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Chantilly Family Medicine

Colorectal Cancer Awareness

Colorectal cancer screening saves lives. If you're 50 years old or older, talk to your doctor about getting screened.

Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Every year, about 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 people die from it. But this disease is highly preventable, by getting screened beginning at age 50.

What You Can Do
If you’re aged 50 to 75, get screened for colorectal cancer regularly. Screening tests help prevent colorectal cancer by finding precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) so they can be removed. Screening also finds this cancer early, when treatment can be most effective.

Be physically active.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Don’t drink too much alcohol.
Don’t smoke.

Fast Facts
Risk increases with age. More than 90% of colorectal cancers occur in people aged 50 and older.

Precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer don’t always cause symptoms, especially at first. You could have polyps or colorectal cancer and not know it. That is why having a screening test is so important. If you have symptoms, they may include—

Blood in or on the stool (bowel movement).
Stomach pain, aches, or cramps that do not go away.
Losing weight and you don’t know why.
These symptoms may be caused by something other than cancer. If you have any of them, see your doctor.
Some people are at a higher risk than others for developing colorectal cancer. If you think you may be at high risk, talk to your doctor about when and how often to get tested.
There are several screening test options. Talk with your doctor about which is right for you.

Colonoscopy (every 10 years).
High-sensitivity fecal occult blood test (FOBT), stool test, or fecal immunochemical test (FIT) (every year).
Sigmoidoscopy (every 5 years, with FOBT every three years).

Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign
CDC’s Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign offers resources for patients and health professionals, including print materials (fact sheets, brochures, and posters) and television and radio public service announcements.

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What Heart Sounds Tell Us

When you have a physical examination, your doctor almost always picks up the stethoscope and listens to your heart. The sounds your heart makes are important because they give your doctor insight about your health. For example, if the familiar LUB-DUB of a heartbeat is clouded with a whooshing sound, it means you may have a heart murmur.

How to Survive Your First Heart Attack

When your heart is in danger, every second counts. Take these steps to identify the symptoms and make it to the hospital in time

Every 34 seconds, someone in the U.S. has a heart attack. Every 60 seconds, someone dies of one. What sufferers do — or don't do — in the critical first moments can be the difference between life and death.

Over the past decade, hospitals across the country have shortened the time between arrival at the ER and treatment to an hour or less, contributing to a 38 percent decline in deaths from coronary artery disease.

Man having a heart attack
Find out what you can do to survive a heart attack. 

Now cardiologists are turning to the next big challenge: helping the nearly 40 percent of heart attack victims who never make it to the hospital. Many of them (120,000 a year) will die, largely because they didn't seek help in time.

 "People will still sit at home and take antacids because they think it's indigestion, or say, 'This can't happen to me because I'm a woman.' "

Here's what you can do to increase your odds of surviving a heart attack.

Step 1
Recognize the (less typical) symptoms

Men and women with a type of heart disease called atherosclerosis have a buildup of fat and cholesterol, or plaque, in the arteries. A heart attack occurs when a piece of that plaque breaks off and forms a clot that blocks blood flow to the heart muscle. The classic signs are chest pain; pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, the shoulders, the neck or the stomach (above the belly button — pain here is sometimes mistaken for indigestion); and shortness of breath. Sweating, nausea and vomiting are also common.

Yet studies find that as many as a third of heart attack patients have no chest pain. These patients are more likely to be older, female or diabetic. In fact, "the older you are, the more likely you are to have atypical symptoms". Research shows that as people age, they don't always experience chest or arm pain, sweating, nausea and vomiting. Instead, they're more apt to experience confusion and labored breathing, and to faint.

That's because as the coronary artery closes, the heart starts pumping less blood through the body. "With the stiffer blood vessels that older people typically have, they don't get enough blood flow to the brain, and pass out" . "They wake up on the floor with vague chest pressure."

In general, symptoms may come on gradually, be hard to pin down, and stop and then start again. It's not uncommon to feel unwell days or weeks earlier. According to new data from Linköping University in Sweden, published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, people ages 32 to 74 who had had a heart attack were more likely to have visited the doctor in the week prior to the event than those who hadn't.

Stay alert even when you're simply not feeling yourself: "If something feels really different from what you've experienced in the past, don't ignore it."

hand holding mobile phone with emergency number 911
If you are alone, ask yourself: If someone else had your symptoms, would you urge that person to call for help? If the answer is yes, call.

