Updated: May 1, 2013 3:20PM
DR. WALLACE: I’m 16, and my girlfriend and I have been having sex for about four months. I love her very much. This is my first sexual activity. Before we became sexually active, my complexion was clear, but in the past several months, I have been having pimples on my forehead.
My buddy says that having sex is the cause of my complexion problem because he said the same thing happened to him when he started having sex.
Does this happen to all guys who are sexually active for the first time or just us unlucky ones? How long will it take for my face to clear up?
Nameless, St. Charles, Ill.
NAMELESS: Sexually active teens bring a myriad of problems into their lives, but pimples aren’t one of them. There is absolutely no evidence that sex causes complexion problems, says Dr. Jeffrey Lauber, a Southern California dermatologist. His advice is to see a dermatologist who can help you clear up your complexion.
My advice is to avoid real trouble -- unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, emotional shipwreck -- and stop having sex. “Love” is a word that comes with maturity. Without that maturity, one or both of you are just using the other person.
MY DAD SAYS MY TEACHER IS WRONG
DR. WALLACE: Our physical education teacher is an excellent instructor, but he has the personality of a dead snake. I don’t like anything about her except her teaching methods. You always tell students to talk with teachers after school if a question needs to be answered. There is no way under the sun I would talk to her one-on-one. That’s why I’m writing to you. This teacher told our class that steady exercise would help eliminate colds.
My dad says the teacher is wrong. He is a former athlete and said that exercise is great for good health, but that after exercising, when the body is cooling down, if proper care isn’t taken, the person is extra vulnerable to catching a cold. What’s the true story?
Rhonda, San Jose, Calif.
RHONDA: Your teacher and your father both are correct to some degree. First, one does not “catch” a cold or the flu from being out in cold or wet weather or cooling down after exercise.
A study conducted at Appalachian State University found that participants who exercised regularly had half the number of colds and flu in a year’s time as those who did not exercise.
Exercise stimulates the frontline immune cells -- the ones that attack a cold first. But strenuous to very strenuous exercise tends to weaken the cell defense. The key to fewer colds is moderate exercise. Walking briskly for 40 minutes a day, five days a week, is considered moderate exercise. Colds and flu are caused by viruses that enter the body through the mouth and nose and are spread by hand-to-hand contact, or by sharing such items as towels, utensils and telephones with an infected person.
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