As a child, I never would have guessed I'd one day be paid to type the
phrase "jock itch."
Actually, I'm sort of surprised now as an adult to find that jock itch, and
its southerly cousin athlete's foot, still exist. There's something sort of
quaint about these and other minor locker room infections — they seem to
belong in the moldering realm of short shorts and tube socks that marked our
fathers' Saturday mornings at the Y. Surely today's athletes, with their
x-treme cross trainers and x-treme...
Growing numbers of Americans are tackling do-it-yourself home improvement
projects that once might have been left to professionals. One reason for the
shift: Stores like Home Depot, along with TV shows on networks like HGTV or the
DIY Network, make it look so easy.
And while it can be rewarding to re-tile your kitchen or even create your
own home movie theater, novice do-it-yourselfers may also be putting themselves
in harm's way. The CDC recently reported that the number of consumers seeking
emergency treatment at hospitals for nail gun injuries rose 200% from 1991 to
2005. The trend is likely due to the increased availability of nail guns at
home hardware stores, but no sales data are available to confirm that,
according to the CDC.
"I am pretty confident that the number of injuries sustained by
do-it-yourselfers is going up," says Nick Zenarosa, MD, the chief of
emergency medicine at Baylor Medical Center at Garland in Garland, Texas.
And as an ER doctor, Zenarosa has pretty much seen it all: eye injuries from
errant dust and debris, amputated fingers from sawing, facial injuries from
nail guns, and broken bones from falling through a not-so-sturdy ceiling while
"What I would do before I embark on a do-it-yourself renovation project
is to find someone and have them physically show me what to do," he tells
WebMD. "It's tough sometimes to go to a class at a home improvement center
because there is really no personalized attention." Many chain stores such
as Home Depot do offer group classes focusing on specific renovation
While some people go the DIY route because it is more affordable, "it's
a lot more expensive to come to a trauma center because you cut corners and did
not use safety equipment," he says.