Warts can affect people at any age, but are more common among youngsters, with studies showing up to 33% children and teenagers afflicted with this viral infection (1). Warts are non-cancerous (benign) and contagious growths developed due to Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
They can occur anywhere on the body, most commonly on fingers, ankles, toenails, genitals or forehead. Some warts may be harmless and heal on their own, while others may turn out to be itchy, painful and may even bleed.
Surgical removal of warts may lead to skin irritation or blisters (2). Instead of opting for more invasive treatment, it is always better to resort to a natural remedy which has negligible side effects.
Tea tree oil is a very effective natural remedy for warts. This volatile essential oil has anti-inflammatory, cleansing and wound-healing properties, which help to reduce the troublesome symptoms associated with warts.
What Makes Tea Tree Oil Effective in Treating Warts?
- Tea tree oil contains anti-microbial compound known as Terpinen-4-ol which inhibits the growth of HPV that causes warts (3).
- It is a natural antiseptic agent which has a positive effect on skin blood flow, helping to fight more effectively against the wart-causing virus (4).
- Its anti-inflammatory nature helps to alleviate the symptoms of painful and swollen warts (5).
- Being a natural fungicide, it restricts or prevents the warts from getting infected by parasitic fungi.
- Tea tree oil dries out warts to make them fall off naturally with time.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil to Get Rid of Warts?
Below, we have mentioned several methods using tea tree oil that are effective in treating warts. You choose any one among them and try it regularly to achieve the results.
1. Direct Application of Tea Tree Oil
This process is helpful in treating warts on any part of the body. It is even more effective in treating warts on the feet or planter warts. Since the skin on the soles is relatively thick, this method works even more effectively.
- Wash and dry the warts with soap and warm water.
- Apply a drop of undiluted tea tree oil on the wart and cover with a bandage.
- Leave it on for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Remove the bandage and wash the area with water.
- Continue doing the same process every night.
Note: If direct application of tea tree oil is causing unbearable burning sensation then dilute tea tree oil with equal amounts of water.
2. Tea Tree Oil Bath
A tea tree oil bath is very effective in soothing the irritation caused by warts. It also provides relief from the itchy or stinging feeling caused by genital warts.
- Add a few drops of tea tree oil to warm bath water in a bucket or a tub.
- Soak the wart affected areas for 15-20 minutes.
- Repeat 2-3 times a day.
3. Tea Tree Oil and Epsom Salt
The magnesium sulphate present in Epsom salt contains dehydrating effect which dries out the warts and eventually make them fall off naturally. This combination works well on plantar warts on the feet and ankles.
- Wash your feet including the soles and pat dry.
- In a bucket of warm water, add some Epsom salt.
- Soak your feet for 20-30 minutes and pat dry.
- Take a small cotton swab and soak it in tea tree oil.
- Carefully apply tea tree oil on the plantar wart.
- Now secure cotton swab with a band aid/surgical tape/wire gauze.
- Wear socks to make sure the swab remains in its place overnight.
- Leave it on overnight. Wash with lukewarm water in the morning.
- Repeat daily for 15 days.
4. Tea Tree Oil and Carrier Oil
Carrier oils are one of the best ways to improve essential oil’s skin penetrating power. Carrier oils that are helpful for dilution are almond oil, olive oil and coconut oil.
Almond oil: Vitamin A present in almond oil helps to soften the warts and kill the harmful virus causing them.
Olive Oil: Olive oil is rich in phenolic compounds that make it a powerful natural anti-inflammatory agent.
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil contain anti-viral properties which are helpful in combating the HPV causing warts. Apart from that it also helps to moisturize the dry skin.
- Take a bowl and mix 4-5 drops of tea tree oil and 1 tablespoon of carrier oil.
- Apply on the warts and gently massage for few minutes.
- Leave the application overnight and rinse in the morning.
- You can also re-apply 2-3 times a day in severe cases.
