Your Most Irritating and Annoying Body Problems

What miffs you most about your body? The Doctors helps you tackle your most aggravating ailments.

Eustachian Tubes
Diane says she experiences unrelenting popping and clicking in her ears, and has a perpetual headache. She visits ear, nose and throat surgeon Dr. Brian Weeks in search of help.

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Dr. Weeks explains that the culprit of Diane’s issues are malfunctioning Eustachian tubes, the tubes that connect the nose to the middle ear. Dr. Weeks performs a procedure that involves gently inflating a balloon inside the Eustachian tubes to dilate the openings and relieve the pressure.

“This procedure is great for people who constantly have that plugged up, underwater feeling in their ears,” Dr. Weeks says.

Venous Lake
Charlie says he’s irritated by a bluish-purple spot on his lip that formed after being elbowed while playing sports. Over time, the spot became more concentrated, and he’s afraid it will become more unsightly as he ages.

Dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban explains that the spot on Charlie’s lip is a venous lake, a non-cancerous dark spot that commonly appears on the face or neck that is caused by an overgrowth of small blood vessels.

Dr. Shamban treats Charlie’s venous lake with a vascular laser to diminish its appearance.

Spa Remedies
Aesthetician Kelley West shares both professional and at-home solutions to your bothersome body problems.

 • Are your eyes always red? Learn why.

Molluscum Contagiosum
Jennifer says she’s noticed small, red bumps on her 3-year-old daughter’s skin that appear to be spreading. A pediatrician diagnosed Jennifer’s daughter with molluscum contagiosum, a common virus among children where wart-like growths are easily spread by skin-to-skin contact.

Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears reveals treatments for the condition.

• Molluscum contagiosum is usually self-limited, so treatment is not always necessary.
• Individual lesions may be removed by scraping or freezing.
• Topical medications, such as those used to remove warts, may also be helpful in lesion removal.
• Cantharone, a blistering agent extracted from beetles, what Dr. Sears calls “beetle juice” in his office, is often applied to the growths.
• Eating raw garlic for its anti-fungal properties works to destroy viruses internally and on skin.

Prevention includes avoiding direct contact with anyone with the condition and treating underlying eczema, specifically in children.

Jock Itch
Candice asks The Doctors why men “always scratch down there?’”

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E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says there are many reasons why men scratch their nether regions.

• Shaving: If a man shaves the area, hair re-growth can be itchy.
• Sweat: Just like other parts of the body, sweat collection dries, becomes flaky and can cause itchiness.
• Underwear: Too-tight briefs can cause rubbing against the skin.

“Guys, if you find yourself scratching [too often], you may consider a little baby powder in the morning to absorb sweat,” Dr. Travis advises.

Dr. Travis also warns against over-washing the area with drying soap, which can cause itchy, dry skin.

If none of these are reasons for an itchy groin, it could be jock itch, a fungal infection affecting the genitals and buttocks, characterized by itchy, burning sensations and often a ring-shaped rash.

If you do have jock itch, over-the-counter antifungal ointments and powders are available to fix the problem, but if they don’t, you may need a prescription from your doctor.

• Foul-smelling burps: When they're not just an offensive odor.

Ask Jillian: Protein Shakes
Audience member Adriana is a vegetarian and asks health and wellness expert Jillian Michaels how to properly incorporate protein into her diet. While she makes soy protein shakes every morning, she wants to know if there are better shake options out there.

“Soy, I really don’t like,” Jillian says. “Evidence suggests soy can interrupt your endocrine system. But there are a lot of great alternatives out there.”

Jillian explains the differences between hemp, pea, whey and egg protein and explains why she thinks whey is the way to go!

“The reason why whey protein is so great is because it’s the most easily absorbed and digested form of protein,” she says.

While protein shakes are great for breakfast or a snack, it’s best to add almond milk or coconut milk as well as fresh berries to obtain other nutrients while getting your daily protein.

Toe Pain
Ever experienced a throbbing, swollen toe or toenail? It could be an ingrown toenail, or the beginning of one, which is why it’s important to trim your toenails properly.

Nails should be cut straight across, with a clean, sharp nail trimmer. No tapering or rounding the corners and don’t trim it shorter than the edge of your toe.

Gout, the infection of the toe joint, can also cause severe toe pain. If you experience severe toe pain, be sure to consult your healthcare provider.

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OAD 12/2/11