Dr Dulcy offers practical advice for your everyday health issues and questions.
Your medical questions answered by Dr Dulcy
I have warts under my foot; they look like transparent blisters with pus. I went to the clinic and was given medication. But after finishing the course, the warts returned. How do I prevent this?
Dear Patience: Plantar warts are non-cancerous skin growths caused by a viral infection on the skin. They are caused by human papillomavirus, but are not harmful. Eventually in about two years, most of them go away without treatment. Unfortunately, they cause irritation or minor pain, depending on the location. They are spread from person to person, and the transmission can be indirect. For instance, when a person with a plantar wart uses a shower without wearing shower shoes and then you use it afterwards, you can develop a wart. Ask your doctor to treat the wart by freezing it off with liquid nitrogen, remove with laser or surgery, and apply or inject medicines to strengthen your immune system so it can clear your body of the virus.
EARLY MENOPAUSE SIGNS
I am a 32-year-old woman, and lately suffer from hot flushes, insomnia, anxiety, fatigue and changes to the length of my menstrual cycle. I think I might have early menopause. What should I do?
Dear Pule: While your symptoms could be signs of menopause, they could also be psychiatric or medical. Consult a doctor to exclude depression and any chronic illnesses. Ask for your blood to get tested to check hormone levels and be sure that you are indeed going through menopause. If so, the doctor will give you medication to regulate your hormone levels.
NOT LOSING WEIGHT
I come from a family that struggles with obesity, and grew up overweight. I am now 25 years old, and have been trying to lose weight for two years.
I eat healthy and exercise, but am not losing weight. Can obesity be genetic? Anonymous
Dear Anonymous: In most families where there is obesity, the problem is not the genetics. Rather, it is the fact that all members have the same diet that is high in sugars and bad fats, and don’t exercise. Drastically reduce carbohydrates and sugars from your diet, and increase proteins. Also, visit a sport physician and dietician to get more information to help you get the best results.
MEDICATION TO PREVENT MALARIA
I’m travelling to a malaria-prone area during the December holidays, and am concerned that I might get it. What medication can I take to prevent this?
Dear Thuli: Medication is available. Visit a travel clinic a week or two before you leave so you can get it in time. Additionally, there might be other illnesses in the area you are visiting. So, make sure that you are sufficiently covered against them, and find out what to avoid in order to protect yourself as a traveller.