How to Prevent Minoxidil from Dripping in Eyes

If you prefer to use liquid minoxidil, here’s a technique for avoiding dripping it into the eyes and getting that awful burning stinging.

This technique will work very well for those who wish to apply minoxidil to their temples. Applying the liquid form here with the dropper and avoiding the liquid rolling down your temple and straight into your eye is exceedingly difficult.

My solution is to use an application that combines the liquid with the foam version. If you use only the liquid minoxidil, then you’ll just have to accept that nearly every time, you’ll get it in your eyes, even if your head is tilted back so far that your temple is parallel to the floor. In addition, you’re holding some cotton at your temple, below the cut-off point of application, to catch any runaway drops.

But just when you think all the runaway drops have stopped and it’s time to bring your head back to a normal angle…suddenly one or two shoot down your forehead and get into your eye.

So even extreme tilting and using cotton won’t stop this problem.

Put some of the foam on your fingertips and smear on the temple. The foam will not run, but make sure you shake the bottle good so that the foam is as foamy as possible. Otherwise it might be a little “liquidy.” In fact, after putting some foam on your fingertips, waste no time applying it, because the foam quickly “melts” and will become runny.

Tilt head back (doesn’t have to be extreme) and quickly get that foam on the temples.

After you take care of the temples, you can then apply the liquid minoxidil further behind the area you just applied it, because beyond the temples (more receded back) is far enough away from the slope of your forehead that you don’t have to worry about runaway drops getting into your eyes.

But still take precaution! Keep head tilted back and keep that cotton ball in place. There WILL be drops trickling down (unless you’re very sparing with the application), but because the application at this point is receded back further, the drops will take longer to trickle onto your forehead, giving you ample time to pat them away with the cotton.

After doing the first temple area, keep head tilted back for 30-45 seconds to wait for any delayed runaway drops. Then return head to normal angle—but don’t do anything yet. Wait another 30 seconds; otherwise if you start the other temple too soon, a runaway drop may still make its way down the first temple and into your eye. Repeat the process for the second temple.

As for the hairline, you can also use the liquid minoxidil. Tilt head back and imbed the dropper into the hairline and lightly squirt while simultaneously moving it horizontally along the hairline.

Why Do You Get X-Ray in ER for Chest Pain?

If you go to the ER with chest pain, the doctor will always want to give you an X ray, but just what can this show?

One of the first things you’ll get if you go to the ER with chest pain is an X-ray. An X-ray cannot detect clogged arteries or if you had a heart attack, so why is this such a common procedure in the emergency room?

 “Many times, chest X-rays are done unnecessarily, especially if the patient just had a normal one recently,” says Dr. Sameer Sayeed, a cardiologist at ColumbiaDoctors of Somers, NY.

“The only reasons a chest X-ray may be repeated in the above instance is if the MD was suspicious of congestive heart failure from chest pain that may be due to a new heart attack,” continues Dr. Sayeed.

Congestive heart failure is when the heart is not pumping adequate amounts of blood. This situation can cause chest pain, which alerts the ER doctor that the patient could have congestive heart failure, especially if elderly. 

The congestive heart failure may have been there for a while, or, it could be the result of a heart attack that the patient just had. Congestive heart failure causes fluid buildup that is seen on the X-ray.

Other conditions that the X-ray can detect are “cardiac ischemia, a pericardial effusion that could cause chest pain, pneumonia that could cause chest pain or the rare instance that a previously normal aorta now had a problem,” adds Dr. Sayeed.

Cardiac ischemia means insufficient oxygen to the heart. Pericardial effusion means fluid buildup within the sac that surrounds the heart. Pneumonia is a bacterial or viral infection in the lungs. 

Ruptured aortic aneurysm.
Credit: AAA J. Heuser
An abnormally enlarged section of the aorta, called an aneurysm, can cause chest pain, though usually, an aortic aneurysm causes no symptoms and these are discovered by accident when the patient is getting imaged for something unrelated.

Even if you go to the ER very frequently with complaints of chest pain, and all the previous workups were normal including the X-ray, you’ll still likely get an X-ray simply because, if you actually do turn out to have a serious problem that was missed, and decide to sue the doctor, the doctor’s defense will be able to show that standard of care was met because a baseline battery of tests was ordered—which would include the chest X-ray.

Can Electrophysiology Testing Cause a Heart Attack or Stroke?

It’s easy to wonder if electrophysiology testing can trigger a heart attack or stroke, since it involves catheter placement in the heart.

The electrophysiology test is designed to detect a heart rhythm disorder (arrhythmia). Can the EP test miss an arrhythmia?

“The test is meant to provoke the arrhythmia, not wait for it to happen spontaneously,” says Peter R. Kowey, MD, FACC, Professor of Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology, Jefferson Medical College; Chief, Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Main Line Health System; and author of “Lethal Rhythm,” a medical mystery. Dr. Kowey specializes in heart rhythm disorders.

