Over a year ago I developed a huge callous beside the nail on my pointer finger. Since that hand is always holding a pen or paintbrush, I wasn't too surprised or concerned. But then it started working its way around the entire cuticle bed. Now that was weird! So, when I went in for my annual check up with my dermatologist last summer, I pointed it out to her. "That's not a callous, that's a wart." "Can you get rid of it?" "Well, I can freeze it for you." "Does that hurt?" "Yep." "What's plan B?" "I can give you something to put on it." "Sounds like a plan!"
I went home with a prescription for salicylic acid, and instructions to apply it twice daily, and be sure it only touches the wart, not the skin around it. Well, I had to use my spastic left hand to apply it, so that's easier said than done. Guess what? It hurts like hell when you put it on normal skin. Plus, she didn't mention that once the acid dries, your finger appears to be covered in a mound of crusty white aphids. Not attractive! I put up with this poop for a year, and ended up no better off than when I started. So, when I went back for this year's check up I told her "Enough of that. Just freeze the darn thing!" "Oooo-kaaay. But, when I do that, I have to do it every three weeks." "Are you kidding me?" "No. Warts are very resistant. Especially these cuticle warts." "Well forget that! I know what frozen skin looks like. My husband has to have it done all the time. I'm better off just living with the wart!"
She finished up my exam and was heading to the door when she paused and turned back. "There is one other thing you could try." What, amputation? "You could try putting a piece of duct tape on it." "Duct Tape?""Duct Tape. There have been studies, and it seems to work," she said with a shrug and a smile.
I followed her instruction, cutting a piece just large enough to fit over the wart itself. When I took it off 48 hours later, the wart was all but gone! At first I was elated. But then I felt like screaming and punching something, or someone. Why didn't she tell me this last year? Would she really have let me go through with having it frozen every three weeks if I'd agreed to it? Why didn't I figure this out myself? I should have known! Why? Because two or three years ago I ended up with a plantar wart. Felt like I had a rock or marble in my shoe all the time, but was actually just a teeny-tiny dot on the bottom of my foot. I did some research on the nets and found one study that compared the satisfaction rates from people who had tried everything from surgery, acid and freezing to duct tape. Guess which one got the highest rating? Yep, Duct Tape! I put a little piece on my foot and the relief was almost immediate. A short time later, it was gone. Unfortunately, my brain just never connected the dots between that tiny speck on the bottom of my foot and this big ol' crusty mess on my finger. DOH!!!