CLIMATE CHANGE MAY BE LINKED TO INCREASED DISEASE SPREAD IN THE US

(US Today 12/5/13) Reports propose that certain diseases may be increasing due to climate warming, erratic and extreme weather patterns, as well as human encroachment into previous wilderness areas. The report points to an increase in Central Valley fungus infections, “brain eating amoeba” cases, as well as several illnesses spread by ticks, and mosquitoes. The fresh water amoeba “Naegleria Fowleri” often only exists in warm, stagnant waters of 80 degrees found in the US south. Two recent cases in children were reported in Minnesota. The parasite infects people by being in the water that enters through the nose and then reaches the brain.

ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE JUST MORE THINGS TO SPOIL OUR FUN IN THE SUN AND TO WORRY ABOUT AND PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES AGAINST. REMEMBER THAT PROTECTING YOURSELF AND YOUR CHILDREN AGAINST MOSQUITOES ESPECIALLY AT DAWN AND DUSK, OR IN WOODED AND SHADY AREAS, SHOULD BE AUTOMATIC LIKE WEARING SUNSCREEN. PROTECTIVE CLOTHING AND REPELLANTS ARE READILY AVAILABLE AND WE NEED TO BECOME MORE AUTOMATIC IN USING THEM. IF YOU ARE OUT IN THE WOODS, DO A HEAD TO TOE “TICK INSPECTION” ON YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY WHEN YOU RETURN. KNOW THE SAFEST WAY TO REMOVE TICKS, LOOK IT UP ON THE INTERNET, DON’T RELYING ON WHAT YOUR GRANDMA TOLD YOU, SO NOT TO INCREASE THE CHANCE OF THE TICK SPREADING DISEASE. TICKS LOVE TO HIDE WHERE UNDERGARMENTS COVER AND DON’T FORGET YOUR SCALP. STAY AWAY FROM WARM, SLOW MOVING WATER, AND IF YOU JUMP OFF BOATS OR DOCKS IN WARM WATER HAVE YOUR CHILDREN WEAR NOSE PLUGS.

WHO KNEW THAT FACE WASHING IS NOT AS SIMPLE AS IT SEEMS?

(The Wall Street Journal 10/22/13) Dermatologists warn that many products for face washing that advertise that they remove dirt and oil, can also end up removing the “good” oils in the skin and result in over drying and irritation. SIGNS OF SKIN DAMAGE AND IRRITATION INCLUDE BURNING, STINGING, AND OVER SENSITIVITY OF THE SKIN. ONCE THE SKIN’S PROTECTIVE BARRIER HAS BEEN COMPROMISED,THE SKIN BECOMES MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO ENVIRONMENTAL HARMS SUCH AS POLLUTION AND INFECTION. YOUR DERMATOLOGIST CAN SUGGEST PRODUCTS THAT CAN STILL CLEAN YOUR SKIN WITHOUT HARMING IT. SOME PATIENTS, EVEN IF THEY HAVE OILY SKIN, MAY NEED A MOISTURIZER. YOUR DERMATOLOGIST CAN SUGGEST OIL FREE MOISTURIZERS FOR OILY OR ACNE PRONE SKIN.

DOWN UNDER JOINS THE BAN OF TANNING BEDS

(The Wall street Journal 10/11/13) Australia has gone a step further than the US, by banning tanning beds because of heightening fears about cancer risks. Australia now faces some of the highest skin-cancer rates in the world. Skin cancer makes up more than 80% all new cases of cancers diagnosed every year in that country. The US is considering posting cancer warning signs on tanning devices, similar to what cigarettes now carry. THERE COULD BE MANY FACTORS AT PLAY HERE. REMEMBER, THE CLOSER TO THE EQUATOR, THE HIGHER THE ALTITUDE, THE TIME OF THE DAY, ETC. ALL MAGNIFY THE SUNS DAMAGE EVEN ON A CLOUDY DAY. SO COME PREPARED TO PROTECT YOURSELF OR YOUR CHILDREN.

SEE THE AAD VIDEO HIGHLIGHTING MANICURE AND PEDICURE SAFETY!

(AAD 4/8/13).
 
