treatments.

After the treatment, use some good scar removal creams to make your skin appear normal and healthy.


Apple cider vinegar for wart removal is a proven remedy that works.

When applied directly to the skin, the vinegar burns and slowly destroys the infected skin, causing the wart to fall off within a few days.

It is an easy and effective treatment that has been in use for hundreds of years. Afterward, you can be happy that you got rid of warts easily and inexpensively.

Usually, removed warts do not return, but in a few cases, they might reoccur as well.

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