May 2017 Hot Flashes

Are Tampons Bad For You?

Of course, you’ve heard that tampon use can put you at a small risk of developing a potentially dangerous infection called Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS. TSS can lead to inflammation and even organ failure if it’s caught in time. But, again, TSS is rare—according to research from the University of Minnesota, approximately one in every 100,000 women who use tampons contract TSS every year (that’s 0.001 percent of tampon users). 

You may have heard that the ingredients in tampons are potentially troublesome, but there’s really nothing to worry about. According to the FDA, which regulates tampons, the products are made of cotton, rayon, or a blend of the two, noting that rayon is made from cellulose fibers derived from wood pulp. "In this process, the wood pulp is bleached," the FDA explains. In the past, the bleaching process has taken some heat for potentially being a source of trace amounts of dioxins (toxic chemical compounds that can cause reproductive and developmental problems), but the FDA notes that bleaching method is no longer used.

If you’re interested in using an alternative to tampons, experts say you should go for it—just don’t do so because you’re afraid tampons are bad for your health. 


Five Things Dermatologists Would NEVER Use

In the pursuit of clear, smooth skin, sometimes what you don't put on your face is just as crucial as what you do. "People bring in bags and bags of products they've tried," says Durham, NC-based dermatologist Brooke Jackson, MD. "But less is often more with skincare." Slathering on every new wonder cream can irritate your face, creating a negative situation. A check-in with a dermatologist should help you come up with the best overall plan for your skin. And there are some questionable products and tools that dermatologists make a point to avoid. Here are the products they say are simply a waste of money—or worse, could actually could damage your skin.

At-Home Chemical Peels: Bad results can occur such as redness and too much peeling that can lead to long-term scarring and discoloration.

Loofahs: Stay away from using a loofah on the face. They are too abrasive and can actually irritate the skin.

Moisturizers with Collagen: The collagen molecule is too large to work as a topical. The active ingredient does not penetrate the skin. Not to mention they are too expensive for minimal results. 

Abrasive Face Scrubs: Abrasive face scrubs can be irritating and induce hyperpigmentation. Most people who try them are acne patients and acne cannot be scrubbed away. 

At-Home Microneedling Devices: Using this tool, the skin barrier is compromised and increases risk of infection when creating tiny holes in the skin. 


Gaining and Losing Weight When Pregnant

By now, you probably know that it's not a good idea to gain 50+ pounds while you're pregnant. But is it ever okay to lose weight when you’re expecting? 

While the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says it’s fine to work out when you’re pregnant (provided you don’t do anything too strenuous or with a high risk of falling), Michael Cackovic, M.D., a maternal-fetal medicine physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, says it’s not really a good idea to try to actively lose weight when you’re carrying a baby.

He points to ACOG guidelines that state that women across all BMIs are encouraged to gain some weight during pregnancy. Women who have a “normal” BMI are encouraged to gain 25 to 35 pounds, those who are overweight 15 to 25 pounds, and those who are obese 11 to 20 pounds.


Grilled Salmon Kabobs


  • 3 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 (2 1/4-lb.) whole skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pickled okra
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 (12-inch) wooden or metal skewers
  • 3 Kirby cucumbers
  • 12 grape tomatoes
  • Garnish: chopped fresh dill


  1. Stir together first 4 ingredients in a bowl; transfer to a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Add salmon seal bag, and turn gently to coat. Chill 3 hours, turning occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, stir together yogurt and next 4 ingredients; cover and chill until ready to serve. Soak wooden skewers in water 30 minutes. (Omit if using metal skewers.)
  3. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Scrape outside of cucumbers lengthwise using tines of a fork, scoring skin all the way around; cut into half moons.
  4. Remove salmon from marinade, discarding marinade. Thread salmon, cucumbers, and tomatoes alternately onto skewers, leaving a 1/8-inch space between pieces.

(Southern Living)


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