Q: I have male pattern baldness and want to correct it by some cosmetic procedure. I am in my twenties and not married yet. The baldness makes me look older.
A: There have been rapid strides in the treatment of baldness. Tired of applying minoxidil daily — which is often unsuccessful — people are increasingly turning to surgical solutions. Hair can be transplanted from the sides and back of the head to the front by micro hair transplantation. This is only an outpatient procedure, with local anesthesia. Otherwise a procedure called scalp reduction is used where strips of bald skin are surgically removed.
Phantom swelling :-
Q: I have a swelling in one scrotum which appears when I stand up and disappears when I lie down. This phantom swelling is not painful.
A: It looks like you have a “reducible inguinal hernia”. A part of the contents of the abdomen is sliding into an area called the inguinal canal. As long as the to and fro movement is free, there will be no pain. However, the contents can suddenly get stuck. And this is painful and dangerous. Before this occurs, consult a general surgeon who will surgically repair the hernia.
Q: I have uncontrollable itching and redness in my groin area. I sometimes have to leave the room in the middle of a meeting to scratch.
A: It sounds like you have “Jock itch” or Tinea cruris, a fungal infection of the skin in the groin. This is more common in men and aggravated by diabetes and obesity. It can be treated by bathing twice a day using a soap such as Neko, drying the area well and then applying anti-fungal creams like terbafine or clotrimazole (which contain no steroid). Clotrimazole powder can be applied after using the cream. The infection takes around two weeks to heal, but the application should be continued for about a week after that to prevent a recurrence. Avoid wearing many layers of clothing, change sweaty clothes immediately and dry yourself thoroughly after a bath. Steroids either applied or ingested aggravate the infection.
Irritating cough :-
Q: I am on Enalapril for the treatment of my hypertension. Ever since I started this, I have had an irritating cough. No matter how many different antibiotics I take, nothing works.
A: Antibiotics will not help in a cough unless it is caused by a bacterial infection. A constant cough without fever is more likely to be due to an allergen. Avoid mosquito repellents (mats, coils and liquids), room fresheners, agarbattis and camphor. Sometimes Eenalapril too can cause a cough. Try having vitamin C (500mg), half a tablet in the morning and evening. This often cures the cough.
Q: I am getting married soon and I would like to have a fair baby. What can I do?
A: Instead of concentrating on skin colour, it makes more sense to think “how can I have a healthy baby?” All girls should be immunised against hepatitis B (three doses) and rubella (German measles) before marriage. They need to take folic acid (5mg) every day to prevent defects in the baby’s brain and spinal cord. Walking or jogging for 40 minutes a day will build up stamina and strength in the legs, both of which are required for normal childbirth.
Q: I have severe pain during periods. What can I do?
A: Dysmenorrhoea is the medical name for painful periods. Some women suffer more than others. The tendency to develop pain runs in families. To tackle this, have an ultrasound examination of the pelvis to make sure there is no correctable cause for the pain. If everything is normal, taking medication like Mefenemic acid (500mg) three times a day for the first two or three days brings relief.
Regular diarrhoea :-
Q: My daughter has bloody diarrhoea all the time. Her paediatrician has given her a seven-day course of metronidazole, an antibiotic, and a single dose of albendazole.
A: The diarrhoea may be because of milk allergy. This is common and often undiagnosed. Check her stool for reducing substances. If this is positive, you have hit the nail on the head. Then try stopping milk completely for 48 hours and see if there is an improvement.
You may click to see:->Understanding and Managing Acute Diarrhoea in Infants and Young Children
Q: I itch and scratch all over my body after a bath. What can I do?
A: You can :—
• Purchase a “water treatment softening device” and fit it to your bath water supply. Fitting it for the whole house is expensive.
• Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to the bath water.
• Apply a mixture of five parts of coconut oil, five parts of sesame oil and one part of olive oil to your body. Wait for 10 minutes and then bathe.
• Use a mild soap like Dove
• Apply baby oil to the whole body after your bath.
Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)