Warts Treatment Duct Tape

You might have heard that duct tape can set a broken ankle or hold an airplane together. But did you know that duct tape wart removal is considered by many to be the best way to get rid of warts for good?

Duct tape wart removal isn’t just the stuff of urban legends. A study by Dr. Dean Focht at the Children’s Medical Center in Cincinnati found that duct tape is more effective at wart removal than cryotherapy, which is the use of liquid nitrogen to freeze warts off.

In his 2002 study, Dr. Focht found that 85 percent of patients who used the duct tape wart treatment enjoyed complete remission of their warts, compared to only 60 percent of those whose warts were treated with cryotherapy. Later studies have not found duct tape to be as successful at wart removal, but these studies did not always use traditional duct tape.

Using duct tape for wart removal is recommended only for common warts and plantar warts. The duct tape method is safe for wart removal on the hands and feet, but a medical professional should always treat any genital or facial warts.

Duct Tape Wart Removal

The official name for duct tape warts treatment is “duct tape occlusion therapy.” Below are the steps commonly used to remove warts with duct tape:

1. Wash and dry the site of the wart.

2. Cut a piece of duct tape barely bigger than the size of your wart.

3. Cover your wart with duct tape, and leave it on for six days.

4. If the duct tape falls off, replace it right away.

5. After six days, remove the duct tape, scrape down your warts using an old razor or pumice stone (make sure you throw out or disinfect these, so your warts don’t spread).

6. Let your warts air out overnight.

7. Start the process again.

8. If warts are still visible after you remove the duct tape, keep repeating the duct tape wart treatment until they disappear.

Some suggest coating warts with salicylic acid before applying duct tape.

Duct Tape Wart Removal Benefits and Drawbacks

Duct tape wart removal has many advantages over the medical wart removal methods:

  • If it works at all, it usually works within two months.
  • It can be done at home and is inexpensive.
  • It isn’t painful.
  • It’s less frightening for children.

Despite its effectiveness, some warts don’t respond to duct tape wart removal.

Duct tape can also make healthy skin under the tape a soggy mess, so let your skin air out and return to normal before starting treatment again.

Why Duct Tape Helps Remove Warts

No one is exactly sure why duct tape wart removal works, but scientists have advanced several theories about how duct tape works, speculating that it:

  • Irritates the wart and prompts a heightened immune system response
  • Removes dead skin cells that contain the virus
  • Suffocates warts and causes them to die.


DeMichele, J. (2003). A new medical breakthrough: Wart to do when verruca vulgaris attacks. Retrieved June 22, 2010, from: http://www.jyi.org/volumes/volume7/issue5/features/demichele.html.

Glory. (2008). How to remove plantar warts with duct tape. Retrieved June 22, 2010, from: http://www.mdjunction.com/warts/articles/how-to-remove-plantar-warts-with-duct-tape.

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (n.d.). Lifestyle and home remedies. Retrieved June 22, 2010, from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/plantar-warts/DS00509/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies.

Warts Information Center. (2010). Duct tape wart removal. Retrieved June 22, 2010, from: http://www.warts.org/duct-tape-wart-removal.html.