Level 2: Mid-level evidence

The efficacy of duct tape as a potential noninvasive treatment for warts, or verruca vulgaris, was recently evaluated in a randomized trial (Arch Dermatol. 2007;143:309-313). Ninety immunocompetent adults with at least one common wart measuring 2-15 mm were randomized to moleskin with transparent duct tape vs. moleskin alone, worn for seven consecutive days then removed for one evening; this was repeated until resolution or two months, whichever came first. In patients with multiple warts, only the target wart was treated. Most patients required reinforcing tape to keep moleskin in place.

Eighty patients (89%) completed the study and were analyzed. Comparing duct tape vs. moleskin alone, 21% vs. 22% had resolution of the target wart at two months (95% confidence interval for absolute difference -16% to +19%). Six of eight resolved warts (75%) in the duct-tape group vs. three of nine resolved warts (33%) in the control group recurred at mean 3.2 vs. 3.7 months (not statistically significant).