Not the best cure: Reexamining duct tape's impact on warts

Unlikely cure: Not only does it look weird, but new research finds that duct tape is not the best way to get rid of warts. The new study found it effective only 21 percent of the time.
Unlikely cure: Not only does it look weird, but new research finds that duct tape is not the best way to get rid of warts. The new study found it effective only 21 percent of the time.
I’m sorry to tell you this Red Green, but you might want to clean out that duct tape in your medicine cabinet.

New studies contradict the idea that duct tape is effective in curing warts. You might remember all the hubbub a few years ago that said the best way to get rid of warts was to put a piece of duct tape on the warty area and they would soon be dissolved away.

That study was done in 2002, but a new study done over a larger group of subjects showed that duct tape worked only 21 percent of the time in dissolving warts.

Warts are caused by a virus that hangs around in the outer layers of our skin. They’re in a place that’s hard for our bodies immune system to get its antibodies to attack the virus. The original theory behind the duct tape treatment concept was that rubber on the sticky side of the duct tape would irritate the skin enough to stimulate antibodies to go to the wart and kill it off.

But the new study found that duct tape was no more effective in treating warts than moleskin bandages, which are a cotton tape bandage similar to a Band-aid.

According to the experts in the field, the best way to treat warts is to use over-the-counter topical treatments that contain salicylic acid. Doctors will sometimes use laser therapy or liquid nitrogen to zap especially pesky warts. Without any treatment, most common warts will clear up on their own within two years.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

cut the damn thing off

posted on Sat, 04/07/2007 - 6:45am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The original study used rubber sided duct tape but the second study did not use the rubber sided duct tape. Therefore no accurate conclusions can be made so please amend your information and report the true FACTS.

posted on Sun, 06/24/2007 - 8:21pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Although most warts do clear up on their own after two years, many say without medical treatment such as laser therapy or liquid nitrogen, that there is no way to completely remove the wart and they often return, sometimes worse than before.

posted on Sun, 07/15/2007 - 2:41pm
Willie55's picture
Willie55 says:

I have just started the duct tape procedure and love the results so far. For one thing, the skin used to be very sensitive to the touch and now it is getting much better. My skin is turning more bright white and I am seeing more black "seeds" dried blood vessels. The 2nd poster is totally correct. The 2nd study did not use the rubber based duct tape which is the key. There is a protein in rubber called hevein that is a natural anti fungal and apparently very strong one. It does not look like the virus stands a chance with constant contact. Wish me luck since I am only on day 3 but have tried many other methods.

posted on Mon, 06/29/2009 - 11:56am
Willie55's picture
Willie55 says:

Wart Update:
I have been wearing the duct tape on my foot, changing it about every 3-4 days for the last 2 1/2 months. It worked well at first and then slowed down. About 3 weeks ago I started putting a crushed up aspirin on the wart then the duct tape. Did this about every other day for 2 weeks. I read that the aspirin eats away at the top layer of protective skin to get at the wart. The skin started to come off and the wart seemed to get smaller in height. Today I am not using anything because I believe the wart has died! The skin is still a little rough but my toe now looks normal sized and the skin is pink, not white. Give the aspirin and duct tape a try!!

posted on Thu, 09/24/2009 - 7:38am
Mila's picture
Mila says:

I go rid of my warts with the help of Wartrol! However, they say that you can also use a banana peel for warts. I will have to try it first, though....

posted on Tue, 01/05/2010 - 8:09pm
Wartrol reviews's picture

I've read from one sources that you can also use banana rind instead of duct tape. Can anybody shed light on this?

posted on Wed, 01/13/2010 - 8:30pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I personally have a very unsightly goup of warts on two of my toes. i have done cyrotherapy (freezing of the wart) 6 times. and then ive done electrocaurtery (electric needle) 3 times. so far no results. ive been using duct tape for around a week and its done more so far than what the treatments listed above have. I am schedualed for surgery to just get the skin cut out in a couple months if the duct tape doesnt do it.
who ever said cut it off....your stupid. You are cutting through many bloodvessles and nerve endings.
Never tried banana peels but it sounds interesting

posted on Thu, 02/25/2010 - 8:50pm
ZetaClear's picture
ZetaClear says:

Duct tape is one of the best practical remedies for warts. I've used it before and it really was effective. As a matter of fact, there is now an available duct tape exclusively for warts.

posted on Sun, 06/20/2010 - 9:25pm
Bam bam's picture
Bam bam says:

If you want to get rid of the warts forever take stomach acid remover. No pain no scars and no silly tape and takes about 3 weeks! My 10yr old daughter had 7 warts on her hands and the dermatologist wanted me to do acid and duct tape for 12 weeks! Nope, not on my daughter! I spoke to the pharmacist and he said to do stomach acid reducer but I would have to research the dosing for her. I gave her 2 pills in the morning and 2 pills at night sometimes 2 more in the middle of the day. 3 weeks and $4 later the warts were all gone! It has been 2 years and not a single one has ever came back!

posted on Tue, 10/01/2013 - 6:24am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Thats odd... I had a wart on my knuckle that was about 5mm in diameter and tried different treatments from over-the-counter gel tubes that you place topically and even a few doctor visits with liquid nitrogen but to avail. The doctor suggested using duct tape and after 2-3 weeks, the wart disappeared. Its been almost 8 years now and there hasn't been anything.

posted on Sun, 10/20/2013 - 10:06pm
Anna Darlene's picture
Anna Darlene says:

I've had a wart for 60 years. Tried everything!

posted on Thu, 08/06/2015 - 7:47pm

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