Cold Sore Prevention
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Once you get a cold sore, you're more likely to have another one. After all, they're a product of the incurable herpes virus. The sores themselves, though, are preventable. Which delicious dairy products can help keep 'em away? Find out now!
Transcript: When Katie Holmes was photographed with a cold sore, the media had a field day mocking her. But there...
When Katie Holmes was photographed with a cold sore, the media had a field day mocking her. But there WERE folks who sympathized. If you were among them, you've probably had at least one cold sore. And it's likely you would do ANYTHING to avoid another. Cold sores, or oral herpes, are caused by a virus known as herpes simplex one, or HSV-1. A similar virus called HSV-2 is the culprit behind most cases of genital herpes, HSV-1's counterpart. Once they infect someone, both of these viruses are unfortunately incurable. Although HSV spends most of its time "sleeping" in the body, sometimes it will "wake up." When that happens, HSV will travel back to the sight of the initial infection-the lips, in this case. That's why cold sores come back again and again. The bad news--there is no way to "kill" HSV and no way to boot it permanently from your body. But there ARE measures you can take to prevent it from paying a visit. Most importantly, you should pinpoint what triggers your cold sore outbreaks and avoid those things. Common triggers include stress, fatigue, sunlight, getting the flu or a cold, allergies, menstruating, and even some cosmetic procedures. So take precautions: like using sunblock on your face AND your lips all year round which, I hope, you're doing anyway. You also need to take care of yourself, get plenty of sleep and carve out time to do things you enjoy. Try to avoid colds and the flu by meticulously washing your hands and getting a flu shot. If you already get cold sores and your partner also gets them, don't kiss when either of you has an outbreak. You should also refrain from sharing utensils, lip balm, cups, and definitely toothbrushes - (which you should never share anyway!) during an outbreak. But here's some good news: with your doctor's permission, you might be able to pop a supplement called L-Lysine to help prevent cold sores. It's an amino acid which may stop the herpes virus from replicating in the body. Many HSV-1 sufferers swear by it. And, L-Lysine is also found in foods like turkey, flounder, chicken, eggs, yogurt, cheese, and soy beans If you get cold sores, you might also want to cut back on foods like nuts, seeds, peas, and chocolate. These foods all contain lots of arginine, an amino acid that HELPS the herpes virus to multiply in the body. Don't freak out if you still get cold sores - just follow the advice in this video and - check out other videos in this series for in-the-moment treatment methods.More »
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Are you suffering from cold sores? There are a number of treatments available to help. Watch our video to learn more about cold sore treatments.
Transcript: Cold sores are tiny, fluid-filled blisters that blossom on and around the lips. Caused by a virus known...
Cold sores are tiny, fluid-filled blisters that blossom on and around the lips. Caused by a virus known as herpes simplex virus one, or HSV-1, they affect 15 to 30-percent of the United States population. It's suspected that a much greater percentage of the population-up to 98-percent, in fact!-is infected with HSV-1, but the majority of them do NOT experience cold sore symptoms. Some people who DO have cold sores are actually infected with a similar virus called herpes simplex virus two, or HSV-2. More often though, people with HSV-2 experience genital herpes, which are cold sore-like lesions that appear on the genitals. Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 are incurable. This is the reason that people who experience cold sores or genital herpes usually have recurrent outbreaks. The good news is that there ARE medications that can help shorten the life of cold sores. These medications can be loosely divided into topical creams and oral antiviral medications. All treatments aimed at HSV are most effective if taken during the prodromal stage of infection which is the first 6 to 48 hours before a cold sore appears. It is usually marked by tingling, itching, or burning at the infection site. Prescription creams used to treat cold sores include penciclovir, which is branded as Denvair, and acyclovir, branded as Zovirax. Both can reduce the pain, itching, and tenderness associated with cold sores, and they may speed healing time by several days. A group of NON-prescription topical creams may offer similar benefits. Abreva is one such example. The first FDA-approved, nonprescription cold sore cream, Abreva shortens the duration and severity of symptoms. Other similar products include Herpecin-L, which moisturizes lips and contains sunscreen, and Viractin, which relieves pain while shortening a cold sore's life. Oral antiviral medications are also popular treatment methods. The three most common are acyclovir, which is branded as Zovirax in a tablet form, valacyclovir, which is sold as Valtrex, and famciclovir. All three medications may shorten the life of cold sores by one to two days. If taken early enough in the prodromal stage, they might even prevent sores from developing at all. Individuals who have very regular or severe outbreaks may take these drugs daily to stop cold sores from occurring. But for those of us with more mild or infrequent attacks, nonprescription and home remedies may be sufficient. All cold sores heal on their own eventually. To get more information about home remedies and nonprescription treatments for cold sores, check out other videos on this site.More »
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Is there a difference between a cold sore and herpes? Watch this video to find out.
