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Posts for: February, 2019

By North Houston Center for Reproductive Medicine
February 14, 2019
Tags: Pap smear  

Why are Pap Smears Necessary?

If you are age 21 or older, you may be asked to get a pap smear. It’s also called a pap test, and it’s a common procedure used to test for cervical cancer in women. It is a routine procedure performed in the office during which cells are collected from your cervix.

Cervical cancer is a serious condition which often has no symptoms initially, until it’s in the later stages. A pap smear is a vital tool in detecting cervical cancer in the early stages, when treatment outcomes are much better. A pap smear can also find changes in your cervical cells which may indicate cancer developing at some point in the future.

When you reach age 21 or older, your doctor may recommend a pap test, usually performed along with a pelvic examination. In some cases, the pap test is combined with an HPV (human papillomavirus) which is a sexually transmitted condition known to cause cervical cancer.

The pap smear recommendations for healthy women are:

  • The first pap smear at age 21
  • A pap smear every 3 years if you are ages 21 to 65
  • A pap smear every 5 years if combined with an HPV test and you are age 30 or older

Having more frequent pap smears may be indicated if you have risk factors, including:

  • An HIV infection
  • An abnormal pap smear showing precancerous cells
  • A history of smoking
  • A weakened immune system due to organ transplant, chemotherapy, or corticosteroid use

To get ready for a pap smear, there are certain guidelines you should follow. Remember to:

  • Avoid having sexual intercourse, using a douche, or any vaginal medications or spermicidal products including foams, creams, or gels for at least 2 days before your test.
  • Avoid scheduling a pap smear during your menstrual period

A pap smear is a necessary part of protecting women’s health. The test is important because it is the only definitive way to diagnose cervical cancer in the early stages. Early diagnosis is critical to early treatment, which can lead to a better outcome for you.


By North Houston Center for Reproductive Medicine
February 05, 2019
Category: Women's Health
Tags: Keratosis Pilaris  

Keratosis Pilaris can cause bumps on your armsCould those rough, white bumps actually be Keratosis Pilaris?

If you are dealing with rough patches of skin on your body, then you may be dealing with a condition known as keratosis pilaris. While this is a fairly common and non­threatening dermatological issue it can be hard to effectively treat. Luckily, most cases of keratosis pilaris go away by the age of 30. However, find out everything you need to know about this condition and how to manage your symptoms properly.

Are you noticing any of these symptoms?

  • Rough, scaly patches that are sometimes itchy
  • White or red bumps that look like acne
  • Bumps on the arms, legs, cheeks or butt
  • An increase in symptoms during the winter

If you’ve said “yes” to any of these symptoms above, then your bumps may be the result of keratosis pilaris. Luckily, this isn’t a serious condition and often won’t require treatment. However, some people feel embarrassed by how their skin looks. If this is the case, then consult your dermatologist.

Keratosis Pilaris Treatments

There is no one treatment that effectively helps those with keratosis pilaris. However, your dermatologist might recommend a medicated exfoliant, a retinoid cream or gel, or laser treatment. While using these medications may improve the look of your skin, if you stop taking this medication there is a significant chance that the problem will return. The biggest issue with this dermatological condition is that it lasts for many years.

Self­Care Measures for Keratosis Pilaris

While your treatment options might not sound ideal, there are also some easy things you can do at home that can improve the look of your skin.

  • Avoid scrubbing or rubbing your skin, which can further aggravate your condition.
  • Always pat your skin dry and never rub. This will also help to maintain moisture.Apply a moisturizer after getting out of the shower. This can further help to improve the appearance of dry, irritated skin.
  • Look for products with urea or lactic acid. Both of these ingredients can be found in over-the­counter skin care products and they remove excess keratin from the outermost layer of the skin.

Talk to your dermatologist about which prescription medications and lifestyle changes would improve your condition. Even though this condition isn’t serious you can still seek medical advice and treatments to help with your problem.