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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Week of March 18, 2002

    Question:   I am an uncircumcised male and I recently developed an itchy sensation on the head of my penis. It seems as if the skin on the tip is cracking and peeling off. Is this from some type of sexually transmitted disease? There is no white discharge, but it itches and burns.    Dr. McLaughlin's Answer

    Question:   I am 47 years old and I haven't been able to grow a full beard. The hair only grows on my chin, above and below my lips and a patch of hair on each cheek. I would like to be able to have a full beard. Are there any treatments to grow facial hair?    Dr. McLaughlin's Answer

    Question:   I work as a health writer and want to know how to tell if a clinician has made the right judgement. I've had many episodes where the doctors give a diagnosis as "viral" when it isn't. What can consumers ask their clinician as to why they've made their diagnosis? How does a clinician make the choice of whether something is bacterial or viral?    Dr. McLaughlin's Answer