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The bottom line.

My mom refuses to let me wear a thong under my Spandex shorts for volleyball, saying it's bad hygiene. All my friends wear them!

Even if your mom doesn't understand your agony over pantylines, maybe this medical argument will work: After some back and forth on the issue, experts now say women who wear thongs are just as healthy down there as those with full-cut granny panties. What can cause an infection? Wearing damp, too-tight clothing for too long. So tell your mom it's not the kind of undies you slip on--it's about staying dry.

I've been sunburned a few times on my face. Now I have a hard spot on my chin, and it stings a little. I'm afraid I have cancer.

Props for being in the know about the sun's damaging effects. What you describe, though, sounds like a facial wart from the human papilloma virus. HPV is common ... and contagious. If you touch a towel or person with the virus, you could wind up with a stinging, hard growth, explains Dr. Craig Eichler, a dermatologist in Naples, Fla. While it's harmless, a wart can take months or even years to go away. See a dermo for a quick, practically painless removal.

I just started to "develop" a breast bud a few months ago. But I'm wondering if it's normal that my other one hasn't come. Does this happen a lot?

Your body is behaving normally, promise. Puberty causes hormones to surge and breast tissue to grow. Sometimes, one side is more receptive to hormones, explains Dr. Mary LoFrumento, a pediatrician in Morristown, N.J. The other breast will catch up, but it could take up to a year. Meantime, wear a sports bra that squishes breasts and makes them look even. You're not alone. Most women's boobs, like their feet or ears, are slightly different in size.

When I run, I get a cramp in my bladder area. I exercise daily, so I'm in shape. What gives?

According to Diane A. Smith, a nurse in Bryn Mawr, Pa., you could have weak pelvic floor muscles supporting the bladder, causing it to knock around when you run. This can be solved with Kegel exercises. Do them by squeezing down there, like you're trying to stop your urine. Be sure to breathe and pull in your tummy, and hold for eight seconds. Do this 10 times in a row, working up to three sets a day. If this doesn't help, see a doctor. You could have an annoying but treatable urinary tract infection.

Stumper of your own? Send your question to Body Q&A, Girls' Life, 4517 Harford Road, Baltimore, MD 21214, or e-mail it to questions@girlslife.com.
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Title Annotation:GL BODY Q&A
Author:Gelbwasser, Margaret
Publication:Girls' Life
Article Type:Column
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2006
Words:450
Previous Article:Made in the shade: Patty Geraci of Claire's sheds light on summer's most necessary accessory.
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