At What Age ... ?

Age is more than just a number. From acne to Pap smears to important tests that can save your life, find out at what age you need to take control of your body!

Divorce Makes You Look Older?
Breaking up is not only hard to do, it may be hard on your looks. A study examined the lives of identical twins and divorce reportedly makes women look two years older.

"It’s all about bad men, right?" Dr. Ordon jokes.

"There is a huge emotional journey that accompanies divorce. Is it the act of divorce, or is it what proceeded that?” Dr. Lisa asks.

"It’s the stress, the cortisol, all of that that is just aging your body. Do I see this in my practice, or what?" the cosmetic surgeon says.

"I think a lot of women look better. They get rid of the stress, and their life is a little freer,” Dr. Jim adds.

"Previous studies have shown that the stress of a divorce can also place undue health risks on their hearts," Dr. Travis observes. "I’m not talking about the emotional heart. I’m talking about the physical heart, leading to increased rates of heart disease."

The Doctors dish about one celeb whom they believe looks better after divorce — Jennifer Aniston. “She is a cutie,” Dr. Jim says with a grin.

Help for Inverted Nipples?
With this condition, found in both women and men, the nipple is retracted into the breast. Dr. Ordon illustrates using plastic baby bottle nipples.

"Sometimes you can have problems with breastfeeding. You can use a special nipple shield that can help that," Dr. Lisa says.

Dr. Ordon says he sees many inverted nipples in his practice. He shows a graphic of a male patient with the condition who received a chest reconstruction. "I put a breast implant in on this gentleman’s left chest, and at the same time, got his nipple to come out, which was inverted."

"The nipple is also an erogenous zone. Can you get nerve damage?" Dr. Lisa inquires.

Dr. Ordon says that certain procedures can limit the damage done to the nerve.

A Dying Woman Wants Plastic Surgery
Lisa Connell is a 29-year-old woman who is dying from inoperable brain cancer. Her last wish is to spend $58,000 for plastic surgery to resemble actress Demi Moore.

"She is gorgeous in that picture,” Dr. Lisa says, gazing at a picture of Connell. 

"She looks so good to begin with," Dr. Ordon agrees. "This is a clear-cut case of body dysmorphic syndrome, meaning that her perception of herself is not in touch with reality."

The Doctors pose a hypothetical question to the cosmetic surgeon: If a healthy woman came into his office for surgery to look like a celebrity, would he perform the procedure?

“If she actually wanted to look like Demi Moore, no, I wouldn’t do that," Dr. Ordon answers.

Dr. Jim says that Lisa Connell is using her story to raise money for cancer research. "That’s a great thing," he says.

On her Twitter page, Demi Moore writes: "I wish I could contact this woman, Lisa Connell, who wants to have surgery to look like me and encourage her not to! She is a beautiful girl!"

At What Age Should You Get a Pap?
Eighteen-year-old Jessica says, "I’ve never been sexually active, but [my mom] still thinks I need to get a Pap smear. I don’t think I need one."

Her mother, Elyse disagrees. "It is time," she says.

Dr. Lisa says the age a woman should have her first Pap smear is 21 or when she becomes sexually active, whichever comes first. "The key is also to talk to teenagers about what sexual activity is. There is a misconception out there about oral sex, vaginal penetration, all kinds of different ideas about what actual intercourse is.” She also encourages parents to bring their daughters in to see a gynecologist between the ages of 13 and 15 to start a relationship.

The mother and daughter meet in Dr. Lisa’s office in Santa Monica for Jessica’s first Pap. The OB/GYN explains what the procedure entails and then sends Mom out of the room.

After the exam, Jessica reflects on her experience. "It was a lot better than I thought, because I really thought it was going to hurt, but it really didn’t," the teen says.

Nudity in front of Your Children?
Kelly from Tyler, Texas writes,

Dear Doctors,

Until my daughters were about 5 years old, we’d shower and bathe together regularly. Now, my son is currently 4 and still showers with me, but I can’t help but worry that this is somehow inappropriate. At what age should I stop bathing and/or being nude in front of my children?

