Warts are symptoms of an infection by the human papillomavirus or HPV. They appear as tiny rough bumps on the surface of the skin, and are usually harmless except when they grow on the soles of your feet. People typically get rid of warts for cosmetic reasons. There are many ways to remove warts from your skin and one of them is through the duct tape method.
What? Duct Tape for Warts?
While the idea seems ridiculous, duct tape has been used by people for a long time to get rid of their warts. Since the duct tape method is widely practiced, experts have looked into its efficacy in treating warts. A study conducted by Dr. Dean Focht published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine showed that the duct tape method can even be more effective than cryotherapy, which uses liquid nitrogen to freeze wart tissue.
The method is so effective that many doctors think it works and even recommend it to their patients. Some experts say duct tape is effective because it abrades the skin, removing dead skin cells and the wart virus in the process. Warts then get smaller over time or completely detach from the surrounding skin. Masking the wart with duct tape also seems to induce the patient’s immune system to attack the virus that causes warts.
Removing Warts Through The Duct Tape Method
Consult your doctor before you go and try the duct tape method. Ask your doctor if he thinks the treatment will likely benefit you or not. Also, ask him what brand of duct tape to use and other pointers on how to do the treatment safely. There are two ways to do the duct tape method.
- Duct tape method one: Get some duct tape and apply it to areas of your body that has warts. Keep the duct tape in place for about six or more days. Remove the tape then soak the warts in warm water. Use an emery board or a pumice stone to pare down the wart tissue. The warts should be soft by now so they are easy to get rid of.
- Duct tape method two: First, apply an over-the-counter salicylic acid to your warts before you go to bed at night. Let the treatment dry for about a minute, then completely cover the affected parts with duct tape. Peel off the duct tape the next morning and repeat the process every day. You’ll notice that the wart tissue gets smaller and smaller every time you do this. Repeat the process until no warts remain on your skin.
Tips on Using Duct Tape to Treat Warts
Using duct tape to treat warts should not be taken for granted. You must be careful in placing the tape over the warts to avoid injury. Here are some tips to make the treatment more successful:
- One potential drawback of the duct tape method is that your skin may become soggy and red when it’s been under the duct tape for too long. If you observe such symptoms, take a few nights off of the duct tape treatment to let your skin breathe and dry. Once your skin returns to its normal condition, resume treatment until all the warts are gone.
- Kids may not want to go outside with gray duct tape around their hands, fingers or feet. To make them more comfortable with the treatment, try using duct tape of their favorite color. Duct tape is available in blue, pink, red and other colors. Make them choose the duct tape they want and carefully put it over affected areas.
- Be careful in covering the warts with duct tape. Avoid crumpling the duct tape and make sure that it’s flat against the surface of the skin. Also, the body part that is covered with duct tape should still rotate and flex normally, so don’t wrap the tape too tight. Blood should still flow freely in the affected part so it heals normally.
- Use duct tape that is newly purchased from the store. Don’t use duct tape that has sit on a shelf for a long period of time because it has probably collected too much dust which could irritate your skin. The cleaner the duct tape, the safer is the treatment.
- If possible, ask your doctor to help you put the duct tape over your warts. You may also ask him to help cover your child’s warts with the tape. Your doctor’s supervision is critical during the entire treatment period.
Other Home Remedies for Warts
There are other things you can do at home to get rid of warts faster. You can combine the following home remedies with the duct tape method for better results. If these home remedies don’t work, you can go to your doctor for surgical methods to remove your warts:
Do not spread the virus on your body: Do not clip areas with warts because this might spread the virus to other parts of your body. Also, don’t use the same file that you use to remove your warts to cut your fingernails or toenails. Avoid picking warts since this further spreads the virus on your body. If your child refuses the duct tape method, try wrapping affected areas with bandage to prevent him picking at the warts. Lastly, always keep your skin dry as warts spread faster in moist environments.
Use wart patches: These patches contain salicylic acid that peels off dead skin cells. It’s advisable that you choose patches containing 17 percent salicylic acid to get rid of the warts quicker. Apply the patches every day for a few weeks or until the war tissue is gone.
Soak your hand or feet in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes before using patches. Abrade the wart tissue using a pumice stone or a file between each treatment. Remember though that salicylic acid can damage the healthy skin surrounding the warts so be careful when applying patches. Combine this treatment with the duct tape method to cover all areas of your body with warts.
Consult your doctor immediately if you notice any sign of infection during the treatment process. Signs of infection include extreme redness, pain and swelling. Talk to your doctor every step of the way to avoid complications. If the duct tape method doesn’t seem to work, consider other ways to treat your warts.
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