Doc Wright, Australia's #1 Media Medic. Medical advice for all the family.

Hear Dr Wright daily on Sydney's No 1 Radio Station

2UE

Download a list of other radio stations around Australia here.

newer   older
 
  article topic 

Article
Wed, 23rd April 2014
 

Warts are uncool, and kids hate them. So do adults, where they are not so common. They are caused by the wart virus, a microscopic fiend said to be transmitted by cats. Youngsters love cuddling the family puss. Just below the skin, it causes rapid dividing of superficial cells. With nowhere to go, they simply heap up and grow out, and a wart is born. They have nothing to do with frogs and pretty maidens and knights in shining armour or the midnight hour. Main issue is to eliminate them.

Most grown on the knees, fingers, and elbows. Even in this skeptical day and age, "psychotherapy" often works. If the child is told they will vanish, they often will. Other methods, using the same idea, are to rub them daily with a "farthing" (an old coin seldom seen) or other coin. Or cover them with a band-aid and inspect daily. With encouragement, they often vanish in a few days. Wishing them away, selling them to the postman are also old fashioned but successful methods. Childhood faith is essential. There are heaps of old time remedies. Such as cutting a 1 cm square of banana skin and placing the mush side inwards, then taping and changing daily. Natural enzymes are very powerful. Snap a milk thistle (often growing in the back yard), and apply often. Dandelion juice often helps.

Now, onto more traditional methods. Applying acetic acid gradually burns it off (let the doctor apply). Salicylic acid is also powerful. It is available in plasters like band aids and applied for a few days. Simple old adhesive plaster often works on its own. The doctors have various options. Such as cutting them off and cauterizing the base or using electro diathermy. This is uncomfortable and needs local anaesthetic and takes many days to heal. Laser therapy is also successful. As a child, I would chew them off. "Disgusting" mum would screech. However, the saliva probably contained wart virus antibodies and the ultra violet of the sun probably killed the bug. It invariably worked. Take your pick.

 
TURNED IN TOES

Q: 

My little fellow has just started to walk, and his toes seem to turn inwards. Does he need special boots?

A: 

The answer is No. The joints of the feet are very lax in early life, and turn this way and that. Except for very severe and obvious deformity, most do very well. With constant weight bearing, the ligaments tighten up and become strong, and can support the weight. Research carried out in developing countries indicates that youngsters with no shoes have particularly strong normal feet and legs as they grow up.

 
^back to top
 
ABDOMINAL DISCOMFORT

Q: 

I notice discomfort in the lower right side of the abdomen, which is tender if I press and bend. A blood test and ultrasound were both normal, but there is a lot of wind as I eat heaps of fruit, veggies and cereals.

A: 

Gut distension from wind causing discomfort is well known. Keeping active will help keep the waves of contraction in the bowel moving and shoving gas accumulations onwards. Nevertheless continual pain needs a diagnosis. Mild appendicitis, bowel inflammation, diverticulosis (little outpockets in the large bowel) are all starters. Further interventions are essential, cause detected and managed appropriately.

 
^back to top
 
APRICOTS AND CANCER

Q: 

My mum, says she heard that apricot kernels were able to cure cancer, so why is this not talked about more often?

A: 

About 25 years ago this was the hot topic on the medical wires. Huge numbers of people tried the treatment, but it was later found to be ineffective. Indeed it developed into a medical scandal. If there is a genuine cure for cancer, it will be reported in the world medical press, and come into mainstream focus. We continually hear of new "medical break-throughs" in treatment, but these are invariably isolated and very premature reports.

 
^back to top
 
NEWEST TREATMENT

Q: 

Everybody seems to want to take the "very latest" medical treatment. But it seems the new drugs are much more expensive, and I for one (and my doctor), have found newer ones may be less effective than older ones I have taken for some time. Where do we stand?

A: 

The drug industry is a giant commercial enterprise generating billions of dollars a year. It is in their interest to discover new drugs for very common disorders (such as blood pressure, heart disorders, elevated cholesterol) that will generate enormous sales. They only have to convince a few doctors these are better and the money machine keeps churning specially if they get onto the PBS. Certainly some new drugs are better, but not necessarily.

 
^back to top
 
SEX DISCOMFORT

Q: 

Dryness seems to make sex uncomfortable during and certainly afterwards. Is there a simple remedy? Women's magazines often advertise lubricating creams.

A: 

Simple lubricating "jellies" are widely used and often successful, although some say they reduce sensitivity. See your doctor or gynecologist for a pelvic check. Often reduced hormonal levels leads to dryness. Applications of hormonal creams, or small tablets (on the end of a plastic applicator) improve canal lining, natural moisture and improved production of lubrication by glands situated at the entrance.

 
^back to top
 
COMPUTER

Q: 

I am an older person trying to come to terms with a computer. But I continually make mistakes, the page will vanish part way through and I wonder if I have some mental block.

A: 

This is common, and many older persons find it hard to readjust to computers, even though they are using a similar keyboard to typewriter days. It is a case of taking it very slowly, learning by mistakes, writing down notes or getting more instruction from others. There are heaps of classes and personal tuition available.

 
^back to top
 

This health advice is general in nature. You are advised to seek medical attention from your doctor or health care provider for your own specific symptoms and circumstances.

NEWSLETTER

MY SYMPTOM OR ILLNESS IS

Just Ask Dr James Wright.

Coughs, colds, aches and pains, feeling off colour, painful joints, sweaty and miserable? Whatever your symptom, or illness, Dr James Wright may help you, and answer your questions.

Simply log onto docwright.com.au type in your symptom in the space on the left hand column, click topic and up it comes. Simple easy-to-follow information Dr Wright has written over the past several years. Then click contact us if you have a special message.

MONTHLY HEALTH BULLETIN

You can subscribe (no cost) to Dr James Wright's Monthly Health Bulletin by emailing your name and email address to newsletter@docwright.com.au. The bulletin contains up-to-date health tips and news for wellbeing. A copy of the current Bulletin may be viewed online here.

Dr James Wright is associated with lovely Vimiera Retirement Village (vimieravillage.com.au) in the leafy Sydney (NSW) suburb of Eastwood. It is operated by Mediaid Centre Foundation (mediaid.org.au), a non-profit Public Benevolent Institution which provides housing for the elderly, as well as providing a large amount of health information.

Waiting to hear from you Dr James Wright.