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The Pediatric Forum
May 2003

Duct Tape Occlusion for Common Warts: Is Effectiveness Overestimated?

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2003 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2003

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003;157(5):491. doi:10.1001/archpedi.157.5.491-a

We enjoyed reading the article by Focht et al.1 The availability of an inexpensive and virtually painless treatment for this common condition is of interest to physicians, parents, and young patients. However, we are concerned that the study's methods may have overestimated the treatment effect. Table 2 of the study shows a nearly identical distribution of wart locations in the control and study groups, which leads us to question whether allocation to the respective groups was adequately concealed; inadequate concealment of allocation is known to lead to overestimation of treatment effects.2,3 This point, in addition to questions about the intention-to-treat analysis that were discussed in the accompanying journal club article, causes us to question whether duct tape occlusion is any more efficacious than cryotherapy in the treatment of the common wart. We recognize that even if the effectiveness of duct tape occlusion is shown to be merely equivalent to that of cryotherapy, its ease and comfort of treatment make it an exciting alternative therapy to consider. We look forward to future high-quality studies that will further enhance knowledge in this area.

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