How do I get rid of painful bumps on my underarms?

It is hard to be certain from the decription what you have, but one common cause of recurrent painful bumps on the armpit and groin is hidradenitis suppurativa. This condition tends to occur over flexural areas like the groin, armpit, below the breast and on the buttocks. The bumps are red, painful, and recurrent, and can lead to scarring. This is often treated with topical antibiotics like Clindamyin lotion and oral antibiotics like Doxycyline. There are many other treatment options if antibiotics fail.

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Answered By

Dr Colin Theng

Dermatologist

Why are my eyes getting worse in spite of well controlled diabetes?

Thank you for your question. First of all, congrats on improving your diabetic control! Dropping your Hba1c from 9% to 5. 9% is an amazing conscientious effort on your part. 1. What I could not understand is that, how come my blood sugar was well control (5. 9%) but yet there is a deterioration in my eye condition? With too well controlled sugars, you can certainly get tingling sensations which is related to low blood sugar, or hypoglycaemia. It’s your body’s way of telling you that you need to eat.

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Answered By

Human

Could I still be pregnant despite a negative pregnancy test if I’m experiencing brown discharge?

In this instance, doctors would typically advise for you to repeat the pregnancy test 1 week later. As long as you are sexually active (and especially if you had unprotected sex), there’s always a chance that you could be pregnant – pregnancy tests have a high false negative rate. If the pregnancy test is done more than 2 weeks after the last time you had sex, and the test is repeated 1 week later, you are almost certainly NOT pregnant – assuming you performed the test correctly.

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Answered By

Human

Should I be concerned if my menstrual cycle is 40 days long?

Hi, Menstrual cycles abnormalities/changes can occur for a wide variety of reasons from the benign such as stress to more serious conditions like cancers. Generally, if there is any change in the pattern of your menstrual cycles especially if the change if persistent, it would be advisable to seek medical advise. Normal menstrual cycles do differ from person to person but it usually would be between 21 to 35 days. Thus my advise would be to seek further evaluation with your doctor to determine the cause of the change of your menstrual cycle.

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Answered By

Dr Julian Ng

General Practitioner

Do I need a biopsy for a nodular mass at my thyroid?

Thank you for your question. I agree that the thyroid hormone tablets you were given is likely for treatment of low thyroid level and not for treatment of the thyroid mass. Thyroid nodules (or mass) are very common and most of the time they are benign (non cancerous).

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Answered By

Dr Eng Cern Gan

ENT Doctor

What could be the cause of a brown band on my nail? (photo)

Thank you for getting in touch with us. These brown lines are usually the result of pigments being deposited right below where the nail is growing. The medical term is melanonychia. There can be quite a long list of possible causes for this. But most of the time it is not something dangerous. You should check it out with your GP or skin specialist. What we would do is to take a close look at the nail and the skin around it with a "dermascope", or a good magnifying glass to advice you further. Take Care.

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Answered By

Dr Paul Ang

General Practitioner

When do I need to see an Endocrinologist for PCOS in Singapore?

I’ll be frank, it’s been some time since I had to manage PCOS for anyone, but as I recall the common issues with it are: Acne Weight gain Hirsutism (hair growth) Difficulty conceiving If your main issue is acne, Dianette is a reasonable option - although it is not recommended as a contraceptive. I would advise you to seek the advice of a gynaecologist if conceiving is an issue or perhaps a dermatologist if acne is the main overriding concern. This is what I would advise if seeing someone for the first time. I would presume that you have had an ultrasound scan done.

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Answered By

Dr Dinesh Sirisena

Sport Medicine

Is it possible to get rid of acne permanently if one has PCOS?

PCOS is a fairly common condition in Singapore that usually goes under-diagnosed. You are right, it's advisable to have a more stable skin condition, before going for acne scar treatments (in particular, fractional lasers). However certain acne scar treatments like subcision are safe to do, even during minor acne outbreaks. I noticed you mentioned you are taking contraceptive pills. As such we should consider adding on Spironlactone (which has an anti-androgenic effect) that reduces oiliness. In fact, spironolactone might be a better idea as a first-line for the PCOS-associated acne.

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Answered By

Dr Winston Lee

Aesthetic

When should I be worried about unintentional weight loss?

Thank you for your question. We generally define clinically important weight loss as over 5% of body weight over 6 to 12 months. It is possible that the stress from your last semester at university may have contributed, but if you have been eating and exercising as per normal and still losing weight, I would suggest getting evaluated.

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Answered By

Human

Can slimming pills like Panbesy cause thyroid problems?

Panbesy will not cause an elevation in your thyroid antibodies, but it is not advisable to take Panbesy if you have an overactive thyroid gland. Panbesy works by increasing levels of catecholamines, and if you’re hyperthyroid, may increase the risk of cardiac complications. It is usually recommended as a short-term treatment of obesity (few weeks/months) together with exercise and a healthy diet. If your weight has improved significantly, I would suggest stopping it.

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Answered By

Human

Should I be concerned that my ovaries are of different sizes?

I presume that your gynae performed the ultrasound scan to rule out PCOS (given that you also have irregular periods). You have a cyst in your right ovary - cysts are very common in women who are still ovulating, and are almost always benign (none-worrying, and go away by themselves). This can account for the difference in size between your ovaries. Ovaries are usually NOT of exactly the same size, and range from about 2 - 3 cm x 2 - 3 cm in size. If your ovaries are otherwise normal in appearance (as the report suggests), there is no reason for concern.

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Answered By

Human

Are there any alternatives to Diane-35 for PCOS, acne, and heavy periods?

You should visit your gynaecologist for check up, blood tests and ultrasound scan of your pelvis to confirm the diagnosis of PCOS and to exclude other causes of irregular, painful, and heavy menses. Your gynaecologist can give you advice and treatment plan based on your test results and ultrasound scan report. Studies have shown there is slight increased risk of breast cancer in women who are taking oral contraceptive pills. The risk is higher in those women who have strong family history of breast cancer or abnormal breast cancer gene.

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Answered By

Human

Will having an eating disorder affect my hormones?

Eating disorders can involve a restrictive pattern where there’s dieting and excessive exercise, or a binge eating pattern which involves binge eating and purging. Most women with eating disorders have a low body weight and in extreme cases, the body mass index can be as low as 15kg/m2 or lower. So how does this affect our hormones? Your brain perceives this as starvation, and your body then adapts to divert the limited resources to the most essential organs, protecting your heart/brain etc and “switches off” your menstrual periods.

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Answered By

Human

What should I do if I am unable to gain weight despite a good diet and exercise?

Thank you for your question. You mentioned having a low BMI ever since you were a child. It would be useful taking a look at your height and weight charts to see if you have been on the same centiles or crossing centiles. For example, if you are on the 10th centile and have always been on this centile over the years, it's less concerning than if you were on the 25th centile and now on the 10th centile. Causes of poor weight gain are multiple, and can be explained by an imbalance in calorie intake vs calorie expenditure.

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Answered By

Human

What should I do next if I'm worried that I have symptoms suggestive of diabetes?

Thank you for your question and I can understand your concern. The simplest way to check whether you have diabetes, is to arrange a fasting blood test with your local GP surgery. You will need to fast for 10-12 hours (overnight) and then have the test done prior to consuming any food or drink. There are some risk factors that come to mind, namely, do you have a family history of diabetes, are you carrying more weight that you should be (i. e. elevated BMI), have you been taking any supplements or medications, such as steroids, to help your gym activities?

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Answered By

Dr Dinesh Sirisena

Sport Medicine

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