Stretch marks are scars in the dermis layer of the skin. They are caused by a rapid stretching of the skin and can occur by gaining or losing weight, growth spurts or pregnancy.
can be minimized with creams, microdermabrasion or a fractional CO2 laser. The laser uses wavelengths of light to stimulate new growth of collagen, which will help bring up depressed skin and lighten the stretch marks.
"[The laser] will make it better," plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon says. "It won't get rid of it 100 percent, but this is a new laser. This is our best bet for [treating] stretch marks.
"It's best for lighter skin, but you can do it for all skin types," Dr. Ordon adds. "And it's not just one treatment. You have to be prepared for three to four treatments spaced over a few weeks."
Constipation in Children
Rachel's 4 ½-year-old daughter Hope has suffered from constipation and bloating problems since she was 1. Mother and daughter visit pediatric gastroenterologist Dr. Susan Edelstein to determine Hope's options. Dr. Edelstein advises cutting down on fiber-rich foods in Hope's diet, such as apples, bananas and grain snack bars and carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, crackers and breads.
"Children don't do as well with fiber [as adults], in general," Dr. Edelstein says. "It's counterintuitive to what is promoted to adults, in terms of keeping you regular."
Dr. Edelstein demonstrates what happens when kids become constipated and bloated.
"The most common reason for constipation is just a slow colon exacerbated by diet," she says. "If we can start adjusting [Hope's] diet, that will most likely help resolve her symptoms."
One of the easiest ways to alleviate constipation is to keep your child hydrated with water and juices. Dr. Edelstein discusses other treatment options for constipation in children.
"A lot of parents are told, 'Don't give your child a lot of juice because it will make them overweight and they'll get cavities.' But juice is what helps to soften the stool. It helps you to go to the bathroom," she says. "Juices like apple, white grape and all the nectars help. And if you're ever concerned [with sugar content], you just dilute it."
Since giving birth to her youngest child in 2003, 42-year-old Lisa now menstruates for up to seven days.
"We can fix it, and you want to fix it," OB-GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson says. "If your periods are becoming prolonged or really, really heavy, this is something called menorrhagia. It can cause anemia, it can wreak havoc with your lifestyle, with relationships. It can cause headaches, dizziness, lead to [needing blood] transfusions."
Excessive menstrual bleeding can be caused by fibroids or hormone-related issues, so be sure to seek the medical attention of your gynecologist. If the cause of menorrhagia is hormonal, the disorder can be treated with birth control pills.
"These can not only act as contraception, but also balance out your hormones," Dr. Lisa says. "They can actually act as a medication, as well."
Dr. Lisa explains other treatment options for long or heavy periods.
Lisa, a Facebook fan of The Doctors, is an overwhelmed, out-of-shape mom looking for a simple workout solution to fit into her busy schedule.
Carolyn Barnes, an exercise devotee and fellow busy mom, developed the cLEAN Momma Routine, which helps busy moms workout while they clean the house.
Carolyn shows The Doctors some household workout moves that you can do at home!
Breast-feeding and the H1N1 Virus
Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says that breast-feeding is beneficial for babies; it can help protect against a number of infections, and it may also protect a baby against the H1N1 virus.
"A lot of people think, 'Oh, what if the mom gets sick, she should probably stay away from the baby, right?'" Dr. Jim says. "That makes sense, but actually it's the opposite. If mom is either vaccinated against H1N1 [virus] or has the H1N1 [flu], she's actually going to be making antibodies. The [antibodies transfer from] the breast milk into the baby. The baby might be too young for the vaccine, so the baby gets protected that way."
Antibodies in breast milk can help reduce the baby's chances of coming down with the H1N1 flu, but it does not mean the baby is immune to the disease.
The H1N1 vaccine is not recommended for children under 6 months of age, but if a mother breast-feeds while she is infected with the H1N1 virus, she can help protect her unvaccinated baby. "Exclusive breast-feeding for [babies up to] 6 months [of age] will give optimal protection," Dr. Lisa says. "But if you do mixed, like if you do pumping and formula, you still get some protection [for the baby]."
Read more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about breast-feeding while sick with H1N1 virus.