We all turn to the internet from time to time to find out answers to questions that are on my mind. Thanks to the internet’s endless information, we usually find an answer. With the giant surge in people consulting “Dr. Google” for their health questions, sometimes they feel more comfortable turning to the internet with their embarrassing or weird questions that they aren’t comfortable asking their doctor.
Do flip flops really protect my feet from the shower at the gym?
The gym shower, a notorious hotbed of bacteria and fungi activity, may seem clean but can hide millions of bacteria waiting for a chance to attach themselves to the nearest host. Multiuse bathrooms and showers are moist and dark, ideal locations for a fungus like athlete’s foot to grow unchecked. If you enter a shower barefoot after someone who has athlete’s foot, that person’s skin cells and fungus could still be linger.
Athlete’s foot can happen to anyone and is pretty common in communal areas. It’s a common infection that people get from too much moisture in the feet, especially between the toes. It can result in flaky or cracking skin, itchiness on the soles of the feet or between the toes. Other types of bacteria like dark, moist places too. MRSA and the bacteria that cause the staph infection also lurk waiting to strike. It never hurts to protect your feet from anything that may be living on a public shower floor.
Why does eating asparagus make my urine smell?
Have you ever eaten asparagus in a meal and then, when using the restroom, smelled a horrible, awful smell? Science says that it might be the asparagus that makes your urine smell—or it might be your nose.
Only a few scientific studies have been conducted on whether or not the asparagusic acid in asparagus contributes to the smell, or our noses do. Some people may notice a foul smell from their urine after consuming asparagus and some may not.
Whatever the reason, you can be assured that nothing is wrong if you have smelly urine after eating asparagus. It is a vegetable, after all.
Why is my stool a different color?
A surprising amount of information can be learned by examining your poop. You may not want to look too closely, but your stool can tell you a lot about the state of your health, and any recurring changes in your regular habits should be mentioned to your doctor.
Having yellow stool could mean that you have an intestinal infection—or that you’ve eaten foods high in turmeric.
Green stool is odd, but normal—it means that you’ve eaten food coloring or lots of leafy vegetables like kale, spinach and chard. Any condition that speeds up gastrointestinal activity may also cause green stool.
Pale-colored stool could indicate a lack of bile in the stool (the liquid that breaks down fat in the food we eat). This may mean that there is a blockage in the intestinal tract, so it is definitely something to talk to a doctor about.
Completely black or dark stool could mean that you have internal bleeding—or that you’ve eaten activated charcoal. If you see black stool and it isn’t from food or supplements, see a doctor right away.
Why do my armpits smell so bad?
Armpit sweat is inevitable in the South. Since sweat is virtually odorless, what causes our armpits to smell when we get sweaty? The bacteria that lives on our bodies breaks down the sweat we produce. The apocrine glands produce sweat that is high in protein, which bacteria can break down easily—causing the smell.
Showering daily, wearing loose-fitting clothing and using deodorant can help with smelly armpits.
How do you get a hemorrhoid?
Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins surrounding your anus. They are very common, as half of Americans over 50 have them. You’re likely to get them by straining during bowel movements, sitting on the toilet for a long time, eat a low-fiber diet or have a chronic bowel condition.
While hemorrhoids are inconvenient and uncomfortable, they are very easy to treat. Over the counter medication can help ease the symptoms of hemorrhoids. To avoid hemorrhoids, eat a high-fiber diet, get regular physical activity and avoid over-straining when going number two.
Can I get an infection from a nail salon?
Everyone loves to be pampered, but not if you get an infection! In the past few years there has been much news coverage about infections out of nail salons—due to unsanitary practices and equipment or an outbreak of infection or fungus brought in by a client. You can definitely get an infection from a nail salon if the salon does not follow sterile procedure, but there are things you can do to protect yourself. Make sure your nail technician wears gloves and a respirator and make sure the salon you frequent uses an autoclave (a special sterilizer using heat) to disinfect tools. Ensure the salon holds a license to perform procedures. Most importantly, if you have an infection or open wounds, do not visit a nail salon and risk passing it on to other customers.
Doctors have seen and heard it all, but the internet has, too. Just a few minutes asking some embarrassing health questions can make you healthier in the long run.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article, including text and images, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute a medical service. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.