Transcript: If you get the occasional cold sore, you've probably heard the word "herpes" used to describe the lesions...
If you get the occasional cold sore, you've probably heard the word "herpes" used to describe the lesions on your mouth.Saying someone "has herpes" means that they are infected with a virus called herpes simplex virus, or HSV. HSV is a HIGHLY contagious virus that comes in two variants: HSV-1 and HSV-2. In most cases, HSV-2 is the virus responsible for genital herpes, the below-the-belt version of cold sores. Cold sores involving the mouth or lips are usually the result of being infected with HSV-1. But it's not always simple: If you have a cold sore and it comes in contact with someone else's genitals, it is possible for that person to contract a form of HSV-1 that will cause sores in the genital area, NOT oral. The same is true in reverse. If a person's mouth makes contact with active herpes on the genitals, he or she can catch a form of HSV-2 that will cause sores around the mouth. In other words, the viruses are similar enough that either type can infect the genitals OR the oral region. It's impossible to get cold sores WITHOUT being infected by one of the herpes viruses, so if you experience them, you do, by definition, have herpes. And both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can't be cured and they won't ever exit the body. That's the bad news. The good news is that herpes is not necessarily a sexually transmitted disease. Believe it or not, most cases of HSV-1 are actually acquired during childhood, often via a kiss from an infected adult. No matter how you contracted it, if you have oral herpes, you're not alone. Depending on which source you reference, anywhere from 50 to 80-percent of the population is infected with HSV-1. Even though many of these people are asymptomatic and unaware of their infections, they do have herpes! If you're concerned about the contagiousness of cold sores, of if you just want to know how to make them heal faster, check out other videos in this series.More »
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What's the difference between cold sores and canker sores? Watch this video about cold sores vs canker sores for the facts.
Transcript: If you've ever had a cold sore or a canker sore, you'll understand why these common oral problems are...
If you've ever had a cold sore or a canker sore, you'll understand why these common oral problems are also two of the most despised. Both conditions cause small, painful, and sometimes embarrassing sores to develop in or around the mouth. So how do these differ? Cold sores, or fever blisters, tend to form OUTSIDE of the mouth, on or around the lips. They may even appear on the cheeks, chin, and nostrils. And canker sores, which are also called aphthous ulcers, occur INSIDE-usually on the tongue, gums and inner cheeks. Fever blisters tend to be tiny clusters of blisters that break open and weep clear fluid before eventually crusting over and healing. Canker sores are more reddish ulcers that quickly burst and are then covered with a thin white membrane during the healing process. Their cause is the most important distinction. Cold sores spring from a highly contagious virus called herpes simplex, or HSV. Like other viruses, HSV is extremely contagious, which means your cold sore could easily infect someone else and vice versa. On the other hand, canker sores are not at all contagious. Although there is no definitive cause, the small ulcers are likely brought on by factors like emotional stress or minor injury, like dental work or rigorous brushing. Other possible causes of canker sores include acidic or allergy-causing foods, hormonal shifts during menstruation, a diet lacking in nutrients like zinc and vitamin B-12, and, less commonly, certain inflammatory conditions. So while it seems that cold sores and canker sores are pretty different, they do have one unpleasant trait in common. Both have the tendency to recur, which means if you've had one cold sore or canker sore, you'll probably have another eventually. It's a bummer, but there ARE things you can do. Check out other videos in this series to learn about preventing and treating cold sores.More »
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Do you have to avoid kissing if you or your partner has a cold sore? Watch this videofor info about cold sores and kissing.
