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  • 3 Answers to Your Most Embarassing Health Questions

    Photo: Think StockPhoto: Think StockBy Corrie Pikul

    If you've got a mortifying, bizarre, out-there problem, not to worry. We've got the answer. We brought our awkward questions to these top doctors-who not only see patients but also instruct students at some of the country's best medical schools-and also inquired about the concerns they've heard during office hours. These are professionals who deal with conditions that afflict women in their twenties and beyond, like herpes, skin fungus and folliculitis (that's what many of us think of as, um, buttock acne), every day. "We don't even think to be embarrassed about these kinds of things," said Daniela Carusi, MD, the director of general gynecology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston (a teaching affiliate of Harvard medical school).

    RELATED: Dr Oz on Checkups Without Health Insurance

    Q: I recently noticed these large, irregular patches of white on my back-it almost looks like my skin has lost pigment in that area. What's going on?

    A: "This sounds like tinea

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  • 12 New Rules for Getting Your First Job

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Farah Miller

    Here's what you need to know to land an interview and an offer in the 21st century

    When You Apply

    Be ruthless with your résumé.
    Cut anything that's fluff or doesn't pertain to this particular job you're applying for. Include only skills you are proficient in. You do not want to be learning Photoshop via YouTube on your first day.

    RELATED: Take Control of Your Career Session 1

    Avoid cover letter cutesiness. If the employer requests a cover letter, make sure you have one. People will tell you to be unique. People are right-however, this does not mean using the following as opening lines: "Greetings! How are you today?" "Experience. Isn't that what this industry boils down to?" "Writing [or accounting or banking] is not what I want to is who I am." "I'd love to contribute to your company in any way. It'd be amazing for my career!"

    A cover letter is not about cheerfulness, and it's not even about your career. It's about what you can do for your future boss.

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  • Learning to Like Mushrooms, Thanks to Top Chef's Stephanie Izard

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockI hate mushrooms. Whether chewy, spongy blobs taking up real estate in my stir-fry or vaguely slimy bits floating in my bowl of miso soup, I've never seen the appeal. And as someone who rarely eats meat, I've been served more than my share of squishy portobello burgers at weddings (shudder).

    RELATED: Women and Their Food Confessions

    But Stephanie Izard has a funny way with everyday ingredients. The only woman to win Top Chef--and also one of the 15 breakthrough stars we profiled in October's O magazine--Izard is the chef/owner of the Girl & the Goat restaurant in Chicago. Her cookbook, Girl in the Kitchen, hits bookstores this week, and it's a riot of unexpected pairings (shallot custard with apple-endive salad; pear-pistachio-parsnip soup; artichoke and strawberry panzanella) and lesser-known finds (kohlrabi, anyone?). Izard's collection looks so mouth-watering that when my wife settled on a fungus-heavy recipe, I decided to give it a go. Someone who thinks apples are equally at home

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  • Making Holding Hands New Again

    Photo: Think StockPhoto: Think StockI love a good miracle-especially when it's the kind somebody took a picture of to prove it actually happened. A few days ago, scientists at the University of Pittsburgh and Johns Hopkins found a way to help a paralyzed man use a robotic arm to hold his girlfriend's hand-just by thinking "I want to hold your hand." A chip in his brain directed the the high-tech limb to operate the way a real one does, by desire and mental direction. The man, Tim Hemmes, and his girlfriend had met after his motorcycle accident in 2004, Business Week reported. He had never been able touch her before.

    RELATED: The Blood Donor

    The pictures published in the San Francisco Chronicle-are astonishing, not just for the contrast of her human hand in his robotic one-but for the expression on her face.

    While being interviewed Hemmes added, "I always tell people your legs are great ... but...your arms and fingers and hands do everything else. I have to get those back, I absolutely have to." He also said his goal is

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  • How Do Women "Really" Feel About How They Look?

    We asked women in their early 60s and late teens to take a survey about body image. How do they compare? You may be surprised.

    Are You Happy with Your Looks?

    Unlimited options to "fix" every "problem," with knives, needles, or lasers-not to mention Photoshop-have created a standard of beauty (Bambi eyelashes! moonlike white teeth!) practically guaranteed to make you want to shatter your mirror.

    RELATED: 10 Products That'll Fight Shine Fast

    What's a sane woman to do? Keep reading for a rich mix of viewpoints, including a surprising glimpse into what O readers, young and older, really think about the way they look.

    RELATED: How to Dress 10 Pounds Lighter

    Do You Like Your Appearance?
    60s: 64%Teens 69.3%

    Do You Look Good for Your Age?

