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Body Q&A.

When I work out, I fart. They're loud--and embarrassing. Can I make it stop?

What you're experiencing is a normal bodily function--the average person passes gas 14 to 23 times a day. "We all have pockets of gas in our bowels, and when we jump or crunch our stomach muscles, the gas escapes," says Dr. Dylan Hes, a pediatrician in New York City. What you eat and drink has a direct effect. For two hours before you work out, avoid carbonated beverages, high-fiber foods like broccoli, cauliflower or beans, artificial sweeteners and chewing gum. And if you toot? Laugh it off. Everyone does it.

Lately, I've been getting really bad nosebleeds, and I can't figure out why. Could it be the heat that's causing them?

Nosebleeds can be scary and embarrassing, but they're really common and usually no cause for alarm. While they mostly tend to occur during winter months when the air is dry, nosebleeds can happen at any time and may be caused by colds, allergies and injuries to the nose (even mild ones caused by nose-picking!). "If you get a nosebleed, just pinch the soft part of the nose with a tissue or washcloth for 10 minutes and the bleeding should stop," says Dr. Naomi Shaikh, a pediatrician in Glen Burnie, Md. If you are getting them more than once a week (or if the bleeding doesn't stop after a few minutes), call your doctor.

My armpits sweat like crazy, and I'm tired of keeping my arms down to hide it. I've tried all the clinical strength deodorants, but they don't work. Is there anything I can do to solve this?

For starters, stall the sweat by keeping your overall body temperature down. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting or flowy tops--and stash a couple of extras in your bag so you can change when you're feeling less than fresh. You can also try sticking special pads (aka dress shields) to the underarm part of your shirt, which will absorb some of the extra perspiration. "If you're still sweating too much, your doctor can prescribe stronger antiperspirants that might really help," says Dr. Shaikh.

When my period is ending, my "down there" smells awful.

The blood at the end of your cycle is drier and more likely to clot, and it can have a stronger odor. "Make sure you're changing your pad or tampon frequently, even when your flow slows down at the end of your period," says Dr. Veronica Gomez-Lobo, a gynecologist in Washington, D.C. Stay away from scented pads and douches, and wash the outside of your vaginal area with gentle soap and water each day. Remember, you're probably more aware of the smell than anyone around you.

I discovered a mole on my toe. Could it be skin cancer?

A healthy mole is usually smaller than a pencil eraser, and round and symmetrical with smooth borders and an even color. If it's more serious, it would be uneven and changing in shape. A skin cancer called melanoma can develop in moles, but it's rare under age 20. "The best way to avoid developing melanoma is to protect your skin by always using sunscreen, wearing clothing as a physical barrier and sitting in the shade," says Dr. Ronald Brancaccio, a dermatologist in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Fact or Fiction?

The five-second rule is a myth.

FICTION! A new report reveals that food that's been on the ground for fewer than five seconds actually stays safe from harmful amounts of bacteria (like icky E. coli), stating that carpet tends to be the cleanest surface.
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Author:Greenback, Laura
Publication:Girls' Life
Date:Jun 1, 2014
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