"Just the fact that Mom is starting to wonder, it’s time," Dr. Jim says. "Age 2 and 3, no big deal. I think that’s when we stopped with our kids. In America, this is a very modest society. Most people are private with their privates. If your child is very comfortable having people naked around them, when they go to school, they’ll kind of think it’s fine to get naked and explore. That child is going to get in trouble."

At What Age Should Your Child Be Allowed to Babysit?
Krista wonders if her 11-year-old daughter, Olivia, is old enough to babysit her younger brother or other children.

To find out if Olivia is truly ready, Dr. Jim puts her skills to the test! The pediatrician and Krista hide behind a two-way mirror and watch as Olivia handles a group of toddlers. The ‘tween plays games with the kids and engages them. When an unknown phone number pops up on her cell phone, Olivia ignores the call. Dr. Jim praises the girl for not responding to strange calls. Then, a tot named Poppy topples from her chair and lands on the floor. Olivia rushes to the rescue, and comforts the child.

Finally, Dr. Jim lets Olivia in on his secret experiment. "Do you think you’re ready to babysit?" he asks.

More From The Doctors 

Is your tween ready to babysit? Click here to take Dr. Jim's test!
"Yes," Olivia replies. 

"I think you’re ready too!" the pediatrician says.

Back onstage, Dr. Jim says around age 12 is when most kids are ready to do short-term babysitting. Olivia will be sent to the American Red Cross in Orange County to take their babysitting class, where she will also learn CPR and first aid.

Take Control of Your Fertility
At what age is a woman too old to have a baby?

Bridgette from Deerfield Beach, Florida writes:

Dear Doctors,

I just turned 30 this year, and I don’t have children yet. I heard that fertility declines significantly in your 30s, but then I keep seeing all these celebrity moms having kids into their 40s and 50s. What’s the deal? At what age will my fertility be a real concern?

Dr. Lisa says women are most fertile in their 20s. "As you start to get closer to 30, even at 28, your fertility starts to decline, then at 30 and at 35. At 40, it takes a real dip. By 45, almost half of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Once you hit your 30s, you’ve really got to be more proactive," she says. "Even though we’re putting off childbearing for our careers and things like that, you don’t want to get behind the eight ball. You want to stay ahead of the game by being healthy, knowing that your fertility is going to decrease by your 30s. A lot of celebrities are having babies way into their 40s, but they’re using artificial reproductive techniques, a lot of them.”

The OB/GYN says there are over-the-counter products that can check a woman’s ovarian reserves. “You can do this at home or with your doctor,” she says. "The key thing is to stay healthy, but know the clock has an expiration time."

When to "Brace" Your Child
Lewanne from Los Angeles writes:

 Dear Doctors,

My 12-year-old daughter, Cosima, was told she will need braces at some point, but all of her permanent teeth are not in. I’ve seen young kids with braces and adults with them too, and I’m confused. At what age should my daughter be getting braces?

The Doctors send Cosima to Dr. Dunia Gailani. “Most of the time, children get braces between the ages of 7 and 11,” the orthodontist explains. Cosima receives braces on her upper teeth to correct spacing issues and an overbite.

Dr. Gailani joins The Doctors in their studio. She shows off several models of braces that are available for kids. “These are the standard metal brackets, that can be tied in with clear or colored choices, which the kids love,” she says. "I also have the ceramic brackets that are a little less visible, lower profile. Adults tend to like these, but kids love them too. They can use them with colors also. And we have the option of clear aligners. This is usually what people call invisible braces."

"My daughter is using those right now,” Dr. Jim says, referring to the clear aligners, "and I forget she has braces."

Too Young to Bulk Up?
How young is too young to start pumping iron? Jill has an 11-year-old son, Christopher, who recently started lifting weights as part of a school phys ed program. The mom joins the show via phone. “He’s still a growing boy. I know he’s active in sports, but at 11 years old, is that too young to start a program?” she asks.

“Kids definitely under age 8 or 9 should not lift weights. Period,” Dr. Jim says. “Until you hit puberty, you don’t have the hormones flowing that are really going to build a lot of muscle. It’s good exercise, but it would be better to just go out and play those sports."

Too Young for Rhinoplasty?
Gigi says her 13-year-old daughter, Ginger, inherited her beauty, brains and unfortunately, her "Italian hook nose." The mom calls in to ask if her teen is too young for rhinoplasty.

