Best Wart Removers Reviewed & Rated For Easy Treatment
It happens to most of us. After acne, warts are the second most common ailment that has people seeking dermatologist’s advice. There are several different types, from a common one, which is a small hard lump that is rough to the touch and elevated from the rest of the skin, to a flat one, which is only slightly raised and has a smooth top, to a plantar one, which is a firm lump on the sole of the foot. If you wish to rid yourself of these pesky tags, then there is an array of over-the-counter solutions which can help you in doing so.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hrs of research
40% Salicylic Acid
Solid Stick Formula
Better than Freezing
- WartStick Remover
- Dr. Scholl's Clear Away
- Boiron Thuja Occidentalis
- Compound W Gel
- Duofilm Liquid Remover
- Bazuka Extra Strength
- Somxl Wart Removal
- Lutateo Remover Liquid
- Toulifly Remover Pads
- Nuonove Liquid Remover
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. WartStick Remover
40% Salicylic Acid
Solid Stick Formula
Better than Freezing
Not for Sensitive Areas
While many skin tag treatments have questionable effectiveness - some ingredients work for some people, others do not - there is one substance which is widely considered to be the most effective, and that is salicylic acid. The reason we’re bringing this up is that this product contains a fantastic 40% of this ingredient, the maximum strength that is still FDA approved.Read more
Truly, this brand does not skimp on high-quality active ingredients. Since common liquid removers come with around 17% of salicylic acid, this formula just blows them out of the water.
Not only that but this product is wonderfully simple to apply since it comes in a solid stick preparation. You don’t have to get it on your fingers or worry about accidentally coating the problem area with too much of the substance. It targets only the unwanted growth, and is painless and completely odorless to boot!
However, keep in mind that it can be used only for common or plantar warts and that those located in sensitive parts of the body shouldn’t be exposed to such a strong treatment.
If everything else fails, and you feel like you have to bring out the big guns, definitely go for this powerhouse of a product. It will eliminate your tags in a matter of weeks, and you will never have to worry about them again.
2. Dr. Scholl's Clear Away
Medicated Discs with Salicylic Acid
Cushioning Pads for Pain Relief
Like Applying a Band-Aid
Safe for Showering
Only for Plantar Warts
Discs Don’t Stick Well
You must have heard of Dr. Scholl’s, the leading manufacturer of all things foot care related. Their mission is to help people move more comfortably and confidently through life, and they do so by providing only the best and highest quality products available on the market. The same is true for this product, Dr. Scholl’s Clear Away.Read more
This is not a liquid, nor a stick - it is a combination of a medicated disc and a cushioning pad. The discs contain salicylic acid - a substance which science confirmed effectively removes skin tags and prevents their spreading - and its purpose is to remove the growth. The cushioning pad is there for comfort - it pads the tender area and relieves pain as you walk.
One packaging of Clear Away includes 24 medicated discs and 24 cushioning pads to use every day until the skin tag disappears. Once it is removed, the body replaces the affected tissue with new, healthy skin.
The only limitation to this item is the fact that it can only be used on plantar warts, and not on any other kind. However, it is a great solution for when you need a simple treatment that doesn’t require a lot of effort. Putting on Dr. Scholl’s Clear Away is no more complicated than applying a band-aid on the infected area, and the results are visible after only a few days!
3. Boiron Thuja Occidentalis
No Side Effects
For Adults and Children
Not for Lactose-Intolerant
In our research, we have encountered many different types of remedies - liquids and solid stick formulas, pen-like tools, patches, and protective pads. All of them require a topical application and some degree of deftness and care. However, in the case of Boiron Thuja Occidentalis, we have something completely different - an oral medicine.Read more
That’s right, this is actually a dietary supplement that you take by mouth, not unlike taking your regular dose of vitamins each day. It is a homeopathic remedy, one which was approved by the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of United States. It causes no known side-effects and doesn’t interact with any other medications, herbs or supplements.
The Boiron Thuja Occidentalis is packaged in multi-dose tubes, in the form of small pellets. Your job is to release the number of pellets you need for your treatment, pour them into your mouth and let them dissolve under your tongue. This can be used both by adults and children above two years of age.
Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, the Boiron Thuja Occidentalis has mixed reviews - however, there is a fair number of those who were quite skeptical about its effectiveness and at the end managed to successfully eliminate their skin problems through regularly taking these pellets.
It certainly won’t hurt if you give it a shot.