Transcript: A common question I hear in my office is "Do you have to abstain from kissing just because one of you...
A common question I hear in my office is "Do you have to abstain from kissing just because one of you has a cold sore?" In a word, YES...for awhile. Cold sores are caused by a highly contagious virus called herpes simplex, or HSV. It comes in two types known as HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 is the more common form of the virus and the culprit behind most cases of cold sores. HSV-2 is usually responsible for genital herpes. Both types of HSV are transmitted from person to person when an infected area comes into contact with a tiny tear in the skin, usually around the mouth or genitals. Once a person becomes infected with HSV, the virus will live in his or her body forever. So if you're looking to stay cold sore-free, it's wise to avoid direct contact with an active lesion. But it's equally important to understand that a cold sore on the MOUTH can cause herpes on the GENITALS, and vice versa. And to really elude oral herpes, follow the same precautions you would to avoid catching any infection. Refrain from sharing lip balm, a toothbrush (which you should always avoid sharing!), utensils, cups, or even towels with an infected person.Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face or genitals. And remember one really important fact: Even if a person with HSV-1 or HSV-2 is NOT having an outbreak, he or she COULD still be contagious. Blame viral shedding, which happens when the virus becomes quietly active in the body WITHOUT causing any noticeable symptoms. Because this may happen several days a year, always use condoms when having intercourse. During oral sex, women should use dental dams while men should still wear a condom. And while you don't have to swear off kissing forever, you SHOULD remember not to do it when you or your partner feels a cold sore coming on - signs of onset are itching, tingling, burning, or numbness. Taking these smart, simple precautions will both minimize your risk of catching cold sores, and help prevent spreading them back and forth! Watch more videos in this series for more cold sore information.More »
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There is no permanent cure for cold sores, but you can reduce the soreness through simple remedies. Watch this video on how to get rid of cold sores quickly and effectively.
Transcript: You open your eyes one beautiful, sunny morning, and then realize - your lip is tingling and burning...
You open your eyes one beautiful, sunny morning, and then realize - your lip is tingling and burning in an all too familiar manner. If you have a tendency to get the tiny blisters called cold sores on and around your lips, you know this scenario well. Cold sores, which are also known as fever blisters or oral herpes, are caused by the herpes simplex virus, or HSV-1. Unfortunately, once HSV infects, it will live in your body forever. And although HSV spends most of its time dormant in a nerve bundle called the ganglion, it will occasionally "wake up" and travel back through the body's nerve endings and into the skin, causing a cold sore recurrence. There's no curing HSV, but you CAN shorten the time you must suffer through having a cold sore. One time tested method is to apply an ice compact to the affected area AS SOON AS you feel the tingle of a developing cold sore. Ice not only eases the pain, but if applied regularly, it can help reduce inflammation and even speed healing time. Or you can try whole milk. Soak a cotton ball in milk and hold it to the sore for ten to 15 minutes daily. Whole milk is rich in a protein called monocaprin which helps stop HSV-1 in its tracks. Another tasty way to cut healing time is by chewing on licorice. The candy contains glycyrrhizic acid, which is known for its ability to halt HSV-1. A word of warning though: Most U.S.-manufactured licorice is made with anise, NOT real licorice, so be sure the candy's packaging reads "licorice mass." If your cold sore has already become full-blown, consider covering it with petroleum jelly while you're at home. Not only will this speed healing time, it also prevents bacterial infection, which could easily EXTEND the life of a sore. If your cold sore causes you discomfort-and many do-try an over-the-counter pain reliever like aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen. Even teething ointments can help numb the area temporarily. And although popular opinion regarding their effectiveness is mixed, there are also non-prescription ointments meant to shorten the length of a cold sore. They're called Abreva and Herpecin-L. There currently are several prescription antiviral medications available to both prevent and decrease the duration of cold sores. They are usually reserved for people with fairly frequent outbreaks, or for people who suffer from genital herpes. If you think you're among them, check out other videos in this series, and then make an appointment to speak with your doctor!More »
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Cold sores have a way of complicating things on the social front. If you find yourself asking the question “what is a cold sore & why do i have one?” this video is for you.
