FTF: The Holistic Healing Properties of Duct Tape

It’s French Toast Friday!

This episode of French Toast Friday is brought to you courtesy of  3M.

In my opinion, knives and flesh should never meet: not even anesthetized flesh.  I had a planter’s wart on my toe since I was eleven.  Acid, knives, avid swearing, nothing made it go away.  Finally I said enough.  It didn’t hurt me, why should I hurt it?

Fast forward 20 years.

After the initial romance wore off, Shaun very nicely said “honey, could you, uh, do something about that…thing…on your toe? “

I get this.  Your own thing is tolerable.  Someone else’s thing, not so much.  The next time I’m in the doc’s office I hoist up the toe, and say, “is there any new treatment for this?”

She recoils:  “You’re going to need to see a dermatologist for that.”  Is she shuddering? Apparently being a doc does not prepare one for the ghastly spectacle of a thing on a toe.

“Hang on, I just read a study…” she rifles through one of the 2 foot piles on her desk.  “…there’s been very good success getting rid of those with…I know it’s here somewhere…duct tape.”

Did she say duct tape?

She continues, “No one knows why it works.  Ah.  Here it is.  Duct tape study.”

You have got to be kidding me.

  1. There is a medical study on duct tape?  and
  2. THIS is the technological advance that I’ve spent 20 years waiting for?

She hands me the instructions.  I don’t read them.

She scribbles a referral to a Dermatologist, “in case”.   Clearly, she’s gone over the edge.  Too many viewings of My Big Fat Greek Wedding?  Is this her Windex?  Is this a cry for help?

I call the dermatologist from my car.  I want to get in NOW.

A month later, a 60-ish man with extra sparkly silver hair (Clairol?), spotless white coat, and the skin of a newborn baby walks into the exam room.  No wrinkles, no pores.  His eyes tilt upward suspiciously at the corners.  I bet he works on himself in his spare time.  What happened to model trains in the basement?

He reads the referral for my toe, and then looks critically at my face.

“Too bad.  If you’d come in a year or so ago I could have taken care of that skin coarsening  right there.” He points  near my nose.  Coarsening?  WHAT coarsening?

I need to get this over with before he tells me all the other things about my face he can’t fix anymore.  I thrust my toe toward him.  He doesn’t shrink back.

“Whoa.  How long have you had THAT?”

” I’m not sure?”  (I’m lying, I know exactly how long)

He puts what looks like a diamond buyer’s loupe in his eye, and studies my toe  intensely.  I have the sinking feeling he’s never seen one this bad.   He scoots his chair back, pulls his glasses off, and strikes a pose that looks an awful lot like Richard Gere in Pretty Woman.

“I can cut it off. (Pauses)… but you’d lose half that toe.”

WHAT?  I study him.  He’s serious.  Well there goes THAT idea.  Guess I’m living with a disgusting thing on my toe.

He continues, idly. “Painful procedure.  No walking for 3 months.  Wheelchair, then 3 months on crutches.  Do you have help at home?”

Sorry Shaun.  We’re living with it.  He sees the NO WAY on my face.

He reaches for the toe again. “I’ve had some success with a new treatment, but it takes awhile to work.”  (Pause while he turns my toe into better lighting). “Maybe we can get it down to a manageable size, and then I can remove it.”

Sold.  “What do I do?”

He holds up a finger, rolls over to a drawer, scootches back and hands me…a roll of Duct Tape.

Did I just fall into the twilight zone of medical practitioners?  Are they Zombies?  Am I in danger?  Is there a conspiracy?  Should I be worried?  I stare at the shrink wrapped Duct Tape, while he scribbles instructions on a note pad.  He takes back the Duct tape.  Oh.  It’s a visual aid.

All business now (probably needs to go check himself in the mirror before his next patient) he says curtly, “Buy duct tape, name brand please.” (He adds this sternly, as if I might cheat and buy the cheap stuff) “Here’s the instructions, call me in a two months.”