4. Compound W Gel
17% Salicylic Acid
For On-the-go Use
No Other Tools Needed
Stings for Some
A tried and tested formula which is always recommended and widely used, the Compound W Gel is that gold standard you turn to when you start having problems with skin tags. If you’re not sure what amount of salicylic acid is best for you, if you’ve never tried applying a product like this before and are not sure what to expect, this is where you should start. (And hopefully, end.)Read more
The Compound W Gel contains 17% salicylic acid, which is somewhere in the middle when it comes to strength. More than that threatens to cause a lot of burning and irritation around the infected area, and less than that isn’t as effective. Other ingredients that go into this formula are alcohol, camphor, castor oil, ethyl acetate, and similar compounds, which don’t have any effect on the skin tag itself.
We’ve seen a packaging similar to this one in other items on this list, such as on the Bazuka Extra Strength and the Somxl cream, and yet the Compound W version has that special no-drip formula which minimizes the amount of the substance that leaks out.
This gel is perfect for on-the-go use, for when you’re in a hurry to leave the house but have forgotten to apply your treatment for the day. Simply leave a drop of the product on your skin tag, and make sure to reapply it regularly, according to the instructions on the box.
5. Duofilm Liquid Remover
17% Salicylic Acid
Discs Too Sticky
This product is only slightly different in composition than the Compound W Gel. It also contains 17% salicylic acid, along with many of the same inactive ingredients. However, the difference between this product and the Compound W is in its application, and the tools that come with it.Read more
Namely, it has a well-known tube packaging that is easy enough to use. However, it also comes with special discs which cover up the area after you’ve applied the liquid. This is convenient for protection in the shower, to make sure that the formula works even in wet conditions, as well as for shielding against getting rubbed off by socks or footwear.
The product can’t be used on sensitive skin and is only effective against common and plantar warts. It shows different results for different individuals - some have noticed improvement after mere days, while for others it took months of meticulous application to get rid of their skin tags.
However, as with all other products of this type, you just need to be patient and to follow the instructions on the box carefully. Don’t forget to use the protection discs and you’re going to be growth-free in no time!
6. Bazuka Extra Strength
Dries Out the Infected Area
Easy to Use Tube-Like Package
Softens Hardened Skin
Contains Salicylic Acid
Final Results Take Longer
Burns When Applied
With its name being an unusual spelling of the word bazooka, otherwise known as a rocket launcher, we don’t doubt this brand’s effectiveness. The Extra Strength Gel is here to help you get rid of all of your problems, be they warts, verrucas, corns or calluses. It works in a slightly different way than most other items on this list, which is worth exploring further.Read more
Namely, the Extra Strength gel comes with salicylic acid as the active ingredient, and other additional substances such as camphor, povidone, ethanol, and acetone. All of these combined work together to soften the skin where the problem occurs, and to kill the virus which is the cause of the abnormalities.
The idea here is that the Bazuka Extra Strength doesn’t remove the problem itself. Rather, it softens the troublesome area, and makes it easier to remove the growth mechanically, by using a pumice stone or an emery board. With this formula you don’t have to wait for them to fall off in due time - you can simply eliminate them yourself!
It is easy to apply with its small, precise tube, and you even get a bonus tool to scrub off the skin cells once they soften.
The Bazuka Extra Strength is largely regarded as the ‘miracle worker’ among its customers. If you feel like all hope is lost, after you’ve tried product after product without any success, you must not give up until you’ve given this one a go. Trust us, you won’t regret it.
7. Somxl Wart Removal
For Sensitive Areas
Not for Large Areas
An absolute champion when it comes to removing skin tags, this product’s formula will take care of your skin tags wherever they are on your body. This product contains FDA approved, all-natural ingredients which not only eliminate nasty growths, but also ensure that your skin is nice, smooth and moisturized after.Read more
The Somxl cream contains 10% salicylic acid - a small amount which reduces the risk of burns - as well as ozone for fresh disinfection and essential oils for skin nourishment. There are no unnecessary chemicals, no additives or preservatives which you should worry about. In fact, this product is so safe that you can use it not only on your foot skin tags, but also those which are located in more sensitive areas, such as on the face or genitals.
The tube packaging makes this cream quick and easy to apply, leaving no mess behind. It also carries a pleasant minty smell which doesn’t make you cringe the moment you open the tube.
If your skin is sensitive, or perhaps you need to solve the problem of skin tags on your child, definitely don’t skip the Somxl cream. It is light, doesn’t burn when applied, nor does it leave behind any scars or sore spots. A dream to use!
