Duct tape's success at curing warts may have been overstated, according to a new study that raises doubts about the tape's effectiveness as a cheap, painless treatment. The tape supposedly works by irritating the skin and stimulating the body's immune system to attack the virus that causes warts. It earned a place in the medicine cabinet in 2002, when a small study showed it to be effective on children and young adults.
This time, a study among older adults found duct tape helped only 21 percent of the time and was no more better than moleskin, a cotton-tape bandage used to protect the skin.
But researchers used transparent duct tape. Only later did they learn that the transparent variety does not contain rubber, unlike the better-known, gray duct tape that appeared to be effective in the 2002 study.