Awkward and embarrassing questions are hard to ask, which is why I appreciate when people approach me with them. Not only does it give me an opportunity to learn little-known facts about the human body, it shows the extent to which people trust me with their personal lives.
I’ve gotten so many questions in the past I’ve almost wanted to create new medical terms for them. I share your questions because not only does it help the person who asked, but others who may be going through the same troubles.
Jackie’s “Butt Boils”
A recent guest of the show, Jackie asked: “Dr. Oz, I have what can only be described as butt boils. They are on my left butt cheek! It’s so awkward to think anyone would ever see that. They cause me to walk funny and sometimes I can’t even sit down. It’s like sitting on two golf balls. What can I do?!”
Butt boils can come from many sources, including infections, skin disorders and exposure to chemicals. However, your condition in particular comes from a condition called hidradenitis suppurativa. It’s a chronic skin disease that causes painful boil-like lumps under the skin. The lumps often break open, producing abscesses that drain fluid and pus. They more commonly form in the armpit or groin, including the area around the buttocks.
Studies have shown that it may affect 1 in 100 people. Women are three times more likely to develop this condition, and it is more common in African-Americans.
If you think you might have this, you should see a doctor. You may benefit from a course of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications or surgery.
Zach’s “Friend’s” Constipation Troubles
Thanks for your question, @0h_yut, and I’m sorry to hear about the difficulties of your “friend.” Chronic constipation affects 15% of Americans, and hence, it’s no laughing matter. Constipation can be considered a symptom of a more serious issue or an isolated chronic problem. It tends to occur when stool moves too slowly through the digestive tract, causing it to become hard and dry.
In the hospital or nursing home, digital rectal stimulation (DRS) is commonly used to relieve the worst chronic constipation cases. In the hospital, I’ve seen patients who haven’t been able to poop for several days. DRS helps to relieve chronic constipation without the need for medications. It basically involves inserting a gloved, lubricated finger in the the constipated person’s rectum and rotating the finger. It helps to relax the rectal muscles and promote contraction of the colon.
However, if this therapeutic option doesn’t sound very appealing, you can always drink more water or eat more fiber-rich foods. If you desire a laxative, talk with a physician or pharmacist. You can also learn more about natural constipation relief.
Pamela’s “Vaginal Farts”
“I can’t believe I’m admitting to this – It’s a fart…but not just any fart…a fart from my vagina. What causes it and how do I make it stop?”
Pamela was also a guest on our show. This is an especially hard topic to talk about. However, vaginal farts are much more common than you may think. It’s just that people are too afraid to talk about it. It can happen with exercise, with sex, and even with sudden movements, like getting out of a chair. First of all, it’s nothing to worry about. It’s just embarrassing. One concern would be a tear or opening in the vaginal region; however, if that were the case, vaginal farting would be the last of your troubles. You’d know if something more serious is going on.
Next, it’s important to understand that a rectal fart is different from a vaginal fart. With the former, the air that leaves originate from within the GI tract or from swallowed air. However, during the latter, the vaginal walls expand, pulling in lots of air. When it collapses back down, the air gets expelled and creates a fart-like sound. Vaginal farts are usually odorless.
To get rid of them, performing exercises like squats or kegel exercises can strengthen the pelvic muscles and help keep the vaginal walls from expanding.