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Question 3 What is the efficacy of duct tape as a treatment for verruca vulgaris?
  1. Alison Stubbings,
  2. Ian Wacogne
  1. Department of General Paediatrics, Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Alison Stubbings, Department of General Paediatrics, Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham B4 6NH, UK; a.stubbings{at}

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An 8-year-old girl attends a general paediatric outpatient clinic for medical review and it is noted that she has duct tape on her finger. When asked about it, her mother states that duct tape was recommended by a dermatologist for the treatment of verrucas on the girl's fingers and toes. You wonder what the evidence base is for this treatment.

Structured clinical question

In children with verrucas [population] does treatment with duct tape [intervention] bring about resolution of verrucas [outcome]?

Search strategy and outcome

Secondary sources

A Cochrane review on the subject of verrucas was published in 2006; this revealed only one relevant paper, which was also identified in the primary search.

Primary sources

We searched the PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL databases, using the search criteria ‘warts’, ‘verrucas’, ‘duct tape’ and ‘children’.

A search of PubMed produced six results, two of which were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and are included in this review. The other results were comments or letters and are not included. The same search of Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL produced the same two RCTs.

Due to the paucity of results specific to the paediatric population, we extended our search to include adults, which generated just one further RCT. We also carried out a broader search using …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.