Duct Tape For Warts

Warts (verruca vulgaris) a common complaint by young people caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) can occur any place on the skin or even mucus membrane. Although 2/3 of warts in children will spontaneously disappear, this may take 2-3 years and many children and parents are not willing to wait that long.

There are many treatments for warts; and none are 100% effective. In addition, a number of office treatments are painful and expensive. Tape occlusion was first described in 1978 by Dr. Jerome Litt, but it never caught on. The first controlled study on taping warts was reported in October of 2002, we have summarized the paper here for those who are interested.


  • Cover the wart with duct tape for 6-7 days and then remove the tape. Make sure the tape is applied securely. If the tape falls off, apply a new piece as soon as you can.
  • Soak the wart in warm water after removing the tape.
  • Use an emery board or pumice stone to gently grind away the wart.
  • Leave the tape off over night to give the skin a rest.
  • Reapply the tape the next morning and again apply the tape for 6-7 days.  Again, soak the wart, grind it down, and leave the tape off over night.
  • Repeat this cycle until your follow up in clinic. You are likely to see at least some improvement in 2-3 weeks.
  • Return to my clinic in 4-6 weeks for debriding of the wart. This means that I will recheck the wart area and if the wart is still there I will painlessly shave away the remaining wart.

This is real “advise” in wart therapy. It is nice to not see a patient leave the office in pain; especially when the unpleasantness is no more likely to lead to a cure; indeed it may be less successful than simple taping.

Please do not hesitate to contact our office with questions.