Posted in Beauty, dating, disease, fashion, Health, news, sex

Women Are Digging the Beard….But Only If It’s Clean

Beards are in and ladies will like…..unless they think its dirty and full of “lice.”

A study from the University of Queensland and University of Sterling interviewed 919 heterosexual women and found that they preferred the more masculine looking face (narrow eyes, prominent brow, cut jawline) including a beard, unless they had a personal eversion to ectoparasites such as lice and fleas.  This eversion to critters made them less attracted to a beard.

However those who were less concerned with critters but more concerned with bacteria and viruses, preferred the beard.  Ironic, but in nature hair, such as those in one’s nose, protects one against infectious disease, so instinct may be kicking in.

A Man’s Beard Found to Be Dirtier Than Dog Fur

For those of us who find beards sexy, this study might sway us a tad.

A recent study published in European Radiology found human hair to be dirtier than a dog’s.

Study authors looked at 18 men and 30 dogs and compared the bacterial load in CFUs (colony forming units) from both beards and dog fur.  Then they examined MRI scanners used for both dogs and humans and compared the bacterial load to those only used for humans.

The results were:

OUR STUDY SHOWS A SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER BACTERIAL LOAD IN SPECIMENS TAKEN FROM MEN’S BEARDS COMPARED WITH DOGS’ FUR (P = 0.036). ALL OF THE MEN (18/18) SHOWED HIGH MICROBIAL COUNTS, WHEREAS ONLY 23/30 DOGS HAD HIGH MICROBIAL COUNTS AND 7 DOGS MODERATE MICROBIAL COUNTS. FURTHERMORE, HUMAN-PATHOGENIC MICROORGANISMS WERE MORE FREQUENTLY FOUND IN HUMAN BEARDS (7/18) THAN IN DOG FUR (4/30), ALTHOUGH THIS DIFFERENCE DID NOT REACH STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE (P = 0.074). MORE MICROBES WERE FOUND IN HUMAN ORAL CAVITIES THAN IN DOG ORAL CAVITIES (P < 0.001). AFTER MRI OF DOGS, ROUTINE SCANNER DISINFECTION WAS UNDERTAKEN AND THE CFU FOUND IN SPECIMENS ISOLATED FROM THE MRI SCANNING TABLE AND RECEIVER COILS SHOWED SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER BACTERIA COUNT COMPARED WITH “HUMAN” MRI SCANNERS (P < 0.05).
Hence bearded men harbor “significantly higher burden of microbes and more human-pathogenic strains than dogs.”

Last year, researchers out of Manchester University found 47% of beards tested contained fecal matter that contained deadly pathogens.

This study was also coauthored by Fragrance Direct, and found despite cleaning habits of study participants, enterococcus was found on 47% of beards swabbed and cultured.

Enterococcus is a bacteria commonly found in the colon and feces and has over 17 types, the most common being E. faecalis and E. faecium. These may cause infections in the urinary tract, abdomen, pelvis, wound and even blood (sepsis).

 

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This study followed one done in 2015 by Quest Diagnostics in New Mexico, in which a microbiologist swabbed beards and grew out cultures finding bacteria that commonly colonize our colon.

Bacteria like to hide on the skin but need cover, and beard hair offers a nice warm, moist shelter.  Oral sex increases one’s chance of being “contaminated” with pelvic and rectal bacteria.

A spokesman for Fragrance Direct states, “Caring for your beard is essential for its health, helping it stay fresh to keep the bacteria at bay.  Everyone knows to shampoo their hair, but beards need some attention too. Men should use beard shampoo when they shower, along with conditioner afterwards.”

So the next time you run your fingers through a man’s beard, sanitize them afterwards….

 

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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

Posted in Christmas, fashion, Health, news, shopping, smart devices

Compulsive Online Shopping: Are YOU at Risk?

Image above from misskyra.com

The fasting growing addiction in the US is online shopping.  Ads pop up on our social media, news feeds and email. Boxes pile up in your closet of unopened packages.  And then one day you notice you purchased the same item twice! Are you addicted to online shopping or any shopping for that matter?  Let’s break down this latest epidemic.

What is Compulsive Spending Disorder?

A “Compulsive Buying Disorder (CBD)” was first described in the early 20th century as a compulsive disorder that left the patient with debt.  Later in the century its classification was debated and eventually included with the personality disorders.

Compulsive buying is known as “oniomania” where one buys impulsively and excessively to the point that it leaves them in financial hardship.  And despite their financial issues they continue to make purchases.  We’ve used the term “shopaholics” to describe those addicted to shopping but compulsive buying connotes the lack sense of financial ruin that can ensue. The spending is an attempt to satisfy a need that never gets fulfilled.

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IMAGE ABOVE FROM SHUTTERSTOCK

 

Compulsive buying disorder may be seen in those who suffer from mania and bipolar disorder.  During manic episodes excessive spending may occur.  Additionally we may see CBD co-morbidly in those who suffer from eating, gambling, substance use, and mood disorders.

