Do you have questions about your health but don’t have enough time to ask even your permanent couch roommate, a connoisseur of mysterious insect bites, about the effects of an itchy, unknown rash? Or perhaps you are too embarrassed to Google it because every time you type in “rash,” the word “scabies” turns up. Well, worry no longer. Student Health Services is here to answer all of those penetrating doubts bubbling underneath the surface of the self-assured college student exterior.

The Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) seeks to increase student participation within Student Health Services. SHAC plays a central role in collecting and interpreting student feedback and converting it into meaningful change with regards to the form and function of Student Health. SHAC also promotes the quality and delivery of health care that is practiced on the UCSB campus.

Student Health provides peer health education, counseling services and classes in numerous areas including alcohol, tobacco, drugs, stress, nutrition, sexual health and eating disorders along with community health for athletes, Greeks and Residential Life health advocate chairs. That is only the beginning. We want to start informing you about health issues that you want to know about while hooking you up with fabulous – and often free – resources at Student Health. Tip number one: A great way to find out more is by visiting the SHS website at:

It’s really up to you. We want to answer whatever you want to know. Licensed practitioners who work at Student Health answer all of your dying-to-know questions. And hey, who doesn’t like reading about gnarly STDs and where to get the cheapest Maalox when thoughts of your midterm start your stomach gurgling?

Here’s one for you to read before you take the notorious strut down Del Playa this weekend:

I have heard that those colored and designed contact lenses people wear during Halloween can cause blindness.Is this true? And if so, does this mean I will never be able to wear them?

That doesn’t happen to most people, but it is a possibility. Before you go to all lengths to transform into a sexy Siamese or mimic Linda Blair from The Exorcist,” be sure that an eye care professional has properly fit any contacts you put on.

These “flea market” or “black market” lenses can lead to problems much scarier than your next vampire costume. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the Eye M.D. Association, has reports of several patients – mostly teenagers – who experienced eye problems after wearing costume contact lenses purchased without prescription from retail establishments not legally allowed to dispense contact lenses. The establishments selling these black market contact lenses included gas stations, beauty parlors and beachwear stores.

The most common complications from contacts not properly fitted or inappropriately taken care of are corneal ulcers which, in serious cases, can potentially result in permanent vision loss. Better to be safe than sorry and have an eye care professional properly fit them to your eye.

Check out AAO’s website at for more information.

Since Mom isn’t here to goad you with annual Halloween reminders, SHAC would like to put out a few words of advice. Never drink from a cup that you or a friend did not keep your eye on, use that age-old buddy system adopted from those infamous elementary days if you decide to “trick-or-treat” and lastly, check all of your candy before you start stuffing your cheeks for winter. Have an awesome Halloween but stay safe too.

E-mail your health queries to the Student Health Advisory Committee at SHAC liaison Monique Sherman is a senior political science and law and society major.