When you get a pimple, you probably think nothing more than "Great. Now I've gotta go buy some Clearasil and hope this thing goes away before my date on Friday." Did you know that pimple could actually signal a life-threatening health problem? Here are a few small symptoms you should never ignore:
- The pimple. Yes, it could be an actual pimple, but it could also be basal-cell carcinoma - a slow-growing form of SKIN CANCER. So how can you tell the difference between a pimple and something more serious? If the pimple's actually basal-cell carcinoma, it usually has a pearly appearance when light shines on it, and you can see tiny blood vessels around the base of the pimple. That's according to Dr. Edward McClay - director of the San Diego Melanoma Research Center. So if you have a pimple that looks suspicious - or won't go away - see your dermatologist. Basal-cell carcinoma is 95% treatable when caught early.
- Next, don't ignore: Nosebleeds. If you get them, that may be a tip off that you have high blood pressure and need to get it checked! According to cardio-thoracic surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz, high blood pressure can cause nose bleeds because the small vessels in the nose have tiny cracks, and the high pressure pushes blood out of them. In fact, in one study, almost 20% of people treated for high blood pressure emergencies at the hospital had nosebleeds. So if you're getting out-of-the-blue nosebleeds, see your doctor.
- One more small symptom you should never ignore: Leg pain. Yes, it could be a cramp, but it could also signal a HEART PROBLEM. The first sign of a clogged circulatory system is often leg pain - not chest pain - because the legs' longer blood vessels become blocked by plaque earlier. If the blood vessels are blocked, less oxygen gets to the muscles in your legs - which is why you feel pain. So if you have unexplained pain in your calves, thighs, or feet - and it gets worse when you exercise - it's time to make a doctor's appointment.