Duct tape as a wart removal therapy
Warts are no laughing matter for those who suffer from them. They are unsightly, potentially painful, and carry a social stigma that often causes shame and embarrassment. Therefore, any effective method of wart removal should also be taken seriously; even the duct tape method which, to some, seems like just a joke. The Duct tape as a wart removal therapy uses common sense principles proven effective in a fair number of patients.
Cause of Warts
Before we discuss the therapy itself, it’s important to understand the underlying cause of warts. Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus, also known as HPV. The virus attacks the skin and causes the wart, while the body’s immune system attempts to fight it off. But like any virus, there is no medical cure for HPV. Wart sufferers must wait until their own immune systems defeat the virus before the warts are completely eradicated. Until that time comes, various therapies exist to remove recurring warts.
Duct tape as a wart removal therapy is a very simple and easy process. The patient cuts a piece of standard gray duct tape just big enough to cover the wart. The skin around the wart should not be covered so as to prevent damaging it unnecessarily. The duct tape is placed over the wart and left for six days. After six days the tape is pulled away, the wart is soaked in warm water for a few minutes then scrubbed with an Emory board. A new piece of duct tape is applied and the process repeated. According to clinical studies, the wart should be completely gone in about two months.
Another variation of this wart removal method uses salicylic acid in conjunction with the tape. With this method, the patient applies the acid at bedtime and allows it to dry, then puts a piece of duct tape over the wart until morning. The process is repeated every night until the wart is gone.
A 2005 study compared the duct tape therapy with a freezing therapy practiced in many doctor’s offices. The study found that those using the duct tape had an 85% success rate compared to 60% whose warts were frozen. Similar studies have been done since, showing varying levels of success.
How the duct tape method works are still up for debate. Some believe its success lies in the fact that the seal formed by the duct tape deprives the virus much-needed air. Others believe the irritation of the tape causes a more aggressive reaction by the body’s immune system at the site of the wart. Still, others credit the glue from the tape for removing virus-laden dead skin cells.
While it may be true that the duct tape as a wart removal therapy works to some degree, it doesn’t work for everyone. Duct tape can be damaging to the healthy skin, it is just as unsightly as the wart itself, and it takes time. For safe and quick wart removal, Dermatend is a better option.