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The ABCs of Women's Health

October 4, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Get the ABCs of Women's Health, with the latest on the swine flu, misconceptions about plastic surgery, how to look younger for less, and what you can do differently to lose belly fat. MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT PLASTIC SURGERY

Many people have misconceptions about plastic surgery, so here are a few points to help clarify:
  • Many people think that plastic surgery, like liposuction or a tummy-tuck, is a good way to lose weight. However, most doctors recommend that you lose weight first before considering plastic surgery.
  • Laser treatments are well known for resurfacing, but they can actually cause more brown spots in women of color.
  • Plastic surgery often isn't your only option. Many times the only difference between traditional plastic surgery procedures and laser treatments is the cost.

LOOKING YOUNG FOR LESS

Dermatologist Shirley Chi discusses the steps every woman can take today to start looking younger without plastic surgery.
  1. Always wear sunscreen.
  2. Use an anti-aging or antioxidant cream at bedtime, such as creams that contain vitamin A which help increase collagen production.
  3. Exfoliate.
  4. If you have sun-damaged skin or deep-set wrinkles, you might want to consider a correction treatment like fillers. You should consult a physician or a dermatologist before using any filler.

Dr. Chi reveals more about the four steps to looking younger, including the difference between some of the most popular fillers, the pros and cons of using fillers and why correction treatments might be better than plastic surgery:

ANTI-AGING SUNSCREENS

There are new sunscreens that contain anti-aging ingredients like retinol and peptides, but many dermatologists say that although the individual anti-aging ingredients are proven to help users look younger, these anti-aging ingredients may not work the same when mixed with sunscreens. Many sunscreens often use a combination of both physical and chemical blockers to achieve optimal results. Physical sunscreens have tiny particles of metal, such as zinc or titanium, which sit on top of the skin and reflect and scatter sunlight, while chemical sunscreens work by absorbing sunlight. Since they are chemicals, they can react with your skin when applied and they can also be absorbed into the bloodstream, which makes them more controversial. Before buying a product that claims to be "anti-aging," some doctors suggest doing your own research to find scientific backing of the product.

For more information about sunscreens, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

Basic info about skin cancer from the CDC
Skin cancer prevention from the CDC
Sunscreen for Your Sun Day



SWINE FLU UPDATE

Here are some major points about the H1N1 virus, also known as the Swine Flu:
  • H1N1 does not appear to be any more deadly than the regular flu.
  • The symptoms are similar to the regular flu, which include unusual tiredness, headache, runny nose, sore throat, shortness of breath or cough, loss of appetite, aching muscles, and diarrhea or vomiting.
  • H1N1 appears to go deeper into the lungs and hits the young and pregnant women especially hard.
  • If a child has a fever, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says students can go back to school a day after the fever goes away, but doctors say that does not mean they are no longer contagious so students should still practice caution.
  • Researchers say people remain contagious as long as they are coughing. That is why it is recommended to wash your hands frequently and to sneeze into your elbow.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend vaccination against the H1N1 virus.
  • Children under 10 appear to need two shots, about three weeks apart, for a total of three shots (two doses of the swine flu vaccine and one dose of the regular flu vaccine).
  • A very young child who happens to be getting their first-ever seasonal flu vaccination this year would need a total of four shots: two against regular flu and two against swine flu.
  • Priority groups for the H1N1 vaccine include: pregnant women, caregivers of children less than six months of age, health care and emergency care workers, children six months to 18 years old and 19- to 64-year-olds with underlying health conditions.
  • Side effects include redness and soreness at the injection site, and occasional low fever or headache.

MAXIMIZING YOUR DOCTOR VISITS

Before visiting your medical doctor, be prepared by making a reasonable list of things that concern you most, and call the office to suggest you get your blood and lab work done before your first appointment. Also, be on time to help doctors stay on schedule. Other tips include calling for your lab results, sometimes doctors cannot leave messages for privacy reasons so it is important that you make contact if you do not hear back. Also, e-mail may be an easy way to communicate, but do not rely on e-mail to relay your health concerns. Finally, to ensure clear communication, find a doctor that you trust.

MENTAL HEALTH

According to Psychotherapist Rick Shuman and Certified Life Coach Marcia Brandwynne, low sex drive, depression and infidelity are among the top issues for women that can affect their mental health.

Dr. Rick Shuman and Marcia Brandwynne recommend:
  1. If you have a low-sex drive, consult your doctor about taking testosterone.
  2. Making your marriage a top priority can improve the relationship, and how you feel about yourself.
  3. Devoting one date night a week to pay full attention to your spouse can also help your relationship and therefore improve your outlook.

You can see Dr. Rick Shuman and Marcia Brandwynne on Advice for Life on the Live Well HD network on ABC7+ here in the Los Angeles area:

Check our Channel locations page to locate ABC7, ABC7 HD, and our D3 and D4 digital channels in your area.

Visit the Live Well HD Web site: www.livewellhd.com

GETTING RID OF STUBBORN BELLY FAT

Here are some tips that could help women get rid of extra weight around the waist:
  • Try small meals throughout the day consisting of properly portioned whole foods.
  • Incorporate some kind of activity at least five to six times a week.
  • Beginners: don a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps a day. Try stepping up activity three times weekly and work up from there.
  • Keep in mind that when it comes to reps, it is about quality not quantity.
  • Sometimes the simplest exercises, done correctly, are the most effective.

WEB EXTRAS:

Get more information from ABC7 on Women's Health Month


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