Warning! Nasty things revealed – warts and all!

Think of this as my Halloween blog post – and it won’t seem quite so horrible….

I quite like the programme  ‘Trust Me I am a Doctor’ on BBC2.

Only ‘Quite’ as it does that annoying thing of dashing back and forth between the topics of the programme instead of pursuing one to the end before starting on another. I wonder, is this because all media have been told we have very limited concentration spans or, in a self-fulfilling prophesy, we will all end up with very short attention spans because they only offer us tiny tid-bits and flash around the subjects catching up on each one as they go (in case you have so little attention span you have forgotten!) Rant over.

So, a while back they had a little piece about WARTS. Urgh! Yes, I know. Warts and Verrucas to be precise – or to be less precise – as they are the same thing – really.

Now, this item interested me in particular as a wart had developed on the inside of my ankle. Just in an annoying position where it caught on some of my sandal straps, where it somehow found its way to annoy me – lots! I’d not had a wart anywhere since I was about six – not even a verruca! Not nice – are they? They certainly have the Halloween YUK! factor!

AND  it wouldn’t go away – despite treatments!

I had read (including on our own doctors website) that they didn’t go in for the freezing treatment much nowadays, that the salicylic acid treatment was just as good.

So… I bought a salicylic-acid based treatment and proceeded to treat the wart as instructed. In the position it was in it was very difficult to prevent the liquid running onto the normal skin! This caused some peripheral ‘burning’ and was painful and sore, as it was where the sandal straps go, and therefore a nuisance – but worse, it didn’t seem to have any effect on the wart itself. After repeated treatments and a long time and no change … I bought the Extra Strength version.

This was duly applied, and the result, after many weeks, was the same.

So, after about five months of this, I did ask the doctor – who obliged and treated the damned thing with the freezing treatment. It was ‘painful’ for a short time, but, if the wart was going to go – well worth it.

Over the next few weeks bits seemed to break off from the wart – when, after soaking, it was abraded it sort of peeled off. At Last! I thought. However, it only got to be almost flat – though still a different texture to the skin surrounding it.

Then, inexorably – over the next month –  it grew again – albeit with a rougher and flatter top. Arrgh!

It was then I saw the ‘Trust Me I am a Doctor’  programme – which actually ended with the words ‘try the experiment and report back to us’

What Experiment? Oh! Yes – the one where you treat the wart with DUCT TAPE!

duct-tape with micropore disguise (at end of 2nd 6 days)

We have duct tape – of course we do – but I didn’t run out to the workshop and get some – I kept meaning to – but it was actually few months later when I cut a piece, covered the wart, and then ‘disguised’ it with a couple of layers of micropore tape and left it on for 6 days. After which, the usual soaking and abrading – by which time it was half the size. Much better result then, so far, compared to the salicylic  acid treatment.  Leave it a day then re-apply the duct-tape (and disguise) and wait a further 6 days.  It says to follow this routine at least four times – or for four weeks.

End 2nd 6 days – duct-tape just removed

I have just removed the duct-tape after the second week – the wart is almost flat (and it hasn’t been soaked and abraded yet) – as much as it was after the freezing treatment and weeks of abrading … and I shall complete the four weeks as prescribed. I think this ‘occlusion therapy’ (as it is called elsewhere on the web) may actually work! (wish I’d taken a ‘before’ picture – but then I never expected to be writing about it)

No doctors time, No burning of the normal skin – Barely any cost!

The TV programme is not taking any further submissions – they have thousands from people who tried it out and will reveal their results in the next series. I will be interested to see what they are, and I’ll report back here when the ‘course’ is finished.

Anyone else tried this out there?

Worked? or not?

Do share – you know I love to hear from you 


Siamese apples and Freak shows

We wouldn’t go to a freak show nowadays, would we? WP_20150930_12_58_55_ProThe Elephant man – the bearded lady – the Siamese twins?

What started this train of thought? Well an apple. This apple.

Which I popped on to Twitter – it was cute, I thought, but wanting to check my spelling of Siamese (Siamese twin apples) I came across the story of the eponymous Siamese Twins.

I had known nothing of these particular gentlemen. For some reason I had assumed that the first documented occurrence had been in Siam as is often the case with medical descriptions – and indeed these two did come from Siam – but they were far from the first documented.

