Efficacy of duct tape vs placebo in the treatment of verruca vulgaris (warts) in primary school children

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006 Nov;160(11):1121-5. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.160.11.1121.


Objective: To determine the efficacy of duct tape compared with placebo in the treatment of verruca vulgaris.

Design and setting: A randomized placebo-controlled trial in 3 primary schools in Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Participants: One hundred three children aged 4 to 12 years with verruca vulgaris.

Interventions: Duct tape applied to the wart or placebo, a corn pad (protection ring for clavi), applied around the wart for 1 night a week. Both treatments were applied for a period of 6 weeks. Patients were blinded to the hypothesis of the study.

Main outcome measurement: Complete resolution of the treated wart.

Results: After 6 weeks, the wart had disappeared in 16% of the children in the duct tape group compared with 6% in the placebo group (P = .12). The estimated effect of duct tape compared with placebo on diameter reduction of the treated wart was 1.0 mm (P = .02, 95% confidence interval, -1.7 to -0.1). After 6 weeks, in 7 children (21%) in the duct tape group, a surrounding wart had disappeared compared with 9 children (27%) in the placebo group (P = .79). Fifteen percent of the children in the duct tape group reported adverse effects such as erythema, eczema, and wounds compared with 0 in the placebo group (P = .14).

Conclusion: In a 6-week trial, duct tape had a modest but nonsignificant effect on wart resolution and diameter reduction when compared with placebo in a cohort of primary school children.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adhesives
  • Bandages* / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Failure
  • Warts / therapy*


  • Adhesives