8. Lutateo Remover Liquid
Convenient Dropper Tool
For Sensitive Areas
This product has an all-natural formula that doesn’t contain any salicylic acid. Rather, it is made of plant-based extracts, such as Sophora and Angelica, and it doesn’t include any parabens, dyes or fragrances that could irritate your skin. If you’re wary of strong, potent solutions and are not sure how you will react to them, this formula is definitely a good alternative.Read more
Because of its gentle ingredients, it can be used on sensitive areas as well, not just on the feet or fingers. It doesn’t only help with unwanted skin growths, but it also rejuvenates and revitalizes tired feet and promotes the healing of corns and calluses as well.
What we love about this product is the way it is applied, by using a dropper tool that comes in the package. This way you don’t waste any of the product, as you simply squeeze out one or two drops of the formula - depending on the size of the infected area - and you’re good to go!
This is a great option for when you want to avoid pain at all costs and to opt for a more natural remedy. It will not only help get rid of skin tags, but it will also nourish the skin in the problem area, accelerating its healing and preventing any potential scarring that may occur.
9. Toulifly Remover Pads
Easy to Apply Pads
Relieves Friction with Shoe
For Corns Too
Chinese Traditional Medicine
Moving away from liquid and solid stick solutions, we’re venturing into the world of pads or band-aid-like products. These pads are similar in use to Dr. Scholl’s Clear away, as they represent a strip of tape you need to wrap around or apply to your infected area, but these are quite different in terms of composition.Read more
The Toulifly Pads contain an all-natural formula that is a combination of Chinese traditional medicine and advanced technology. It won’t irritate your skin, and it is safe to use on feet, hands, and any other non-sensitive areas on your body.
The special hole in the pad makes these a good option for treating corns as well. The way the pad is constructed helps reduce friction between your sock or shoe and the infected area, and thus it helps alleviate pain and discomfort.
After application, the skin tag will become white, and after washing it, you will notice that it is significantly flatter, or convex. At this point, you can simply remove the tag by using a toothpick.
The pads are ridiculously easy to apply, and they don’t cause any stinging or burning sensations, while at the same time relieving you of pressure and pain you might feel from the irritated area itself. Just wrap the pad around the skin tag, and you should see results in no more than one or two days. Simple as that!
10. Nuonove Liquid Remover
100% Natural Ingredients
Easy to Use Pen Tool
No Irritation or Damage
For Many Different Types
If you’re afraid of using harsh chemicals, or are more interested in natural, homeopathic medicine, then this product is just for you! This formula contains 100% natural plant extracts, including Sophora flavescens, Cortex Pseudolaricis, Folium Isatidis, and Honeysuckle. It is effective against a multitude of ailments, such as common, flat, seed and plantar warts, as well as corns.Read more
What is one of the best things about this product is that it is amazingly easy to use because the tool itself is shaped like a pen. Simply uncap it, apply the gel over the infected area with maximum precision and cap it back on! No muss no fuss.
As we mentioned before, this product is completely natural. It doesn’t cause any type of irritation or damage. Warts begin to dry out within 3 - 5 days of the initial application, and with consistent use, they are completely eliminated in a matter of weeks! The best part is that there are no scars left behind - only smooth, healthy skin.
We understand the hesitation which comes with applying unknown substances on our skin. This is why it is a great option for when you want something gentle and rooted in nature, and yet effective at the same time.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Given that this is a medical treatment of sorts, we have decided to pay special attention to whether or not a formula is effective. Whether or not it actually helps get rid of warts, whether it stops their spreading, and whether it also prevents them from coming back once they’re gone.
And the tricky thing, in this case, is, everyone’s experience with this ailment and these types of solutions is different and unique. The reason for this is that everyone has a different immune system. Some people require no cure, and their problems disappear all on their own once their immune system develops a way to fight HPV. Others struggle and may resort to these over-the-counter options to try and eliminate their skin tags. There are even those who give up entirely and see a clinician who suggests surgery as a final solution.
Everyone’s journey is different, and as a result, most items here have mixed reviews.
So, in that case, how can you know if something will work for you or not?
The sad answer is, you won’t. You won’t know until you give it a try. The most potent of products, such as the Stick Remover with 40% salicylic acid could have the same effect as rubbing cooking oil on your infected area, while the most obscure of homeopathic formulas which many people say does nothing could be just the product you are looking for.
Unfortunately, as we have stated in our introduction, getting rid of these growths requires determination, perseverance, and patience. Pick a preparation you think sounds the best to you, and start from there. Will a little luck and a lot of careful application, you will succeed on your first try and you won’t have to come back and search for another item to use instead.
In our guide, we included many different types of formulas, and with them came many different ways of applying them. Some are more easier to use, and some aren’t so much, and here we will discuss all the tools we’ve come across and what are the pros and cons of each.
