How to Remove a Wart With Duct Tape


Warts are unsightly growths that are caused by the human papillomavirus, and they can be hard to get rid of! One of the best-known home remedies for treating warts is duct tape. In a practice called duct tape occlusion therapy (DTOT), you cover your wart for an extended period of time with duct tape, then use a rough object to scrub the dead skin off of the wart. Then, you leave the wart exposed to air for a few hours, and reapply new duct tape. You’ll have to repeat the process until the wart is gone, which may take up to 2 months. It might not work for every wart, but it’s a safe and cheap option that you can try.

Part 1
Covering the Wart

Covering the Wart on How to Remove a Wart With Duct Tape

1
Use warm water and a mild soap to cleanse the wart and the skin around it. Then, rinse the soap away. Dry the skin with a clean, dry towel after washing it. Ensuring that the skin around the wart is clean and dry will make it more likely that the tape will stick and stay put. Moisture under the duct tape will cause the adhesive to weaken and the tape to fall off, so make sure that your skin is completely dry.

Covering the Wart on How to Remove a Wart With Duct Tape

2
Choose a medicine for wart removal that contains salicylic acid. Salicylic acid in high concentrations will cause the wart to die. You can find salicylic acid wart removal medications in the foot care section of a drug or grocery store. Apply the medication directly to the wart before you cover it with duct tape. Try to avoid getting the medication on the skin around it. The medicine will cause the skin to die and turn white.[1] Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for how to use the medicine. This is optional, but it might help to make the duct tape therapy go faster. Using duct tape alone to get rid of the wart may take up to 8 weeks.

Covering the Wart on How to Remove a Wart With Duct Tape

3
Cut a small square of silver duct tape. You only need a piece that is large enough to cover the wart and stick to the surrounding skin. Place this duct tape over the wart and then press the tape firmly against the skin to ensure good adhesion.[2] Don’t use clear duct tape. This duct tape isn’t as effective as the silver kind.[3]Tip: You can use plain silverduct tape, or choose a decorativeopaque duct tape to cover a wart.If you’re treating a child’swart, letting them choose theduct tape might make them morelikely to keep it on.[4]Tip: You can use plain silver ducttape, or choose a decorative opaqueduct tape to cover a wart. If you’retreating a child’s wart, lettingthem choose the duct tape might makethem more likely to keep it on.[4]Tip: You can use plain silver duct tape, orchoose a decorative opaque duct tape tocover a wart. If you’re treating achild’s wart, letting them choose the ducttape might make them more likely to keep iton.[4]Tip: You can use plain silver duct tape, or choose a decorative opaqueduct tape to cover a wart. If you’re treating a child’s wart,letting them choose the duct tape might make them more likely to keep iton.[4]Tip: You can use plain silver duct tape, or choose a decorative opaque ducttape to cover a wart. If you’re treating a child’s wart, letting themchoose the duct tape might make them more likely to keep it on.[4]

Covering the Wart on How to Remove a Wart With Duct Tape

4
If the duct tape falls off or starts to come loose on the edges, replace it as soon as you can. It’s crucial to keep the wart covered with the duct tape to cut off its air and light supply. This will help to kill the wart.[5] You might notice that the wart appears white and the skin around it looks wrinkled. This is normal and it means the duct tape is working.

Part 2
Removing the Wart

Removing the Wart on How to Remove a Wart With Duct Tape

1
After 6 full days of wearing a duct tape patch, remove it to check on the wart. The wart should appear white and the skin around it may look somewhat white and wrinkled as well.[6] If the wart appears irritated or worse than it was before, stop using duct tape and make an appointment to see a doctor or dermatologist.

Removing the Wart on How to Remove a Wart With Duct Tape

2
Use a soft cloth soaked in warm water to soak the wart, or immerse the affected area in a bowl, wash basin, or bathtub. Warm water softens the skin and this will make it easier to exfoliate and rub away the dead tissue.[7]

Removing the Wart on How to Remove a Wart With Duct Tape

3
Rub the surface of the wart gently to slough off the dead skin. Do this for about 1 minute or longer if needed. However, stop if you feel pain at any point while you are doing this.[8] By scraping the wart with a mild abrasive, you will be filing the dead wart tissue away. This process is called "debriding" (removing dead material). Do not reuse the emery board or pumice stone. Warts are contagious and reusing the item may spread the virus to other parts of your body.Tip: You can also use fine-gritsandpaper to debride the wart.Purchase a sheet of 200-grit orhigher sandpaper at your localhardware store and cut off asmall piece of it to debride thewart. Then, throw away the pieceof sandpaper and use a new piecenext time.[9]Tip: You can also use fine-gritsandpaper to debride the wart.Purchase a sheet of 200-grit or highersandpaper at your local hardware storeand cut off a small piece of it todebride the wart. Then, throw away thepiece of sandpaper and use a new piecenext time.[9]Tip: You can also use fine-grit sandpaper todebride the wart. Purchase a sheet of200-grit or higher sandpaper at your localhardware store and cut off a small piece ofit to debride the wart. Then, throw away thepiece of sandpaper and use a new piece nexttime.[9]Tip: You can also use fine-grit sandpaper to debride the wart. Purchasea sheet of 200-grit or higher sandpaper at your local hardware store andcut off a small piece of it to debride the wart. Then, throw away thepiece of sandpaper and use a new piece next time.[9]Tip: You can also use fine-grit sandpaper to debride the wart. Purchase asheet of 200-grit or higher sandpaper at your local hardware store and cut offa small piece of it to debride the wart. Then, throw away the piece ofsandpaper and use a new piece next time.[9]

Removing the Wart on How to Remove a Wart With Duct Tape

4
It’s important to give your skin a chance to dry out before you repeat the treatment. You can leave your skin exposed overnight or for a few hours during the daytime. After you finish airing out the skin, apply another piece of duct tape to the wart just as you did before.[10] Avoid exposing the wart to sunlight while you air it out as this may cause it to increase in size.

Removing the Wart on How to Remove a Wart With Duct Tape

5
Continue to leave the duct tape on for 6 days and remove the duct tape every sixth evening. After you do this, soak the wart, debride it, and leave the skin exposed overnight. Then, apply duct tape to the wart and start the process over again. Over time, the wart will decrease in size until it’s gone.[11] If your wart doesn't get better after 2 months or seems to get worse, see a doctor. You may have an especially hardy wart. Luckily, there are other options for wart removal, including salicylic acid, cryotherapy, medications, and surgery.[12]