When the weather warms up, or holiday travel opportunities occur patients need to know how to reduce their risk of infection at the nail salon. Please go to our website “dsadermatology.com” and look for the AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DERMATOLOGY’S video “Manicure and Pedicure Safety” under “DERMATOLOGY A TO Z.” You can also share this video via Facebook or Twitter. If you have questions, you can call the AAD’s Communication Department at 847-330-0230 or email “mediarelations@aad.org.
 
DON’T BE SHY! EVEN IF YOUR SALON LOOKS BEAUTIFUL, MAKE SURE YOU SEE THEM STERILIZING PEDICURE STATIONS AND USING STERILIZED TOOLS. IF YOU DONT SEE IT DONE, ASK THEM. THEY SHOUD BE HAPPY TO TELL YOU HOW THEY DO IT. THERE ARE TEXAS STATE LAW GUIDELINES ON HOW THIS IS TO BE DONE WITH APPROVED LABELLED AND NOT DILUTED DISINFECTANTS. AN OLD SPONGE AND A LITTLE DISH SOAP ARE NOT ENOUGH. YOU CAN ALSO LODGE A FORMAL COMPLAINT AND THEY SHOULD BE INSPECTED AND PERHAPS FINED BY CONTACTING THE TEXAS COSMETOLOGY LICENSING BOARD.

DONT GET THAT TATT YET! IT SEEMS YOUNG MEN HAVE THE MOST REGRETS!

(MedPage Today 3/8/13).

 

In a study presented at the annual AAD convention of over 500 people with a history of receiving tattoos, it seemed that at least one third of them regretted their decision. Interestingly enough, twice as many men regretted it as women did, and the numbers rose to three times as many men regretting their tattoo as women if they received it the age of 16 or younger.

 

ONE HAS TO WONDER WHERE THESE TATTOOS CAME FROM. ONE HAS TO BE 18 YEARS OF AGE IN THE STATE OF TEXAS TO RECEIVE A TATTOO. MANY STATES HAVE LOWER AGES, AND IF THE MINOR HAS A NOTE FROM A PARENT SOME STATES ALLOW 11 YEAR OLDS TO OBTAIN A TATTOO AS LONG AS IT IS NOT DEEMED OBSCENE. YOU WONDER HOW EASY IT WOULD BE TO FORGE THIS KIND OF CONSENT. MAYBE IT IS A THOUGHT TO DISCOURAGE KIDS FROM GETTING TATOOS UNTIL THEY ARE 21 YEARS OF AGE AND PRVENT THE 30+ PERCENT OF THEM REGRETTING IT AND HAVING TO UNDERGO THE EXPENSIVE, PAINFUL AND SCARRING PROCEDURES THAT ARE REQUIRED TO REMOVE THEM. TOO BAD YOUTH DIDN’T COME WITH MORE WISDOM!

AIRPORT SCREENERS HOLD POTENTIAL FOR SKIN CANCER DETECTION – OH MY! TAKE MY PICTURE AGAIN!

(Dermatology Times 9/24/13)

 

Terahertz radiation, commonly referred to as “T-Rays,” is a security technology that is currently being used in airport security systems, but soon it could be part of skin cancer diagnostic systems. Unlike traditional x-rays, T-rays only penetrate a few millimeters, through clothing and other non-metal substances. Similar to ordinary, visible light, T-rays are non-ionizing radiation. However, they can harmlessly be focused below the skin surface, capturing biochemical events, such as developing skin cancers. Melanocytes (skin cells) emit abnormal signals in the early stages of melanoma, even before there are visible signs.

 

AS ANNOYING AS AIRPORT SCREENING CAN BE THIS WOULD BE A WONDERFUL DISCOVERY TO STOP DEADLY MELANOMA BEFORE IT STARTS. YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT INVENTION WILL SOLVE MORE THAN ONE PROBLEM. HOPEFULLY, THE RESEARCHERS WILL KEEP TRYING TO PERFECT THIS DISCOVERY.

