JustAnswer Blog: Health

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Closeup on the bristles of an electric toothbrush with droplets of water flying off.

Electric toothbrush in action. (Photo: Flickr/pau.artigas)

Are electric toothbrushes better for my dental health?

Q: Is it really better to brush your teeth with an electric toothbrush? Or does a normal toothbrush work just fine? Are there scientifically documented studies that prove electric toothbrushes keep your teeth cleaner and prevent cavities better?

A: Although there are some...

Elderly couple out for a stroll on a sunny day.

(Photo: Flickr/Garry Knight)

I have shingles; should I still get the vaccine?

September 23, 2013

Q: I am going through my first case of shingles. It has been a month since I was diagnosed, even  before the rash appeared. Will the shingles vaccine help prevent any future outbreaks in my case (I'm a 75-year-old woman)?

A: The vaccine for shingles, Zostavax, will not...

Small amount of toothpaste on blue bristles of a toothbrush.

(Photo: Flickr/Kenneth Lu)

What is the best toothpaste to keep teeth healthy?

Toothpastes are really a matter of personal preference.

Almost all of the toothpastes today contain fluoride for cavity prevention and many have some type of peroxide compound included for whitening. The important thing really is getting the toothbrush in your mouth and not so much the...

Headshot of male surgeon with scrubs on.

The classic symptom of gallbladder trouble

Q: My wife is having symptoms that lead us to believe she's having gallbladder trouble. She's been dieting for 6-8 months, most recently on Weight Watchers.  This is the second time in two weeks for pain in the bread basket area and in the shoulder blade area. She's on the floor in the...

Closeup on a woman's smile, her teeth are very white.

(Photo: Flickr/Rupert Taylor-Price)

An easy, homemade remedy to whiten teeth

Q: What are some good teeth whitening products that I can purchase at the drugstore? I want to whiten my teeth, but I'm not interested in getting them whitened at the dentist because I'm on a budget.

A: I often advise the following: Make a paste with some baking soda and...

Young male athlete with red skull cap the white monitors being checked by scientists.

Young man participating in a concussion study. (Photo: Flickr/UFV)

Can internal bleeding start weeks after a head injury?

Q: Three weeks ago I had a serious fall with head injury; a CT scan done 3 hours after the injury was negative. I still have dizziness and headache. Does the negative CT scan mean no bleeding, or can bleeding occur and evolve over time and be causing my continued symptoms?

Closeup of an eye through a rainbow-like filter.

See a possible sty forming? (Photo: Flickr/SuperFantastic)

Simple steps for treating a sty in your eye

September 11, 2013

Q: My eye has a sty and it's badly swollen. How should it be treated?

A: I'm sorry you have this problem. Usually it can be treated with a warm compress.

However, if it is really swollen and painful and is obstructing your vision, then it will need to be drained...

A model exhales vapor while holding a dark electronic cigarette.

Model demonstrates the e-cigarette. (Photo: Flickr/planetc1)

What are the health risks of electronic cigarettes?

Q: I quit smoking a year ago, and I'm using the electronic cigarette now. Are there any specific risks to my health because of the electronic cigarette?

A: There is no question in my mind that the e-cigarette, while not a paragon of healthy living by any means, is far...

Two male doctors consulting with a male patient.

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

The best treatment for getting rid of balanitis

Q: What is the fastest treatment to cure balanitis?

A: Balanitis is usually caused by a fungal infection. I would recommend a combination of oral Diflucan and topical Nystatin to be sure this goes away most quickly.

It is most commonly cause by Candida-type fungus...

African-American woman scientist looking into a microscope.

HIV research scientist (Photo: Flickr/US Army Africa)

Can you have HIV for 20 years and no symptoms?

Q: Can you have HIV for 20 years without any symptoms? If so, would there be any abnormalities in the CBC blood test or elevated red/white blood cell counts?

A: Yes, it is possible but very rare. Some persons are known to be immune to HIV and it does not cause any...