Step 2
Get off the Internet and call 911

You need to get to the hospital within an hour to ensure the best outcome. "Time is muscle". "The earlier we intervene, the less damage to the heart, the better the chance for survival and the better the quality of life. The people who develop heart failure are the ones who get there too late."

Yet studies show that people often deny what their bodies are telling them and delay making the call. Some people waste precious minutes looking up their symptoms online; others decide to call their primary care doctor for guidance.

Patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may assume that these other health problems are to blame for their discomfort. "They wait for their medications to take effect to see if it makes a difference," says Angelo Alonzo, a research scientist at the Yale University School of Nursing who has studied heart attacks for 40 years.

The way to get past these self-imposed roadblocks: Tell your spouse, your children or a neighbor what's going on. "Others will give you the encouragement to call for help or take over for you". If you are alone, ask yourself: If someone else had your symptoms, would you urge that person to call for help? If the answer is yes, call.

woman holding aspirin pills
A regular, uncoated aspirin (not a baby aspirin) thins the blood and interferes with blood clotting.

Step 3
What to do while you're waiting

Before the emergency medical technicians (EMTs) arrive, chew and swallow a regular, uncoated 325-milligram aspirin (not a baby aspirin), which thins the blood and interferes with blood clotting. It probably won't stop a heart attack, but it may limit the damage.

If you are able, unlock the doors, then rest. "Call someone to come over and wait with you , or talk with someone on the phone until help arrives."

Don't drive yourself to the hospital or have someone drive you. Ambulances have defibrillators in case your heart stops, as well as clot-busting medications, so EMTs may be able to start treatment before you get to the hospital. "If something goes south, they can deal with it". "Equally important, they smooth the path for you. If you come in the front door, [hospital personnel] haven't had time to prepare for your arrival and you may have to wait for the cath lab team to assemble."

EMTs will also know the best cardiac center to take you to. "The nearest hospital may be five minutes away,but the one best equipped to open up your arteries may be 15 minutes away."

Step 4
Say the right things

When EMTs arrive, focus on describing your symptoms and any risk factors. Be prepared to tell people what medications you're on, or bring a list with you. "If someone is taking Viagra, we need to know" . Viagra and some other medications for erectile dysfunction cannot be taken with nitroglycerin, which is typically given during a heart attack, as the combination can trigger a potentially life-threatening reaction.

Some studies suggest that it's harder for EMTs to recognize heart attack symptoms in women because they are less likely to have classic symptoms such as chest pain. If EMTs don't zero in on your heart right away and you're concerned, it's OK to say, "I think I'm having a heart attack."

Some people believe that if you say you're having chest pain, you'll get faster attention. It's more important to be honest. Still, if you're having chest pain, mention that symptom upfront.

Step 5
Be assertive

Studies suggest that how you are perceived can make a difference in how you're treated. Men and women who were shy or reticent waited longer for treatment. Try to be assertive, and don't play down your symptoms. If you say, "Oh, it's probably just heartburn," your condition may not be taken as seriously.

There is no shame if your symptoms turn out to be a false alarm. "Don't worry about looking foolish or bothering people, to catch all heart attacks, we're going to have some people come in when there's nothing wrong."

What to expect in the hospital
When a heart attack is confirmed, patients usually undergo balloon angioplasty to open up the blocked artery and restore blood flow to the heart. The doctor threads a catheter, with a small inflatable balloon on the tip, through an artery near your groin or wrist and then to the site of the blockage. Next, the balloon is inflated, compressing the plaque against the artery wall to allow blood to flow. Typically, a tube of stainless steel mesh, called a stent, is then inserted into the artery to prop it open.

After the procedure and a day or more to recuperate, you'll leave the hospital with follow-up instructions and prescriptions to help reduce the chances of a second heart attack. You should also be referred for cardiac rehabilitation, a supervised program that includes physical activity, social support and education to encourage healthful behaviors

Causes of Fatigue and Sleepiness and How to Fight Them

Fatigue Cause No. 1: Not Enough Sleep

It may seem obvious but you could be getting too little sleep. That can negatively affect your concentration and health. Adults should get seven to eight hours every night. 
Fix: Make sleep a priority and keep a regular schedule. Ban laptops, cell phones, and televisions from your bedroom. Still having trouble? Seek help from a doctor. You may have a sleep disorder.

