Monday, February 1, 2010

Wart Zapper


One of my more significant electronic designs (my hobby is electronic design) was a so-called Wart Zapper. It was published in various embodiments in various magazines, and has been put into production in various forms. So it is well attested. It was a revolutionary design, as it placed electronic wart removal (and since then, the treatment of certain infections, such as cold sores) in the hands of the public for the first time. This design (above right) is the very simplest that there is. It bombards warts with a miniscule current at high frequency. The most promising theory as to why this works is that wart cells begin to resonate, so disrupting the chemical processes at the cell boun­d­aries. OBSERVATION: Note that the circuit uses the CMOS version of the 555 timer, not the standard NE­555­N. The 24V supply may be obtained with two small 12V key fob batteries in series. The dispersive elec­trode (marked DE) is a metal grip held in the hand. The active electrode (mar­­­k­ed AE) is a sha­rp(ish) me­tal point which is used for di­rect contact with the wart. In both cases, a little moisturiser aids conduction. The Wart Zapper works best with small common warts. Usually, little or no pain is ex­pe­rienced when it is first applied, but af­t­er a certain pe­riod of pain­less­ness, which var­ies from about half a minute to 3½ minutes, sub­jects sud­denly feel a burning or even "spine-chilling" pain inside and under the wart. This pain only lasts about half a minute, then subsides. This is necessary for the removal of the wart, and needs to be "stuck out"! There are certain cautions and further notes (accompanying a more complicated design) at Circuit Exchange International.

NOTE: Regrettably, due to copyright agreements, this design has to stay on my blog. You are welcome to link to it, and may manufacture as many as you like.

9 comments:

Steve Hayes said...

I'd almost like to have a wart to try it out.

Thomas Scarborough said...

We can pray for warts. It'll make a change to praying for healing! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Works great! The best part is that it left no scars. I'm always looking for your designs in EPE, thank you.

Nicolae said...

I built the version with multiplier of the wart zapper. I was very skeptical it will work, but the diagram is simple and I had all the components. The MOSFET did not work properly, the oscilloscope showed poor amplitude signal at the drain. It is probably due to the fact that the MOSFETs have high capacity between Drain-Source and they don't work well without a load. I got better amplitude by connecting a resistor (10k...20k?) between the drain and node R4-VR1. Changing the MOSFET had a significant effect in the amplitude of the pulses, but it was still not high enough, so I replaced the mosfet with a bipolar transistor (2N2222) with a resistor in the base. The pulses were this time approx 24V, with a sharp rising edge and not very good falling edge. Because I didn't think this voltage was likely to cause much harm, I had VR1 set at minimum. I applied the voltage on my index finger (back of my hand) using the blunt end of a needle. I had a very small wart, approx 0.5mm in diameter for approx 10 years. Soon I felt some stinging sensation on the skin and I kept the electrode touching the skin, waiting for the pain to dissapear. I must admit it felt pretty bad, but I ignored the pain. After about one minute (?), I removed the needle from the skin. Unfortunately I realised too late that the needle head moved approx 2mm away from the wart. The skin got a red tint, approx 3 mm in the next minutes. For a whole month after the experiment I had a pretty severe burn on the back of my finger. At some stage it was swollen and painful and it got infected. I squeezed out the infection and in about two weeks the sore healed.
It is now about two months later and I still have a visible spot on the skin. I will probably have a 2-3 mm mark there for the rest of my life. Checking with a magnifier I can see the tissue regenerating like after a burn. The wart is still present, but it seems to have been affected as well. I might give it a try in a few months, but this time I will be a lot more cautios. So, I can't tell you if the device removes warts, but I can advise you to be very cautious and not overdo it. It is very easy to get severe burns if the 24V pulses are applied on a small area of skin. By the way, I used a frequency counter to set the frequency to 21.27kHz. The ceramic capacitors are very inacurate and I used a ceramic trimmer in parallel with C2 to finely adjust the frequency. Good luck, if you dare :)

Nick

Kasamiko said...

Can i used a non CMOS version of 555 like NE555?

Thomas Scarborough said...

Thank you, Kasamiko. In this case, it has to be CMOS (in most other situations, it would not matter). The CMOS devices are commonly available. I put an explanation somewhere in the Comments on this blog -- if only I could remember where ... Basically, it has to do with input impedance (which is too low with bipolar devices).

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this circuit design. Built and used it about month ago and all my warts are gone, though some bigger ones left scars. I had several cryotherapy treatments which didn´t completely remove my warts but this wart zapper burned them off. Well, actually it didn´t literally burn them, but it felt a bit like burning. It blistered the warts and some of them fell completely of, some collapsed and some went just sore, but still healed afterwards.
I have no idea why this electrical treatment isn´t used by clinics since it´s cheap and really effective although quite painful.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if these wart zappers are for sale? I have hundreds of them and am panicking because I am told it's impossible to eradicate. Then I read this blog and nearly fell off my chair.

I am bereft of electronic knowledge.
Patrick

Thomas Scarborough said...

The concept has gone into production in various embodiments, although I'm not up to speed. I listed a few at http://thomasscarborough.blogspot.com/2009/08/wart-remover-2.html Why not ask an enthusiast to make one up for you, for a small reward. The components cost next to nothing.