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Apr 17, 2008

Conquer Embarrassing Conditions

Bad breath, excessive sweating, and toenail fungus are all problems we'd rather not admit to having—or have at all. But fortunately, even the most awkward conditions are manageable. Some can be treated at home, while others require the expertise of a doctor. Either way, you can stop hiding your embarrassing problems. At one time or another, an embarrassing malady is bound to fall on everyone. Although some are more debilitating than others, all are at least conquerable, if not curable, with a combination of diligence, patience, and a doctor's supervision.

Condition: Halitosis
The Lowdown: Whether the cause is your diet, food caught between your teeth, or a medical condition such as a gastrointestinal disorder, bad breath can be awkward for all parties involved. Chronic halitosis, which can be caused by diabetes, kidney disease, or other medical conditions, affects up to one in four adults.
The Fix: After eating or drinking something with an exceptionally strong odor, such as coffee, onions, or garlic, follow up with lots of water. Good oral hygiene—brushing twice a day, flossing, using mouthwash, visiting your dentist twice a year—is also extremely important. If that's not enough, your dentist may prescribe an antimicrobial mouth rinse, or you may have to check in with your doctor to determine if an underlying medical condition is contributing to your problem.

Condition: Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating)
The Lowdown: The body's natural air-conditioning system, sweat glands release fluid in response to excessive heat, strenuous exercise, and anxiety- or fear-inducing situations. However, people who suffer from hyperhidrosis, because of heredity or disease, sweat even when their bodies are cool and inactive.
The Fix: Antiperspirants containing more than 10 percent ammonium chloride hexahydrate constitute the first line of defense. Treatments using Botox and a procedure called ionphoresis, in which the hands and feet are placed in water while a gentle current of electricity is applied, have shown some success as well.