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Can You Get Rid of Warts with Super Glue?

One reader discovered a way to get rid of warts by coating them with instant glue. Many other home remedies may also work against warts.

Warts are bumps on the skin caused by a virus, the human papillomavirus (HPV). Even though you can’t actually get rid of the virus, you can get rid of warts. A wide range of home remedies and over-the-counter products may work against warts. Dermatologists also have their favorite treatments. They may sometimes use liquid nitrogen to freeze them off; other dermatologist may prefer to remove the warts surgically. What tactics can you use at home?

How to Get Rid of Warts:

Q. For warts I’ve used instant glue. What led me to this were the anecdotes reporting success with duct tape and banana peel. It seemed that what they had in common was blocking air to the wart. That’s why I thought of cyanoacrylate glue. It goes on easily, doesn’t wash off quickly and is almost invisible.

A. You didn’t tell us whether this glue worked to get rid of your warts! We found one case report in which doctors used surgical glue for a related purpose (BMC Gastroenterology, Feb. 2010).  However, this doesn’t seem to be widely used.

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Warts:

Warts are caused by the skin’s reaction to human papillomavirus. People have come up with a wide range of home remedies for this problem, including taping banana peel over the wart with the inside of the peel on the skin. Other readers have used cayenne pepper in their socks or the yellow spice turmeric under a bandage for plantar warts.

As you’ve noted, duct tape is a popular treatment, especially for plantar warts (those on the soles of the feet). A review of research found that salicylic acid (an OTC treatment) works as well as liquid nitrogen for children’s warts and is less painful (Paediatrics & Child Health, March 2014).  This analysis does not show that duct tape is better than placebo in treating warts, and the adhesive can be irritating. We’d love to see a study of your wart-removing approach using super glue.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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