Duct Tape for Warts? Maybe Not
Study Casts Doubt on Duct Tape as Home Remedy for Warts
Nov. 8, 2006 - Finally, there may be something duct tape can't fix: the
Despite claims in an earlier study, covering warts with duct tape may not make them vanish
faster after all, say Dutch researchers, including Maastricht University's
Marloes de Haen, MD.
The Dutch researchers had heard of a study in which duct tape showed promise
as a home remedy for warts -- the skin infections caused by the human
So de Haen's team conducted their own study, now published in the
Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
The study included 103 Dutch kids aged 4-12 who had at least one wart.
For six weeks, half the children wore duct tape over one of their warts,
while the rest wore corn pads over one of theirs.
Once a week, the children uncovered the wart, soaked it in warm water for
five minutes, then rubbed the wart gently with a pumice stone.
During the study, the warts covered by duct tape were only slightly more
likely to heal than those covered by corn pads.
"After six weeks, the wart had disappeared in 16% of the children in the
duct tape group, compared with 6% in the placebo [corn pad] group," the
That margin was so slim that it may have been due to chance, de Haen's team
Most of the kids in the duct tape group -- 81% -- said the tape didn't stick
well to their skin. And 15% reported skin irritations, including rashes.
"Further research with longer follow-up would only be useful with a tape
that is better sticking," write the researchers.