COUNTERFEIT DRUGS HARDER TO SPOT THAN EITHER PHYSICIANS OR PATIENTS BELIEVE – IF IT’S TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY ISN’T TRUE!! (FDA 8/1/13)

It seems that both physicians and patients can be easily fooled when it comes to many dermatology products. Because of globalization, and many more parties becoming involved in the manufacture and distribution of drugs, authorities are seeing more and more clever ways to supply sub-therapeutic, less expensive, and even dangerous versions of the drugs to consumers. Examples of this would be FDA unapproved alternative drugs, altered or diluted drugs, expired drugs, or improperly stored or handled drugs that will affect their potency, or worse cause them to become dangerous. Ways of avoiding this is not easy, as the criminals are becoming more sophisticated and smart.

 

One way is to try and see if the supplier of the drug is licensed to distribute the drug by the manufacturer. Watch the integrity of the supply chain – how many people have handled this drug? If it went from the manufacturer to several people before it ended up at the clinic door, this is suspect. Most reputable doctors have the drug shipped to them directly from the manufacturer. You cannot simply look at the drugs packaging and say, “That is or is not counterfeit.” Here are a few tips to help you avoid this problem:

 

  • If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Unauthorized dealers often email/eblast/fax incredible deals. If it looks questionable, you can ask for a pedigree from the distributor, or contact the manufacturer. Most criminals will simply avoid these questions, reputable sources are happy to provide the information.
  • Only buy FDA approved drugs. Drugs that are compounded by someone else’s recipe that tries to mimic the FDA product will not be held to the same sterile manufacturing standards, have their product tested for its safety and efficacy, nor will they be monitored to keep their products stored and handled in the way to keep them safe. Even with drugs that are coming from Canada, which are assumed to have the same standards as the U.S., it difficult to know if you are getting the real deal. Anyone can slap a Canadian Maple Leaf on their label or website and say they are Canadian. In fact, most of them are not. You have to check them out. All wholesale distributors in the U.S. must be licensed in each state to which they distribute. The FDA supplies links to investigate this under “FDA Drug Safety/Drug integrity/ Supply Chain Security…” Verifying licensing doesn’t guarantee a distributor is legitimate, but it goes a long way towards protecting patients.
  •  Inspect and double check. Look at the expiration dates, lot numbers, name of the active ingredient, and the routes of administration. Make sure the information is in English, and the information on the outside of the packaging matches what is written on the actual drug itself as well.
  •  Monitor side effects. If a product is acting differently than usual this should be a warning sign.

SO FOR PATIENTS… BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT ORDERING A “GREAT DEAL ON BOTOX OR FILLERS” ON THE INTERNET AND THEN TRYING TO FIND SOMEONE TO INJECT THEM FOR YOU. WE GET REQUESTS FROM PATIENTS ALL THE TIME TO INJECT SUBSTANCES THAT THEY GOT A DEAL ON FROM THE INTERNET. WE DO NOT DO THIS, AS IF THE PRODUCT IS COUNTERFEIT THE RESULTS CAN BE DEVASTATING. THERE RECENTLY WAS A SCANDAL WITH AN “onlinebotox.com” COMPANY THAT WAS TRYING TO SELL DISCOUNTED PRODUCTS DIRECTLY TO PHYSICIANS THAT DID NOT ORIGINATE WITH THE FDA APPROVED MANUFACTURER. AT DSADERMATOLOGY, WE TRY OUR BEST TO AVOID ANY PRODUCTS THAT DON’T COME DIRECTLY FROM THE ORIGINAL MANUFACTURER. REMEMBER, A DEAL IS A DEAL UNTIL IT ISN’T!

SLEEP, SWEET SLEEP…THE LACK OF IT AGES US SO! UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS STUDY SHOW POOR QUALITY SLEEP LINKED TO POOR SKIN HEALTH AND FASTER AGING.

(Cleveland Plain Dealer 7/23/13)
Everyone knows that all-nighters for work or school can leave you tired and haggard looking the next day. Evidence is mounting that a good night’s sleep is also essential for our overall health. Poor sleep can put you at risk for high blood pressure, weight gain, metabolic diseases such as diabetes, and gastrointestinal disorders. It seems now too, that your skin suffers as well. Research showed that poor sleepers regardless of their sun exposure, smoking, etc. showed more fine lines, loss of elasticity, loss of moisture in the skin, and the skin healed faster in good sleepers. Scientists feel that the poor sleepers’ skin produced and held on to inflammation longer than the good sleepers’ skin, and thus led to accelerated signs of aging.

