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May
22
2006

Exposure to Cats Raises Eczema Risk in Kids

Exposure to cats shortly after birth raises a child's risk of eczema, new research suggests.

The study, which tracked 486 children until the age of 1, was presented Sunday at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in San Diego.

While 27.6 percent of kids with cats as pets developed eczema in that time, only 17.8 percent of kids without cats developed the dry skin condition.

On the other hand, being around two or more dogs in the home conferred a slightly protective effect, said lead researcher Dr. Esmeralda Morales, a pediatric pulmonary fellow at the University of Arizona, in Tucson.

"Other studies have found that having cats or dogs at home seems to be protective against allergic disease, so we expected to have similar findings," Morales said in a statement.

Morales noted that the children in the study who developed eczema by the age of 1 might still wind up having a reduced risk of asthma or allergies later in life. "The findings do seem to add more questions about pets and asthma and allergies. Since there are a lot of contradictory data out there already, clearly it's a topic that needs further research," she added.

May
03
2006

Rosacea Discomfort Common

A recent survey conducted by the National Rosacea Society and published in Rosacea Review indicates that 93% of participants experienced at least some physical discomfort due to rosacea. The most common symptoms were facial burning, facial itching, stinging, swelling and tenderness.

Apr
17
2006

April is Rosacea Awareness Month

April is Rosacea Awareness Month, and experts want to alert people to the signs of this facial skin disorder affecting an estimated 14 million Americans.

"Rosacea is frustrating and baffling for so many people because its conspicuous signs and symptoms may not only come and go unexpectedly, but they can affect various individuals in ways few might imagine," Dr. Richard Odom, a professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco, said in a prepared statement.

"Unfortunately, without treatment rosacea tends to become progressively worse -- and can have a substantial impact both physically and on people's emotional, social and professional lives," Odom said.

Rosacea usually first appears between the ages of 30 and 60 and often resembles a sunburn or blush on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead. It happens again and again, becoming ruddier and lasting longer each time. If the condition isn't treated, bumps and pimples can develop and grow more extensive over time. Burning, itching and stinging are common. Blood vessels can become visible in the face.

In severe cases, the nose may become enlarged from the development of excess tissue. The eyes are also affected in about 60 percent of people with rosacea. This can lead to vision problems.

"The good news is that, while rosacea cannot be cured, it can be effectively controlled with medical therapy and lifestyle changes," Odom said.

HeathDay News, April 15, 2006

Apr
14
2006

Tanning May Be Addictive

Tanning's effects may be more than skin deep.

A new study finds that frequent users of tanning beds experience "feel-good" effects similar to those of some addictive drugs.

Researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center say the ultraviolet (UV) light in tanning beds appears to trigger production of endorphins, brain chemicals linked to pain relief and euphoric feelings.

"We had previously shown that ultraviolet light has an effect on mood that tanners value," study lead author Dr. Mandeep Kaur said in a prepared statement. "Now, in this small study, we've shown that some tanners actually experience withdrawal symptoms when the 'feel-good' chemicals are blocked."

The study included eight frequent tanners (eight to 15 times a month) and eight infrequent tanners (no more than 12 times a year). The participants were given either a placebo or a drug (naltrexone) that blocks the effects of endorphins and other opioids. They then used both UV and non-UV tanning beds.

At higher doses of naltrextone (15 milligrams), frequent tanners showed a preference for UV tanning and four of the eight frequent tanners reported nausea or jitteriness. None of the infrequent tanners who took the drug reported these symptoms.

"The finding was unexpected and is consistent with the hypothesis that frequent tanning may be driven in part by a mild dependence on opioids, most likely endorphins. The nausea and jitteriness induced by the medication are consistent with symptoms of mild opiate withdrawal," senior researcher Dr. Steven Feldman, a professor of dermatology, said in a prepared statement.

The study appears in the April issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

HealthDay News, April 13, 2006

Apr
10
2006

The Discomfort of Rosacea

A recent survey conducted by the National Rosacea Society and published in Rosacea Review indicates that 93% of participants experienced at least some physical discomfort due to rosacea. The most common symptoms were facial burning, facial itching, stinging, swelling and tenderness.

Mar
28
2006

The Esthetic Benefits of Oxygen Skin Care

By: Craig Wenborg, MD

Learn about this new trend in skin care treatments.

Mar
22
2006

Scientists Identify Gene Linked to Eczema

A gene linked to eczema has been identified by an international team of scientists and the finding may help in the development of new treatments for the common skin condition.

The gene produces a protein called filaggrain, which helps the skin form a protective outer barrier. Reduction or absence of the protein, normally abundant in the outermost layers of skin, results in dry and flaky skin. This study found that about 10% of Europeans carry a mutation that switches off this gene.

"It was a really tough project, but because we had experience in this type of gene, we managed to crack it where others had failed," Professor Irwin McLean of the University of Dundee in Scotland, told BBC News. "We see this as the dawn of a new era in the understanding and treatment of eczema and the type of asthma that goes with eczema as well."

The findings appear in the journal Nature Genetics.

HealthDay News, March 21, 2006

Mar
20
2006

Cosmetic Surgery in the United States on the Rise

Cosmetic surgery continues to rise in the U.S.

Mar
06
2006

Yoga Helps Young People Lose Weight

Teens bent on losing weight may want to bend into the Half Moon Pose -- or any other yoga position, according to a new study.

Researchers at Hampton University in Virginia report that a program combining yoga and breathing exercises helped teens shed unwanted pounds.

The study included 60 overweight high school girls and boys who were divided into two groups. One group received 40 minutes of yoga and pranayama (quiet, deep and forced breathing) four times a week for 12 weeks, while those in the control group did their normal activities.

"Pranyama and yoga are two potential exercise solutions that concentrate on the abdominal region. They have been associated with changes in blood flow to different regions of the brain and changes in metabolic activities of the brain," study author Anand B. Shetty, an associate professor in the department of physical therapy, said in a prepared statement.

After 12 weeks, the average body mass index (BMI) in the yoga/pranayama group went from 22.8 to 21.5 (a 5.7 percent decrease), while the average BMI in the control group increased from 22.3 to 22.4.

"The average body weight reduction for the pranayama group was six pounds, with no restrictions on either group in daily caloric intake," Shetty said.

"The decrease in the pranayama group could be attributed to two factors: the pranayama and yoga exercises themselves, and a possible decrease in daily caloric intake by the participants in the pranayama group because of decreased stomach size."

The findings were presented Friday, March 3, 2006, at the American Heart Association's annual conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention, in Phoenix.

Shetty said the results suggest that yoga and pranayama can help prevent obesity in teens, and should be introduced as part of physical activity programs in schools and other settings.

"I recommend 30 minutes of pranayama and yoga, three to four times a week. This also can easily be incorporated at home during leisure time with other family members," he said.

HealthDay News, March 4, 2006

Mar
03
2006

LIA Hosts ICALEO

More than 550 laser industry professionals and students attended the Laser Institute of America's (LIA) 24th International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics (ICALEO) in Miami. The conference provided networking and educational opportunities, and covered hot topics within the laser industry. 800-345-2737