Note: you can add a drop of clove or frankincense oil to avail additional effectiveness.
For Genital Warts: mix 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil with 4 drops of olive oil and apply on the affected genital areas. Repeat the application several times in a day.
5. Tea Tree Oil and Aloe Vera
Aloe vera contains auxin and gibberellin hormones which have anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
- Mix equal amounts of tea tree oil and aloe vera juice or gel together.
- Apply the mixture on the wart affected areas.
- Leave it on overnight.
- Repeat the application daily before going to bed until the wart falls off.
6. Tea Tree Oil and Garlic
Garlic contains antiviral and anti-oxidant properties which kill bacteria, making it an effective topical remedy for warts (6).
- Using a cotton swab, apply 2 – 3 drops of tea tree oil on the warts.
- Chop a slice of raw garlic and tape it with band aid or a cotton cloth over the wart.
- Pull on a sock to keep the band aid in place and leave it on overnight.
- Re-apply daily before going to bed.
7. Tea Tree Oil and Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is a gentle antiseptic and anti-microbial that is effective in treating warts.
- Add equal amounts of tea tree oil and lavender oil in a bowl and mix them together.
- Apply the mixture on wart affected area.
- Leave it on to dry. Or else cover the application with a bandage and leave it on overnight.
- Repeat the method daily.
8. Tea Tree Oil and Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil contains anti-bacterial and antiseptic agents. It helps prevent infection and promotes healing of the skin.
- Combine few drops each of tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil in a bowl.
- Apply the mixture to the warts and cover with a bandage.
- Leave it on overnight.
- Repeat the process daily.
Note: Instead of eucalyptus oil, you can also use ginger oil. Ginger oil has anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antiseptic properties, making it a good natural remedy in combination with tea tree oil for warts.
9. Tea Tree Oil, Clove Oil, Lemongrass Oil and Oregano Oil
Clove oil contains antiseptic, anti-viral and pain relieving properties. Oregano oil is also a powerful anti-microbial and anti-viral agent, while lemongrass oil is known for its antiseptic and astringent properties.
- Add 2 drops each of tea tree oil, clove oil, lemongrass oil and oregano oil to 1 tablespoon of any carrier oil in a bowl.
- Mix them together.
- Using a cotton swab, dab the mixture directly on the warts.
- Leave it on overnight and repeat the process daily for 2 weeks.
A word of caution: Clove oil and tea tree oil together may be too strong for those with extra sensitive skin. It may cause irritation and redness. So, we recommend applying petroleum jelly on the surrounding parts of the warts to avoid any discomfort.
10. Tea Tree Oil with Essential Oils
A wide variety of essential oils are known to be helpful in treating warts and various other skin conditions. They have many therapeutic uses and are known for acting as very effective topical applications on the skin.
- Take a bowl and add 2 drops each of tea tree oil, lemongrass oil, eucalyptus oil, Manuka oil and peppermint oil in one tablespoon of any carrier oil.
- Stir well and store in a dark-colored bottle.
- Use a cotton ball to apply this mixture on the wart affected areas.
- Cover it with a bandage and leave it on overnight.
- Repeat daily.
11. Tea Tree Oil with Banana Peel
Banana peel is an effective way of keeping the skin hydrated and allowing the tea tree oil to penetrate deeper into the layers to eliminate the virus causing warts (7).
- Take a ripe or very ripe banana (it should be yellow, brown or even black).
- Using a sharp knife, cut out a square shape from the peel which is just a bit larger than the wart.
- Use a cotton swab to dab on a few drops of tea tree oil onto the wart.
- Next, cover the area with inner surface of the peel in contact with the wart.
- Bandage it in place and leave it on overnight.
- Repeat daily.
12. Tea Tree Oil with Grapefruit Seeds for Genital Warts
You could either use grapefruit seed extract powder (made from grapefruit seeds and pulp) or soak grapefruit seeds in water and make a paste by grinding the seeds.