Transcript: Cold sores are small blisters which appear in clusters on and around a person's lips. Once they've appeared,...
Cold sores are small blisters which appear in clusters on and around a person's lips. Once they've appeared, cold sores generally break open and release a clear fluid before scabbing over and healing. Both immediately before and during an outbreak, the sores can cause itching, tingling, burning, or numbness. Start to finish, this process takes anywhere from one to two weeks. If you've ever had a cold sore, you know they can really hurt! Cold sores may be accompanied by other symptoms, including swollen lymph nodes, a sore throat, and/or a fever. So what causes you to get these symptoms? Blame herpes-simplex virus-1 (HSV-1 for short). You probably picked up this highly contagious virus from another person with an active sore. It's transmitted by all kinds of activities, from kissing to sharing utensils, razors, and chapstick. A related virus, HSV-2, is usually the cause for similar sores that appear on and around the genitals-genital herpes. But it gets complicated. A sore on your mouth can spread to the genitals, and vice versa-so be aware of the risk when sexually active. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for HSV-1 or 2,.But if HSV is ALWAYS in you, how come you don't ALWAYS have cold sores? Good question. Most of the time, the virus lies "asleep" in a group of nerve cells called the ganglion (located in the spine). During this time, you'll be fever blister-free. But sometimes, HSV-1 "wakes up," and travels toward the area where you usually get sores. No one is sure WHY the virus awakens, and everyone has different triggers. Common ones include: menstruation or pregnancy, sunlight, stress, and fevers or colds! The weird thing about HSV-1 is that it doesn't cause cold sores in everyone. People who never experience outbreaks-DESPITE having HSV-1 in their bodies-have what's known as "asymptomatic infection." In fact, the Center for Disease Control estimates that between 50 and 80-percent of people carry HSV-1, although that many people definitely don't get cold sores. And one Louisiana State University study found that 98-PERCENT of people are infected, even if some are symptom-free. So although cold sores can be embarrassing and painful, if you get them, you're not alone. Even sough-after stars like Paris Hilton and Katie Holmes get the occasional fever blister! To learn more about cold sores, including how to treat and prevent them, check out other videos in this series.More »
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With the winter season coming up, the problem of dry skin is likely to flare up. Take a look at this video to get some useful tips on how to winterize your skin.
Transcript: During the winter, low humidity combines with harsher winds to deplete skin of its natural moisture....
During the winter, low humidity combines with harsher winds to deplete skin of its natural moisture. Indoors, your skin which requires AT LEAST 30-percent humidity to stay softwill be subjected to heavily heated rooms with humidity levels hanging around a mere TEN percent. Heres Tip #1--To stop winter dryness before it starts, pick up several small humidifiers to put around your home. They help you hydrate you by emitting moisture into the air. Tip #2 -- If you experience eczema or chafing that WORSENS in winter, cut down on washing. Soap cleans away natural oils and fats that keep your skin hydrated and protected from bacteria. Use soap every other day, using water in between. Parts prone to sweating, though, require daily cleansing with soap. Tip #3 Intense heat in a shower SHOCKS your skin, so stick to warm water and shorten your shower time to 15 minutes or less. Tip #4 Post-shower, apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp. Moisturizers act as a WALL to prevent water from evaporating out of the skin as it dries, helping it to stay SOFT. Consider ointments, OR moisturizers with humectants like alpha-hydroxy acids or glycerin, both of which draw moisture into the skin. Use a LIGHTER formula if your skins naturally oily. Moisturizers will sink in BETTER if you exfoliate your skin once or twice a week. Although it might sound counterintuitive to scrub thirsty skin, doing so removes dead cells that prevent lotions from being properly absorbed. If you have previous skin disease, though, exfoliation could further WORSEN your condition. Tip #5: You WILL want to cut back on masks, peels, and toners. Although theyre fine in summer, these products can strip VITAL sebum oil from your skin. And since sebum is your bodys natural, moisturizing oil this leads to a flaky winter face. Tip #6: Even during the winter, cover exposed areas with sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outside. The sun is very potent in winterits reflective powers are at 80% strength off snow, as opposed to just 15% off sand. Youll need a formula with an SPF of at least 30 that also contains agents like zinc oxide or avobenzonethey block out aging UVA rays. Finally, tip 7-- put on gloves BEFORE you leave the house. Because your hands have fewer oil glands than the rest of your body, this step helps maintain moisture, particularly if you apply lotion first. These 7 tips will keep your skin soft this winter, no matter how cold the winds blow. For more skin care and skin condition advice, check out other videos on this site.More »
Last Modified: 2013-11-14 | Tags »
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Moles are perfectly normal-- except when they develop into skin cancer. Learn how to spot the changes.