Let’s start with the most common one - the formula is packaged in a tube with a tiny hole at the tip, and you squeeze out the amount of product you wish to use. Sounds simple enough, and not too messy, right? But what happens if the product is liquid, thinner than you expected it to be, and you squeeze out too much of it? Now you have it everywhere, on other parts of your skin, and perhaps even on your clothes or on the carpet. What a pain.
While this way of applying the formula is certainly convenient, as it requires no other tools, there is still a small chance that you might make a mess of it. Some options, such as the Compound W Gel, found a way around this by coming up with a formula that is thicker and doesn’t run so easily, saving you from having to clean up afterwards.
A similar method of application, that is only marginally more controlled, is by using the dropper tool, as in the case of Lutateo Remover Liquid. This is better, since now when you squeeze you can only release a drop or two of the liquid at best, and thus not risk staining the area around the one you wish to treat.
When looking at the Nuonove Liquid Remover, we couldn’t help but admire its pen tool for application, which seems like a great solution for a liquid-type formula. You simply brush it on as though you would with a paintbrush, quickly and precisely, without getting the liquid on the surrounding area, let alone anywhere more than that. Fast and easy and hassle-free!
After liquid products come solid ones, and with that we can’t not mention the Stick Remover, one of the highlights of this guide. It comes in the shape of a chapstick (please don’t confuse it with actual chapstick!), and it doesn’t leak or drip or run anywhere, because it is of solid consistency. Your job is to apply it to the infected area with a few simple brushes and then put the cap back on, and you’re done!
Another very common way of formulating these preparations is by using pads. Pads are band-aids, essentially, infused with active ingredients, and designed to be stuck on the skin, or wrapped around the finger or toe where the skin tag sits. This does require some, minor, dexterity, but it is easy to use in the sense that you’re not in danger of spilling anything anywhere.
Furthermore, these pads have a protective quality to them. They protect the area from water, meaning that you can get into the shower without worrying whether or not you will need to reapply your product afterwards. And, in the case of warts on the feet, they protect them from chafing and painful friction that might result from wearing socks and shoes.
Lastly, an item which we were quite surprised by is the Boiron Thuja Occidentalis, which is applied through mouth, or that is to say, in the form of pellets that you put under your tongue and let them dissolve. This is a very convenient way of going about your treatment, as you can simply help yourself with these on the go, without having to find time to fiddle with stick pads or liquids or similar.
When we say ‘materials’, here we actually mean ‘ingredients’, substances found in the formulas we have in our list here. There is a handful of these which are approved by the FDA to be used against abnormal skin conditions, and they range from those found in other pharmaceutical preparations and known drugs (such as aspirin), to those which are rooted in nature, such as herbal extracts and different products derived from honey and bees. We have already mentioned that their effectiveness greatly varies from one person to the next, so all of them deserve a little bit more explanation here.
Let’s start from the most common, and most important one, the salicylic acid.
‘Acid’ may sound like an extreme, scary word, but this is definitely not the corrosive, destructive type of acid you might be picturing. In fact, salicylic acid is the main ingredient in aspirin. It is an anti-inflammatory substance, one which softens abnormal skin cells and helps them break down.
The reason salicylic acid should be your first choice when it comes to curing this condition is because it is, according to a 2011 study from the British Journal of Dermatology, the only topical solution (a solution applied directly to the skin) that is better than the placebo. It is inexpensive, has minimal side effects, and comes in a variety of preparations, as we have seen in this guide. The maximum amount of salicylic acid found in a preparation that is still FDA approved is 40%, as in the Stick Remover, and the most common amount that is effective is 17%.
Other ingredients we have come across are those which are plant-based, such as Camphor, Sophora and Angelica. These are less potent than salicylic acid, and as a result more gentle on the skin. Not only do they aid in removing skin growths, but they also have the ability to nourish the skin, moisturize it, and keep it healthy and refreshed even after treatment.
However, it is important to note that the effectiveness of these natural formulas still has yet to be proven by modern medicine.
Before we wrap up our talk about ingredients, we also have to mention how vital it is that you check if you are allergic to any of them before you start using the preparation. Take a tiny amount of the formula, barely a drop, and rub it into your skin - preferably on your arm, or somewhere clearly visible like that - and wait for no less than 48 hours for signs of redness, itchiness, swelling or any kind of irritation. If there is none, you are free to use the product without worrying about possibly having an allergic reaction to it.
When it comes to topically applied remedies, or those which go on the skin, there aren’t many side effects to worry about, especially when the amount of formula applied is as small as in this case.
During our research, we found that the most common side effect when using over-the-counter preparations like these is a sensation of burning, or stinging of the area where the formula is applied. This is a direct result of applying salicylic acid on your skin, as this substance is called a keratolytic, or a peeling agent. A peeling agent causes the outer layer of your skin to peel, leaving behind new, healthy skin. It is a normal occurrence that this process causes some pain, the intensity of which depends on the strength of the salicylic acid in the formula.
