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Warts often fade on their own




 

 

DEAR DR. DONOHUE:
Would you address plantar warts? I’ve been told they’re from a virus in the body and that nothing can be done for them or keep them from recurring. Is this so? — D.W.

ANSWER:
All warts, wherever they are, come from an infection with one of the more than 100 human papillomaviruses — HPV. Individual members of the HPV family have a preference for particular body sites. Some head for the soles of the feet to cause plantar warts. “Plantar” is derived from a Latin word meaning “sole of the foot.”

If a plantar wart isn’t kicking up a fuss, it can be left alone. It’s not going to do any harm. Many such warts disappear without any treatment. Some can return, and there is not a whole lot to do about preventing a second visit.

However, there is much to do about a plantar wart that hurts. The method chosen for wart removal must not leave a scar. A scar on the bottom of the foot causes more trouble than does a wart.

Look on the shelves of any drugstore for wart-removal products that contain salicylic acid, and follow the directions for application carefully. Be patient. It takes more than one application to get rid of the wart.

Duct tape sometimes works. That’s right — duct tape, the tape you buy in a hardware store. Cover the wart with a piece of it for six days. Remove the tape, soak the foot and then gently rub the wart with a pumice stone, obtainable in drugstores. Reapply the tape after 12 hours. You might have to repeat this procedure for two months before the wart leaves.

If home remedies bring no success, the family doctor can step in with more involved treatments.

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DEAR DR. DONOHUE:
For the past six months, I have had no energy. I teach third grade. My doctor checked my thyroid gland, and it turns out it’s not working well. I am now taking replacement thyroid hormone. How long does it take for me to recover my former energy? Also, my cholesterol was high. Is that part of this deal? — M.O.

ANSWER:
It can take three to six months for your hormone level to reach a normal plateau. That’s when you’ll feel like your old self again. A person with low thyroid hormone often has a rise in blood cholesterol. The level will fall as soon as the replacement hormone is working.

The booklet on thyroid problems discusses both under- and overactive thyroid glands. Readers can order a copy by writing: Dr. Donohue — No. 401W, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853- 6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Canada with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery.

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DEAR DR. DONOHUE:
What causes skin tags? They hang from my neck and under my arms. — D.H.

ANSWER:
Their cause isn’t known. Your doctor can clip them off without any fuss. By age 69, 60 percent of us have one or more of them.

© 2010 North America Synd., Inc. All Rights Reserved


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