Transcript: We all have moles. The average person is spotted with at least 10 to 40 of them-- and new ones can keep...
We all have moles. The average person is spotted with at least 10 to 40 of them-- and new ones can keep cropping up. And while most are harmless beauty marks, IRREGULAR shaped growths can be a potential sign of skin cancer. Heres how to tell whats normal and whats not. Normal moles form on our skin when pigment-producing cells, called melanocytes, grow in a cluster. They can be flat or bumpy, round or oval, and can come in brown, pink, tan, or flesh-colored. They are usually small, getting no bigger than a pencil eraser. One out of every 10 Americans has an abnormally shaped mole called a dysplastic nevus (or nevi in plural). These are usually larger than a regular mole and have asymmetrical borders and uneven coloring. The more of these moles you have, the higher your cancer risk. So, make regular skin checks and sun screen a mandatory part of your routine.You and your doctor will be looking for signs of melanoma on your skin. While melanoma accounts for only 3 percent of all skin cancer cases, it is responsible for 75% of all skin cancer related deaths. Its easy to cure when treated early. Untreated, the cancer can spread to other, harder to treat parts of the body. Here are some signs to look for remember it as your ABCs. A: Asymmetry: An EASY way to tell-- if the mole was folded in half, it would not match up. B: Check the BORDERS. Look to see if they are uneven or scalloped. C: What COLOR is it? Multiple shades of browns in one mole, or even RED and bluish colors can be a sign of melanoma. S: Size. It DOES matter for moles! Cancerous moles are usually WIDER in diameter than normal ones. If you see any of these signs or the moles has changed in appearance, have your doctor check it out immediately. If youre fair skinned, have a history of skin cancer in the family, have been sunburned often, live in a sunny climate or at high altitude, and/or have a weakened immune system, your risk is also higher. If your doctor suspects a mole to be potentially cancerous, he may remove it. A local anesthetic is applied to the skin and the mole is simply cut away. If the cells removed are found to be cancerous, larger areas of the skin may need to be treated. For more smart ways to keep you and your skin healthy, check out the rest of the videos in this series.More »
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Suddenly there's an angry red splotch on your skin. Is it eczema -- or something else? Watch this video to learn about Rashes: causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Transcript: Rashes are a pain. But what causes them and how do you treat them? The most COMMON rash is called dermatitis....