Fatigue Cause No. 2: Sleep Apnea

Some people think they're sleeping enough, but sleep apnea gets in the way. It briefly stops your breathing throughout the night. Each interruption wakes you for a moment, but you may not be aware of it. The result: you’re sleep-deprived despite spending eight hours in bed. Your doctor may order a sleep study to check for this. 
Fix: Lose weight if you're overweight, quit smoking, and you may need a CPAP device to help keep your airway passages open while you sleep.

atigue Cause No. 3: Not Enough Fuel

Eating too little causes fatigue, but eating the wrong foods can also be a problem. Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.
Fix: Always eat breakfast and try to include protein and complex carbs in every meal. For example, eat eggs with whole-grain toast. Also eat small meals and snacks throughout the day for sustained energy.

Fatigue Cause No. 4: Anemia

Anemia is one of the leading causes of fatigue in women. Menstrual blood loss can cause an iron deficiency, putting women at risk. Red blood cells (shown here) are needed because they carry oxygen to your tissues and organs.
Fix: For anemia caused by an iron deficiency, taking iron supplements and eating iron-rich foods, such as lean meat, liver, shellfish, beans, and enriched cereal, can help.

Fatigue Cause No. 5: Depression

You may think of depression as an emotional disorder, but it contributes to many physical symptoms, as well. Fatigue, headaches, and loss of appetite are among the most common symptoms. If you feel tired and "down" for more than a few weeks, see your doctor.
Fix: Depression responds well to talk therapy and/or medication.

Fatigue Cause No. 6: Hypothyroidism

The thyroid is a small gland at the base of your neck. It controls your metabolism, the speed at which your body converts fuel into energy. When the gland is underactive and the metabolism functions too slowly, you may feel sluggish and put on weight.
Fix: If a blood test confirms your thyroid hormones are low, synthetic hormones can bring you up to speed.

Fatigue Cause No. 7: Caffeine Overload

Caffeine can improve alertness and concentration in moderate doses. But too much can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and jitteriness. And research indicates too much actually causes fatigue in some people.
Fix: Gradually cut back on coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, and any medications that contain caffeine. Stopping suddenly can cause caffeine withdrawal and more fatigue.

Fatigue Cause No. 8: Hidden UTI

If you've ever had a urinary tract infection (UTI), you're probably familiar with the burning pain and sense of urgency. But the infection does not always announce itself with such obvious symptoms. In some cases, fatigue may be the only sign. A urine test can quickly confirm a UTI.
Fix: Antibiotics are the cure for UTIs, and the fatigue will usually vanish within a week.

Fatigue Cause No. 9: Diabetes

In people with diabetes, abnormally high levels of sugar remain in the bloodstream instead of entering the body's cells, where it would be converted into energy. The result is a body that runs out of steam despite having enough to eat. If you have persistent, unexplained fatigue, ask your doctor about being tested for diabetes.
Fix: Treatments for diabetes may include lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, insulin therapy, and medications to help the body process sugar.

Fatigue Cause No. 10: Dehydration

Your fatigue can be a sign of dehydration. Whether you're working out or working a desk job, your body needs water to work well and keep cool. If you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated.
Fix: Drink water throughout the day so your urine is light colored. Have at least two cups of water an hour or more before a planned physical activity. Then, sip throughout your workout, and afterward drink another two cups.

Fatigue Cause No. 11: Heart Disease

When fatigue strikes during everyday activities, such as cleaning the house or weeding the yard, it can be a sign that your heart is no longer up to the job. If you notice it's becoming increasingly difficult to finish tasks that were once easy, talk to your doctor about heart disease.
Fix: Lifestyle changes, medication, and therapeutic procedures can get heart disease under control and restore your energy.

Fatigue Cause No. 12: Shift Work Sleep Disorder

Working nights or rotating shifts can disrupt your internal clock. You may feel tired when you need to be awake. And you may have trouble sleeping during the day.
Fix: Limit your exposure to daylight when you need to rest. Make your room dark, quiet, and cool. Still having sleep issues? Talk with your doctor. Supplements and medications may help.

Fatigue Cause No. 13: Food Allergies

Some doctors believe hidden food allergies can make you sleepy. If your fatigue intensifies after meals, you could have a mild intolerance to something you're eating -- not enough to cause itching or hives, just enough to make you tired.
Fix: Try eliminating foods one at a time to see if your fatigue improves. You can also ask your doctor about a food allergy test.

