Ask Women’s Health

Why is my face brightred after a workout?

A rosy flush means the blood vessels in your face are expanding to bring more blood to the skin’s surface to cool you down. The redness should fade on its own within 15 minutes after you stop exercising, but you can speed up the process by pressing a cool, thin compress to your face for a few minutes or drinking two to three cups of cold water. See a derm if the color typically lasts longer than half an hour. Persistent redness can cause broken capillaries, which may result in permanent pinkness.

What’s the quickest way to banish bloat without taking meds?

Exercise. Thirty minutes a day will give you the best results, but even a 10-minute walk is enough to get things moving through your digestive tract. Drinking a cup of peppermint or chamomile tea may also help relieve an inflated stomach by relaxing digestive muscles. Avoid belly bloat in the first place by laying off carbonated beverages, artificial sweeteners, dairy products, beans, and cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower), which can cause excess gas to build up in your digestive tract. And try to eat slowly with your mouth closed, which will prevent you from gulping air.

Can I get an infection from a bikini wax?

Yes! One way it can happen: If the area isn’t cleaned properly beforehand, you could end up with inflamed hair follicles. These can become breeding grounds for bacterial growth that, in rare cases, may result in a serious infection from staph or E. coli. To protect yourself, make sure the aesthetician uses an antibacterial soap, such as Hibiclens, then follows the waxing with an OTC anti-inflammatory cream to calm your skin. It’s smart to apply a topical antibiotic ointment such as Polysporin ($9 amazon) for the next two days to prevent ingrown hairs.

I’ve been reading a lot about IUDs. How do I know if I’m a good candidate for this type of birth control?

The IUD – a T-shaped copper or plastic device that creates an unpleasant environment for sperm – is 90 percent effective and a great option for most women. But there are two caveats. Mirena, the plastic version, can cause irregular spotting or no menstrual bleeding at all, which can freak out some women. And the copper version can increase the amount and duration of menstrual bleeding, so if you struggle with cramping or clots, the device may exacerbate these problems.

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