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Prestigious Medical Journal Discovers New Use for Duct Tape

Under the category of "strange but true", according to the October 2002 issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, research has shown that duct tape is more effective at removing warts than standard medical treatment. The study was conducted at the Madigan Army Medical Center near Tacoma, Washington. In the research 51 patients with warts between the ages of 3 and 22 were studied. One group received standard medical treatment for warts (cryotherapy) which consisted of liquid nitrogen applied to each wart for 10 seconds every 2-3 weeks for a maximum of 6 treatments. The other group had duct tape applied directly to the wart for a maximum of 2 months.

The results showed that of the 51 patients completing the study, 26 (51%) were treated with duct tape, and 25 (49%) were treated with cryotherapy. Twenty-two patients (85%) in the duct tape group vs 15 patients (60%) enrolled in the cryotherapy group had complete resolution of their warts. The researchers stated the obvious in their conclusion, "Duct tape occlusion therapy was significantly more effective than cryotherapy for treatment of the common wart."

According to lead researcher Dr. Dean "Rick" Focht III of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, the duct tape irritated the warts, which apparently caused an immune system reaction that attacked the growths. He said researchers did not test other kinds of tape, and so they cannot say whether there is anything special about the gray, heavy-duty, fabric-backed tape.

The report in the journal did mention that there had been some reports of occlusion therapy (tape) for warts in the past. But there was no mention of why duct tape specifically was chosen for the study. Several comedians including Tim Nyberg, one-half of the comedy duo, "Duct Tape Guys" are having a field day with this latest research. "It's the universal panacea," Nyberg said.