Using tea tree oil for warts, including the benefits, uses, and efficacy:
Tea Tree Oil for Warts: Benefits, Uses, and Does It Work
Warts are benign growths on the skin caused by infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). They are contagious and spread through touch. While not usually medically serious, they can be unsightly and embarrassing. Tea tree oil is gaining interest as a natural home remedy for getting rid of warts. Here is more on how it works and what the research says.
Benefits of Tea Tree Oil for Warts
Tea tree oil, derived from the Melaleuca alternifolia plant, contains potent antimicrobial compounds such as terpinen-4-ol. This gives it several advantages in treating warts:
Kills HPV – Test tube studies show the active ingredients in tea tree oil display antiviral activity against strains of HPV, including those that cause warts.
Dries out warts – The astringent properties of tea tree oil help dry out the tissue of warts, causing them to slough off over time.
Boosts immunity – Compounds in tea tree oil stimulate the body’s production of white blood cells that work to clear HPV infection as well as abnormal wart tissue.
Prevents spread – The antiseptic benefits help prevent spread of viral particles to other areas of the body through touch and contamination.
Deters recurrence – Tea tree’s antimicrobial effects may help prevent regrowth of warts in the same area once removed.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Warts
Always mix tea tree oil with a carrier oil or moisturizer before applying to skin. Common uses include:
Soaking a cotton ball in diluted oil and securing it on the wart with a bandage overnight. Reapply nightly.
Adding a few diluted drops of tea tree oil onto the wart and gently massaging in 2-3 times a day.
Applying a thin layer of tea tree oil salve or ointment to the affected area throughout the day.
Adding 5-10 drops of the oil into a warm foot or hand soak, for plantar or finger warts.
Does Tea Tree Oil Work for Warts?
Clinical studies evaluating the efficacy of tea tree oil specifically for warts are limited. However, its broad spectrum antimicrobial properties and anecdotal evidence suggest it may be beneficial. When used consistently for 2-3 months, tea tree oil may aid in eliminating warts in some cases when paired with protective bandaging.
It tends to work best for smaller, uncomplicated warts rather than large or clustered growths. Like other home treatments, success rates may vary. But when used safely and correctly, tea tree oil is a low-risk option that may support other efforts to get rid of stubborn cutaneous warts.