Fatigue Cause No. 14: CFS and Fibromyalgia

If your fatigue lasts more than six months and is so severe that you can't manage your daily activities, chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia are a possibility. Both can have various symptoms, but persistent, unexplained exhaustion is a main one.
Fix: While there's no quick fix for CFS or fibromyalgia, patients often benefit from changing their daily schedule, learning better sleep habits, and starting a gentle exercise program.

Fast Fix for Mild Fatigue

If you have mild fatigue that isn't linked to any medical condition, the solution may be exercise. Research suggests healthy but tired adults can get a significant energy boost from a modest workout program. In one study, participants rode a stationary bike for 20 minutes at a mild pace. Doing this just three times a week was enough to fight fatigue.

What You Need to Know About the Zika Virus Outbreak

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has expanded the list of countries that pregnant women should avoid traveling to because of high infection rates of the Zika virus.

On Friday, the CDC added eight countries to its initial list of 14 as places where the reach of the virus is growing. The CDC earlier issued an advisory that pregnant women should avoid travel to these countries because they are seeing high rates of infection.

The CDC has confirmed at least a dozen cases of the Zika virus in the United States.

Zika is a pathogen carried by mosquitoes that typically causes only mild symptoms, but health officials have recently been alarmed because of a possible link between the virus and more than 3,500 children born with microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in Brazil since October.

Passing the virus
Microcephaly is a rare neurological disorder in which the circumference of the head is smaller than average for an infant’s size and age. Microcephaly often is associated with some degree of mental retardation. However, in 15 percent of the cases, the child has normal intelligence.

“When the virus goes to the bloodstream it can pass to the baby and cause inflammation of the baby’s brain” .

It is possible that Zika virus could be passed from mother to fetus during pregnancy, the CDC says. This mode of transmission is being investigated.

To date, there are no reports of infants getting Zika virus through breastfeeding, the CDC says. Because of the benefits of breastfeeding, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed even in areas where Zika virus is found.

Symptoms of the Zika virus can include fever, rash, joint pain or red eyes. Those infected with the virus usually experience symptoms within two to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

The Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito The main advice to avoid getting Zika is to avoid getting bit by mosquitos if you are in the affected countries. The CDC advises using insect repellent, staying indoors and wearing long-sleeved clothing to avoid mosquito bites.

There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika.

Travel advisory
The CDC says until more is known about the connection between Zika virus and microcephaly, they recommend that women who are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant avoid travel to the countries listed on

CDC said that pregnant women who may have been to any of these countries recently should contact their physician.

“You have to seek professional advice, I would not panic. Just get tested if it’s going to bring you peace of mind.”

The CDC says that because the species of mosquitoes that spread Zika virus are found throughout the world, it is likely that outbreaks will occur in new countries.

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Tuberculosis: What You Need to Know

New cases of tuberculosis (TB) in the southern region of the United States have raised questions about this deadly disease. It's caused by bacteria that spread from person to person through microscopic droplets released into the air. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there are almost 2 million TB-related deaths worldwide each year, and the disease was once the leading cause of death in the United States.

"Only people who are in close contact with people infected with tuberculosis are at risk of becoming infected with TB". "It is prevented by identifying people who have tuberculosis infection, isolating them from others until they are no longer infectious, and treating them for either active or latent tuberculosis."

Although tuberculosis is contagious, it's not easy to catch. You're much more likely to get tuberculosis from someone you live with or work with than from a stranger. Most people with active TB who've had appropriate drug treatment for at least two weeks are no longer contagious.

There are two types of TB conditions:

Active TB disease — This condition makes you sick and can spread to others. It can occur in the first few weeks after infection with the TB bacteria, or it might occur years later.

Latent TB infection — Those with this condition do not feel sick, do not have symptoms and cannot spread TB germs to others. But, if their TB germs become active, they can develop TB disease.
Signs and symptoms of active TB include:

Coughing that lasts three or more weeks
Coughing up blood
Chest pain, or pain with breathing or coughing
Unintentional weight loss
Night sweats
Loss of appetite

More than 10,000 new cases were reported in the U.S. in 2011 and globally, TB is a leading cause of death from infectious disease. "We need to be aware of TB and treat and diagnose it quickly so we can rid our country of this disease.”
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3 Simple Ways You Can Prevent Kidney Stones

We have all heard about the pain of passing a kidney stone — and those who’ve experienced it never want to go through it again. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help prevent this common disorder of the urinary tract.

