DEAR SUPERMODELMD…

Do you have a health question pertaining to a topic that is beauty, fashion, and wellness related? …well you can now #AskSuperModelMD…check out my Q&As on Bella Naija!

SuperModelMD: My Moustache is Getting in the Way of Potential Relationships

Published 05/20/19


Dear SuperModelMD,

I recently went out on a date with this hot guy from my uni that I’ve had my eyes on for some time now. The date was a lot of fun and our chemistry seemed great! Toward the end of the night, we started to have a really intense make out session. It was amazing. As in, I felt like I was in heaven.

After some time, he seemed to keep pulling away from me, and the kissing ended abruptly. I immediately asked him if my breath was offensive, since we literally had just finished eating a really spicy dinner. He stated that my breath wasn’t an issue. I then asked if he was just not attracted to me, because the entire night it seemed to me like we really connected. He replied that physical attraction wasn’t the problem either, and he felt we had great chemistry earlier. So, I insisted he tell me the reason he was pulling away from our passionate kiss. He reluctantly revealed that there was hair on my upper lip that kept scratching and irritating his skin while we kissed, and it really bothered him. He pretty much was saying that I had a mustache that was getting in the way of our being intimate.

I admit, yes, I’m a generally hairy woman. But I don’t think that I have excessive facial hair that qualifies as a full blown moustache. This has never been a problem or complaint that any man I dated in the past brought up.

Anyways, I don’t want my “moustache” to get in the way of a potential future relationship. SuperModelMD, I really need to know the best way to remove my facial hair!

-Whisker Woes

***

Dear Whisker Woes,

Many women actually have some degree of hair on their face and body, which can be totally normal. You stated that you are a generally hairy woman, well, it’s important to really get a better sense of the extent of your facial and body hair distribution pattern. This is key because some women may exhibit excess hair growth in regions more commonplace for men, such as the chest and face, and not even realise they have a condition known as hirsutism. Such patterns of excess hair growth may range from mild, moderate, to severe and the hair tends to be much darker and coarser.

Hirsutism may arise as a result of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), adrenal tumors, menopause induced hormonal changes, and obesity. PCOS is one of the more common causes of hirsutism, and those with the condition often have accompanying symptoms of irregular menstrual cycles, ovarian cysts, and infertility. Sometimes the problem of hirsutism occurs for unknown reasons. Sometimes genetics and certain hormones may play a major role in the development of hirsutism. For example, when a woman has very high levels of circulating androgens in the body, then it can lead not only to hirsutism, but also eventually to a virilization whereby the woman’s voice becomes deep. Acne may form, and the clitoris may become extremely enlarged.

Nonetheless, if you do have excessive facial hair, in conjunction with other health symptoms, you should definitely be evaluated by a doctor. If diagnosed with hirsutism due to an underlying medical condition, treatment may potentially involve anti-androgen medications, oral contraceptive pills, special prescription facial creams, and adjunctive hair removal techniques. Weight loss would also be encouraged in those with hirsutism who are overweight, since shedding extra weight may also help reduce androgen levels.

If you don’t have hirsutism or an underlying medical condition, and you simply have facial hair that you want removed, there are both temporary and longer term options to eliminate the hair. Temporary options may require frequent ongoing maintenance, and include practices like tweezing, shaving, waxing, or threading; but for some women, they may experience skin irritation and even folliculitis after using these techniques. Other short term removal treatments include depilatory creams, which contain chemicals that can help dissolve and remove hair quickly. Again, the down side is that some women experience skin irritation when they use these creams.

Longer lasting treatments for hair removal include laser therapy or electrolysis. Laser therapy uses light beams to help eliminate hair, while electrolysis utilizes electric current to destroy hair follicles in areas of unwanted hair. Both treatment modalities are much more expensive than the hair removal options of waxing, tweezing, and shaving.

Here is the bottom line: When it comes to female facial hair, if there may be the slightest suspicion of an underlying medical problem at play, see your doctor for evaluation and treatment. If your facial hair really bothers you, remember there are plenty of available removal options to choose from, but always weigh the pros and cons of each.


Disclaimer: Information on this Q&A column is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information to self diagnose or treat a health problem/disease, or prescribe any medication, or other treatment. If you suspect you have a medical problem, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Published 05/12/19

SuperModelMD: How Do I Snap Back & Lose My Baby Weight?

