Duct tape sticks it to warts

Treating a wart with a covering of duct tape seems to be more effective–and less painful–than removing the wart by freezing it with liquid nitrogen.

Researchers at the Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash., instructed 26 children and young adults to cover their warts with a piece of duct tape for 6 days a week. The physicians directed another 25 patients to come into the clinic to get cryotherapy every 2 to 3 weeks.

Warts on 22 of 26 people using duct tape disappeared within 2 months, the researchers report in the October Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Among patients getting cryotherapy, 15 of 25 said that their warts went away. The most common side effect of duct-tape therapy was skin irritation, but some people treated with cryotherapy had pain and burning.

The therapies probably work the same way, says lead researcher Dean R. Focht III, now at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. They both induce irritation around the wart, thus triggering an immune reaction against the virus that causes warts.


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