Duct Tape Can Get Rid of Warts: Study
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Mon Oct 14, 6:08 PM ET- The next time you're in need of a wart cure-all,
forget combing the aisles of the local pharmacy and head over to the hardware store instead.
According to the finding of a small study in children, applying plain old duct tape to the common wart (sci-
entifically known as Verruca vulgaris) appears to be superior to traditional cryotherapy with liquid nitro-
While anecdotal reports abound of duct tape's wart -removing abilities, the therapy has not gone head-to-
head with other wart removal techniques, according to the report published in the October issue of the
Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.
In the current study, the researchers compared duct tape therapy to cryotherapy, which involves several
visits to the doctor's office. During the treatment, a physician freezes the wart by applying a quick, narrow
blast of liquid nitrogen to the offending blemish. This is repeated once every two or three weeks until the
wart is gone.
Aside from the inconvenience of frequent visits to the doctor's office, another potential drawback to this
method is that many children are afraid of the treatment and may find it painful, according to lead author
Dr. Dean R. Focht III, who conducted the study with colleagues Dr. Mary Fairchok and Carole Spicer
while at the Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington.
"Tape occlusion, if proven effective, could be an inexpensive, convenient and painless alternative to
cryotherapy in the treatment of pediatric warts," they write. Focht is now at the Children's Hospital Medical
Center in Cincinnati.
In the study, the researchers randomly assigned 51 patients between the ages of 3 and 22 to receive ei-
ther a maximum of 6 cryotherapy treatments, once every two to three weeks, or two months of duct tape
In duct tape therapy, a nurse covered the wart with a piece of duct tape roughly the same size as the
wart. Patients (or their parents) were instruct