    60s: 88.3%
    Teens 80.2%

    "Isn't it great that we seem only a little less satisfied as we get older? I wish more than two-thirds of both groups felt that way!"-Valerie Monroe, Beauty Director

    RELATED: How to Find the Most

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  • 4 Ways to Break Out of Your Salad Rut

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy: Lynn Andriani

    When you've spent 35 minutes or longer making dinner, dressing the salad is often something you do on autopilot, a consistent--but, let's face it, tired--combination of an oil, an acid and some fresh ground pepper. If you're feeling a little bored, here are four easy ways to put the joy back into your salad.

    What to Eat When it's Too Hot Out to Eat

    If you like olive oil and vinegar, try...skipping the vinegar completely. Theo Stephan, founder of the California olive oil producer Global Gardens, and author of the new cookbook Olive Oil and Vinegar for Life, says real (meaning it has no more than 0.8% acidity), fresh, extra-virgin olive oil can stand as a dressing on its own, though you can add fresh herbs or minced garlic, too.

    Meet the New Olive Oil (And the Other New Olive Oil)

    If you like ranch dressing, try... making it with yogurt. Whisk a tablespoon of white wine vinegar and a few spoons of plain yogurt with salt and pepper. Then whisk in a

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  • How Sexually Informed Are You?

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Corrie Pikul

    When it comes to sex, do you think you know everything you need to know? We thought we did, until we took this quiz developed by's relationship columnist, Tracy Clark-Flory (a smart, insightful writer who was recently given her own sex advice column).

    RELATED: Your Best Sex Life with Dr. Laura Berman

    We were pleasantly surprised to learn the percentage of married adults who are largely satisfied with their sexual partner, but chagrined to hear about the fastest-growing group of people with HIV in the U.S. (find out the answers to both questions by going to

    RELATED: Sex, Shame and Inhibition

    This test, which incorporates key knowledge that sex experts think most adults are lacking, will probably take you less time to complete than it takes the average couple to have sex (8 minutes -- and that's the only answer we're giving away).

    RELATED: Dr. Berman's Ideas for Spicing Up Your Sex Life

    More from

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  • 3 Ways to Clear Your Mental Lint, Without Losing The Important Stuff

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Leigh Newman

    Check email. Get the new window screens. Pay the $10 co-pay for the emergency room trip last spring. Members' night at the museum (take kids?). Milk, milk, milk. Worry about my son possibly slipping in the tub and hitting his head. Try to remember the time I slipped and fell off the counter trying to open the window while talking on the phone (is that the cause of my back problems?). The movie I want to see with the girl from The Notebook and the guy who was the voice of Lightning McQueen. Geraniums. Talk to husband about water filter and West Virginia. Cats vs. dogs. The little known fact that Madonna can actually play guitar. Eureka: Buy nonslip rubber bath mat for the tub! Nobody took out the paper recycling again. Check email...

    RELATED: Oprah's Secret to Success

    My mental lint. It drifts around in there-all these tiny bits of thought fluff that seem to be part of a crucial chain of logic that, once solved, might result in my being happier, more successful or even

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  • Dear Every Woman I know, Including Me

    Photo: Matthew RolstonPhoto: Matthew RolstonBy Amy Bloom

    A few years ago, I was at a lunch for the launch of a TV show called How to Look Good Naked. (Do I need to say that the host was a slim gay man and the soon-to-be-almost-naked were all women? Can we even imagine a show in which men try to improve their appearance before the big reveal in the boudoir?) The middle-aged woman sitting next to me almost spat out her white wine. "How to look good naked?" she said. "Wear clothes!"

    RELATED: Jennifer Lopez Spices Up O Readers' Wardrobes for Fall

    I wish that helped. But after 58 years of being female, I've come to the conclusion that a healthy, positive body image is hard to find, and neither caftans nor liposuction nor Photoshopping is the answer.

    This seems to be one of those puzzles you can tackle from any angle, a Rubik's cube of bad feelings, unhealthy attitudes, and unforeseen consequences. (It's great that we shifted away from the preceding centuries' proscription against women exercising and getting sweaty. But who knew

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  • 4 Ways to Strengthen Your Bones

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Corrie Pikul

    You may have heard about popular bone-building medications like Fosamax, Boniva and Atelvia, and you may have figured that, because they're prescribed to many women with osteoporosis (your mom, your aunt, some of your coworkers), they'll be your back-up plan should you, too, have problems with your bones. But while these bisphosphonates have been shown to be effective in reducing fractures in women with osteoporosis, they've also been connected to abnormal fractures in the femur as well as a rare disease in the jaw bone. In response to concern of the long-term safety of bisphosphonates, the F.D.A. recently issued a staff report, and asked two panels to review the drugs and make recommendations. The takeaway is that because these oral medications can be stored in the bones, the F.D.A. said that women can safely stop taking them after five years--and in fact, it might not be a bad idea to do so.

    RELATED: Dr. Oz Goes Inside a Tissue Regeneration Lab

    Strong, dense bones

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