Can electrophysiology testing cause a heart attack or stroke by dislodging plaque buildup in a coronary artery?

Dr. Kowey explains, “The EP catheter doesn't go into coronary arteries or carotid arteries. It rarely can cause stroke or MI [heart attack] by provoking arrhythmias that in turn cause hypotension and under-perfusion.”

If an arrhythmia is not detected and the test is negative, the doctor may decide to place an implantable loop recorder into the patient. Dr. Kowey says that this device “is very useful for recording spontaneous arrhythmias to correlate them with specific but highly sporadic symptoms.”

Home Lip Plumping without Putting Anything on Lips

There’s a way to plump your lips at home without ointments, oils, bacon grease and mixing up other messy things that taste bad.

Lip plumping at home doesn’t have to involve mixing up a bunch of ingredients, applying things that leave an unpleasant taste or otherwise bothering with gels, ointments and other products.

For this article I consulted with Allen Gabriel, MD, board certified plastic surgeon with PeaceHealth Medical Group Plastic Surgery in Vancouver, WA.

“Lips are composed of muscle, and just like any other muscle they require hydration and have the ability to enlarge with appropriate activity,” begins Dr. Gabriel.  “Well, anything that increases the circulation to the lips such as trauma (brushing), hot peppers, sucking, and rubbing/pulling (may be painful) will increase the size of the lip because of swelling.”

So, for starters, brush your lips with a wet toothbrush for a few minutes. The effects of “trauma” can last up to 12 hours or more, says Dr. Gabriel, “depending how much trauma is caused to the surface of the lip and how deep it penetrates to activate all blood vessels and lead to swelling.  The key here is to maintain, and this is done best by applying continuous Chap Stick for moisture and added illusion.  Once the lip dries out, it deflates.”

But what if you don’t want to hassle with applying anything, even Chap Stick? You already have a tool on hand at any time: your fingers. 

“Massaging with finger tips to make your lips swell will also work,” says Dr. Gabriel.  “Massaging for 2-5 minutes is generally sufficient to cause swelling.  Unsure how long exactly the swelling can last, but the more balms that are applied the more likely it will last longer until one goes to bed.” 

Lip Balm Plumper Review by Plastic Surgeon

Find out from a plastic surgeon if lip balm plumpers really work.

Can you really get plumper lips by simply rubbing something on them, like one of those balms that are advertised on the Internet?

For the answer, I consulted with Allen Gabriel, MD, board certified plastic surgeon with PeaceHealth Medical Group Plastic Surgery in Vancouver, WA.

“Lip plumping with balms works by increasing the hydration to the lips and allowing the lips to produce their natural products,” begins Dr. Gabriel. This will help achieve a fuller appearance.

He adds: “Frequent manipulation of the lips with products and avoiding the drying out of the lips” will maintain a fuller look. Dr. Gabriel stresses that for best results, this technique should be done daily. Do it as a regular ritual and it will lead to the plumper look that you desire.

Every individual will experience a different result, says Dr. Gabriel. This depends on a person’s hydrating ability in the first place, as well as the baseline size and dimensions of their lips. Nevertheless, applying a balm is an easy way to get a plumping effect (though it will not be as noticeable as what can be achieved with medical procedures).

A lip plumping balm will create “the natural illusion of being fuller by simply keeping them hydrated.” 

Lip Plumping by Doctor: What You Should Know First

Find out who’s not a good candidate for lip plumping and what you should first know even if you are.

Is there anybody who, due to a medical reason, should not undergo a lip plumping procedure? Is there a such thing as a poor candidate for what seems like such an innocuous undertaking?

I directed this question to Allen Gabriel, MD, board certified plastic surgeon with PeaceHealth Medical Group Plastic Surgery in Vancouver, WA.

“Patients with inflammatory skin conditions or infections should avoid lip plumping and just continue hydrating lips with non-scented Chap Stick,” says Dr. Gabriel. Hydration will help avoid shrinkage or thinning. Things shrink when they are stripped of water. Hydration can also be maintained by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

“In addition, patients with a history of cold sores should take prophylactic medication to avoid development of a cold sore following injection for lip plumping.  Any [person with a] history of lip cancer (e.g., melanoma) and scarring of the lips from prior surgeries should avoid invasive procedures to ease the monitoring of cancer recurrence.”

What if you don’t have any of these pre-existing issues?
Dr. Gabriel explains, “Patients interested in collagen injection should undergo pre-collagen skin testing to assess for allergies and if positive should consider another alternative.”

“Smokers should consider cessation, as smoking in addition to all other negative impacts also adds the vertical lines to the lips known as ‘smoker lines.’  If interested in improving the ‘smoker lines,’ the first step should be permanent smoking cessation followed by lip plumping.”

Can You Tell if a Normal Looking Mole is Melanoma?