To prevent kidney stones:

Drink plenty of water. Remember, dehydration is one of the primary causes of kidney stones. On warmer days, when it’s easier to get dehydrated, up your fluid intake. Active people should drink at least 16- 20 ounces of fluid one to two hours before an outdoor activity. Overall, drink 60 – 64 ounces each day. Signs of dehydration include fatigue, loss of appetite, flushed skin, heat intolerance, light-headedness, dark-colored urine and dry cough.

Limit sodium. This will cut down on the amount of calcium in your urine, which in turn reduces the tendency for calcium stones to form. Perhaps, you stop adding additional salt to your food. Another way to limit sodium is to avoid processed meats, salty convenience foods (regular, boxed or canned soups, noodle or rice mixes) and salty snacks.

Eat more citrus. You want to consume foods rich in citrates, including oranges, melons, lemons and limes.
Kidney stones are also more common in those with a family history, or those who have already had one.

Urologists stress the importance of proper hydration and a healthy diet. “Limit foods that are high in protein, including meat, eggs and fish, as well as prepared and fast foods, which are often high in salt”.

How can you tell if you’re developing a kidney stone?
Unfortunately, there are few signs that a kidney stone is forming. Usually, you don’t know until the kidney stone starts to move. When this happens, a person typically experiences pain in their upper back that can move down to their lower abdomen.

The good news is that when kidney stones are present, you have a variety of treatment options. A small stone can be present for years without any symptoms. And when discomfort begins to happen, there are medications that your doctor can prescribe to allow the stone to pass naturally.

How are kidney stones treated?
For these medications to work, there must be an early diagnosis. For larger stones, there are variety of safe surgical procedures including:

Shock wave lithotripsy — an outpatient procedure that uses sound waves to disintegrate kidney stones into smaller pieces that then pass on their own.

Ureteroscopy — an outpatient procedure in which a scope is inserted through the ureter (opening through which urine passes) and a laser is used to break up the stone(s); fragments are removed in a tiny basket, though some may pass through urine.
Percutaneous nephrolithotomy — an inpatient procedure that involves making a small (about one inch) incision in the back through which larger or less accessible stones are removed; patients are typically discharged within two days.
If you have symptoms of a kidney stone, talk to your doctor. There are many ways to find relief.

7 Fears Pregnant Women Have—but Shouldn’t

Finding out you're expecting is cause for celebration—but if you’re like most women, you’ll probably have your fair share of fears throughout the nine months your baby is growing inside of you. And it’s hard not to get scared considering the breadth of info on the Internet—especially if this is your first pregnancy and you don’t know what the heck to expect.

For the most part, though, if you’re healthy, there’s no reason to freak out too much. "Most women who optimize their health pre-pregnancy, have a good diet, exercise, and obtain appropriate prenatal care are encouraged to enjoy their pregnancy rather than worry unnecessarily" . That being said, that may still not assuage your fears (after all, they're not always rational)—so we got two top ob-gyns to break down the most common ones women have when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth...and why you shouldn’t work yourself into a panic.

About one in five early pregnancies ends in miscarriage during the first 10 to 12 weeks or so. Most are completely random genetic abnormalities and can't be prevented, so worrying about them will do you no good. But to lower your overall risk, don't smoke and maintain as healthy a weight as much as possible. If you notice any bleeding or pain early in pregnancy, you should consult your doctor to make sure you aren't miscarrying. Otherwise, cautious optimism is reasonable. And the good news is that even if you miscarry, your chances of miscarrying in the next pregnancy don't increase.

The majority of birth defects are unpreventable—and they’re pretty uncommon. Birth defects occur in about three to four percent of babies, but that means 96 to 97 percent of newborns will have none. We're lucky that modern technology affords us high-resolution ultrasounds that can check for abnormalities—everything from heart malformations to missing fingers or limbs to a cleft palate or lip—around 22 weeks during pregnancy. That being said, it's best to stay away from alcohol, cigarettes, and certain medications (lithium and anti-seizure drugs) to limit the chance of this happening.

Good news: It's nearly impossible to hurt the baby by being bumped because there's a ton of protective amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus.