Rashes are a pain. But what causes them and how do you treat them? The most COMMON rash is called dermatitis. It's caused by a reaction to irritants like soaps, latex, clothing dyes, and poison ivy. Usually, the skin will become irritated, swollen and itchy, but bad attacks can cause the skin to OOZE or blister. Dermatitis can usually be treated with over-the-counter creams with hydrocortisone or steroids. Avoid triggers in the future to KEEP it gone. Allergic reactions can also appear as hives or welt-like marks. They last from a few MINUTES to a few DAYS. They often go away on their own and antihistamines can help fight the reaction and keep it from spreading. ECZEMA, another common rash, appears as scaly, itchy patches usually on your arms and in the backs of your legs. The exact cause is BELIEVED to be a combination of really dry skin, a long-term reaction to irritants , and an imbalance of the immune system. Depending on severity, treatment includes prescription creams or pills, antibiotics to prevent infected wounds, or in rare cases medications that work with your immune system to prevent reactions. Good skin hydration therapy is the best thing you can do to prevent flare-ups. This includes limited bathing and soap use, and aggressive moisturizer application to WET skin. PSORIASIS is another condition that plagues many people. This is an inherited disease that causes skin cells to grow too quickly, resulting in built-up skin that looks like white, red or silvery patches. Outbreaks most often show up on the knees, elbows, lower back, and your scalp. There's no cure, and mild cases can be treated and prevented with products found at the drugstore. Look for creams and ointments that contain salicylic acid, which can help take off old skin cells, and coal tar, which slows the growth of new ones. Moisturize skin daily with a heavy cream or lotion to help heal and reduce itching. Treatment should be monitored by a dermatologist-we have many treatments for it, ranging from creams to injections and even lasers. If you get a rash on your chest and back that began with one or two larger, scaly red patches, chances are you have Pityriasis Rosea. These markings are believed to be caused by a virus and typically fade on their own within about 8 weeks. Topical steroid treatments can help with the itch, and sometimes antibiotics can clear the rash faster. If you're ever unsure about a rash, see your doctor. Early treatment is the best way to keep it from spreading. For more great skin tips, check out the rest of the videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-11 | Tags »
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Warts are more common than you may think. These non-cancerous tumors are caused by HPV. Depending on the type of wart you have treatments will vary. Watch this video to learn more.
Transcript: Pop quiz: People catch warts from: A. frogs, B. toads, or C. the human papillomavirus, also known as...
Pop quiz: People catch warts from: A. frogs, B. toads, or C. the human papillomavirus, also known as HPV? If you guessed C, you're correct! Warts are actually non-cancerous tumors that grow on the top layer of your skin. And as you already know, they are caused by HPV. Because there are over 100 different types of HPV, each strain can have different effects on the body, so that's why there are multiple types of warts. "Common warts" are what affect most people. They have a rough, grainy texture and fleshy color. These warts can be passed from person to person through touching or through objects like razors or blankets used by someone carrying HPV. You can also spread warts on your own body by touching open cuts or scrapes. Common warts can be treated with over-the-counter medications containing salicylic acid. With these medications, it can take up to 12 weeks to completely GET rid of a wart. For a faster fix, your doctor can do 3 things. One, freeze the wart off with liquid nitrogen -- tough warts may need multiple treatments. Two, he can apply cantharidin, a substance that causes the skin to blister, lifting the wart off your skin to be cut away. Or if all else fails, the wart can be surgically sliced or lasered off. Because of the risk of scarring, this is usually avoided. A second type of wart, plantar warts, grow strictly on the soles of the feet. They are usually a flesh, gray, or brown color. It's common to see little black dots in these, which are caused by the bleeding of small blood vessels into the tissue. Plantar warts ARE treated the same ways as common warts, but because they are more stubborn, they'll PROBABLY need professional removal. To prevent getting them in the first place, always wear shoes where people go BAREFOOT, like around pools and in locker rooms. Flat warts are smooth, flat topped warts that can grow in large numbers of 20 to 100 on the face or along scratch marks. While they are more common in children, men can get them mainly along their beard line and women on their legs. Because of their large numbers, these can be tricky to cure. Topical treatments containing salicylic acid, tretinoin, or glycolic acid work best. For more information on other skin issues, check out the rest of the videos in this series.More »
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Genital skin conditions in men can be troublesome as skin down there is sensitive but there are ways to take care of it. Click on the video for details.
Transcript: Rashes can be a bother, but when you find them 'down there', they can be downright TERRIFYING. Because...
