Archive for the ‘Health and Body’ Category

Itchy Pits

In Health and Body on January 15, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Letting your armpit hair grow might liberate your itchy pores, and challenge the dominant order. Kill two birds with one trashed razor.

Dear Yenta,

My armpits are sometimes itchy, particularly in the evenings. What can
I do about this? Is it my deodorant? Should I be using some sort of
salve? Should you moisturize your pits?

-Itchy Pits

Dear Itchy Pits,

Just think about life as an armpit. It is a repressed and miserable body part, always being shut down. It wants to sweat, we stuff it with chemicals. It wants to be hairy, we strip away its livelihood with live razors and hot wax. If your armpit itches it is speaking to you, crying out for help. Pay close attention and give it a few days off. Let it be itself, hairy and sweaty and smelly.

Once again, as with any health problem, the first step is evaluating the contributing factors to the dilemma. This is often a skipped step en route to medicating, salving, and generally ignoring the causality of the crisis. By failing to address the root cause of a health problem, we run the risk of repeat infections, itches, etc.

First, a list of possible causes. Second, a list of possible cures.

Possible Causes

1) What kind of deodorant do you use? Does it have aluminum in it? Is it a natural brand or is it chemical? Read this BBC article on dangerous deodorants. Antiperspirant can cause itching because it acts by blocking the pores to keep them from secreting moisture. Ick, water shoved back inside your pit might make you itch, just as punishment.
2) Do you shave your armpits? How often? Shaving your armpits not only removes the hair, but it also removes a fine layer of skin. This can, obviously, be irritating. Also, ingrown hairs can cause itching, as well as general razorburn. Sometimes, before the hairs break the surface of the skin, that poking towards the light can cause severe itching.
3) Have you changed products recently? If you switched soaps, deodorants, and/or bath products, shaving cream, etc. you may be allergic. Is there a rash, or just an itch? Bumps or no bumps? Bumps can be razor burn or ingrown hairs, rash can be allergy or razor burn. Oye!
5) Are you wearing tank tops on a hot day? Playing tennis or rowing a boat in that tank top? Chafing of the pits can cause an itch. Put on a T-Shirt already, it’s January.
6) A girl in middle school broke out in a full body rash and had to be sent home because she rubbed marijuana all over her body. Have you been rubbing your pits with poison ivy, poison oak, or marijuana? If so, stop.

Possible Cures

1) Aluminum-Free Deodorant, eg, Crystal Deodorant, Tom’s of Maine, etc. Go to a health food store for this. Click here for an article on the dangers of Aluminum.
3) Ditch the anti-perspirant. Unblock those pores and deal with the humanity of sweat sweating. Buy a deodorant, plain and simple, or pat your pits with baby powder throughout the day. You may need to purify that area after a near lifetime of applying chemicals to conceal your natural musk.
4) Ditch all products. Some people develop stank pits as a double sweat and smell response to the chemical deodorants they use. If you wash your armpits regularly you may find you don’t need deodorant at all. This should kill the itch.
5) Stop shaving for a little while, let those pores and hair follicles do their thing.
6) If you keep shaving, drink more water and prep your pores. Take a bath and then shave. Be sure to change your razor regularly and to use a protective thick cream while shaving. Also, after you shave DO NOT PUT ON DEODORANT. Apply an aftershave salve, either Aloe Vera, an oil like vitamin E, or else some sort of perfume-free bland lotion like basic Cetaphil. Pat, don’t rub those pits dry and treat that newly shaven skin with extra tenderness and care.
7) Exfoliate regularly to keep the skin renewing itself and the hairs beneath it breathing.
8/ Change products again if you have been using new ones. Check your revenue of beauty supplies to be sure you aren’t allergic. Keep your products mild, the less chemicals the more the skin can be skin. If you do think you have an allergy, keep using a mild soap and ditch the other suggestions. Keep that armpit dry and clean until the skin goes back to normal.

For more on reducing sweat naturally, and winning yourself a blonde beau, click here.!

