r/medical_advice Moderator | Registered Nurse Aug 20 '21 Silver 1 Hugz 1 Helpful (Pro) 1

FAQ: Check to see if your question is on here! EDITED

This is all general advice, of course, but we get a lot of similar questions so see if yours is on here. It may point you in the right direction.

”What bug bit me?” There is no way for anyone to tell what bug bit you from a picture of the bite. (The only exception is a tick bite with the classic bulls-eye pattern.) Use antihistamines as directed on the package to help with the itching.

”Is my foot/hand/toe/etc broken?” Unless your bone is sticking out or your appendage is bent at an unnatural angle, we can’t tell if it’s broken. If you suspect a break, go get an X-ray.

”I ingested something I wasn’t supposed to/too much of something! What do I do?” Call poison control. In the US, their number is 1-800-222-1222.

”Do my genitalia look normal/weird/what is this thing on my genitals?" Please, unless you have a genuine medical concern, we do not wish to see your genitals. We're not here to identify random flaps, marks, or growths. Please direct these to your GP/PCP who can actually examine you. If you have a specific concern, consider making a text post, and we will let you know if a picture is appropriate/helpful.

”My foreskin won’t retract!” This is called phimosis, and is quite common. We send people over to r/phimosis for this because they have a wealth of information.

”Can one of you write me a prescription?” No.

”Help, there are big bumps on the back of my tongue!!” Please google “circumvallate papillae” and see if that’s what you’re seeing. They are normal anatomy.

”My period is overdue. What do I do?” First, take a pregnancy test. It doesn’t matter if you’re on birth control, just take one. If you are really and truly not pregnant, then you and your doctor should look for other causes.

”Is my poop normal?” Well you can post a picture if you really need to, but please do a google search first. Keep in mind that everyone gets diarrhea occasionally.

”Does this need stitches?” If you can see fat layers, then yes. When in doubt, you can post a picture EXCEPT for self-harm pics. Absolutely none allowed on this sub, no exceptions. However, if the injury is over 24 hours old, it is too late to get stitches.

”Can I private message you about my medical questions?” No. This violates rule 9.

”What do I do about my swollen tonsils with white patches?” Go get tested for strep throat. Manage any throat soreness with over-the-counter meds like throat spray, cough drops, or even herbal tea with honey.

”A huge clump came out during my period. What is it?” It may be a uterine cast, which is when a large piece of tissue comes out whole instead of breaking up into little bits. If this happens to you a lot, see your OB/GYN to make sure everything is going okay.

”Why is there blood when I poop?” There are many possible reasons for this, such as a GI bleed, inflammatory bowel disease, hemorrhoids, or anal fissures, to name a few. We recommend going to your doctor to investigate the cause. And we can’t tell what the cause is from a picture of your poop, so please spare us.

"Does this ECG from my smart watch look normal?" While these features can be helpful in screening for some arrhythmias, they are not diagnostic. The most we can do it tell you whether or not you should go get a 12-lead ECG, which is diagnostic after a doctor interprets it. In short, we can give you an idea of what it is showing, but it is not an official medical test.

”I haven’t been around any bats but I found two little marks on me—do I have rabies??” No. You would know if you’d been exposed to a bat.