There's really no telling who might go into premature labor, but it seems to be more likely in women who have a prior history of preterm delivery, are carrying multiples, or are experiencing preterm rupture of the membranes or bleeding. Meanwhile,its' estimated that premature labor happens in about 10 percent of pregnancies and that women who don't gain too much weight lower their chances of this happening by keeping blood pressure and diabetes in check—both of which can lead to an early induction. But the average woman really shouldn't worry too much about going into labor before 37 weeks, say experts.

A nuchal cord—when a loop of the umbilical cord wraps around the fetal neck—is actually fairly common during delivery and happens in about 25 percent of women—but it's nothing to fret over. The amniotic fluid should provide enough of a buffer between the cord and the baby. "Rarely, the cord can be wrapped multiple times and cause trouble, but this is the exception" .

From inescapable pain to not making it to the hospital on time to pooping while pushing, women worry about everything and anything when it comes to labor. Sure, birth is painful, but there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to safe and effective pain management: spinal and epidural anesthesia, narcotics, relaxation, and breathing techniques. "I often advise keeping an open mind in this regard and remind women that accepting pain medication is not a cop out or failure". As far as the baby making an appearance before you're settled into the labor and delivery room, that's the stuff of soap operas, not real life. But pooping? Sorry, but the majority of women do it—and docs have seen it all, so there’s no reason to be fearful of this. In fact, "if you're not pooping, you're not pushing hard enough," say experts.

Although the C-section rate is currently between 30 to 35 percent of all deliveries, emergencies are only a small portion of that. You'll need a C-section within 30 minutes if the baby's heartbeat isn't strong, if the placenta separates from the uterine wall, or if you have cord prolapse where the water breaks and the umbilical cord starts to come out first. But chances are, you won't need one—It happens in no more than one to two percent of cases—but obstetrics can be unpredictable, of course. "The vast majority have a very safe outcome".

6 Things You Should Be Cleaning WAY More Often

1. A Shared Computer
Anything that gets a lot of direct contact with hands and fingers tends to have a scarily high concentration of germs, and all it takes for you to contract something is touching the mouse or keyboard and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Even if it’s only used occasionally by one or two people in your household, wipe it down before each use with an alcohol-based towelette designed for cleaning electronics.

2. The Refrigerator Door
Whether it’s in your home or the one in the office break room, this handle gets a lot of play all day. And if there are even microscopic bits of food on it, bacteria and viruses can feed and multiply. Once a week (or daily if someone in your household is sick), rub a disinfectant wipe up and down the entire length of it, especially in any tiny grooves. “A disinfectant spray works too, but studies show that the disinfectant from the wipe stays on the surface longer, so it’s more effective”. “With a spray, we tend to wipe it away quickly with a paper towel rather than let it sit and kill bugs.”

3. The Inside of Your Car
Run a disinfectant wipe along your dashboard weekly, which accumulates germs thanks to the heater or AC blowing them there. Cup holders are also germ hangouts, thanks in part to the food residue you can’t even see. “If you have a child car seat, wipe that down, too, because kids are always sick and touching various parts of it”.

MORE: How Germy Are Airplanes, Really?

4. Your Remote Control
You’ve heard reports that these are crawling with germs in hotels. But even in your own house, it’s one of the germiest surfaces. Everyone touches it all the time, especially when they’re eating, and that leads to bacteria and virus growth. Give it a wipedown weekly with an alcohol-based electronics cleanser.

5. Your Purse
Not only are you constantly touching the handle or strap, but you end up leaving it on a dirty restroom floor or store counter more than you think, and these areas have huge germ traffic. When you bring your bag into your house, you risk spreading anything you’ve picked up to yourself or family members. Spray or wipe it daily (or whenever you use it) with a fabric-safe sanitizing spray and paper towel, and hang it on a hook when you’re home so microbes can’t be tracked through the rest of the house.

6. Your Cell Phone
Considering all the handling it gets via germy, food-laden hands and fingers, and the fact that food helps bugs thrive, it’s a miracle this device doesn’t actually grow mold. It’s begging for a weekly cleansing with an alcohol-based cleaner meant for digital devices.

