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Decipher Your Baby's Cry

Whether they are bored, uncomfortable or in distress, babies cry for different reasons. Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears explains what your baby's sobs mean.

Itchy Belly
Judy is five months pregnant and for the past two months, her stomach has been itching, and she has had a slight rash. She asks The Doctors if her condition is normal.

"There are all kinds of changes — physiologic and hormonal — that go on in pregnancy," OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson says. "These changes are reflected in your skin, either from stretching or stretch marks, or from pigmentation [issues]. But, there are two [itching sensations] that you really want to distinguish [between], because one is absolutely normal, and one has effects on the baby."

Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy, or PUPPS, is a rash that commonly occurs while carrying a baby. Symptoms include small, red itchy bumps and hives that appear on the abdomen but can spread to the thighs and breasts later in pregnancy. PUPPS is harmless and will usually go away within two weeks of giving birth.  

"[To treat PUPPS], you can use things like an oatmeal bath or antihistamines. You can put corn starch in water and make a paste to put on there, and sometimes your doctor may even recommend steroids," Dr. Lisa says. "I had [PUPPS], and the thing is that you scratch so much that you can't even sleep."

Cholestasis of pregnancy, is a more serious rash that usually appears in the third trimester and can have adverse effects on the baby. Cholestasis occurs when bile gets trapped in the mother's liver. The bile acids enter the bloodstream, can affect the fetus and result in a stillbirth. Cholestasis causes itching, often on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, and can also cause jaundice, a yellow staining of the skin. The itching can spread to the trunk of the body, as well.

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"If you have cholestasis of pregnancy, you actually have to have the baby monitored during the pregnancy, as opposed to the PUPPS," Dr. Lisa says. "So your doctor should always [determine], if you're having itching, whether it's the benign PUPPS or if it's the cholestasis."


Cupid's Lip
Lauren, 22, is bothered by her thin upper lip. She has tried everything from lip liners, to lipsticks to expensive lip-plumping glosses, but she hasn't been able to obtain a fuller look. Plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon performs a new lip-shaping procedure on Lauren that promises to give her fuller and more beautiful lips — permanently. Dr. Ordon explains the Cupid's Lip procedure as Lauren reveals her amazing results!



Growth Removal
Sherry has had a cherry angioma, a smooth, red bump, on her leg for years. She is an avid runner and while running, the angioma often becomes irritated and bleeds. She asks The Doctors if it is dangerous, and what she can do to get rid of it.

"Angiomas are extremely common," dermatologist Dr. Jessica Wu says. "What's significant about them is that they are not dangerous. It's not skin cancer. That's the important thing to remember. Instead, it's a cluster of blood vessels that come together, and that's why it's red, because of the blood flowing through them. Sometimes people can have hundreds of them."

Caregiver Checklist

At least 44 million Americans care for their chronically ill, disabled or elderly family members, and 80 percent of long-term health care is provided by family caregivers. The Doctors offer a checklist for helping loved ones:
• Assess health care and prescription needs.
Gather social security numbers, insurance policy numbers and other essential personal information.
Make a list of contact information for health care professionals.
Keep a list of current prescriptions.
Document a history of past health problems.

Dr. Wu uses an IRIDEX Diolite laser to remove Sherry's angioma.The laser causes the skin growth to shrivel up and fall of within three days.


Below-Normal Temperature
When a child has a high fever, it can be alarming. But should you be concerned if the thermometer reads less than normal?

"Most people think that everybody's temperature is 98.6 [degrees Fahrenheit]," Dr. Jim says. "But that's actually just the average. People can normally be a whole degree higher or lower than that. So you could be walking around most of the time at 97-something or 99-something.

"But this brings up another point," Dr. Jim continues. "A low temperature, if it's real, actually can indicate an infection, just like a fever can. If your child is acting ill and they have a low temperature, that could be serious. You definitely need to go to the [emergency room] or call the doctor. But most of the time, if a parent calls me and they say, 'My child's temperature is 95 and they're acting fine,' then most likely, you just didn't take it right."

Dr. Jim demonstrates the proper way to take your child's temperature.

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