 

SOME OLD FASHIONED ADVICE THAT STILL HOLDS TRUE- STAY HEALTHY, HAPPY, AND BEAUTIFUL INSIDE AND OUT BY TAKING CARE OF YOUR MIND AND BODY. EAT WELL, EXERCISE AND TAKE TIME IN THIS BUSY WORLD WE LIVE IN TO REST YOUR MIND AND BODY. YES, LACK OF SLEEP HURTS OUR SKIN, BUT IT ALSO HARMS US MORE THAN JUST SKIN DEEP!

RED HAIR PIGMENT MAY BE LINKED TO INCREASED RISK OF MELANOMA. (HealthDay 5/10/13)

Dermatologists say that redheads need to take extra care in checking their skin for signs of cancer, as well as avoiding unprotected sun exposure. If you have red hair, then your body produces a hair pigment known as “pheomelanin.” It is believed that this pigment may increase the risk of developing melanoma, a potentially deadly form of skin cancer, even for individuals who do not spend excessive amounts of time in the sun.
Their research was verified by producing red headed mice that contained the same human red pigment. It seems that this pigment may rob the cells of their crucial levels of antioxidants that can prevent DNA and cell damage. The sun seems to just amplify the negative properties of this red pigment.

THIS IS A LITTLE CLOSE TO HOME, BEING A RED HEAD MYSELF! SO, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN…RED HEADS NEED TO GET BODY CHECKS MORE FREQUENTLY. IF THEY HAVE NO FAMILY HISTORY OF SKIN CANCER THEY SHOULD BE CHECKED TWICE A YEAR, RATHER THAN THE ONCE A YEAR RECOMMENDED TO MOST PEOPLE. IF THERE IS A FAMILY HISTORY OF SKIN CANCER THEY SHOULD BE CHECKED EVERY 3-4 MONTHS. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT AS THE RED PIGMENT CARRIED BY RED HEADS ALLOWS SKIN CANCERS TO OCCUR ON PARTS OF THE BODY THAT MAY NEVER BE TOUCHED BY SUNLIGHT AND NOT EASILY FOUND OR SEEN BY THE PATIENT THEMSELVES.

WHY MANICURES CAN INCREASE HAND CANCER AND HOW YOU CAN PREVENT IT

(Archives of Dermatology/Daily Mail Reporter 4/09). Women getting regular manicures may be increasing their risk for hand cancer. Doctors have seen hand tumors and squamous cell cancers increased in women who use UV lamps to “cure” artificial or gel nails. Exposure in as little as a year or up to 10 years may provoke this problem. Doctors fear that the high dose UVA rays, which are the most dangerous form, may be damaging skin cells. ***THIS IS LIKE SETTING YOUR POLISH WITH A MINI TANNING BED. THIS INCREASES YOUR CHANCES OF HAND SKIN CANCER AS WELL AS PHOTO AGING OF THE HANDS, MEANING MORE AGE SPOTS AND WRINKLY SKIN. THEY SAY, “THE BACK OF A HAND REVEALS A WOMAN’S AGE MORE EASILY THAN HER FACE.” THE ANSWER, IF YOU WANT TO USE THESE PRODUCTS, IS TO APPLY A CHEMICAL FREE-PHYSICAL SUNSCREEN JUST PRIOR TO USING THE UV LIGHT. WHY CHEMICAL FREE?… BECAUSE THE CHEMICAL SUNSCREENS TAKE A GOOD 20 MINUTES OF UV EXPOSURE TO ACTIVATE BEFORE THEY PROVIDE PROTECTION, NOT TO MENTION THAT SOME CHEMICAL SUNSCREENS LOSE 60 PERCENT OF THEIR PROTECTION IN THE FIRST 60 MINUTES. MOST OF US WOULD NOT WANT TO ADD 20 MINUTES TO OUR NAIL TIME. ANOTHER ALTERNATIVE THAT SOME OF OUR PATIENTS USE IS TO WEAR OPAQUE OR LEATHER GLOVES WITH THE FINGERTIPS CUT OFF WHEN UNDER THE UV LAMPS.