Dear SuperModelMD,

I had a baby last year and gained so much weight during my pregnancy. Since then, my body just hasn’t been the same. I can’t fit into any of my clothes from before, and it makes me upset and a bit down at times. I really miss my pre-baby body and wardrobe! I heard that a waist trainer can help you slim down if you wear it daily, so I bought one a few months ago and keep mine on for at least eight hours a day. Unfortunately, I haven’t lost any weight yet. To make things worse, I get really uncomfortable whenever I have it on, and sometimes I even feel like I can’t breathe well. Why isn’t my waist trainer helping me lose weight? I want my body back!
-Snapback struggle so so real

***

Dear Snapback struggle so so real,

Anyone who has been on a weight loss journey knows that it can be the ultimate challenge to shed those excess pounds. What is key to recognize is that there are simply no shortcuts when it comes to losing weight. Moreover, in regards to “waist training,” there is no scientific evidence demonstrating that waist trainers may lead to weight loss or fat burning. Wearing a waist trainer may perhaps create the illusion of having a smaller waistline when you have it on, but, once you take it off, your waistline remains unchanged.

Additionally, the longer the duration of time the waist trainer is worn and the tighter you wear it, the higher the risk of health problems. Due to the tight constrictive nature of the garment, keeping it on for extended time periods may cause organ damage, breathing problems, fainting episodes, acid reflux, skin rash, and more.

From what you’ve described, your waist trainer is taking a toll on your respiratory status and ultimately affecting your well being. So it is time to stop the waist training and focus on making certain healthy lifestyle modifications. Re-evaluate the kind of foods you consume daily and make sure you’re actually eating healthy. A consistent exercise regimen must also be a part of the equation, and it should include exercises that help to strengthen your core. Avoid the fads you hear about along the way and get back to the basics of healthy eating and exercise. Consistency is key and you will be back on the path to shedding those pounds.


Published 05/02/19

SuperModelMD: What Do I Do About My Sweat Problem?

Dear SuperModelMD,
I have an embarrassing problem — I sweat like crazy all the time. Even when it’s not hot, I sweat. When I’m not exercising or moving around too much, I sweat. What is most embarrassing is that I sweat so much in my armpits and even around my crotch that it soaks through my clothing in those areas, and really just all over my body. The problem even sometimes occurs overnight while I’m sleeping. I feel like I’ve tried everything to control it, but it’s only getting worse. It has gotten to the point that others are starting to notice too. I recently overheard a co-worker make a very rude comment about my “pit stains” and hygiene to another colleague. I’m sooo mortified! Since then, I’ve been wearing mainly black to work, so that when I do sweat, the stains are less visible. What may be causing me to sweat so much?
-Mortifying Sweat Situation

Dear Mortifying Sweat Situation,
Everyone sweats, and some people may sweat a bit more than others. But it seems that you are sweating quite excessively to the point that it is really bothering your daily life. Excessive sweating, known as hyperhidrosis, may sometimes occur secondary to an underlying medical condition. Meaning there may possibly be a health problem in the picture that is yet to be addressed contributing to all of the sweating.

Some conditions like hyperthyroidism may lead to the overproduction of thyroid hormone in the body, and these may cause one to sweat excessively. Other conditions such as menopause, diabetes, and even certain cancers like lymphoma may cause heavy sweating. Sometimes the culprit may even be lurking right in your medicine cabinet. There are some medications (for example, certain blood pressure and antidepressant medications) with the side effect profile of causing increased sweating.

Make sure your doctor is always aware of all the medications you are taking. There are actually quite a number of health problems that may potentially cause someone to sweat a lot. So your doctor will need to get a detailed history from you, complete with a physical examination, and possibly do some blood work and other tests. The evaluation is necessary to determine if there is indeed a medical cause for all the sweating, so that the condition may be treated and managed accordingly.


Published 04/27/19

SuperModelMD: Help! I’m Losing My Edges


Dear SuperModelMD,

I heard that braids and weaves are great protective styles that help with hair growth, so I started wearing box braids for about two years now. But, I’ve started to notice that I’m actually losing a lot of hair around my edges. There is even a bald patch I noticed recently that is really freaking me out. What do you think may be going on?
-Losing My Edges

***

Dear Losing My Edges,
It sounds like you may possibly be dealing with a condition called traction alopecia.

What does that mean? Your braids are likely way too tight, and the tension is tugging on the hair follicles, leading to damage and hair loss. When that kind of repeated tension occurs for a period of time, it increases your risk of traction alopecia. This form of hair loss may arise after wearing certain hairstyles like tight braids, tight pony tails, sew in extensions, and really any other styles that may pull a lot at the scalp, for prolonged periods.

First thing to do: hold off on wearing your current braided style for some time. You should also seek evaluation from a healthcare professional to determine the severity of damage, and if you are a candidate for certain treatments, e.g. minoxidil or steroid creams/injections.

Please ensure that you really give your hair some rest and alternate between various styles that don’t put further stress on the scalp. Your hairline will definitely thank you later. What you don’t want to happen is progression to the stage of scarring alopecia in which there is permanent irreversible hair loss.

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