Hey Dr. Cranquis,
After spending the better part of my evening reading through roughly 40 pages of your old posts/answers, I felt as though I absolutely had to post something to make my presence on this magical blog visible. In all seriousness though, this 16 year old who is actually quite interested in the medical field, does have two (somewhat) legitimate questions.
1.) There's been a small bump on the side of my left thumb for the past couple months, and it took me a good amount of time to realize that it was a wart. And being a strange person, as soon as I self diagnosed myself with the help of Dr. Google, I went ballistic. I had to get rid of it.
My family isn't in the best financial situation, despite that my mother spends most of her time working (thanks father!), and although I am on Medicaid, I don't want to abuse it for a single wart on my thumb. It isn't really visible, but I know it's there, and it drives. Me. Nuts.
So, to (finally) cut to the chase, I got a pair of sanitized toenail clippers, and ripped out the skin with the wart, the skin within a radius of 3 millimeters to the wart, and quite deeply at that. It bled a lot, so I held my thumb under a sink as I snipped away. It hurt quite a bit (but I am quite intolerant of pain, so there's also that), and I did wipe alcohol all over it finished bleeding, but it wasn't even worth it. I'm not sure what I was expecting from this, but it grew back, and being complete fool, I repeated the process about 3 times. Last night, I cut a fifth of my thumb off, causing a huge bloody mess all over my sink.
Are there any home remedies for this? Is what I'm doing helping at all (I do cut out all the little black dots, and then some)? Should I go to the doctor about this, since it's to the point where I am self mutilating myself? I would really like to avoid that, if possible, but your opinion would override any irrational logic I could pull out from my butt to keep me from telling my mother, and going to get this checked out.
2.) Being Korean, born from two parents roughly 5'1" or so, I never thought I'd grow up very tall, but I'm 4.9". And I've been 4'9" for over 2 and 1/2 years. I'm fit, I don't drink caffeine aside from the occasional tea, and I exercise regularly.
My mother insisted (and still does to this day) that I stuff myself with food to the point of bursting, in hopes of growing taller, because that is clearly how people grow tall. Well, contrary to my mother's advice, my diet is on the slightly less than normal side. It's not uncommon for me to skip meals a few meals a week, but I don't do it for any other reason aside from my lack of hunger. I've never really slept a healthy amount of time, either (roughly 4~6 hours every night since I was about 12), and I've heard that also affects growth hormones?
Can these factors really stunt my growth? Is there really nothing I can do to magically stop whatever is stunting my growth, or make myself magically grow taller? This is kind of a silly question, and I can probably guess your reply, but I just had to ask. Because, quite frankly, being 4'9" for the rest of my life would suck.
Thanks, Dr. Cranquis.
I apologize for the excessively long post. I tend to add a lot of details. I hope this post doesn't give you a migraine.
Greetings! So I have a “magical blog” eh? And you’ve surfed all 40+ pages of the archives?! I’m ridiculously flattered. :)
Now, to reply to your 2 questions:
1) STOP MUTILATING YOUR POOR FINGER! :( Your theory is sound — after all, a wart (if that’s what it really is) is created by a virus which protects itself by growing all those layers of thick keratinous material. So removing the “warty” skin to expose the deeper tissue where the virus hides is definitely part of treating the problem. But if you do it yourself, with “sanitized toenail clippers” (what does that mean? You dipped ‘em in rubbing alcohol, you held them over a lit match, you boiled them in water? Still probably not sterilized enough to prevent infection!), repeatedly, to the point of causing bleeding, then you are putting yourself at great risk of bacterial infection. If you hadn’t messed with it yet, I’d recommend trying an over-the-counter product, such as Compound W, or even trying duct-tape occlusion therapy (which is possibly scientifically-supported, depending on which journals you read)
- wrapping the affected wart area in duct tape for 48-72 hours
- removing the duct tape, then soaking the area in hot water with epsom salt or white vinegar to soften the skin
- scraping the thickened warty layers with an emory board
- then re-wrapping with duct tape, and repeating process for up to 12 weeks. (In general, warts are very tenacious, so expect these types of treatments to take a long time).
HOWEVER, at this point, I think it’s time to use (not abuse) your Medicaid insurance and see a doctor about it, for definitive diagnosis and treatment options. Hopefully it’s not infected, and hopefully it’s not anything more serious than just a wart.
2) You’re not the first Asian person to write to me about their “vertically-challenged” status. Yes, your suboptimal sleep and nutrition patterns may contribute a little bit towards your overall height — but as I’ve said before, your height is primarily caused by your genetic heritage, and the main thing you can do about your height (or lack of it) is: learn to live with it. You’ve been at the same height for 2.5 years, so chances are that you’re not going to have any more growth spurts, no matter how much food you cram in. :S
Hope that helps you decide how to proceed with your 2 concerns. Good luck!