Skin Conditions: Whether you’re moving across town or across the nation, your dorm may feel like foreign territory. The cooling/heating system may dry out your skin, leaving you with eczema or mild acne. If either of these happens to you, head to your college’s Health Services Center and they can help you out. Also consider how the water may be affecting your body. Water can be very different from state to state. It’s all safe to drink but it might throw your body off kilter while you get used to different chemicals, ph levels, the degree of hardness, etc. If you suspect the water is messing with your skin or digestive system, consider getting a jug of Spring water from the local grocery store and see if that helps.
Fire In Australia: Another environmental change is your toilet paper. It may sound silly but it won’t leave you laughing for long if you find yourself with a nasty rash from the toilet paper. A lot of recycled toilet paper (which colleges love to use because it’s economical and makes them sound oh so green) is allowed to contain treated paper (for example, that heat sensitive paper that cash registers often use) to which you might have a sensitivity. If it’s not your heart that’s on fire – you might need to consider purchasing your own toilet paper. This is actually pretty common. Don’t let it freak you out. Common complaints are severe burning, itching, or feeling like you have a million paper cuts. Everyone tells you that any trouble down there in, umm, Australia is most likely a Sexually Transmitted Disease. If you check it out on the internet you’ll find tons of girls confused because they fear they’ve contracted an STD even though they’ve never had sex (or have been careful). Calm down and remember to think about the toilet paper first. These rashes can be horrible and may last as long as 2-3 months so switch up your toilet paper the minute things seem to be going south...down south. Scrubbing and shaving may actually agitate the condition so don’t go overboard. Try some diaper ointment (seriously) for instant relief from the itchiness, an ice bag for pain and swelling (awkward but such a relief if you have some privacy somewhere), and some Neosporin to kill bacteria. Of course, if you are sexually active you might need to visit the Health Services Center just to rule out any real STD problems.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI): If you've ever gone to the bathroom and felt some burning or finished urinating but felt like you had to sit around and wait for more, you probably have a urinary tract infection. Females are more likely to get these because we have shorter urethras than males. Drinking cranberry juice will often clear this up in a day or two, so give it a try. If it doesn't do the trick, head to the Health Services Center for some medicine.
Yeast Infections and such: Some females never get a yeast infection, ever. Others get them all the time. And a few start getting them in college. Yeast infections seem to be a fact of life if you’re prone to them. Symptoms are typically reported to be severe itchiness and thick white to yellow discharge. (If you have a yellow-to-green discharge that is smelly, you can't treat this on your own; it's most likely gardnerella.) Your local pharmacy is stocked with Monistat (and other antifungal creams) over-the-counter to help you get rid of yeast infections. The Monistat link will take you to a coupon that will save you money! You may get relief by eating yogurt with activate cultures. The Health Services Center can again be your friend if you have gardnerella or recurring yeast infections.
Brazilians and Other Configurations: Cosmo says you’re supposed to shave or wax down there. If you buy into that sort of thing, be aware that ingrown hairs and zits are likely inevitable. Ingrown hairs have sent many a coed screaming to the Health Center fearing she is infected with Herpes when it was just her body complaining about that wax.