Q. I saw a question about warts on the toes of a 7-year-old. My daughter had the same problem 20 years ago when she was that age.
We tried everything, and none of it worked. The doctor was going to remove them surgically, but told me to try one last thing. He said it sounded crazy, but it was worth a try before surgery.
He had me buy a Jacuzzi thermometer that registered up to 112 degrees. He wanted me to soak my daughter’s feet and hands in hot water every night, gradually warming the water to between 108 and 110 degrees.
I used the water therapy, and after several weeks the warts started going away. I couldn’t believe that it worked! According to my doctor, a respected colleague told him of this therapy. My daughter had a wonderful outcome.
A. The hot-water treatment for warts was first published in a 1962 Cleveland Clinic Quarterly. More recently, Samuel Moschella, M.D., recommended that his patients soak their plantar warts in hot water (110 to 113 degrees) for 30 to 90 minutes a week. Your experience suggests he was right.
Q. My 3-year-old daughter gets a bad cough every time she gets a cold (which is often). The colds are likely due to the day-care environment she is in this year.
The cough is sometimes so severe that she gags or even throws up. It is worse at night and interrupts her sleep. She does not cough much during the day, but during nap time and at bedtime it is worse. It lasts about a week at a time, then subsides, and comes back a month or two later.
Her pediatrician has listened to her lungs, and they are clear. There is no whooping or wheezing when she coughs. The natural approaches that the doctor has recommended (cool-mist humidifier, warm cider, pillow propped up, steamy shower, honey) help a bit, but not enough to make a significant difference. We would be so grateful for suggestions.
A. You may want to try putting Vicks VapoRub on the soles of her feet at bedtime. Many parents report it is helpful. Another cough remedy that may help is thyme tea sweetened with honey.
We are sending you our Guide to Colds, Coughs & the Flu with more detailed suggestions about coping with such symptoms. Anyone who would like a copy, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (No. 10), stamped (61 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. Q-20, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. It also can be downloaded for $2 from our website: www.peoplespharmacy.com.
Q. I’ve had rosacea for a long time, and I’ve tried lots of therapies. My dermatologist wanted to put me on Accutane, but no way was I going to do that.
I started on the intensive light therapy and did that for about a year. It’s very expensive and not super-effective, but better than doing nothing.
I have been using Epsom salts for the past two weeks, and the results are amazing! Since the first day, the redness went away, the pores got smaller, and the oiliness disappeared. My skin is smooth and soft.
I put about 1/4 cup Epsom salts in some warm water. I use a sponge to put it on my face and chest in the shower. After a couple of minutes, I’m done.
A. Thanks for this interesting suggestion. Epsom salts contain magnesium sulfate. We could find no research to support this approach, but it seems inexpensive and low-risk.