Genital warts are one of the most persistently transmitted sexual diseases. They affect the area around the anus and the genitals of both men and women. The virus responsible for this disease is known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). These warts can be identified as small fleshy growths on the skin that appear to be pink or gray. Genital warts cannot be cured. Thus, the treatment for this disease is aimed at removing warts from the skin.
There are several modern treatments available that can remove genital warts. These can include:
- Cryotherapy, in which the warts are frozen
- Ointments that contain salicylic acid
- A laser therapy
But, all the available medical treatments can inflict a lot more pain and expenses. In some cases, treating the disease may require more than one treatment. And even after successful removal, warts can reoccur or spread to other parts of the body. So, this is when home remedies such as apple cider vinegar for genital warts(1) come into the picture.
Although scientific studies are yet to back the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar in treating warts, the whole idea of its acidic nature destroying the wart tissue holds some substance.
[Also Read: How to Get Rid of Warts Naturally]
Apple Cider Vinegar for Genital Warts
There might not be enough scientific evidence to show the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar against genital warts. However, it is still very strongly believed that due to its acidic nature, it can kill certain types of bacteria and viruses when they come in contact. Thus, apple cider vinegar works just like salicylic acid on warts.
The easiest and the most recommended way to treat genital warts with apple cider vinegar is simple. All you need is a cotton ball, some water, apple cider vinegar, and duct tape or a bandage. Here’s how to use it.
- Take two-parts of apple cider vinegar and add it to one-part water
- Use this solution to soak in your cotton ball
- Apply the soaked cotton ball directly on the wart
- Use duct tape to cover the cotton ball and let it stay on the wart overnight
- Remove the cotton ball in the morning and repeat the process every night till the wart comes off
[Also Read: Using Tea Tree Oil for Genital Warts]
As a result of this treatment, you may notice swelling or throbbing of the wart. The wart skin may also turn black in the first couple of days. There is nothing to worry about. This is just a sign that the skin cells on the warts are slowly dying.
Did You Know!
How Long Does it Take to Treat Genital Warts with Apple Cider Vinegar?
When cotton balls soaked in apple cider vinegar and water solution are applied on warts regularly, it may take anywhere between 1 and 2 weeks for genital warts to fall off. However, it is important to continue the use of apple cider vinegar even after warts have come off. By doing this, you will prevent the skin cells that caused previous warts to spread.
[Also Read: Home Remedies for Genital Warts Treatment]
How Safe it is?
Although vinegar is considered to be a weak acid, with only 4 to 8 percent acetic acid content, it can still cause chemical burns. There have been some reports that claimed it was unsafe to use apple cider vinegar(2) directly to the skin. The reports indicated a 14-year old girl and an 8-year old boy suffering from chemical burns on applying apple cider vinegar directly to the skin.
Therefore, while using apple cider vinegar directly on the skin, it is extremely important to take maximum precautions. If the application causes pain or burning sensation which worsens with time, removes the soaked cotton ball and clean the area with water.
To prevent any damage to the skin, you must also make sure that you are diluting apple cider vinegar with sufficient water. You must also avoid applying vinegar to open wounds and directly to the face and neck.
Although there is not enough evidence to show the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar on warts, its acidic nature that kills bacteria still makes it a popular remedy against genital warts. However, a lot of precautions must be taken into consideration before the application of apple cider vinegar directly to the skin.
1. Do genital warts turn white with vinegar?
Vinegar could cause any warts to turn white, making them easier to see, especially if they are viewed through a colposcope.
2. Can you still be sexually active with genital warts?
Any sexually active person can be at risk of contracting the virus or spreading it to a partner. It’s possible to have HPV without showing symptoms for several years, if ever. When symptoms do appear, they usually come in the form of warts, such as genital warts or warts of the throat.