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19 - 25 May , 2012

expertadviceHeart TO Heart
For relationship advice and more, talk to your super-smart Sis.

Q: My boyfriend dumped me three weeks ago. We worked in the same company, and he was the one who pursued me. However, he was fired and had gone back to Islamabad. There, his mother refused to accept our 7-month-old relationship and he broke up with me. But when I called him back, he apologised and we got back together. I had been helping him get a job, when he left me again, saying he didn't have feelings for me. I am devastated and now I've come to know that he's got a job in Islamabad, but he didn't inform me. I'm unable to move on, as I cannot find a single fault in him. Please tell me what to do. Fatima Shahid, Karachi
No faults in him? He made hay while the sun was shining and the moment circumstances changed, he gave you up with amazing readiness. He's either not able to stand up to his mother or is just using her supposed stance as a shield. User, liar, mummy's boy, cold-hearted devil! You can't move on? I'd run as fast as I could. It's okay to make a mistake, but not good to hold on to it or repeat it.

EXPERT ADVICEQ: My mother died a few months ago, and now it seems as if anything I do is not enough for my dad. I don't get in any trouble at all, I'm on the honour roll, I don't go out, I obey him, I don't talk back and even cook for him. I do all this and it's still not enough. He never smiles and he never appreciates anything I do for him. I love him so much and I want him to love me back, but it seems as if I'm not good enough. Please tell me what I should do. By the way, talking doesn't help much. I tried and he never changes. Please suggest another solution because it really hurts me. Sameen
Your dad's lack of response to you and your good deeds most likely has little or nothing to do with you, it's because of depression. Your father is sad and clinically depressed that may not be in his control or range of understanding. This doesn't mean that you need to stop trying to communicate your feelings, or that you need to cease providing him the things that you described. Do you have others close to you in your life who support and appreciate you as a daughter, sister, cousin, or friend? You obviously deserve this recognition, and if your father cannot, or won't, give it to you now, it is useful – and essential – to get it from somewhere else.

Q: After I gave birth to baby girl seven months ago, I have had intimacy issues, as my husband seems ignorant about it. Please help me, I am confused. Depressed Wife!
It has nothing to do with love and everything to do with monotony and exhaustion. Post-partum depression is normal after delivery and so is being fatigued. You need to have a talk with your husband about your needs and also the need for a domestic help. Make a little time every day to pamper yourself, with a pedicure or massage. It will set the stage for happiness and rekindle romance.

Dr Shah Hussain

Q: I have painful, cracked heels. How can I get rid of them? Please help. Huma Alim, Karachi
Cracks may be hereditary or may occur if you are in contact with water and soap for long hours. They occur more commonly in winter. While bathing, wash your feet with lukewarm water and mild soap. Use a foot scraper to scrape off the dead skin. Pat your feet with a clean towel and then apply a moisturising cream on the moist skin surface. If possible, wear cotton socks all the time. You may have to use a urea, squalene and salicylic acid based cream at night. This will provide moisture, remove dead skin and EXPERT ADVICEhelp in healing the cracks.

Q: I have seen advertisements for serum capsules and would like to know what they are and how they're supposed to be used. What are their benefits? Do I need to check with my doctor before using them? Nida, Lahore
Serum capsules contain either vitamin C or E oil or any other antioxidant. Most antioxidants, including vitamin C, get oxidised when exposed to air. In spite of keeping lotions or creams in airtight containers, every time the lid is opened, the ingredients get exposed to oxygen. This reduces the purity and potency of the product. Hence, serum capsules are better than creams and lotions. They are soothing, effective and for one time use only, thus preventing oxidation of the product. All you have to do is twist open the capsule, apply the entire content on your face and neck and massage gently. Serum capsules are known to hydrate the skin, reduce fine lines, improve the skin tone and make the skin soft, supple and bright. You may not need to consult a doctor as long as you're using a trusted brand. However, if you have sensitive or problematic skin or have allergies, it's better to check with your dermatologist first.

Q: I am 22 years old and have dark circles that are hereditary. I have tried using a lot of creams and lotions but nothing has helped me. I am blessed with an otherwise problem-free complexion with no pimples or scars. Please help me. Zara, Karachi
Try to get at least six to seven hours of sleep. Don't make a habit of rubbing the skin under the eyes. If you are working on a computer, make sure you wear UV-protective glasses. Take iron and vitamin C supplements or eat citrus fruits daily for at least three months. Have less salt in your diet. Apply a good moisturiser or under-eye cream during the day. You may apply a cream containing kojic acid, arbutus and vitamin K before going to bed. For persistent dark circles, you may have to undergo a series of argentine and lactic acid peels. In case of sunken eyes that give an apparent dark appearance, hyaluronic acid fillers work best. They are safe but should only be done by a trained dermatologist.

General Physician
Dr Sadqa Gul

EXPERT ADVICEQ: I am just 2 weeks away from giving birth to my third child and have had severe breathing problems in the past couple of months for which my doctor prescribed an inhaler. Just over a week ago I developed bronchitis for which I was prescribed an antibiotic. The infection is now clearing up and my breathing is easier in the last couple of days but what worries me is that the phlegm now contains a thick blood-like substance and this is also coming from my nose when I need to blow it. Can you give me any insight as to what this might be or why it is happening? Rubab Ali, Karachi
I think you need to return to your doctor and bring these new symptoms to his attention. On the balance of probability it is likely that the bloody material you are coughing up and also blowing from your nose is blood streaked mucous. It is also likely that the material you are coughing up has originated in your nose and sinuses and has simply dripped down the back of your nose in a simple process we refer to as post-nasal drip. This can create the impression that you are coughing the material up off your lungs when in fact you are simply clearing your throat of material that originated in the nasal passages. Despite the explanation I have just given I still think that the appropriate next step is to revisit your doctor for another medical examination.

If you want to discuss problems related to skin, hair and nails or if you have any health related queries that need to be answered, or if an onerous emotional problem is weighing you down, share it with us at askexpert@magtheweekly.com. Kindly mention your age and the column you have the question for in the subject line.

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