Have you ever used duct tape to tape a duct? Do you even know what a duct is? Maybe not. But you definitely know what duct tape is, and you’ve probably used it to fix everything from glasses to flashlights. Now, thanks to one study, we can officially add to the already long list of things to do with duct tape: curing warts. That’s right, duct tape might be used to cure warts.
The study tested duct tape against cryotherapy, which uses liquid nitrogen to freeze warts. Of a test group of fifty-one wart patients, roughly half received cryotherapy, the other half duct tape. The duct tape patients wore pieces of tape over their warts for six days and then removed it for twelve hours.
After soaking the wart in water and gently scrubbing it with pumice stone, the procedure was repeated for up to two months, or until the wart disappeared. The cryotherapy patients received a maximum of six treatments over the same time period. By the end, 85% of duct tape patients saw their warts vanish completely, while only 65% of cryotherapy recipients had similar results.
As for precisely what makes duct tape so effective, researchers are still uncertain. Scientists speculate that by mildly irritating the wart, the tape activates the immune system which suppresses the viral microbes that cause warts. Robbed of its microbes, the wart gradually vanishes.
Although duct tape has gotten all the publicity, it may be the case that other kinds of tape would do just as well. In any case, the next time you get a wart, talk to your medical professional about duct tape.