Dear Doctor: My son has ensundo (warts) on his face. What remedies can I use to get rid of them? A silver pen has not been helpful.
Dear Nabuto: Ensundo or warts is caused by a virus called the human papillomavirus (HPV), contrary to some beliefs that it is caused by an old woman’s sputum. It is common in children and young adults or adults with low immunity.
Apart from affecting a person’s appearance, warts are not cancerous and do not turn into cancer later in life.
Unfortunately, they are contagious and the wart virus can be transmitted from one person to another by touching an object used by an infected person, depending on their resistance (immunity).
Because the virus prefers the face, the hands and the under feet, children who bite their fingernails are at high risk of infection.
Picking the warts inevitably spreads the virus
They (warts) usually disappear with time, although for those who want, a doctor can remove them through several ways, including surgical procedure.
However, this can lead to scars, just like it happens when a person uses local herbs such as euphorbia tirucalli (olukoni). A silver pencil is commonly used in Uganda, though most times it does not remove warts on the palms or soles, and requires a lot of patience because it does not work overnight.
Even when a person gets rid of the warts, the virus may still be around to cause new ones to emerge close to the spot where the old ones were.
Many common warts do not require treatment and usually disappear on their own within two years, or after puberty. Keeping hands dry and avoiding biting at nails may prevent the warts from developing or getting worse.
However, if they persist, please visit a doctor for help.
Dear Doctor: What causes chronic acne on the back of the head? I see it a lot in men.
Dear Reader: Frequent haircuts that remove hair from the back of the head, and rubbing due to hard collars can cut the nape hairs, which later grow inwards and pierce the skin to form pimples.
The pimples first develop pus and if not treated properly, may result into ugly scars called acne keloidalis nuchae.
They do not develop from pimples called acne as you suggest.
The condition seems to affect males more than females probably because it is men who often wear clothes that have collars, compared to women.
Shaving less often and wearing collarless shirts can help prevent this condition.
Dear Doctor: I have small whitish pimples on the lower head of the penis. They do not itch or pain. They look bad and after I tested for HIVAids, the results were negative. Could this be a sexually transmitted disease?
Dear Jimmy: The whitish pimples on your penis are probably coronal papillae, which is a common occurrence and many men have them.
Often called hirsuties coronae glandis or pearly penile papules, these small white pimples may form on the ridge of the head of the penis.
Though they are harmless, they can sometimes be confused with venereal warts (HPV infection). The pimples are not a sexually transmitted infection related to sexual activity or bad hygiene.
Despite being harmless, most men hate them because they look strange. So, they will do anything to remove the pimples, usually with consequences such as scars.
Once pearly penile papules start to appear on the penis, it may take up to four years for them to completely come to the surface and after that, they reduce or disappear on their own.
Since they may increase sexual pleasure for both the male and female sexual partner, they are best left alone. But if a person is still concerned about their looks, they can undergo circumcision, which apart from disguising the pimples, flattens and makes them less visible.
There may be other causes of pimples on the penis that can be confused with the coronal papillae, requiring a person to visit a doctor to check the condition. If doctors find these pimples harmless, the penis should be left alone, but be cleaned more often and properly.
Dear Doctor: I have dandruff which I have treated using ketoconazole shampoo and vitamins, only for it to return. What can I do?
Dear Jascinta: Dandruff is a common chronic scalp condition, which leads to dry onion peel-like flakes, mostly seen on a person’s shoulders after combing hair. Although dandruff is not contagious, it can be embarrassing and difficult to treat in some people.
The body usually sheds old skin without notice, however, people who suffer from dandruff shed too much skin rapidly, because of scalp infection with a fungus (malassezia globosa), whose enzyme breakdown of scalp oils produces an acid that triggers excessive cell shedding.
This fungus can be killed by the drugs you used, but will come back because you may not have addressed the cause of the fungal invasion or other associated problems.
People with dry irritated oily skin, other skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis and sensitivity to hair care products are prone to developing dandruff. Using too many styling products may also irritate the scalp and cause dandruff.
Poor diet in zinc, vitamins or imbalance of certain types of fats such as sunflower and fish oils, stress, illnesses such as HIV, or neurological problems such as Parkinson’s disease and those who have suffered from stroke can also be a risk factor.
Therefore, these factors should be addressed before a person recovers completely. Treating dandruff requires patience and persistence, but generally, daily use of anti-fungal shampoo, apart from killing the fungus will reduce oiliness and skin cell build-up. When these fail, visit a skin doctor.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor