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Using Tape to Remove Warts

Topic Overview

Tape occlusion is an inexpensive method of wart removal that involves covering the wart with tape. It is often called the "duct tape" method.

  • Cut a piece of duct tape as close to the size of the wart as possible.
  • Leave the tape in place for 6 days. If the tape falls off, put on a new piece.
  • After 6 days, remove the tape and soak the area in water. Then gently rub the wart surface down with an emery board or pumice stone. Leave the tape off overnight.
  • Repeat this process until the wart is gone, but not longer than 2 months.

While covering a wart with tape may help it go away, research studies don't show clear proof that using duct tape helps to clear up warts more quickly than they would if left alone.1

Using duct tape for warts is probably safe. But if your skin is very thin or fragile, be very careful when removing the tape.

If you're not sure whether a skin growth is a wart, it's best to see a health professional.

References

Citations

  1. Loo SK, Tang WY (2009). Warts (non-genital), search date June 2008. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Last Revised September 7, 2012

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