Everyone’s pain threshold is different, so it is important to keep in mind that if a product wasn’t painful for your friend, it doesn’t mean it won’t be painful for you. Approach it with caution.
Another, less common, but still noteworthy side effect is the one we have already mentioned before - an allergic reaction. Immediately stop using the remedy and seek medical help if you notice any: itching, hives, difficulty breathing, lightheadedness, swelling of anything anywhere on your body, but especially of the face, throat, lips or tongue.
If you are taking any other types of medication, such as for diabetes or blood pressure, if you are suffering from poor circulation or liver or kidney disease, make sure to consult your doctor before you start taking any over-the-counter preparations, especially those which are applied orally, as the Boiron Thuja Occidentalis.
All of this applies to natural, herbal remedies as well. Just because a formula contains only plant-based extracts does not make it harmless. Make sure to read the ingredient list before you do anything, and be wary of those packages which don’t precisely detail what they contain. Perform an allergy test, and consult your doctor before you proceed with using a product.
One last thing we felt was important to evaluate here is the value of the item itself. Compared to other ones of its kind, is it expensive, in the middle range, or quite cheap? What is the amount of the formula you get for the price? Does it get used up too quickly? How long can you expect to use it for before you have to buy a new one?
With only one exception - the Somxl cream - all of the items in our guide are quite inexpensive. You don’t have to shell out a bucket load of cash to get your hands on these preparations, and they will last you quite some time.
Since all of the items are used by the drop, almost literally, it is expected that it takes a while before you arrive at the end of the packaging. In some cases, you will be using the first product you bought even months after beginning with your treatment. Which is a great thing!
When it comes to their cost and value, there’s not much you should worry about. Even the Somxl cream isn’t too expensive, in general terms, though it is the priciest formula we ran into. What matters is that you find a treatment which works for you, and which you think is absolutely worth the cost.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Warts are very small tumors, but luckily they are benign; meaning they are not harmful to you. Caused by HPV, there are numerous different strains making them difficult to prevent and treat.
One important thing to note is that they are highly contagious, and can be transferred via direct and non-direct touch. Touching someone's wart can cause you to grow one, but you can also get them from situations like standing on a shower floor that has been used by someone who has one on their feet.
Other Factors to Consider
We briefly mentioned the concept of protecting your infected area and the area which you’re treating, from water. Taking a shower, washing hands, even playing around near a pool or at the beach - all of these can potentially lead to the formula getting washed off, and your skin tag being left untreated.
A good option here are those preparations which come in the form of pads, or patches - these cover up the part of skin in question, and make sure that no moisture passes through, regardless of what you’re doing.
However, if you feel like using cover-up discs is not for you, then a simple solution is to shower first, and then apply the formula. That way you can use the time in the shower to remove any dried up or flaky skin or parts of the growth which the preparation softened over the course of the day.
Treating warts is a long, arduous process. We’re not going to sugarcoat it - many have been disheartened after trying countless of different options. The Human Papillomavirus is hard to eradicate, and even if you remove a skin tag, there is a chance that it will come back again.
However, it doesn’t cost much to give it your all. Remember to be persistent, and to never miss an application. Follow the instructions on the box carefully, and perhaps read up on other people’s experiences and methods to know what you’re getting yourself into.
Do not lose hope, as sometimes it takes months for you to start seeing results. Over-the-counter preparations such as the ones in our guide are still a less painful alternative to seeing a doctor and having your skin freezed off, and it’s a great way to start with your treatment.
Pick the item that appeals to you the most, and good luck!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: When should I see my doctor?
If your skin growth remains the same shape, size, and color, if it doesn’t hurt and doesn’t give you any problems, then you don’t have to see a physician. However, if you are over 50 years of age, and develop any new growths, it would be wise to consult a doctor. Especially if the abnormality in question grows too quickly or starts bleeding.
q: I’ve heard of something called curettage, or zapping and cutting.
This is also a possible method, one performed by a doctor under local anesthesia. It includes drying the skin tag with an electric needle and then scraping it off. This method usually causes scarring, and is reserved only for those issues which can’t be solved by using alternative methods. It should generally be avoided on the soles of the feet.
q: Are herbal preparations better than the salicylic acid ones?
While herbal remedies do cause less pain than the ones with salicylic acid, they are not considered the most effective of solutions. As we stated before, what works for you isn’t hinged on any one factor, and you would do well to give both types of preparations a try (not at the same time) to see which one is better.