People’s Pharmacy: Do COVID-19 Vaccines Conquer Warts?

By Joe Graedon, MS,

and Teresa Graedon, Ph.D.

KING FUNCTIONS SYNDICATE

Q. I would like to add my name to the people who have had warts that disappear after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. I’ve had a wart on the knuckle of my right index finger for years. It was crunchy and very ugly.

I got the Moderna vaccine on October 4 and had a lot of unpleasant side effects. However, when I read about people whose warts had disappeared, I looked at my finger. My wart was no longer crusty. It has since healed and only a slight red spot is left on my finger.

A. We searched the medical literature and found only one paper linking the disappearance of warts to COVID-19 vaccination (Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, Oct. 26). In this case report, a woman with long-lasting warts on her right thumb saw them disappear after COVID-19 vaccination.

On the other hand, we have heard from several readers that warts disappear after vaccination. One possible explanation would be that boosting the immune system leads to activation against wart-causing viruses.

Q. I took the antihistamine cetirizine every night for allergies and to help with insomnia. My husband took Benadryl for a better night’s sleep.

When we read that some antihistamines have anticholinergic properties, we immediately stopped taking the drugs. Within days we noticed a big difference in brain function. All the “fog” has lifted. There was no more “cotton” in the brain. In addition, I could remember names and words that had escaped me many times before.

My mother died of Alzheimer’s disease and I remember thinking I might have early stage Alzheimer’s. Why aren’t people being warned about the anticholinergic effects of antihistamines?

A. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter essential for cognitive function and memory. Anticholinergics interfere with this critical compound. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is strongly anticholinergic, but cetirizine seems much weaker in this regard.

There are hundreds of medications with anticholinergic effects, including some popular antihistamines. Other drugs with this property include drugs for overactive bladder, Parkinson’s disease, motion sickness, dizziness and some types of breathing problems.

We are glad that you have benefited so much from stopping your antihistamines. There are other strategies to relieve insomnia. You can find them in our eGuide for a good night’s sleep, available in the Health eGuides section of peoplespharmacy.com. You can also find a list of anticholinergics on that website.

Q. I find that applying Noxzema to itchy scalp bumps about five minutes before showering and then lathering with a dandruff shampoo really helps relieve the itching and reduce the bumps.

A. Thanks for sharing your unorthodox approach. Many readers have told us that Noxzema can be very soothing for eczema, a skin condition that can manifest as itchy red bumps like a rash or as dry, cracked skin. In addition to oils that can have a moisturizing effect, Noxzema contains camphor and menthol that are likely to help relieve the itching.

Other readers rave about dandruff shampoo for treating eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and other skin irritations. Especially selenium-containing shampoo such as the original Selsun Blue is popular for these purposes. Some people even report that using such a shampoo as a face wash can help against acne rosacea.

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. For care, write them to King Features, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, or email them through their website peoplespharmacy.com.

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