Duct tape has long been used for a variety of household repairs, but did you know that it can also be used to treat warts? It may sound strange, but the practice has been around for years and has been shown to be quite effective. Below, we’ll explore how duct tape helps with warts, the science behind it, and some tips for using it at home.
What are warts?
Warts are small, raised bumps on the skin that are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). They are usually painless and can appear anywhere on the body, but are most commonly found on the hands and feet. Warts can be unsightly and embarrassing, but are usually harmless.
How does duct tape help with warts?
The exact science behind why duct tape works for treating warts is still not completely understood, but there are a few theories. One theory is that the tape irritates the skin, triggering the immune system to attack the wart. Another theory is that the tape creates an environment that is not conducive to the growth of the virus that causes warts, essentially smothering it.
The duct tape method
The duct tape method for treating warts involves covering the wart with a small piece of duct tape, leaving it on for several days, then removing the tape and soaking the wart in warm water before gently rubbing it with an emery board or pumice stone. The tape is then reapplied and the process repeated until the wart is gone.
Does duct tape really work for warts?
While the exact mechanism is not completely understood, there is evidence to suggest that duct tape can indeed be effective in treating warts. In fact, a 2002 study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that duct tape was more effective at treating warts than cryotherapy, a common treatment that involves freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen.
Other treatments for warts
- Over-the-counter wart removers
- Prescription creams or ointments
- Freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen
- Burning the wart off with an electric needle
- Surgical removal of the wart
How to use duct tape for warts
If you want to try the duct tape method for treating warts, here are some tips:
- Clean the area around the wart with soap and water
- Cut a small piece of duct tape and cover the wart completely
- Leave the tape on for 6 days
- Remove the tape and soak the wart in warm water for 5 minutes
- Gently rub the wart with an emery board or pumice stone
- Dry the area thoroughly
- Repeat the process until the wart is gone, which could take several weeks
Precautions to take when using duct tape for warts
While duct tape is generally safe to use, there are a few precautions that you should take:
- Do not use duct tape on sensitive skin or on areas with a lot of hair
- Remove the tape immediately if you experience any pain, burning, or itching
- Do not use duct tape on warts that are bleeding or infected
- Consult with your doctor before using duct tape on genital warts
- Do not use duct tape on children under 2 years of age
The duct tape method for treating warts is a safe, effective, and affordable option that many people swear by. While it may take several weeks to see results, it is a good option for those who want to avoid more invasive or expensive treatments. If you are struggling with warts, give duct tape a try!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can duct tape really get rid of warts?
Yes, duct tape can be an effective treatment for warts. While the exact mechanism is not completely understood, several studies have shown that it can be just as effective as more traditional treatments like liquid nitrogen.
How long does it take for duct tape to work on warts?
It can take several weeks for duct tape to completely get rid of a wart. You should leave the tape on for 6 days at a time and repeat the process until the wart is gone.
Can I use duct tape on genital warts?
No, you should not use duct tape on genital warts. If you have genital warts, you should seek medical attention from a healthcare provider.
Is duct tape safe to use on children?
Duct tape is generally safe to use on children over the age of 2. However, you should consult with a healthcare provider before using duct tape on children.
Are there any side effects of using duct tape for warts?
While uncommon, some people may experience skin irritation or an allergic reaction to the adhesive in duct tape. If you experience any pain, itching, or burning, remove the tape immediately.
Will my wart grow back after using duct tape?
While it is possible for a wart to grow back after using duct tape, the likelihood is relatively low. If you do have a recurrence, simply repeat the process until the wart is gone once again.
1. Focht DR, Spicer C, Fairchok MP. The efficacy of duct tape vs cryotherapy in the treatment of verruca vulgaris (the common wart). Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2002;156(10):971–974. doi:10.1001/archpedi.156.10.971
2. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2019, May 10). Warts. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/warts/symptoms-causes/syc-20373776
3. Gupta AK, Mays RR, Versteeg SG, Piraccini BM, Shear NH, Piguet V. Guidelines for the management of cutaneous warts. J Cutan Med Surg. 2011;15(5):338–350. doi:10.2310/7750.2011.10125
4. Brown SK, Shenefelt PD. The Role of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris and Acne Rosacea. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2016;17(2):147–165. doi:10.1007/s40257-015-0160-7