What is Compulsive Online Shopping?

Compulsive online shopping occurs when purchases are made online, without much thought or planning, and at a frequency where it may interfere with one’s life.  People who might have never become a compulsive shopper in a traditional store may become easily addicted to online shopping.  Those who are compulsive online shoppers may exhibit any of the following:

  • Preoccupation with when they can go online to search items
  • Anxiety when one cannot go online
  • Purchasing items they don’t necessarily need
  • Spending beyond their budget
  • Hiding their shopping behavior
  • Feeling guilt after shopping
  • Struggling at work or at home because of the time devoted to online shopping
  • Other addictive or impulsive behaviors such as binge eating, drinking, or substance abuse

So compulsive online shopping, as well as compulsive buying disorder, can affect relationships, employment, finances and health.

How many people suffer from Compulsive Online Shopping Disorder?

Various sources have put the range at 5-8% of the US population.

Why are people becoming addicted?

When one is able to shop in the comfort of one’s desk or work station, the “ease” factor drives more shopping.  Avoiding the need to leave work or home to battle traffic and weather and long lines, is one of the biggest draws.  Moreover, those who hate going into a store or dressing room, concerned others will see the sizes of clothes they are trying on, can now shop in the privacy in their own home.  Additionally shopping allows one to fight the boredom they have at work or home and give one a sense of accomplishment.  And once one has a successful and satisfying purchase, the reward centers of the brain are activated making one want to shop more.

Hence, shrewd marketing will appeal to the human psyche by any of the following:

  • Displaying or popping up attractive ads on your browser or social media
  • Disrupting your feed, reading material or game with above ads
  • Following your likes, searches or prior purchases and suggesting related products
  • Offering deals and coupons that can be used immediately
  • “Rewarding” the buyer with positive feedback after the purchase such as, “You SAVED 15%!”
  • Allowing the purchase to be done so quickly and easily that one has less of an opportunity to ponder the purchase
  • Sending reminders of a reorder

So how can one avoid becoming a compulsive online shopper?

Don’t give in to the ads.  People must realize they are being bombarded with some of the most creative marketing manipulation known to mankind.  We can’t fall for it.  Why are we letting our smart devices dictate to us what we need in our closets, pantries or garages?

But to fight the urge to shop online excessively, we must:

  • Budget expenditures and stick to it
  • Have hobbies
  • Avoid boredom, or going to the internet when bored
  • Limit internet time
  • Stop ads and unsubscribe on out tablet or smart phone
  • Deputize a family member to be our go-to when we want authorization to purchase something online.
  • Ask ourselves prior to purchasing:  Do I really need this item?
  • Seek counseling if unable to stop

If needed, compulsive shopping can be treated with therapy as well as medications including SSRI’s, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which are efficacious in those with impulsive personalities or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

 

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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

Posted in fashion, Health, news

Ties May Disrupt Brain Circulation

A study out of Germany finds men who wear neck ties may have less blood flow going to the brain.

Published in the Journal Neuroradiology, the study led by Dr. Robin Luddecke of the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel, Germany found blood flow to diminish in those donning the professional look.

30 men were recruited, 15 wearing a neck tie and 15 with an open collar shirt. All had successive MRI scans and those in the first group were scanned wearing the tightened tie, loosening the tie but buttoning the collar, and loosening the tie and unbuttoning the collar.

The specific knot tested in this study was the popular Windsor knot, asked to be tightened to the point of slight discomfort.

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Inquisitr reported:  Based on the researchers’ findings, those who wore ties saw their blood circulation to the brain drop by about 4.33 mL/min/100 g, or about 7.5 percent, between the baseline scan and the second MRI, where the tie was tightened. The difference jumped to 12.8 percent from baseline during the final scan, right after the test subjects loosened their ties. Cerebral blood flow figures were similar across all three scans for those in the control group.  Interestingly, the researchers did not notice any statistically significant changes when it came to blood flow in the jugular vein.

That is interesting as the jugular vein, which transports blood from the brain, is more superficial than the carotid artery, which lies deeper, transporting blood to the brain.

 

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However this study was very small, only 30 subjects and I’m not convinced that its a compression on the arterial circulation that we’re seeing.  It could be the fact that a tightened tie causes discomfort around the windpipe which may affect blood flow, or affects the jugular vein causing back pressure to the brain, thereby sending a signal that decreases blood flow to the brain.

In 2010, a study by Rafferty et al found tight neck ties to increase intracranial pressure due to decrease of venous return.

In 2004 a case of “Tight Necktie Syndrome” was discussed by Dr. Gifford Jones in a businessman who began to experience headaches, blurry vision and right ear tingling from his tight shirts and collars.

In 2003 a study suggested intraocular pressure could rise with the wearing of tight ties, worsening glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness.

The moral? Ties should never be worn too tight. That’s why my favorite work uniform is…scrubs.

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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

She is also a Board Certified Family Physician and Assistant Professor at Touro University Nevada