In a show just for women, Dr. Lisa kicks the guys out and brings in her own dream team of all-female doctors: breast specialist Dr. Kristi Funk, dermatologist Dr. Jessica Wu and urologist/sex expert Dr. Jennifer Berman!
Over the Odor
Do you ever have that not-so-fresh feeling down below? Jennifer struggles with it and is looking for a way to smell good all the time.
“Douching, I’ve always said, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad,” Dr. Lisa says, “because the vagina is a self-cleaning oven and has a normal vaginal acidic pH that keeps the bacteria away and yeast away. All of us women are worried about odors down there, and that’s very, very real. We want to smell fresh. Every woman thinks it’s supposed to have this perfumey odor, when, in fact, it really shouldn’t smell like anything.”
Foul odor in the vaginal area is often due to an infection, Dr. Berman explains. Keeping the area clean by washing with soap and water daily is essential, but hygiene is not always enough.
Dr. Berman displays WaterWorks, the only product approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration to get rid of vaginal odor. Tap water flows through a stainless steel nozzle, which helps reduce unwanted odors without harsh chemicals or perfume cover-ups. The water flows downhill, as opposed to douching, which propels fluid upwards. The nozzle is placed in the vagina, and the steel and water come in contact with the wall of the vagina and eliminate foul smells by flushing out odor-causing bacteria.
Are Thongs Wrong?
Wearing thongs may eliminate panty lines, but they can also bring about other, more harmful problems. By exclusively wearing thongs, women put themselves at risk for urinary tract and yeast infections because bacteria can travel up the string of the thong into the urethra and vagina, "which is really the source of what the problems are,” Dr. Berman says.
Dr. Lisa advises wearing cotton underwear that breathes, because it will help keep the vagina at a healthy pH balance. “No spaghetti-strap kind of underwear,” Dr. Lisa says. “You need to wear cotton-crotch underwear, so no nylon. They need to have a good fit, and if you can, go commando at night.”
The Bra Essentials
Cara, from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, doesn’t like wearing bras, but is concerned going braless will lead to sagging breasts.
Breasts are held up by ligaments, which attach them to muscles. Over time, the ligaments will weaken and cause sagging. With the correct support, however, women can prevent sagging from occuring earlier.
“You need to wear bras,” Dr. Funk says. “Your breasts don’t have muscles in them; they can’t just defy gravity all by themselves. If you let gravity take its toll long enough, your nipples, instead of pointing ahead, will be looking south.”
Picking out the correct bra is essential. Dr. Funk suggests wearing a brassiere with an underwire to help with support. “I think some women have an issue, thinking underwires cause breast cancer,” she says. “Do they? Do they not? It is a little bit of a debate, but all of the data points to no. So if you’re more comfortable wearing the underwire, go for it.”
While they help your breasts look perkier, push-up bras can actually cause problems when worn too often. “It’s not that they’re unhealthy in terms of cancer-causing or any problems like that,” Dr. Funk says, “except for the sagging issues. Push-up bras sort of, like, let my breasts enter the room first, which is fine and a good thing if you’re trying to be sexy, but every day for the rest of your life you’re going to have to wear the push-up bra, otherwise your nose will be entering the room first. What goes up must come down.”
Workout bras are essential, as well, Dr. Funk explains, because they keep the ligaments from stretching as the breasts bounce. Make sure the elastic material is not worn out, because if it is, the bra is no longer doing its job. “This is most important of all,” Dr. Funk says. “Of all your bras, check your workout bras. You want a workout bra that’s comfortable, and you don’t even need that much lift. You just need [the bra to push the breasts] back.”
Skin Issues During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, surging hormones cause a number of changes to the body, including blotches on the skin and acne. “If you’ve never had acne before, now is the time it will erupt all over your skin,” Dr. Wu says.
A problem many women face during pregnancy is that many skin products are not safe for them or the baby because they have tetracyclyn or Retin A. “If you take tetracyclyn, you’ve got to stop it, otherwise your baby will have gray teeth,” Dr. Wu says.
A safe solution is the Belli Skincare line of products, which are specially tested and pregnancy safe. They were developed by Dr. Jason Rubin in 2002 and are the only skin-care line that offers teratology screening, which produces a higher safety standard that guards against ingredients with even remote links to birth defects.
Belli’s pregnancy line offers products that help with stretch marks, acne, chloasma, dry skin and swelling. They also offer products geared towards post-birth mothers and babies, with the same safety requirements. The products can be found in high-end maternity and baby boutiques, in many OB-GYN offices and on the Web.
Quit Smoking with Botox?
Botox is often used to cure wrinkles, but Dr. Wu has devised an entirely new usage: quitting smoking! After using Botox to treat upper-lip wrinkles, also known as smoker’s lines and caused by excessive puckering and pursing of the lips, patients told Dr. Wu that in addition to smoother skin, they found smoking difficult because holding the cigarette with their lips was hard.
“Botox helps people stop smoking because when someone smokes, they’re really sucking on the cigarette,” Dr. Wu says. “Over time, those muscles get really strong. The Botox works by relaxing those overactive muscles, and that discourages you from smoking because you are no longer able to draw on that cigarette.”
Courtney, 19, has been smoking for five years and after trying gums, patches and quitting cold turkey to no avail, she is looking for a way to quit for good. “Courtney is a great candidate for this procedure because she’s young, and when she does stop smoking, her lungs will start to heal themselves and her overall health will improve,” Dr. Wu says. “I think she’s going to get a great result.”
Dr. Wu performs the five-minute procedure by injecting Botox into the upper lip, and the injections last about two to three months. A week after the procedure, Courtney has trouble sipping through a straw, whistling and sucking on a cigarette. “I’ve cut down [smoking] a lot,” Courtney says. “I’d say I’ve cut down about 75 percent.”