Archive for the ‘Health Care’ Category

Acne and Rosacea, Part 2

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Some people give rosacea cute tags like “The Curse of the Celts” because it is thought to be more predominant in folks with fair skin. Others call it “The Blight of the Baby Boomers” because the average age of onset is mid-40s. By any name, this chronic inflammatory skin disorder is definitely not cute.

About 13 million Americans — mostly women between the ages of 30 and 50 — suffer from rosacea. It develops gradually over time, worsens in stages and doesn’t go away on its own.

Early on, rosacea is characterized by frequent flushing or reddening of the skin, which is caused by inflamed blood vessels and hair follicles.

This flushing sensation feels hot, uncomfortable and tingly — much like a flush from anger or embarrassment.

As rosacea develops, the flushing is accompanied by painful red bumps called “papules” and whitish pus bumps called “pustules,” as well as web-like formations of enlarged blood vessels. Untreated, rosacea can eventually cause raised masses of skin called “nodules,” and in its last stage it can cause the nose to take on a bulbous appearance — like the late comedian and actor W.C. Fields.

“Rosacea is somewhat of a mystery to us because we don’t know exactly what causes it,” says Gurevitch. “To the average person, it can look a lot like acne. But there are real differences. For example rosacea doesn’t produce blackheads and whiteheads. Also, controlled sun exposure can be beneficial for folks with acne but it’s not good for anyone with rosacea because the heat can cause the skin to flush.”

In fact, some say exposure to the sun may be at the root of this skin disorder. “We think this is a sun-related disorder because we almost never see it in patients without sun-damage to their skin,” says Dr. David J. Leffell, a dermatologist, professor of dermatology and plastic surgery, and researcher at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. Hyperion will publish his new book, “Total Skin,” in spring 2011.

“It makes sense that fair skin is more susceptible to this disorder,” says Leffell. “The fairer your skin, the less pigment it has and the more damaging the sun’s rays. We’re probably seeing an increase in the number of rosacea cases because there’s more sun hitting the earth than ever before.”

Another contributing factor may be skin mites, which naturally live in face hair follicles, says Leffell. When the mites clog up the follicles, they can cause inflammation, which can, in turn, trigger a flare up.

Folks at the National Rosacea Society in Barrington, Ill., say environment can play a big role in triggering flare-ups as well. On their Web site, they post an extensive list of factors, such as extreme weather, exercise and lift-and-load jobs, chronic coughing, caffeine withdrawal, hot baths and saunas, alcoholic or hot beverages, and high emotions, like stress, anger and embarrassment.

In addition, they say diet and certain foods also may trigger flare-ups — yet another factor that makes rosacea different from acne. These foods include yogurt, sour cream, cheese (except cottage cheese), soy sauce, liver, yeast extract (bread is OK), broad leaf beans and pods (like lima and navy beans, and peas), eggplant, avocados, spinach, citrus fruits, tomatoes, bananas, red plums, raisins, figs, chocolate, vanilla, vinegar, spicy and hot foods.

Rosacea, while not yet curable, is controllable with oral prescription medications and topical creams. And when it comes to washing this delicate skin, the key, too, is to use gentle products.

“Bland is good,” says Leffell. “Wash with warm water and a gentle, nonsoap product. Avoid using hair and skin care products containing alcohol because it dilates the blood vessels. Only use products that are hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic, which means they don’t cause blackheads.”

Remember, rosacea can often be mistaken for acne. It is very important to have this condition diagnosed and treated by a physician because many forms of acne treatment won’t work for rosacea — and in some cases can actually make it worse.

Acne and Rosacea, Part 1

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Oh, sometimes life can be so unfair. Just when you’ve made peace with the laugh lines and wrinkles of your aging skin — it’s turned on you. Now your face is breaking out! (more…)

Breastfed Babies May Be Less Likely to Become Obese. Part 2

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

When the data on the children’s BMIs were analyzed together with data on breastfeeding, the investigators reported inconsistent results. For breastfed children, there was a 37 percent reduction in being at risk of overweight, an effect that was statistically significant. (more…)

Breastfed Babies May Be Less Likely to Become Obese. Part 1

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Health authorities are concerned because American children and adolescents have been getting fatter over the last few decades. Overweight and obesity in youth is thought to predict the same conditions in adulthood, and adult obesity increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis, among other conditions. (more…)

Obesity and Lack of Exercise Linked to Cancer Risk

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Obesity and being overweight have long been linked to a variety of diseases, but they, along with lack of exercise, have now also been connected to cancer. In fact, up to one-third of breast, colon and kidney tumors can be attributed to being overweight and a lack of sufficient physical activity, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer.


Statins Prevent Stroke in Heart Patients

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

We know that high cholesterol raises your risk for coronary artery disease, but what about for stroke? Most studies that have looked for a compelling link between cholesterol and stroke haven’t found one. Strangely, however, some research has found that taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins may cut the risk of stroke. A large new study in the January 19 Circulation supports these findings, suggesting that statins may help heart patients avoid stroke, even if they have average cholesterol levels. (more…)

Measuring Emotional Eating

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Arnow and colleagues at Stanford University School of Medicine developed a scale to use as a tool to study emotional eating behavior and to learn from people who struggle with overeating. The scale measures the relationship between emotions and urges to eat, but not emotions and actual eating behavior. Take a moment now to complete the adapted version of this scale, called the Desire to Eat Scale, provided here.

The Desire to Eat Scale does not have a numerical score, yet it can be an effective tool for evaluating your emotional eating behavior. The first step is to complete the scale now. After you have completed the scale, try to maintain a regular pattern of eating three balanced meals and two to three snacks each day for the next week. The next step is to once again complete the Desire to Eat Scale and compare your responses. Notice whether your urges to eat have decreased in response to these emotions. The final step is to try to maintain this regular eating pattern for a month and, once again, complete the Desire to Eat Scale. Compare your responses with your earlier answers. If your urges to eat have decreased, this is evidence that reducing chronic dieting and hunger helps you to manage your emotional eating.


Personal Fitness: Three Easy Steps to Getting Started

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Fitness is something that many of us would like to achieve. This article discusses some simple steps that will help you become more fit and healthy.

Fitness is a goal that many of us seek, yet find difficult to achieve. Why?

For each of us, the answer will be different. In fact, before starting a fitness program, it is important to ask yourself: “What makes regular exercise hard for me to pursue?” Your answers could include a busy lifestyle, fear of soreness, or simply “I don’t like it” if you are honest. (more…)

Endocrinologists Hear Report of High Incidence of Brain Tumors

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

The pituitary gland, a small structure which sits on the sphenoid bone at the base of the skull and weighs around 1/2 gram, has long been called the “master gland” because of its role in regulating hormones and important physiological functioning in the rest of the body. (more…)

Eliminate Toxins with Detox Pads

Monday, July 27th, 2009

The rapid proliferation of wellness programs and alternative medicines has led to the introduction of some very interesting products into the modern health care market. The amount of environmental toxins our bodies are exposed to today requires that we be more aware of our health, making any number of health products a hot commodity. Toxins gather in our bodies over a long period of time, and can cause a number of health problems.

Detox Patches, also know as Sap Sheets, are a unique product that can help flush toxins out of the body. Detox patches are derived from natural vinegars that come from plant material. (more…)