Yet Another Use for Duct Tape: Wart Removal
Oct 15, 12:47 pm ET
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Duct tape, already legendary for its many uses, can also be deployed to get rid of warts, U.S. Army researchers said on Monday.
Dean Focht of the Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington, said taping over a wart takes about a month to work. The growth is effectively suffocated, and dead tissue can then be gradually rubbed off with an emery board or pumice stone.
Placing standard adhesive tape over a wart is sometimes recommended by dermatologists and is a well-known home remedy. Duct tape, however, may be more sticky and less likely to unravel than some medical adhesive tapes.
The common wart, or verruca vulgaris, is a harmless growth caused by the papillomavirus. Warts can be contagious and annoying, but eventually will go away by themselves with the body creating an immunity.
Doctors can freeze them off with chemicals, called cryotherapy, but the treatment can scare children and may not be as permanent.
Focht had 26 subjects aged 3 to 22 years treat their warts with the duct tape method, where the growth was covered for six days then soaked with water and the dead tissue rubbed off. Twenty-five others underwent up to six treatments of cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen.
The duct tape method worked for 85 percent of the patients, while cryotherapy was effective for 60 percent.
Sticky-sided duct tape has many uses that range from patching to repairing to binding to removing nail polish.
"In our study, duct tape occlusion therapy was shown to be more effective than cryotherapy in the treatment of verruca vulgaris, and it caused few adverse effects," Focht wrote in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, a journal published by the American Medical Association.