Duct Tape for the Treatment of Common Warts in Adults: A Double-blind Randomized Controlled Trial

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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate the efficacy of duct tape occlusion therapy for the treatment of common warts in adults.

Design

Double-blind controlled clinical intervention trial.

Setting

Veterans Affairs medical center.

Participants

A total of 90 immunocompetent adult volunteers with at least 1 wart measuring 2 to 15 mm were enrolled between October 1, 2004, and July 31, 2005. Eighty patients completed the study.

Intervention

Patients were randomized by a computer-generated code to receive pads consisting of either moleskin with transparent duct tape (treatment group) or moleskin alone (control group). Patients were instructed to wear the pads for 7 consecutive days and leave the pad off on the seventh evening. This process was repeated for 2 months or until the wart resolved, whichever occurred first. Follow-up visits occurred at 1 and 2 months.

Main Outcome Measure

Complete resolution of the target wart. Secondary outcomes included change in size of the target wart and recurrence rates at 6 months for warts with complete resolution.

Results

There were no statistically significant differences in the proportions of patients with resolution of the target wart (8 [21%] of 39 patients in the treatment group vs 9 [22%] of 41 in the control group). Of patients with complete resolution, 6 (75%) in the treatment group and 3 (33%) in the control group had recurrence of the target wart by the sixth month.

Conclusion

We found no statistically significant difference between duct tape and moleskin for the treatment of warts in an adult population.

Trial Registration

clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00328991

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