Brand name?  There is a brand name duct tape?  He whips out his rx pad, and writes 3M  on it, under his name and all those letters that represent his fancy degrees. Did this professional dermatologist really just hand me a prescription for duct tape?

I stop at the, uh, Hardware Store on the way home, and buy 3M Duct Tape.  Go home.  Wrap my toe.

Trust me.  After a week, it’s completely disgusting.  I was thrilled to take it off.  No change that I could see.  It looked Dawn of the Dead-ish.  I dutifully followed instructions, but stopped looking at the…results?  It looked really creepy.  The day before my follow up appointment, I bit the bullet. Maybe I should look at it? See how much pain I’m going to have to brace myself for?

I turn my toe over, and…it’s GONE.  Perfect skin.  You mean all these years I could’ve used DUCT TAPE?!?

I called to cancel.  He took the phone from the receptionist:  Told you it would work.  Most people don’t believe me, and don’t do it.  Nice job.  One more person I can say it worked for, and you’ll still have a big toe.

True story.


Now, everything you never wanted to know about duct tape, and were sure you’d never dream of asking:  DuctTapeGuys.com,  be sure to check out the Duct Tape Diner.  My favorite was the duct tape dress pumps.

I didn’t see anything about medical advances with duct tape, but hey, it worked for me.

To REALLY laugh, visit The Duct Tape Guys Department of Homeland Security for their anti-terrorist duct tape tips.

DuctTapeGuys Department of Homeland Security Logo

Real life duct tape video drama:

Thief makes robbers mask out of…Duct Tape. I’m thinking removing the duct tape might be punishment enough. He says he didn’t do it.  Right.  Swollen face, tape burns.  Nope.  Couldn’t be him.

12 thoughts on “FTF: The Holistic Healing Properties of Duct Tape

  1. I had a wart on my finger, heard about duct tape and gave it a chance. It didn’t work at first and i was annoyed, but then i realized i was using some off-brand. Switched to name brand duct tape and the wart was gone in a month. This absolutely works. The smell it makes as it heals is awful though. I can still remember it. Ugh.

  2. Yesterday I bought another role of duct tape – had gone through a role making booties for a potentially abcessed hoof. My 6th grade boys counseling group just had an hysterically funny “destruction derby” using small Thunderdome type vehicles that they constructed with duct tape the as an essential building material. I’ll get to deduct duct tape as a therapy supply. Now I’m looking at a wart like growth on my hand and wondering where is my duct tape. Tell ya, the stuff is indespensible.

    1. With Tiny, we go through a LOT of duct tape, given the white line disease. Even with excellent management, he is still prone to at least one abscess in the winter, poor guy.

      Your talking about taping a hoof reminded me of a tip: If you have a horse that’s not in a stall, we’ve found using (brand name, lol) Gorilla tape will hold the packing on without wearing through. For anyone who doesn’t know, you want to keep the duct tape off the hoof itself. Pack it, cover in a couple of disposable diapers (we like Huggies), wrap over THAT in Vetwrap, being careful not to constrict the coronary band, and the duct tape over the top. If there is any question of constriction when you’re done, you can always cut a few diagonal “gussets” in the bandage.

      Duct tape: The real jewel of the century! 🙂

  3. 🙂 Duct tape is good for just about everything; I’m thinking of several things in the barn that could use a wrap.

    What really intrigues me is : “…know one knows why it works.” Surely someone has tried to find out…maybe the glue just smothers it.

  4. That’s hilarious. I think if a doctor handed someone a prescription for 3m Duct Tape the expression on their faces would be priceless. I’m glad it worked out for you.
    We had a water bottle delivery at the barn once and my daughter was wrapping a hoof with duct tape, the delivery guy couldn’t believe it and commented, “I guess you really can fix anything with duct tape”. So from horses hooves to peoples hooves, I guess it’s the thing to use.

  5. LOL – and congrats on the 3M solution! I’ve heard that before. My son had warts on his hands but wouldn’t use the duct tape. Homeopathy worked like a charm too. 🙂

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