Rashes can be a bother, but when you find them 'down there', they can be downright TERRIFYING. Because skin is SUPER sensitive in the genital area, it makes you more vulnerable to possible irritations and outbreaks, most of them being perfectly harmless. Here are a few of the most common conditions. You've heard of jock itch before, but other than it being caused by a sweaty athletic cup, what do you REALLY know about it? Here's the deal: Jock itch is a fungal infection that produces a red, itchy, ring-shaped rash on your inner thighs, genitals, and buttocks. It is most common in overweight people or those who sweat a lot, but things like too tight underwear, poor hygiene, and sharing of items like towels and razors INCREASE your chances of getting the itch. Treatment is fairly easy. Look for an over-the-counter antifungal medication containing either azoles or allylamines, which are both important compounds that INHIBIT fungal growth. If you have what looks like little red pimples, it could be a case of folliculitis, or infection of individual hair follicles. Shaving, rubbing, and chafing of clothing can instigate the inflammation. Hot, wet compresses can be used to help open the follicles back up. Your doctor may recommend antibiotics or antifungal medications to help control the infection. Yeast infections, also called candidiasis, are commonly associated with women, but guys CAN get them too. Uncircumcised men and people with diabetes seem to be most at risk. Usually it forms a red, scaly or itchy rash on the underside of the penis. Because the infection can be shared between partners, treatment works best when both people are actively nursing their respective infections. Your doctor will likely prescribe an antifungal cream to clear it up. And finally, we can't get away without mentioning genital warts. This is the most common STD in the United States. Caused by the exchange of the human papillomavirus, or HPV, this infection shows up as clusters of flesh colored-or "CAULIFLOWER" like bumps on the tip or shaft of the penis and the scrotum. Some warts will EVENTUALLY go away without treatment, but in many cases a prescription cream may be needed to help kill the wart tissue. No matter what type of rash you think you have, it's ALWAYS a good idea to visit your doctor to get it checked out. For more on treating common skin issues, see the rest of the videos in this series.More »
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Are genital warts: harmless or hazardous? HPV, a common sexually transmitted disease, is the culprit behind genital warts. If left untreated, genital warts can be dangerous to your -- and your partner's -- health. Learn more here.
Transcript: Every year 500,000 to a million people get genital warts - men AND women. They're ugly, contagious, and...
Every year 500,000 to a million people get genital warts - men AND women. They're ugly, contagious, and treatment can be downright painful, but are they a major health risk? Luckily, the answer is NO. There's a common myth that having genital warts put you at risk for cancer. The confusion is based on the fact that genital warts and cervical cancer are both caused by the human papillomavirus-also called HPV--but by very different strands. So how can you tell if you've contracted this STD? Genital warts are rough or smooth surfaced, fleshy growths that can be found on the penis, vagina, around the anus, and in rare cases in and around the mouth. But sexual intercourse isn't the only way to pass them along-- transmission can also happen during oral sex or other skin-to-skin contact. Once contracted, it can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 MONTHS before warts appear. Because other STDs can also cause bumps to grow "down there," visit your doctor to have them checked out. With time, genital warts will eventually go away on their own. Because of their location, they can become uncomfortable, so getting them treated is better than waiting. NEVER try to get rid of them with over-the-counter wart removers. Because the skin is very sensitive on your genitals, these peels can end up causing more pain and irritation. Instead, opt for one of the treatments your doctor has to offer. Some topical medications help your immune system fight off warts, while others kill off the wart tissue. Also, your doctor can use trichloroacetic acid to burn off the warts, or use liquid nitrogen to freeze the skin and kill the infected tissue. Even after all warts are gone, you're not totally in the clear. The virus will always live in your system, meaning the warts can come back at any time. To avoid passing them to your partner, abstain from sex until you've been treated. And in the future, always use a condom. If you don't have genital warts, another option for protecting yourself is the HPV vaccine, Gardasil. You probably thought that Gardasil was only for females, but the FDA has approved it for use in males ages 9-26. Gardasil protects you from multiple strands of HPV, 2 of those being ones that cause genital warts. For more ways to keep everything below the belt problem-free, check out the other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-17 | Tags »
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