Quiz: The Truth About Skin Tags

1 Skin Tags cause cancer (ANS: NO)
Discovering a tiny skin tag -- or several skin tags -- on the neck or under the arm can be alarming. But there's no reason to worry. Skin tags are harmless. They're not cancerous and they don't increase the risk of any kind of cancer.
Skin tags are usually oval flaps of tissue that hang from the skin on a tiny stalk. They may appear alone or in a group. Typically, they're the size of a grain of rice, but they can be smaller or larger. Rarely, they can get as big as a grape. They're common, too. Almost half of all people have a skin tag at some point in their lives.

2. Skin tags almost always cause which of these symptoms:
A Pain B Itching C Smell D None of these 
Answer: D

The vast majority of skin tags have no symptoms. They don't hurt, itch, or do anything else.
In some cases, friction over time from clothing or skin can irritate a skin tag. Some people have skin tags in inconveniently located places that regularly get pinched or snagged by jewelry or clothing. If a skin tag is bothering you, a doctor can remove it.

3.Doctors recommend removal of skin tags promptly before they get worse.
Because skin tags are harmless, there's usually no medical reason to remove them. They will not get bigger. If they don't bother you, you can leave them alone. People tend to get skin tags removed only if they're unsightly or annoying.

If you have a new skin tag, it's a good idea to show it to your health care provider. Some more serious skin conditions can sometimes look like skin tags. Skin tags that are multi-colored, bleed, or grow quickly may need a closer look. In rare cases, a skin tag may need a biopsy. If you notice a skin tag on your child, talk to a pediatrician.

4. What causes majority of skin tags
 A Bacteria
 B Mold allergy
 C Trilobite bites
 D None of the above
In fact, experts aren't sure exactly why skin tags form. They seem to be linked to a mix of genetics and environment. Friction -- either from rubbing against clothing or skin -- seems to be a trigger. Hormone changes may affect the risk, too.

Some people may develop just a single skin tag in their lives. Others may develop up to hundreds. For now, we really don't know why.

5. Which condition increases the odds of having skin tags
A  Being obese
B Having diabetes
C Being pregnant
D All of the above
Answer: D
Researchers have noticed that people with diabetes and insulin resistance are more likely to have multiple skin tags. Obesity seems to increase the risk, too. Studies have found that the heavier people are, the more skin tags they are likely to have. That may be because skin tags are more likely to pop up in folds of skin that rub against each other.

Pregnant women often develop skin tags, possibly because of hormonal changes. People with Crohn's disease may also be more likely to develop skin tags.

6. If you remove skin tags they will spread
Answer: NO

Removing a skin tag won't make more skin tags grow. This is a misconception -- perhaps related to the (also untrue) belief that shaving hair makes it grow back faster. While it is true that you may develop more skin tags later, removing one doesn't cause new ones.

Skin tags aren't contagious either, like warts and some other skin conditions. You can't "catch" a skin tag from someone else or spread it from one part of your body to another.

7. Scientists call skin tags acrochordons -- and also fibroepithelial polyps or cutaneous papillomas. People sometimes call skin tags "skin tabs" or barnacles. Technically, skin tags are considered a type of tumor, but they are not cancerous.

8. How do doctor's remove Skin Tags:
A. Scissors
B Freezing
C Burning
D All of the above
In most cases, doctors will just clip skin tags with a pair of surgical scissors. Because skin tags are usually quite small, many people don't even need an anesthetic. The area may bleed a little afterward. Larger skin tags may need minor surgery.

Some doctors use cryotherapy to freeze the tissue. Others opt for electrical current to burn the tag. However, freezing or burning the tag may not work as well and can discolor the skin. Skin tags on the eyelid may need special treatment by an ophthalmologist.

In some cases, skin tags will fall off on their own. Even after removal, you may have new skin tags in the same places. That's because they are likely to appear in certain areas, not because they regrow.

9. While skin tags can appear just about anywhere, they're especially common in parts of your body that rub against clothing or skin.

10. Skin tags become more common as we grow older, possibly because aging skin may somehow trigger their development. They often appear after midlife. However, skin tags can develop in people at any age. Babies can develop skin tags, especially in the folds of their skin.

11. Most skin tags are the same color as your skin. Sometimes they are slightly darker or brown. If a skin tag has twisted and its blood supply is cut off, it may turn purple or black before it falls off. It's generally nothing to worry about.

12. While some people treat skin tags with chemicals designed for wart removal, doctors say that's not a good idea. Wart removal creams and ointments may not work and may irritate the skin. They could cause other complications, too.

Do see your primary care physician so these can be taken care off early in their life cycle.
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