Freaking Out About Your Body? Relax!

Have you had a weird twitch or found a strange spot on your skin and immediately decided you had a terrible disease? Things like this can freak you out but, relax they are harmless.

CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton shared a list of common complaints that may freak you out, but often turn out to be harmless, with "Early Show" co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez.

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It's not just laypeople, doctors freak out too!

"Every doctor when he or she is in medical school, we read about the disease and every single person says, 'I have that,'" Ashton admitted.

The Internet doesn't help either -- it's a place where we can all read about what we think we have and convince ourselves we are sick.

So where do these body freakouts stem from?

Skin Tags:

If we have certain things like skin tags it probably doesn't mean anything, but what is a skin tag exactly?

"They are really just benign skin growths, there are more common as we age, more common in people with diabetes, more common in people who are overweight and look fleshy, sometimes have a little stalk. They can rub against jewelry or clothing," Ashton explained.

While skin tags are often not cancerous, there are things that you should keep an eye out for, Ashton points out.

"I will always tell you, most serious things don't go away on their own, they get worse," she said.

And skin tags, if harmless, should not be getting worse?

"Exactly. The things to look out, for again you what to be observant on your own skin because we always talk about the benefit of being aware of your skin, etc. If something changes color, if it bleeds, if it has an irregular border. If you just feel anxious and concerned about it, very simple, go to a dermatologist, it's very easy to remove," Ashton said.

Eye Floaters:

Some people get a cloudy film over their eyes, which are called eye floaters.

According to Ashton, this is another consequence of aging. We have a gel in our eyeball and as we get older, we have less in there and can get little debris that's actually in our eyeball and they look like little hazy floaters or spots.

"Now, very important when you are talking about vision, there are some visual changes that can actually be serious. Floaters are not," she said. "But, as we get older, 35 and up, it's really a good idea to see an eye doctor regularly to get your eyes examined, if you have a shade come down over your eye or you have visual changes or part of your visual field gets impaired, you're not seeing well, absolutely you want to see a doctor. But these little things that kind of tend to float around, they don't impair your vision they don't get worse, it's just consequence of aging."

"It may be gross -- but not necessarily harmless," Rodriguez said.

Easy Bruising:

A lot of people start to notice as they age, they tend to bruise much easier than they used to, why is that?

"A lot of reasons, our skin gets thinner and our capillaries -- also get weaker. It is more common to see bruising. A lot of people as they get older take a baby Aspirin and can increase the risk of bruising. If you are noticing that the bruising is out of proportion to injuries or you are feeling you are getting more of them on your body or it's accompanied with other types of bleeding like nosebleeds - then you want to see a doctor," she said. "We also have to remember certain over the counter things like Ginko can thin blood and increase the risk of bleeding. Again, usually harmless if you notice it excessively, ask your doctor."

Popping Joints:

How many times do you bend down and notice that everything cracks or in the gym? Should you worry?

"Again, joints crack. People crack their knuckles and there used to be that myth 'don't do that, you will injure joints.' Really not true," Ashton said. "It is not really clear why joints pop and make noise, the thinking there may be air bubbles inside or as ligaments and tendons move over joints, it can cause a sound, it is usually harmless."

Ashton points out that if you sustain an injury and then hear a pop with a joint, then you should been seen by a doctor.

Even with aging, popping joints is not a symptom of arthritis or osteoporosis?

"Not a symptom -- just our bodies make noise," Ashton said.
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