The Ick Factor: Things that Make You Go Ewww!

Chewing Tobacco
Chewing tobacco is highly addictive and contains three to four times more nicotine than cigarettes and 28 known carcinogens. Scott admits he started chewing tobacco when he was 15 or 16 years old. Now 35, he is happily married and a father of two but can’t seem to quit the chewing tobacco habit.

“It went from just a fun adventure to a full-time addiction,” he says.

Cosmetic dentist Dr. Bill Dorfman is on hand to help Scott quit the dangerous habit once and for all.


Risks of Chewing Tobacco
• Cancer of the lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, esophagus, stomach, colon and floor and roof of the mouth
• Periodontal, or gum, disease
• Heart disease
• Diabetes

When Gruen von Behrens was 17 years old, he developed mouth cancer as a result of chewing tobacco for four years, and his lower jaw, half his tongue and some of his neck muscles had to be removed. He calls in to implore Scott to quit chewing tobacco immediately. 

“So many times I have come face to face with people like you saying ‘It’s not going to happen to me. If it does, it’s not that big of a deal,’” Gruen says. “I was diagnosed with cancer at a very young age from this product. I try to make people understand that this is the face of tobacco.”

Scott is determined to break his nicotine addiction and pledges to quit.

Tips to Quit Chewing Tobacco
• Try nicotine patches or gum
• Take medication to counter cravings
• Attend individual and group counseling
• Chew on food substitutes such as gum, nuts, seeds and shredded beef jerky to help counter a person’s oral fixation

Simple Solutions  

Kelley, an aesthetician from the RoxSpa, demonstrates the best way to remove ear wax buildup.

Plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon advises Melodie, 37, how to get rid of ingrown hair "down there."

Nail Biting
Carole, 60, has been biting her nails since she was a little girl. “I’ve tried to stop, and nothing seems to work,” she says.

OB-GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson points out that women often bite their nails due to stress. “Keeping your hands and fingers busy, keeping a file with you at all times to keep them well-groomed and shaped will help,” she says. “Also, if you get a manicure, if you pay that money, you are not going to mess that up!”

Tips to Quit Nail Biting
• Apply Control-It Nail Biting Treatment, a natural cream that is spread on fingers, nails and cuticles. The cream is bitter to the taste but will also nourish nails.
• Ask for support: Ask friends and loved ones to point out when you’re chewing your nails
• Chew gum or toothpicks
• Apply band-aids to your fingertips
• Wear gloves
• Keep your hands and fingers busy

The Ick Lab

Summer is fast approaching, which means it’s time to wear strappy sandals and sleeveless dresses. See the latest and most effective treatments for scaly feet and ashy elbows

Scaly Feet
• Thoroughly clean your feet
• Soak your feet in warm water with 4 tablespoons of olive oil for 20 minutes
• Once your feet are soft, exfoliate with a pumice stone
• Rub baby oil or Mane ‘n Tail Hoofmaker on feet to keep skin soft and supple
• Cover feet with socks and sleep in them

Ashy Elbows
• Cut a lemon in half
• Rub the lemon on the affected skin
• Apply a mixture of equal parts brown and white sugar and Aquaphor to exfoliate and hydrate the skin
• Rinse with warm water
• Apply petroleum jelly
• Wrap elbow with Saran wrap and leave for 30 minutes
• Rinse with warm water

Pilonidal Cyst
A pilonidal cyst is a cyst that develops along the coccyx, or tailbone, in the gluteal, or buttocks, cleft. It is created by hair and skin debris, and as more hair accumulates, it eventually forms a nest, which can become infected. The term pilonidal is derived from the Latin words pilus (hair) and nidus (nest).


“Most of the time, when people come to a physician for the first time with this issue, it’s because it’s become infected or abscessed,” colorectal surgeon Dr. Mari Madsen from Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California explains.

Oftentimes, doctors will need to drain the cyst. If the condition does not improve, surgical intervention is often required. The best way to manage a pilonidal cyst is to keep the area clean and free of hair.