I am certain you have heard it said hundreds of times before that duct tape will fix anything. But I never thought it would provide a medical cure as well.
When I was pregnant with my second child I developed a tiny plantar wart on the bottom of my foot. It was only the size of a pencil point at the time. I went to see a podiatrist and was told that I should have it cut out. Sure, I agreed. But I chickened out at the thought of having a hole cut in my foot, so I never followed up that appointment. Instead I went about my day to day activities, ignoring the little pest beneath my feet. Four years passed. The little pencil point grew and grew, and eventually I had a cluster of smaller “flat” warts that covered an area on my foot the size of a quarter. So I went to a podiatrist again (a different one since I lived in a different state). He tried many remedies on it, including some liquid that would make the wart blister so I couldn’t walk on it for a day or two, and then he would cut the skin off after it would pop. Eeewww. I repeated this several times over the course of several months. It was pointless. The size of the cluster of warts didn’t change. He told me my only other option was to have it removed with laser surgery. He did not have a laser, so I had to make an appointment with a dermatologist.
So I procrastinated another year and then started seeing a dermatologist. These appointments would prove to be even more painful than the podiatrist’s method to force the warts to blister. Welcome to the pain of laser surgery. I was told that the area could not be numbed or it would interfere with the effects of the laser. But I was also told that the procedure should be tolerable. Liar.
Visit #1: HOLY MARY MOTHER OF GOD! Next to childbirth, this was the worst pain I think I have ever felt! It was worse than when I almost cut off my baby toe when I was eight! It felt as if someone were digging a hot poker into my foot, repeatedly! It took every ounce of strength I had to let the doctor continue to hold my foot and laser it. Every urge in my body wanted to yank my foot away and kick the doctor in the face. I wanted to cry, but I fought the tears back. After it was over, I lay on the table dripping in sweat. But one visit wouldn’t be sufficient.
Visit #2: Prior to my second visit to the dermatologist, I was given a prescription for topical lidocaine. I was told to apply this to the area one hour before the surgery. I prayed to God, that this method would work. The procedure begins….$#!@#! Who was I kidding?! I was voluntarily being tortured! Still wanting to cry and dripping in sweat, I was scheduled for another follow-up visit.
Visit #3: The size of the cluster is smaller…by millimeters. Seriously? Another treatment. This time, I received a prescription pain killer to take prior to the procedure. Why didn’t I think of that before?! F$!#@! The laser still hurt! I wondered why we just couldn’t cut my foot off and get it over with! After the procedure I was still dripping in sweat, but I didn’t need to cry that time. Perhaps the pain pills were helping….a little.
Visit #4: F*** visit #4. I was done. I could live with this embarrassment on my foot. I don’t go around barefoot anyway. I gave up.
So I hit the internet. I tried home remedy after home remedy. No change. How did I get this? Why did I get this? Why was it so hard to get rid of?! So seven years after this stupid little annoyance developed, I decided to try one last solution I read on the internet — duct tape. That was it. Cover the wart with duct tape and leave it on for a few weeks or however long it takes. Great, I thought, this could take forever. But I decided to try it. After all, it’s painless and cheap. Every few days I had to take off the tape and replace it with fresh tape. But still, I kept it covered. Each time I removed the tape, I noticed some dead skin on the tape, but I still continued to keep it covered. After a couple weeks, the skin under the tape seemed to be peeling like a snake’s skin. So each time I would change the tape, I would peel the skin that was loose and then reapply new tape. After about six weeks, I took the tape off, peeled off the loose skin and took a really good look at my foot. It looked different. The skin was still flaky from the tape, so I wasn’t quite sure if what I was looking at on my foot was a dead layer of skin on top of the wart or exactly what. So I decided to go without the tape for a week. Each day I checked my foot and peel back a little more of the loose skin that was left. Sure enough, it seemed liked a miracle! Once I removed the layers of dead skin, the wart was gone. I can’t believe it. You wouldn’t believe it either. But it’s true.
It blows my mind, when I think that I went through years of torture, frustration, and self-inflicted pain, when all I needed was good ol’ duct tape.