‘Comments’ are to be found in history as far back as 300 AD (a statue of conjoined twins) or St Augustine of Hippo 415 (a full description of a man with two heads, two chests and four arms but only one torso and pair of legs). The first full medical examination was of conjoined brothers from Armenia examined in Constantinople in 942 AD

Chang and Eng Bunker courtesy wikipedia
Chang and Eng Bunker courtesy wikipedia

The name ‘Siamese Twins’ came from the freak-show label attached to the two men, Change and Eng Bunker, when on tour with P T Barnum’s Circus. The Bunkers (a surname they later adopted) had been born in 1811 near Bangkok in the, then, the kingdom of Siam to a Malaysian Thai mother and a Chinese Thai father.

A Scottish merchant, Robert Hunter, saw them swimming one day and realised their ‘potential’, getting the parents to allow him to take them on a world tour. This was highly successful and, when their contracts ended, the brothers bought themselves a 110 acre farm in North Carolina. There they also met and married two sisters, and over time fathered a total of 21 children. By then the term Siamese Twins has become synonymous with conjoined twins.

Roll-Up Roll-Up come and see the Freak Show!        No, we wouldn’t go now – would we?

Yet every other day Facebook seems to throw up a ‘freak show’ item. Sometimes in the guise of ‘helping’ the ones pictured by giving them ‘Likes’. I even saw one that suggested for every Like the page got money would be donated to the fund to heal the boy shown, with a terribly cleft palate – or so it said…. Then there’s the ones that say ‘share and you care’ ‘ignore and you are heartless’ showing people, or animals, in a distressing state – freak-shows with menaces.

TV serves up lots of freak shows too – I don’t need to name them. From people seeking love lives, to medical enhancements or medical problems, from crazy weddings to weight gain and weight loss, almost every ‘reality’ show – where everyone is a caricature – at the very least.

People are curious, of course we are – but we have obviously not moved on from the Victorian freak show – the only difference now is that it comes to us – and the ‘showmen’ know it – just as P T Barnum did.  No, not everyone, if you just turn off – turn over, flick past, you probably wouldn’t have gone to the shows if you were born in Victorian times either.

But it made me think … and all this just from an apple.

Do you get led astray by thought threads …..

Is it a time-waster or a means to learning new things

What do you think? You know I love to hear from you  🙂


the tidy bed vs the healthy bed

Do you always make the bed in the morning?                I do… or rather I did.

Tracey Emin's My bed courtesy Andy Hay via Creative Commons
Tracey Emin’s My bed courtesy Andy Hay via Creative Commons

I don’t like a bed looking like Tracey’s  😉

Now, I’ve known about dust-mites for a loooong time. I thought I understood what they like and don’t like – how to change pillows / bedding etc often enough to keep their numbers and, more importantly, their frass to a minimum (the eponymous dust – which is really just their faeces, dead fellows and our dead skin cells).  I knew about their relationship to asthma and other allergies and knew I didn’t really want to encourage the pests but, somehow, I’d missed this ‘new’ info the first time round (2005) so I’m glad it re-surfaced recently.

Anyone who knows me knows I am not a tidy-freak… but a made bed – yes, that was something I liked – it seems to start the day on the right note – even if I can’t manage to be tidy all day 😉

Then last week I read about what the dust-mites don’t like (example here) and what can even kill them off sometimes – drying out! It seems it is much better to let the bed get well and truly aired – they do not like that at all, they need the moisture – from our bodies – held in by the covers – and without it they suffer.

Dust-Mite – courtesy Arkhangellohim via Creative Commons

It turns out that I wasn’t alone in liking a tidied bed to start the day – when this news was circulating again a week ago there were loads of comments roughly saying ‘I hear the message … but I’m still going to make my bed because I don’t like it looking untidy’

  … BUT … the dust mites !!!!

So … not a neat-freak – but yes I like the bed to look tidy. The solution?

I now swish the covers back to lie neatly folded over the end of the bed, draped to almost touch the floor – pull the bottom sheet tight and give the pillows a shake. Sometime, much later in the day, when I happen to be in the room, I will waft the covers and duvet right back over again. Tidy – Tidy. WP_20151006_10_38_07_Pro

Okay, so if I were showing someone round the house (as I do occasionally at the moment as we are ‘on the market’)  I’d make the bed conventionally – but for everyday it is fine – the day still feels like it is off to the right start… and, if the research is right, then far fewer dust mites thrive in-between our sheets.

Have you ever suddenly changed a habit of a lifetime?

What are your bed-making preferences?

Do share – you know I love to hear from you


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