Find out if it’s possible to identify melanoma when the “mole” still looks normal.

What if you have melanoma, but a close look with your, or your dermatologist’s, naked eye easily misses it because it’s early enough to still appear normal? Must you wait until it progresses enough to look abnormal in order for it to catch your attention or that of your doctor’s?

Actually, melanoma can be detected while it still looks normal. In order for this to happen, you’d have to either have normal moles removed and then biopsied, or, a more practical approach is to take advantage of the latest melanoma detection technology. 

There’s always a period of time in which a mole, that has become malignant (melanoma) still looks normal or unchanged to the naked eye.

“This is why an early detection and surveillance program such as MoleSafe is so critical,” says Richard Bezozo, MD, President of MoleSafethe world’s most advanced melanoma screening program.

“MoleSafe uses high resolution photographs, and advanced dermoscopy and can find melanomas before they would be identified in a naked eye examination, and would also reduce the need for unnecessary biopsies, unlike what you will find in a typical dermatologist’s office.”  

Serial digital dermoscopy involves having selected moles photographed. “MoleSafe uses high resolution photographs and advanced dermoscopy to find melanoma before they are visible to the naked eye,” explains Dr. Bezozo.

“MoleSafe is something that is repeated annually, so that the dermoscopic images can be compared from year to year, making this the most advanced tool for identifying early changes. For patients at risk for melanoma, nothing should be taken for granted. Early detection is the only cure. Identifying changes not visible to the naked eye are essential.”

Tongue Has Red Spots: Is This Cancer?

Cancer is one possible cause of red spots on the tongue.

There are numerous causes of red spots on the tongue, and unfortunately, cancer is one of them. However, this isn’t the most likely cause of what you might perceive to be red “spots” on your tongue. Let’s first look at non-malignant causes.

“Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause red spots on the tongue,” says Richard Bezozo, MD, President of MoleSafethe world’s most advanced melanoma screening program. He says that scarlet fever and strep infection can also cause red spots on the tongue.

“Thrush, a yeast infection of the mucus membrane lining the mouth and tongue, can also cause red spots,” says Dr. Bezozo. “Common causes of yeast infection oral candidiasis include antibiotic use, HIV infection or other immunodeficiency conditions.”

Tongue Cancer
One of the first symptoms is a red (or white) patch, which can be anywhere on this muscle. The discolored area can also look more like a spot than patch, but it’s more likely to resemble a patch or splotch.

The lesion has raised edges and is firm. As it grows it gets harder. The center of the lesion bleeds easily with applied pressure, such as when chewing or even swallowing, which break open the lesions. The lesions are tender. Beware of red spots on the tongue that bleed; this is a strong indication of cancer.


Trouble Swallowing, Thick Mucus in Back of Throat: Causes, Solutions

Here’s the causes of thick drainage in back of throat and trouble swallowing.

To find out what causes thick drainage in the back of the throat, along with trouble swallowing, I consulted with Dr. Stacey Silvers, MD, of Madison ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery in NYC, who is board certified in otolaryngology.

“Thick drainage in the throat is otherwise known as post-nasal drip,” says Dr. Silvers.  “This can be caused by excess mucous production from allergies, an upper respiratory infection or acid reflux.”

How does acid reflux cause thick drainage in the back of the throat and difficulty swallowing?
“Thick mucous is produced to coat the throat when stomach acid goes into the larynx area,” says Dr. Silvers. “Acid is a pH of 2 and can be highly corrosive without this thick protective mucous.  The mucous can be annoying and causes chronic clearing of the throat.  Once the reflux is treated, the mucous wont be required to protect the throat and will reduce.”

Dr. Silvers also points out that acid reflux can be caused by anxiety and/or stress. Exercise such as strength training or hiking will help soften the blow of stress and anxiety. 

Get Rid of Bitter Taste in Mouth: Doctor's How-To

A bitter taste in the mouth has many causes, 
says an ear, nose and throat doctor.

That’s pretty aggravating, a persistent bitter taste in the mouth.

“Many things can cause a bitter taste in the mouth,” explains Dr. Stacey Silvers, MD, of Madison ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery in NYC, who is board certified in otolaryngology.

Dr. Silvers says these causes are as follows: tonsil stones (old food particles combined with oral bacteria), poor dental hygiene, chronic sinus infections (this means old mucus remaining in the sinuses), and last but not least…acid reflux.

Bitter Taste in Mouth Caused by Acid Reflux
Dr. Silvers points out that often, a patient will not feel the so-called heartburn or indigestion, and this makes a diagnosis more difficult to come up with.

“Conservative treatment entails avoiding acidic and carbonated foods,” says Dr. Silvers. In addition, she advises to refrain from eating about three hours prior to bedtime. Also, prop yourself up on a wedge-shaped pillow “to allow gravity to keep acid in the stomach.  If this is not helpful OTC antacids will likely help.  If this does not help, see your ENT.”