Can You Pull a Wart Off? DIY Tips and Precautions for Home Removal

Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S.
By Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S.
Updated on November 15, 2023

Warts are common benign skin growths caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). Many wonder if it’s possible to simply pull or peel a wart off the skin’s surface. However, due to the nature of how warts form, this method is usually not recommended.

Can you pull a wart off?

It is generally not advisable to try pulling or peeling a wart off the skin. While the rough, raised visible portion of a wart may seem detachable, the virus causing the wart resides deeper than just the surface layers. Forcibly pulling or peeling risks leaving viral fragments in the skin that could regenerate new warts or spread to other areas.

Risks of pulling off a wart

Some risks include causing pain, bleeding and potential infection from skin damage. It may also miss viral particles that can then regrow the wart or produce new ones. There is a possibility of accidentally spreading HPV to other parts of the body or to other people.

Alternatives for removal

The safest options are using over-the-counter wart removal treatments or seeing a dermatologist. These work to gently eliminate the virus over time rather than risk abruptly leaving fragments. Optimal methods include salicylic acid, cryotherapy, electrodesiccation or lasers tailored to each individual case.


While warts may seem detachable, it’s best to avoid pulling or peeling them due to the risk of the virus spreading or regenerating the wart. Gentle, comprehensive treatments addressing HPV below the surface are the safest removal approach.

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