I have not blogged in eons. I think the blogs were too long – Who has time? So, from now on, will try to write short and sweet nuggets of dermatologic wisdom based on common patient questions.
What are natural options to treat common warts? (not genital, which is a whole other thing)
Warts drive my patients crazy. If they are on your soles, they can be painful and interfere with exercise. If they are on your fingers, they make you feel self-conscious about shaking hands.
Most people, by the time they come to me, have already tried over-the-counter freeze treatments and over-the-counter salicylic acid.
Besides freezing with liquid nitrogen at a dermatologist’s office, what can you do? How can you fight this pesky virus?
1. I like a product called Forces of Nature Wart Control. It is a homeopathic remedy based on Thuja Occidentalis, Phytolacca Americana, and Calendula Officinalis, which have antiviral properties. I recommend the Extreme Strength one unless it is for a kid (3 years and up) , and then I use the Extra Strength one. You need to put 1-2 drops on twice a day. It does not hurt, which is wonderful. Be patient – It may take up to 6 weeks, and you have to be really anal about doing it.
2. Zinc Sulfate orally: This has been shown in a few studies to help get rid of warts. You take 10 milligrams per kilogram of your weight (1 kg = 2.2 pounds, so you can figure out your dose) - The downside is that zinc can make you very nauseous, so take it with food. There was a small study and a few case reports on Zinc Sulfate topically, and since many people would rather use something topically rather than take something orally, I have started having a pharmacist make one for me/patients in a vegan base which can penetrate the skin so people have another safe, non-tocic, non-painful option. This can also be used in pregnancy.
3. Candida Antigen: This is something I do in my office. I inject a little piece of candida yeast into the wart. it is NOT infecting you with candida. We do it 3 times one month apart. Even if you have 20 warts, we only inject one. What this does is rev up your immune system – Your immune system sees the piece of candida, recognizes it as foreign, and attacks it, thus attacking the wart as well. A study showed about 60% effectiveness rate. (Horn TD, Johnson SM, Helm RM, et al. Intralesional immunotherapy of warts with mumps,Candida, and Trichophyton skin test antigens: a single-blinded, randomized, and controlled trial.Arch Dermatol. 2005;141(5):589–594.)