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How to Remove Warts with Duct Tape

Parashar Joshi
Of late, duct tape has been found to be a convenient and effective remedy for treating warts. Let us learn about the method, its benefits, drawbacks and other treatment options, from this story.
A wart is a type of skin infection that affects people of all ages, especially children and youngsters. As per medical terminology, a wart is termed as a viral skin infection which is caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Warts appear as abnormally-raised skin growths and usually tend to affect a person's fingers, hands, neck, feet and in some cases, the genital areas.

Duct Tape Treatment for Warts

Over the years, tape occlusion or duct tape treatment has increasingly become a popular way of removing warts. Although there is no scientific evidence in favor of duct tape treatment as a remedial method, medical researchers attribute its success to the following reasons:
1. The duct tape when tightly wrapped over the wart, occludes i.e. covers the wart, and prevents it from spreading further. As a result, new cells cannot be formed and as the existing ones begin to die, the wart gradually reduces in size.
2. As the wart gets blocked by the duct tape, it has a stimulating effect on the body's immune system, which kicks into action and produces anti-bodies to counter the wart-causing virus.
3. The sticky substance on the tape removes the dead skin cells on which the virus thrives.
1. Cut a piece of duct tape which is slightly bigger than the size of the wart-affected area.
2. Wrap the duct tape over the wart in such a way, that it covers the wart nice and tight.
3. Let it remain in this position for one week.
4. Gently remove the duct tape and examine the affected area. If the wart comes off with the tape, good for you! Wash the area with soap and water to remove any traces.
5. If the wart does not come off, soak the area in water and gently rub it with a pumice stone.
6. If the wart still does not come off, then dry the area and re-apply a new piece of duct tape.
7. Repeat this process until the wart eventually comes off. However, if the wart persists for more than a period of 45 days, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist regarding further treatment.
It is also possible to use duct tape treatment in combination with the salicylic acid. It can be done in the following way

1. Apply the salicylic acid to the wart at night and let it dry for a few minutes.
2. Now cover the wart with duct tape and leave it overnight.
3. Remove the tape in the morning and clean the area properly. Repeat the process for several days until the wart is gone completely.

*Please note that duct tape treatment should not be used for genital warts. It is a condition that needs to be attended by a doctor.
  • It is painless and much more convenient than certain other treatment methods such as cryotherapy.
  • It is much cheaper than other methods of treatment.
  • This method has a relatively high rate of success among children and teenagers.
  • It does not work as effectively in case of adults.
  • It can lead to a bit of reddening of the skin due to continuous pressure and lack of aeration.
  • Sometimes, it can be a slow process, requiring a great deal of patience on part of the affected person.
Other Treatment Methods
  • Cryotherapy
  • Surgery
  • Applying Salicylic acid-based skin creams or gels
  • Laser treatment
  • Home skin care remedies such as applying aloe vera, various types of herbal oils, etc
In comparison with other contemporary wart treatment techniques, duct tape treatment can surely be perceived as a cost-effective remedial measure for wart removal.

Types of Warts

Warts can be classified into more than hundred known types. However, there are certain common kinds of warts that are mentioned below:
Common Warts: These have a rough, cauliflower-like appearance and are typically found on the fingers, elbows and knees. Sometimes, these warts contain tiny black dots, called seeds, which are clotted blood vessels. Initially, they appear as flesh-colored small grainy bumps that eventually turn into pink or white, dome-shaped warts.
Plantar Warts: These are the spongy, rough skin growths that usually affect soles of the feet. They develop on the weight bearing pressure points, such as heels and balls of the feet. This makes, an otherwise ordinary task of walking, much more difficult and painful.
Genital Warts: These affect the genital region and should be treated as soon as possible. Genital warts are potentially very dangerous as they are the result of sexually transmitted infections, popularly known as Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).
Flat Warts: These are smaller bumps on the skin that commonly grow on the face, arms and legs. They can be pink, light-yellow or light-brown in color. Since they have flat tops, they are called flat warts.
Periungual Warts: These warts are a part of the common wart family. They are different from other kinds because they grow around the fingernails and toenails. However, there is a similarity in the appearance of these and other wart types in the sense that periungual warts also, have a rough feel and cauliflower-like appearance.
Filiform Warts: These warts usually occur around the nose, mouth, eyelids and upper lips. However, they are not confined to these areas and may also grow on legs and armpits. The thread-like appearance of these warts distinguish them from other types. The color of these warts is the same as the skin.
Like duct tape, there are other home remedies such as essential lemon oil, tea tree oil, castor oil, that may help you get rid of those unsightly and bothersome warts within a few months. Applying aloe vera gel and rubbing banana peel repeatedly on the warts will also give better results. However, if warts persist for longer than usual, a health care professional should be contacted immediately.
Disclaimer: This story is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of a medical expert.