Stay Safe while Looking Good

Bikini Wax Dangers

Every day, thousands of women wax some part of their body without thinking twice about it. But waxing can pose serious health risks. For Kim, 40, a bikini wax nearly cost her her life.


After trying an at-home bikini wax for the first time, Kim began experiencing flu-like symptoms that worsened over the course of a few days. Her initial symptoms included extreme exhaustion and pain all over her body.


Her husband, Brent, took her to the hospital, where she fell into septic shock. “Everything had shut down but my brain, heart and lungs,” Kim says. “The first thing that I remember when I woke up was my feet were black up to my ankles and my fingers were all black on the tips.”


The bacteria group A streptococcus entered her bloodstream through her skin, causing Kim to become septic. This caused her blood pressure to drop so low that her heart was no longer able to send oxygenated blood to her limbs or organs, resulting in multiple-organ system failure, acute renal failure, respiratory failure, gangrene of the hands and legs, a ruptured lung, severe anemia and pneumonia. “She was [a healthy woman],” Brent says. “It’s amazing how quickly things changed, within just moments.”


Kim was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, which is a rare, life-threatening flesh-eating strep bacteria. After 13 surgeries, including amputations of her fingers and legs from the knee down, Kim was left with just her thumbs and partial fingers. She has been fitted with prosthetic legs and fingers. “My prosthetic fingers are stiff; they don’t bend at all. The prosthetic legs, the ankles don’t bend, and they’re very difficult to walk normally,” she says. “I would very much like to be able to turn the clock back and start over, but I can’t, so I have to find a new life.


“Every time I got a new nurse, the first thing that they would say to me is, ‘So you got this infection from doing a bikini wax?’” she says. “My life is totally different now.”


“The way this can happen is, when you perform a wax, you can open up areas of your skin,” Dr. Travis says. “And this bacteria, called group A strep, can actually get through the skin and invade your bloodstream, and then it goes to every part of your body.”


The bacteria usually enters the body through an open cut in the skin. “Anytime you wax, you can rip up skin, and you have bacteria all over your skin,” Dr. Lisa says. “Anytime you have a cut, you can get that bacteria in there. Just like with surgery, we’re always worried about infection. I actually advise my patients, especially my pregnant patients, to do bikini waxes so things don’t get trapped in there. It can help to keep from getting vaginal infections.


“So, this was a very rare thing that happened to [Kim], even though it can happen if there’s a cut or a surface that’s abraded and lets the bacteria in,” Dr. Lisa says.


If a waxing is not done properly, Dr. Lisa says infections can occur because of possible tears or cuts, and it could be more prominent in the bikini area because the skin is more sensitive. To avoid infection, be sure to take precautions and keep the area clean. If you do develop a skin infection, be sure you see a doctor.


“Waxing in the genital area, or a bikini wax, shouldn’t be done at home,” Dr. Lisa says. “Those home kits can be dangerous because the skin is very sensitive. Lip waxing and things like that can still be dangerous, so I would say waxing should, in general, be done by a professional.”


Breast Cancer Prevention

Holly, from Northridge, California is a breast cancer survivor. She asks The Doctors what she can do to prevent it from returning.

Self exam

Dr. Lisa shows you how to search for lumps in your breasts with a self exam.

“The more advances we make in chemotherapeutics, the better,” Dr. Lisa says. “But the key is prevention. The more you eat healthily, you remain active, and that’s how you’re going to beat getting cancer. And doing breast self-exams.”


Starting in your early 20s, doing a self breast exam is important, Dr. Lisa explains. “Knowing your breasts’ architecture, not really looking for breast masses,” she says.


With the pads of your fingers, feel around the breasts in a systematic fashion. Begin on the upper breast near the clavicle and go down from the outside of the breast to the inside near the nipple in concentric circles or in an up-and-down and left-to-right pattern.


“Do it right after your period,” Dr. Lisa adds, “because that’s when your breasts are going to feel less tender and less lumpy bumpy. But breasts are lumpy bumpy. It’s knowing your architecture. Any abnormal masses will feel like a pea, a grape, something you can really outline and define the shape to.


“And you should go for your clinical breast exam, meaning the one done by your doctor, once a year,” Dr. Lisa says. “But there is that whole year in between. And for breast cancer survivors, it is so key [to have] the follow-up, because if you don’t do the follow-up, you’re not going to catch cancer coming back, and that’s another way to survive, is to catch the cancer coming back.”

Makeup Makeover

Watch as 48-year-old Roxanne transforms from tank-top wearing photographer to bombshell without any surgery, right here

See how the makeup makeover is done

Perform your own makeup makeover!

Can It Break?

Whether it’s an arm, leg or nose, many people have suffered a broken bone at some point. But what about a broken penis?

A penis fracture can occur when there is trauma to the erect penis and the lining of the area that becomes filled with blood during an erection ruptures. The injury can be accompanied by a cracking or popping sound and bruising of the penis. After the trauma, it may resemble a boomerang.


“You have these channels inside the penis that fill with blood, and a system of valves and things that keeps the penis erect,” Dr. Ordon says. “If you do something to the penis forcibly when it’s erect, you can injure those channels that keep the blood in there. It’s not like breaking a bone, or breaking a tendon or something like that. It’s breaking those vascular channels.”


This often occurs during rough sex with the woman on top or when the penis strikes a hard surface. “When the penis strikes the pelvis of a woman, goes up against the pubic bone, and forcibly does so, it literally cannot withstand that force,” Dr. Travis says. “It’s like a sail breaking.”


Immediate surgery is the only way to fully fix a broken penis, and if left untreated, it can lead to chronic pain and the inability to have sex.

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