When my little sister, Erin, was about 3 years old she had warts under her arm. Molluscum Contagiosum, I’m guessing based on our recent experience with such things. She went to the dermatologist and had them removed, a process that caused so much full-lung screaming and wailing for her Daddy that the doctor desperately told my mother to please go get the child’s Daddy. She couldn’t, she told him, because he was in Chicago on business to which the doctor replied “I think he can hear her.”
Needless to say, it was a traumatic experience for all involved – and it stuck with me all these years.
Molluscum Contagiosum is, apparently, pretty common in children. One of Lola Gray’s friend’s had it a few summers ago and was told that the virus generally goes away on its own and is really just best left alone. When our sweet Lo was diagnosed with the warts last spring, our pediatrician said the same thing. Leave well enough alone and it will work its way out of her system in its own time.
So, we tried to wait.
But the warts grew. And spread. One on her chest was much larger than the others. We joked that she was growing a third nipple, and she started calling it her “nother nipple.” It kept growing, getting as big as a pencil eraser. You could see it though her clothes. This was getting out of control.
When the warts started showing up on her neck, I couldn’t wait any longer. I certainly didn’t want to let these things pop up on her face! But I also knew there was no way I could put her through the process of freezing them off in a dermatologist’s office.
(A funny aside here: when my sister’s warts were removed my mother told us the doctor used petrified beetle juice to do the job, and I believed her totally and completely until just last month when she told me she had made that up!!!)
My sister told me that she had heard of people using tea tree oil to remove warts, and we gave that a try but it smelled awful and made Lola’s skin really dry. After a drop of oil managed to melt the paint on my kitchen table, I figured it was time for another approach. Sometimes I wonder what we did before Google! In just a few clicks I learned that people have had amazing results with apple cider vinegar. Really. Vinegar. That’s it.
We tried it, and I can’t even tell you how amazed I am! Lola has been taking baths with about a cup of apple cider vinegar added to the water, plus we have been wetting the pads of band-aids with the vinegar and then placing a bandaid over each wart. And it is working! After a week and a half, many of them have disappeared altogether. The big one has taken a bit of work, but it is just amazing how much it has changed. First it turned a really scary blackish color and oozed puss, which freaked us both out to no end, but then it started to just shrink away!
I can not say Lola has enjoyed this process at all. She cries when I put the vinegar on and says it stings. She hates having band-aids all over. She says she never wants to have this again. I’m with her on that one. But if it does ever come back, at least we know what to do before it gets out of control! And I know for a fact that the sting of the vinegar is nothing next to what my poor sister went through.