Dr Dulcy of­fers prac­ti­cal ad­vice for your ev­ery­day health is­sues and ques­tions.

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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?

Pa­tience, Um­bilo

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.


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?

Pule, Tem­bisa

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.


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.


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?

Thuli, Dur­ban

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.

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