The Question: My son has a wart on his finger. Are there natural ways to help?
Answer: Warts, caused by the human papillomavirus, are one of the most common skin growths we see in pediatric practices. Usually, I don’t recommend a treatment, since warts, which are only mildly contagious, typically go away on their own—albeit after many months in some cases. But if the wart is bothering your son, consider one of two inexpensive and safe natural approaches. The first option is to use duct tape, which I profiled in my book, Treatment Alternatives for Children, and is supported by several research studies. Just apply a small square to cover the wart, leaving it on except for baths or showers, and replace daily until the wart dissolves. The theory is that this process deprives the wart of oxygen. Another method is to soak the wart in apple cider vinegar for 15 minutes every day. The exact reason why it works isn’t totally known: It could be that ACV has antiviral properties—or that it acts as a local irritant to slowly erode the wart.
Lawrence D. Rosen, M.D., is the founder of the Whole Child Center in Oradell, New Jersey, one of the first green, integrative primary care practices in the U.S.
Have a question for Dr. Rosen? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.