Have more questions? E-mail merissag[at]gmail[dot]com anonymously via

10 Easy Ways to Help Haiti

In Health and Body, Mental Health on January 14, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Kindness and generosity are no small feat.

Ten Easy Ways to Give to Haiti:

1) Text “Yele” to 501501 to donate $5 to YELE HAITI. Your money will help with relief efforts. The $5 gets added to your next phone bill.
2) Donate to Doctors Without Borders via phone, mail, internet; by hosting a fundraiser, getting your corporation to give, and more by clicking here.
3) Put your language skills to use: The US Embassy is asking for translators to help with getting the lost in-touch with their families. You can volunteer to help from home by contacting Tony Rivera 786-295-4635. Also, medical professionals can volunteer in Haiti. Airlines are working with consulate. Call 212-697-9767 to volunteer.
4) Got a medical degree? Go to Haiti and help. American Airlines is flying doctors/nurses there for free.
5) Donate via and MercyCorps. Click here.
6) Donate to the Red Cross Relief Fund. Click here.
7) Donate to the Unicef Relief Fund. Click here.
8/ Have a fundraiser of your own at your office. Send the money to one of these organizations.
9) Have a bake sale, a lemonade stand, anything that improves the quality of life for those around you and give the money, and the merit, to relief work in Haiti.
10) Volunteer at local schools to educate about the importance of community and giving, so the effort lasts to the next generation for the next time a community needs immediate relief.

Ten Easy Ways to Give to Your Local Community:
Because the need for generosity is not limited to sudden catastrophes…

1) Volunteer your time to local community needs. Click here to find a local place for your unique skill set to thrive.
2) Babysit for free. Happy rested parents make happy rested children which make positive communities.
3) Clean your mind. Start meditating, it does a service to everyone you encounter. Think angry agro meets calm and sweet.
4) Clean your garbage. Recycling is a mini effort towards global health. Click here for easy ways to change your home life habits.
5) Learn another language. Blanket English segregates and isolates.
6) Tutor a kid. The education system in America makes a point to uphold class separatism. Try and bridge the gap.
7) Smile, offer your seat on the bus, leave a fat tip, help an old lady cross the street, compliment a stranger: small niceties are both contagious and contribute to a communal sense that joy is allowed and compassion is a necessity.
8/ Drink less, smoke less, detox, cook a meal, feed a friend: a healthy thriving body yields a positive disposition.
9) Give randomly and give abundantly. If someone gives to you, give to someone else. Uphold the possibility of a society based on generosity.
10) Do what you love. Following your dreams makes it so other people stop settling for their nightmares. Also, once on the dream life track, your kindness quotient should quadruple.

Yeastie Beastie 101

In Health and Body on January 9, 2010 at 12:42 am

Dear Yenta,

I’ve got a yeast infection and it will not go away. I’ve tried pills. I’ve tried witchhazel wipes. I’ve tried cranberry juice. I’ve eaten yogurt. And I’m afraid it’s spreading to the nether regions in the back. What do I do? Help me Yenta!!!


Cottage cheese-like discharge is one symptom of a yeast infection.

Dear Itchy,

First and foremost a reminder/disclaimer: I am not a doctor. A am a Jewish woman in New Mexico with a penchant for people’s problems. That being said: take the following words, as always, with a fat grain of sea salt and consult your doctor before putting anything new inside your vagina. Your infection can be a sign of pregnancy, allergies, or HIV. A prolonged yeast infection might be a warning sign of diabetes or a thyroid problem. Consult a doctor if these are concerns of yours, or, see the list below of other causes.

What is a yeast infection?
An excess of the yeast Candida swimming and swarming in your body causing any number of symptoms including itching, soreness, cottage cheese-like discharge, and possible painful urination.