Dr. Ordon says certain elective procedures can be performed at a younger age, such as pinning ears and breast reduction surgery. “In this case, noses are something you can do as a teenager, because the nose is pretty well-developed by 14, 15,” he says. “I think in the next year or so, [Ginger] would be a candidate to do her nose, take that bump out.”

Thyroid Woes
Shawna, 39, has a history of thyroid problems, and she wonders if she waited too long to get her thyroid tested. Located in front of the windpipe, this small organ releases hormones to regulate metabolism and body temperature. The Doctors send the worried woman to endocrinologist Dr. Eva Cwynar.

“I have some symptoms, which are headache, fatigue, irregular menstrual periods,” Shawna says as she sits in the doctor's office. She tells Dr. Cwynar that in the past four years, she has gained 40 to 45 pounds. The endocrinologist performs a physical to determine if Shawna has a thyroid condition.

Shawna joins The Doctors in their studio to learn the results of her test. Dr. Travis announces that Shawna’s thyroid levels are normal.

"You need to be checked out for other things for fatigue and weight gain, like diabetes and things like that. A further work-up needs to be done,” Dr. Lisa advises. "If your thyroid is irregular before you get pregnant, it can actually cause birth defects. So it’s extremely important to check your thyroid if you’re thinking about getting pregnant."

Post-Puberty Pimples
Rosanna is 34 and says she’s still breaking out. She joins the show via phone. “At what age should my acne go away?” she inquires.

 "Acne should start disappearing in your early 20s. It really is more a problem of adolescents, teenagers, [people in their] early 20s. But there is a condition, chronic adult acne. At 34, I think that’s exactly what’s going on in your case,” Dr. Ordon says.

The cosmetic surgeon uses a graphic to explain how breakouts occur. "Your sebaceous glands are overproducing sebum," he says. When sebaceous glands are clogged, it can lead to blackheads, whiteheads, chronic, cystic pimples.

He suggests that Rosanna get her hormones checked, and Dr. Lisa concurs.

To treat her acne, Dr. Ordon says Rosanna should begin a program of cleansing and exfoliating using salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. If she has acute flare-ups, she could try antibiotic therapy, such as tetracycline and Cleosin, a topical gel.

"Finally, the big gun — which does work, but you have to really know what this drug can do and the downside — is Accutane. You’ve had it now for years, Accutane may be the solution in your case.”

What You Need to Know: Treating Acne
People are happy to be done with adolescence. No more braces, no more pop quizzes, no more acne … right?

Over 70 million people suffer from adult acne. Sebum, an oily substance produced in the skin’s sebaceous glands, is the main cause of adult acne. It basically clogs pores and then can attract bacteria. Most medications are geared toward teens’ oily skin, and this doesn’t always work on adults’ dryer skin.

• Wash your face twice a day with warm water. Hot water can be overly drying.
Use your hands instead of a washcloth, because the material can irritate your skin. Pat your face dry; don’t rub.
Consult your doctor if you have severe acne. He or she may prescribe a medication. It also could be a sign of a more serious skin condition.

What is Your Lipid Profile?
A lipid profile is a group of tests that are often ordered together to determine your risk of coronary heart disease.

An audience member, Nancy, has never had this test. "I have a family history, of course, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes,” she tells The Doctors. “Genetically, I want to know what’s passed on to me. At what age should I get the lipid profile?"

"It tests for total cholesterol, HDL, which is good cholesterol, LDL, which is bad cholesterol. If you have a bad ratio, there are steps you can take to stave off heart disease. If your numbers are bad, it ups your risk for a heart attack exponentially,” Dr. Travis warns.

Nancy was sent to Biotech Laboratory Services in Thousand Oaks, California. Dr. Travis reveals her results. “Your HDL is 68, which is extremely high,” he says. Then he breaks the bad news: Nancy’s LDL is 158. "It really should be less than 130. Ideally, less than 100. Concomitant with that, your total cholesterol is 240. That should really be less than 200," he says.

Dr. Travis says cholesterol should be tested by early 20s, especially with obesity on the rise.

"You can’t always tell just by looking at someone. [High cholesterol is] not just associated with obesity,” Dr. Lisa says.