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The wonders of W

October 31st, 2003 · 2 Comments

Compound W that is! Halloween seems to be as good a night as any to finish my wart chronicles

…and to share with you our good news that for the first time in a year our family is free of plantar warts! Hooray! I got the first one, or at least noticed it, at the end of October last year and by the time I got rid of mine in the springtime, Abigail had gotten one which then reproduced itself…

Now I have written briefly twice in this blog about Canthacur . This blister beetle extract that we’ve driven miles and miles and paid hundreds of dollars (literally!) to receive from our dermatologist (who in turn orders it from Canada because it is not FDA approved !). And it seems, from the web site statistics, that canthacur is a popular search word for this blog. Maybe there are other people out there curious to read about Canthacur and my experiences with it.

I was happy with Canthacur for my own wart. But it has been ineffective for my daughter Abigail. And the only reason, I think, it was effective for me, was that I did some significant work with a razor blade on my foot. Abigail, being of sensitive nature, won’t even allow me to gently remove flaps of dead skin hanging from her feet. So progress was slow and options were limited.

Starting in the spring, we had gone 3 times for Canthacur treatments (for my daughter – I also made 3 trips earlier for myself as well!). Prior to that we had used Mediplast and castor oil applications at home. We were all feeling a bit desperate, especially after wart #1 spawned wart #2. I’d even thought about using potato or banana peels…Canthacur was the most painless and organic treatment, yet the way Abigail’s body reacted so slowly seemed to indicate it was not that effective with her.

Vickie on our last office visit in September had suggested the “hit ‘em while they’re down” approach, and told me to begin using salicylic acid, Compound W, on her foot a week after the Canthacur. We were supposed to apply the compound for 6 weeks and see if it made any difference before returning to the office yet again.

The first few weeks I was skeptical W would work. It didn’t seem to make much difference on her feet. The warts still looked the same, after canthacur and salicylic acid. One even got a big callus around it, making it more painful and awkward. Abigail would cry each night when I applied the stuff. It was a small ordeal, involving bandages, first aid tape, scissors, Compound W and lots of comforting (bandages and tape to cover the wart). Ted and I tried to convince her that a little pain each night would mean no more visits to Vickie and no more big pain from big warts. Abigail really didn’t want to get any more Canthacur or make visits to the doctor, and after the agonies and expenses we were experiencing, I didn’t want her to do it either. I started using a Swedish file on her feet after showers and baths, to try to gently remove the dead parts of the warts. I was grateful Abigail allowed me to do that. At times, I wanted to cry with her too.

Around 3 – 4 weeks I did begin to notice some change in her warts, and it seemed to be around the time when we got a new bottle of W. Hmmm. We did experience what one epinions reviewer wrote , that the stuff simply disappeared. The first bottle all too soon seemed to become empty. It gets so thick and goopy that it cannot be applied. It is as if it evaporates – and perhaps its effectiveness evaporates with it.

Around 5 weeks or so, I noticed that the bottle said to use up to 2 times a day. So we began applying in the morning and at night. Perhaps it was the new bottle and the added application. Or just the gradual process of time. But very soon the warts got smaller and smaller. By the time the 6 weeks were up, we were wart-free! More than a week now after we stopped treatment, I can’t see either one. New pink skin is growing back on her feet. We are all relieved and very happy.

And I have to say I’m not sure I would recommend Canthacur. If I had been aware of Compound W and its effectiveness, I would have tried it first. It’s easy to find, on the shelf at the grocery store. Maybe it would have saved us six visits to the doctor, time, gas and money. I think I had heard from friends and books about Mediplast so I thought that would be best. But Compound W worked well for Abigail. It involved some effort daily, remembering applications, filing and bathing increasing its effectiveness. At $7 or so a bottle, it’s not cheap, but the total of $14 for two bottles is much less than the $80 or so per office visit. Care does need to be taken when applying the compound – poor Abigail has some extra dead-skin patches on her feet since it was difficult to cover only the small warts themselves with the goopy compound. I even got the stuff on my fingers a few times: it immediately made my skin white and peeling. And, as I wrote in another posting, it smells like black! But I think I’d recommend Compound W over Canthacur, at least for a first try – and this use of salicylic acid fits with another doctor’s preference .

So I hope I won’t be writing any more posts about warts. I hope that what I’ve written has been helpful.

This all reminded me of what Enoch wrote about blogging: “The more you share of yourself, the more readers will get to know you and trust you….Here’s to more transparency in our blogs!”

And I hope this shows that I am writing to you about my life, as I am, warts and all :)

Tags: warts

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