Duct Tape Occlusion Therapy

My daughter has reccently developed plantars warts (I suspect from the not-so-clean mats at her karate dojo). I have heard that duct tape is quite effective in treating them – does anyone have any experinece with this technique? Was it effective or is it better to just wait and see?

I’ve seen quite a few accounts that duct tape is great stuff for warts.

As for waiting - don’t. Small, young warts are easier to handle than big, old warts that have had a chance to burrow in deeply.

btw: it’s plantar warts - no relation to the peanut company.

Not just anecdotal.

Combine the duct tape with usage of the OTC Dr. Scholl’s wart remover and you’re in good shape. IANAD, etc., but that is what was recommened for the wart on my big toe and it worked a treat.

That article mentions 'The majority of warts that responded to either therapy did so within the first month of treatment." Does that mean that if a wart doesn’t respond within a month the patient should just give up? What other wart treatments are there besides cryotherapy? Is it important to remove them, say surgically, or can a stubborn wart just be left alone?

Thanks for the input!
I’ll give it a shot.

recommended, dammit :smack:

Um…I don’t know if that’s such a good cite, as they’re talking about a completely different kind of wart. Arm warts are above the skin and plantar’s warts are beneath the skin. Is there some evidence that it works on both?

My experience has been that warts will mysteriously disappear with no warning or treatment if you wait long enough (like, sometimes literally a couple of years.) Once I had 3 and they all went away at the same time. They just start shrinking and in a week they are gone. If they are in a non-troublesome place, you can leave them alone. The thing is with plantar warts is that they can be quite painful because of the pressure of walking on them, and as gotpasswords says, they get pushed very deep & can be difficult & painful to remove. If the duct tape doesn’t work in a couple of weeks’ time, I would go to the doc to get them removed.

I have a question - how can you tell for sure if they are warts? I had a plantar wart when I was in high school and what I remember is that it was like a localized callus in the middle of my heel which made me feel as if there was constantly a rock in my shoe. I thought it was just a callus, so I ignored it for too long, and the eventual removal process was the most unpleasant, painful thing I’ve ever experienced.

Nothing that obvious has shown up since, but I do have a few troublesome and thick calluses which never go away. A few times a year they might have tiny black specks in the middle, which I usually just clip out with cuticle nippers. The calluses are not as localized or as painful as my high school wart experience, but I’m paranoid that this is some latent form that is just biding it’s time, and I ignore it at my peril.

Or is it just totally obvious when you have a wart as opposed to a callus? How quickly do they go from “thick skin” to “obvious wart?” Are the black “roots” the obvious tip-off?

Aren’t some warts caused by a virus?

Anyway, I have a plantar wart on the side of my toe that I would love to get rid of, so maybe I should bust out the duct tape.

When I was a kid I had a bunch of warts on one of my fingers removed via electrocution. The doc numbed my hand, then stuck an electrode inside the warts and zapped 'em off. He coated the resulting holes with a purple colored goop, and they eventually healed up (had some pus draining out of them for awhile before they fully healed). I have some odd scars on the finger, but they’re hardly noticable. I’ve used duct tape on a plantars wart I had on the side of one of my big toes. Took about a month or so, IIRC, for the wart to go away, but it was the only thing that worked. (Didn’t go to a doc.)

The article talks about “treatment arms” since the people being treated are divided into two groups. But this does not mean the warts are located on the arm. They are still talking about common warts.

Warts are often caused by papilloma virus. I knows 'em when I sees 'em. They have a distinctive appearance, especially if you shave off a few layers of dead skin. You could do a viral swab or punch biopsy to prove it, I guess.

There are lots of ways to treat warts, usually a good sign none of them are all that good. Some ways include buring off with electricity or liquid nitrogen or salicylic acid, duct tape, cutting them out with a scalpel or (possibly) medicines like Aldara that modify the immune system.

Yes, in fact I think true warts are always caused by a virus. As I understand it, the virus locally modifies the way the skin grows (including modifications to the capilliary blood vessels), building itself a dry little fortress in which it can hide from the body’s immune systems. - The duct tape remedy supposedly works by softening/moistening the skin, so that the capilliaries can return to normal function and the immune agents can gain access to the infection.

The one thing about the duct tape approach that I find amusing that people don’t think about first: it’s almost free and generally works in a few weeks - so just try it already! You really don’t need a doctor’s permission for this one, folks.

I have a recurring wart, which is strange, but it is easily taken care of with duct tape. I put it on for 10 days, a black lump falls off, then 6 months to 8 months later it grows back, and I do it again. No biggie.


I once had a wart on my toe that I tried to treat with duct tape and ended up cutting off circulation to the toe. It took a good part of a day to recover and I was about to call my doctor. Don’t wrap it too tight :smack:

I did it some more and it worked, though. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just coincidence since that wart had been there for ages. Give it a shot.

I think you’re meant to just cut a small circle of tape and affix it over the wart; if it’s in a spot where it is likely to come off, I suppose it would be best secured with the addition of a little surgical tape.

Seconded - I read about this home remedy in a news column, and it did specify cutting the tape just to cover the wart, not wrapping it around appendages.

I had a plantar wart decades ago that I ignored because (a) I thought it was just some weird callus and (b) I didn’t have much money and © I thought it would go away by itself. It didn’t. It got bigger and bigger, and more and more painful to walk on. Finally when I did see a doctor it (the wart, not the doctor) was too large to remove except by surgery. At least that’s would the doctor said. He also said it was caused by rubbing, and that it would never come back. He may have been wrong about the cause, I now believe, but the nasty thing never came back. Nor have I ever gotten any other warts.