|Yet Another Use for Duct Tape: Wart Removal
Mon Oct 14, 4:11 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.