- Add a few drops of tea tree oil to the grapefruit seeds paste or grapefruit seed extract powder.
- Stir it well and apply the mixture on genital warts.
- Leave it on for 20-30 minutes.
- Wash off with lukewarm water.
- Repeat twice daily.
13. Tea Tree Oil with Table Salt and Water
This combination is most effective for treating warts on hands and feet. The disinfectant properties of salt helps to prevent the infection from spreading or growing further.
- Dissolve one tablespoon of salt in 5 liters of warm water.
- Add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil to it.
- Preferably before bedtime, soak your hands and feet in this for 15-20 minutes.
- Repeat the process daily.
14. Tea Tree Oil, Vitamin E Oil and Castor Oil
This combination is very effective in treating genital warts. The antioxidants present in vitamin E oil prevent further infection, soothe the warts and speed up the healing process of lesions. The ricinoleic acid contains anti-viral properties which will destroy the virus causing warts.
- Combine 1 tablespoon of tea tree oil, 1oz castor oil and 80 drops of vitamin E oil.
- Dip a cotton ball in the mixture and place it on the warts.
- Secure it with a bandage or tape.
- Leave it on for 8 hours or overnight.
- Repeat the application 3 – 4 times in a day.
15. Tea Tree Oil and Iodine
Iodine contains antiviral properties which help to kill the human papillomavirus (8). The combination of tea tree oil and iodine is very effective in treating warts on hands, feet and ankles.
- Add a drop each of iodine and tea tree oil on the wart.
- Leave it on to dry completely.
- Repeat the application 2 – 3 times in a day.
16. Tea Tree Oil with Baking Soda and Castor Oil
The exfoliant properties of baking soda break the cluster of skin cells forming a wart. Its astringent properties dries out the wart which makes them fall off easily.
- Mix 1 teaspoon each of baking soda and castor oil.
- Add few drops of tea tree oil and stir well.
- Apply this paste on the plantar warts after washing your feet.
- Massage gently for a minute or two and cover with a band-aid.
- Leave on overnight and washing it off with warm water next day.
- Apply regularly.
17. Tea Tree Oil for After Wart Removal
After the warts have been treated, there is still a chance for them to reoccur. This process has anti – viral protection, so use once or twice a week until the skin has completely healed.
- Mix 6 drops each of tea tree oil and lavender oil in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
- Apply this mix on the healed area.
- Leave it on for few minutes or overnight to heal the skin.
- Repeat this process regularly.
Tips and Precautions While Using Tea Tree Oil for Warts
- People who are using tea tree oil for first time should do a sensitivity test before starting regular treatments.
- Tea tree oil may burn the surrounding skin warts during the treatment. That is why we recommend applying a petroleum jelly around the warts to avoid the discomfort.
- Avoid applying tea tree oil on bleeding warts as it can lead to severe pain and worsen the problem.
- Pregnant or nursing women as well as children under the age of 6 years should consult a doctor before using tea tree oil.
- Tea tree oil is toxic when swallowed and can cause severe hallucinations, vomiting, stomach upset and even blood cell abnormalities.
- Always try to use a cotton swab to apply the tea tree oil to the affected areas instead of using bare hands for the purpose.
- In case of patients applying some other medicated creams, it is advisable to consult a doctor before starting tea tree oil application for warts. Because ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid present in medicated creams can be harmful when used alongside tea tree oil.
- People who are suffering from acne should be careful while using tea tree oil since it can cause extra dryness, burning and stinging sensations on the skin.
- Keep your tea tree oils stored in a glass container away from direct light since light, heat and moisture tend to affect the stability of essential oils.
- Avoid trying home remedies and consult a doctor if the warts are swollen, change in color or have pus filled infection.
- Usually, it takes a week to several weeks to notice improvement in reduction of warts. If you are not observing, then we recommend consulting a doctor.
Did you find the article helpful? Do you have any other remedies that work better than the above mentioned? Share your experience and suggestions in the comments section below.