Why do YOU have one? Only you can answer that. Things that might provoke a yeastie-beastie and ways to prevent one in the future:

Excessive moisture, ie, don’t wear a wet bathing suit after the pool closes. Do what you can to keep that region dry, despite the oxymoron. Yeast lives and breathes off of dark moist locations making the vag and the mouth, stellar spots for an infection.
Tight non-cotton undies that retain moisture. Wear cotton if possible, at least until the symptoms heal. Cotton lets your parts breathe.
Tight pants causing more heat in your crotch than normal. Wear lose pants this week, we are looking for air down there.
Antibiotics, birth control pills, or bad meds. These things can change the balance of your stomach. Best to keep a lot of probiotics in your body to create the right yeasts. Consult your medication prescriber.
-One source claims to beware of excessive semen. Have you been cultivating this substance? Be careful, it can be too acidic for your bod and might be what brought on the itch.
Are you wiping from front to back or back to front? Fecal bacteria can cause a yeast infection. Always wipe from front to back to avoid mixing milk and meat.
Are you stressed? Stress can cause issues in the stomach whioch, again, can create imbalance and throw you into a cottage cheese producing fit.
Douching is the devil. Who wants a vagina that smells like flowers, not vagina? Fine. Some people like that stuff, but I am warning you it is terrible for the body. Terrible. And causes infections and might be a sign of misogyny. Same goes for feminine deodorants, these cause yeast infections. Ironic, indeed.

What can you do now?
You were on the right track with the juice, the wipes, the yogurt, etc. But here is a list of other steps you can take. If all natural remedies fail and the itching is torture, then go for Monastat at CVS. Remember, though, that chemical medications mess with your system and skip the step where your body learns to heal itself, a huge bonus for preventing future infections.

1 ) Put the yogurt in your vagina. Sounds gross, but it is soothing and gentle and immediately effective. Buy plain yogurt with no additives, especially not sugar, and ACTIVE CULTURES. You can either dip a tampon in the yogurt and insert, or use a plastic bag, cut a litttle hole in the corner, and squirt the cultures inside your body. Just be sure not to leave it in too long. Best to wait until the itching subsides and then wipe all the yogurt off. Moisture, again, is to be avoided. Stay dry, pumpkin pie.

2 ) Check your diet. Curb your sugar intake to zero if possible, and lay off caffeine, yeast-products and alcohol until your infection has diminished. Sugar is yeast’s best friend. Have you ever made bread? Add the sugar to the yeast and it bubbles and expands. You DON’T want that happening in your pants.

3 ) Shaklee Garlic Tabs. Put one in your hole. Done. It should take care of business. Maybe, though, choose garlic or yogurt, I don’t think you want to mix these bad boys. Also, a spoonful of pressed garlic downed with some water should help from the inside out. Just beware: you will reek, but you won’t itch. Pick your poison.

4 ) One dude said, “Take a bath in vinegar.” I think he was kidding, but he was right. Pour a cup of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar in a warm bath to soothe your body. Also, a spoonful in the morning a half hour before breakfast is good for your belly. Belly connects to bowels connect to vagina. Often yeast infections start in the rear and work their way forward.

5 ) Probiotics. Get yourself some Acidophilus. The chewable strawberry ones from Whole Foods are a personal favorito. These make it so you are making healthy cultures in your tum.

6 ) Drink two glasses of buttermilk a day. Not sure I stand by this one, for the sake of your arteries, but I want you to have as many options as possible.

7 ) says to insert Boric Acid tablets into the vagina. Again, never done this. Proceed at own risk.

8 ) Take oil extracts of cinnamon and oregano.

9 ) An acupuncturist told me a yeast infection somehow connects to a need for love. I don’t totally buy it, but why not? Pretty much everyone needs more love, so to cure your yeast infection seek a hug.

10 ) And the best thing you can do for yourself? Drink water, and more water, and more after that. Don’t drown yourself, but do try to flush your body clean of toxins like sugar and alcohol that may be feeding the yeast. Also, the more you replenish your body with H2O the more new fresh happy fluids arrive to wash the yeast away.

If all else fails, this chipper lady might be able to help. Good luck!