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Warts and Essential Oils

Warts are so ungainly that people prefer not to talk about them. And yet, when they are there, it is not easy to get rid of them.


Where do warts come from?

wart anatomy
wart anatomy


Warts are in fact small benign skin tumours (non-cancerous), contagious and due to a virus. When the papilloma virus enters the skin cells, it will either proliferate or remain inactive, in a “sleep” phase. After the virus has been contracted, a wart may grow, either straight away or, sometimes, months or even years later when the body is experiencing an immune deficiency.



There are several types of warts:

Flat warts: affect mainly young people and those whose immune system has been weakened. You can mostly see them on the face or on the back, on the arms, knees and the inside of the legs.

To recognise them: generally small in size, between 3 and 4 mm in diameter, the colour is generally that of the skin, a light pink colour. The surface is relatively smooth as opposed to vulgar warts. The latter are often of a coarse texture.


Vulgar warts: These are found on the back of the hands and fingers and are generally painless.

To recognise them: the aspect is like a hard, coarse, skin-coloured dome.

They are benign and present absolutely no danger. Sometimes they may even disappear after a few months without any intervention.

Skinny warts are also vulgar warts but these have an elongated shape and are found in children on eyelids and around the mouth.

Plantar warts: (deeper and situated on the weight-bearing areas of the foot). These can often not be noticed for a while.

To recognise them: a rough nodule accompanied by little black dots (these correspond to small blood vessels, hence the possibility of bleeding at the level of the wart).

These can spread by themselves, from one foot to the other for example.

Condyloma warts: These are genital warts.

They are the result of another virus. They are sexually transmitted and can be a health hazard as they increase the risk of cervix cancer. However, most of the time no other symptom appears and this pathology disappears after some time. It is in fact very common in people who are sexually active.

Several solutions for warts: 

What we mean is solutions by natural methods:

– garlic (first pierce it with a needle so as to allow the juices to come out and rub it on the wart morning and night),

– lemon (macerate a lemon rind in white vinegar overnight. Use a small square of rind and place the white side on the wart. Keep it in place with a plaster and leave it on overnight. Repeat this for several days),

– potato or aloe vera

or some stronger ones:

– extreme cold: liquid nitrogen

wart removal
removal of warts in dermatology


The dermatologist will freeze the wart with liquid nitrogen for several seconds. Do you remember those visits to the dermatologist with his liquid nitrogen bottle when you were little? It was so painful…



– acid solutions: formic acid

Formic acid (secreted by ants when they attack or defend themselves) is what is contained in the anti-wart pens available without a medical prescription at your local pharmacy.

EO and warts: the answer!

And yet, EO and warts are a marriage that works! The aim is to choose a highly dermo-caustic EO, meaning: one that is aggressive to the skin and that can be applied directly on the wart so as to burn it (same principle as formic acid).

How to apply it?

What not to do: pour a drop on the wart straight from the bottle of EO.

Why not? The EO goes everywhere, even on the healthy skin

The right thing to do: Pour a drop on a cotton bud (it will remind you of the liquid nitrogen) and apply it on the wart: only the wart area is targeted and none is spilled around.


What EO to use for warts?

All those that are dermo-caustic will be fine. Adding to that, they are also excellent anti-viral products. The leaf of Ceylon cinnamon is often used but also cloves or wild savory, or even a mixture of some of these.

Should they be diluted? Personally, I don’t think so if you want to access the dermo-caustic properties of the EO that will burn the excrescence. This also means that you must avoid pouring it next to the area and that regularity is needed.


Excellent anti-infectious thanks to the greatest presence of phenols (carvacrol + thymol) that will work at killing the HPV virus. These are effective against warts that appear on the skin after a skin infection linked to a virus. The clove bud EO is also a mild natural anaesthetic that will help soothe the burning pain of the wart and will favour healing.


The molecules responsible for the anti-viral action are aromatic aldehydes. You won’t find these molecules in other EO. This EO, very irritating (protect your eyes when you are using it), is to be chosen for plantar warts. For other warts, other oils should be chosen.


Antibacterial, antifungal and anti-microbial, it is effective in the case of infected wounds or those presenting a risk of infection. If wounds are properly sanitised, they will heal and the appearance of a wart will be limited.


Limonene is present in a large quantity (56 to 78%) and therefore will stop the development of the virus, thus reducing the eventual risk of a relapse or the return of the wart. Its antibacterial and antiseptic properties improve its efficacity in getting rid of warts. Remember that this essential oil is photo-sensitive.


This EO has a strong “immune stimulant” property that allows the body to fight and eliminate warts. The oil, through its “burning” effect, helps to remove warts because of its active ingredient: carvacrol. This EO is effective in eliminating a large variety of warts.

or make a synergy:


In an empty bottle  add equal parts of the following EO (reminder = 1 drop =0.025ml  // 1ml = 25drops):

Savory EO / Tea Tree EO / cinnamon EO / Lemon EO

Instructions for use

Pour one drop of this 4 EO mixture (or of one of the EO listed above) on a cotton bud and dab the wart. Repeat this operation several times a day, morning and night if needed. Take of the bits of dead skin and continue to care for the wart until it has gone entirely (irritating oils, beware not to pour some on healthy skin: you can surround the wart with some nail polish or butter to avoid spilling out of the affected area).


Tea tree EO 1.5 ml + Lemon EO 1.5 ml + Cloves bud EO 1 ml: apply one or two drops of this mixture with a cotton bud on the wart morning and night for 21 days.


Once the warts are burnt off, other skin care oils should be used, such as coconut VO or lavender EO can be applied to the skin in order to restore a healthy skin. This application will also work in avoiding the return of a wart.

Beware: The EO suggested are dermo-caustic. They are recommended essentially for the care of warts on feet and hands. On the face, or other sensitive areas, you should look at other solutions that are better adapted and you should consult your dermatologist.

Some added advice:

To prevent warts

✗ Wash your hands after touching a wart

✗ Being rested and relaxed will reduce the risks of catching warts. Your body’s natural defences are less effective during periods of stress and fatigue.

✗ Do not scratch, even if it is very hard!

✗ If someone in your household has warts, do not share toiletries or towels

To prevent plantar warts

✗ Avoid walking bare feet on moist surfaces in public places (gymnasium, swimming pool, beach … ). Put on some footwear when you come out of the pool or when you are walking on the beach.

To prevent warts on hands and fingers

✗ Avoid nibbling the little skins around your nails. These skin micro-traumas allow the virus to enter into your system and it is well known that fingers are a particularly sensitive terrain.

✗ Wash your hands several times a day.




Another trick: I don’t know if this plant exists in Australia: Celandine (Chelidonium majus L.), with its small yellow flowers, is fantastic to get rid of warts: you cut a stem and put the juice on each wart 2 to 3 times a day for a week. The warts go black and then disappear.


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