Wart Treatments

This is something you really can try at home – put duct tape on your warts. It’s cheap, easy and effective.  Duct tape therapy is a five-step process.

  • First of all you cut a piece of duct tape and put it on the wart.
  • Then you keep it on for six days. If it falls off, just stick some more on.
  • After the sixth day, soak the wart in water (or place a wet pack on the area) and then gently rub off the wart with an emery board or pumice stone.
  • Leave the wart uncovered until the next day and then reapply the duct tape for another six days.
  • You keep doing this for two months, or until the wart disappears.


According to a study reported in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (2002; 156:971-74) treating warts really is as simple as putting on some duct tape. The study compared the results of duct tape treatment and cryotherapy (burning warts off) and found that duct tape was better than the painful cryotherapy. Where only 60% of the warts treated with cryotherapy resolved, some 85% of them resolved with the duct tape treatment.
However, if there is no response in the first two weeks, researchers say that it probably won’t help.

How does this work? Researchers think that the local irritation from having the duct tape on somehow stimulates the immune system to kill the virus that causes the wart.

There are some adverse effects though. Wearing a patch of duct tape on your face is not all that appealing and can also irritate the skin. Just keeping the tape on can be difficult, especially when it is on the palm of the hand. Even with the disadvantages, it's worth trying before you consider other more costly and painful procedures. Parents safely can use it on their children too. There are no drug or treatment side effects to worry about.  (What wasn’t studied was the recurrence of the warts. Even with cryotherapy, warts can still occur.)

Warts are caused by a virus called the Human Papilloma Virus – and there’s over 60 types of the virus. Mostly older children get them, and they often disappear after a few months. They become problematic when they last for years, or keep recurring. There is a strong immune connection to the reasons why people get warts, so staying as healthy as possible can help to resist them. Nutrients which support the immune system are vitamins A, C E and zinc. Zinc deficiency is common in Australia. Some natural therapists can assess zinc levels by doing a simple taste test on the spot.

For those who have tried a variety of treatments without success, there are herbal and homeopathic medicines that help warts to drop off without any discomfort. This involves a consultation to assess the type and position of warts to be treated. It's not uncommon for warts - even plantar warts, to simply drop off after treatment.

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