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Women seeking an acne medicine that can cause severe birth defects may find it a little easier to fill their prescription: The government announced some changes Wednesday designed to ease access to the troublesome drug.
A program called iPledge was designed to ensure that every user of Accutane or its generic competitors—and every doctor who prescribes it and every pharmacy that sells it—follows strict rules to make sure that women don't get pregnant while on the drug. Among those rules are month-by-month prescriptions based on passing pregnancy tests.
But last summer, the Food and Drug Administration heard evidence that iPledge hasn't ended the problem: There were 122 pregnancies in the program's first year and another 37 in the four months since. Another 19 pregnancies occurred in women who managed to get the drug despite never enrolling in iPledge.
Still, in October the FDA agreed to a few changes to the program, and announced Wednesday that iPledge is now implementing these changes:
* Women of childbearing age who don't fill a prescription within seven days of a pregnancy test will be allowed to get another test and then fill the prescription—with the exception of the initial prescription. Until now, those who didn't act within seven days were frozen out of the program for the next 23 days.
* Those women will have to fill the prescription within seven days of a pregnancy test rather than within seven days of first seeing their doctor.
Associated Press, December 5, 2007
A team at Procter & Gamble Beauty sequenced the genome of Malassezia globosa, a fungus that grows on the skin of between 50-90% of the population.
Spa Radiance in San Francisco, CA, is rolling out the red carpet with its new Royal Treatment, which includes a diamond-wand microdermabrasion, sapphire-enhanced IPL and 24-karat pure gold leaf facials, and a décolleté treatment featuring crushed pearl powder. 415-346-6281
By Peter Muzikants, MD, and Lesley Wild, MD
Learn about the background and treatment options for pigmentation spots on the skin.
By Howard Murad, MD, and Jeff Murad
Discover how men are becoming the new wave in skin care.
San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology future professionals support Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
For hundreds of years it’s been understood that water cleanses the skin of dirt and pollutants and that regular cleansing is not only indicative of good hygiene, it leads to better health. Unfortunately, that’s not the whole story. Water, while imperative to every facet of our lives, can actually remove skin’s natural moisturizing factors. Extended exposure to the warmer waters of a bath or shower can be particularly harmful. Cleansing agents in many body washes and bar soaps break down the skin’s natural moisture barrier, allowing moisture loss and leading to the itchy discomfort caused by dry skin.
“Prolonged exposure to water can be drying for skin, so it’s important to protect skin while in the shower,” said Dr. Karl Wei, Principal Scientist with P&G Beauty.
To understand how this happens, it becomes necessary to look into the top layer of epidermis called the stratum corneum. The stratum corneum is made up of 15-20 layers of cells known as corneocytes which are separated by natural oils or lipids. The corneocytes and lipids are responsible for holding moisture in the skin but, unfortunately, are also easily compromised.
When the skin’s necessary, natural oils are washed away, some clients will apply a moisturizer. However, many women lack the time, knowledge or convenience to replenish the lost lipids after they bathe. This can lead to dry skin and can exacerbate skin that is already dryer than average.
Clients at the Just Calm Down Spa in New York can be drop-dead gorgeous for Halloween with the spa’s new seasonal menu options: the Mummy Wrap, a full body treatment; Red Hot Devil, a hot stone massage; and A Pumpkin for Your Thoughts, a manicure and pedicure. 212-337-0032
Taking an extra 60 seconds to examine your feet when you clip your toenails could save your life, says the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
Routine self-examination of feet can help detect deadly melanoma skin cancer at an early stage, when it's easiest to cure. Half of people diagnosed with melanoma of the foot die within five years, because the cancer had already spread through their bodies by the time it was diagnosed, the college said.
In cases where melanoma is detected early, 92 percent of patients are still alive after five years.
Doing routine checks of your feet increases the likelihood that you'll spot suspicious moles, freckles or other irregularities. The college recommends you focus on the three most common areas for foot melanoma: the soles, between the toes, and around or under the toenails.
See a doctor immediately if you notice a mole, freckle or spot that starts to change over the course of a month and becomes asymmetrical or changes its border, color, diameter, or elevation.
Melanoma can develop anywhere on the body, including areas that receive little sun exposure, such as the feet and ankles.
The Spa at Mohonk Mountain House announced a new nature-inspired treatment—Awaken the Senses—that helps to refresh the mind, body and spirit. The New Paltz, NY, spa’s treatment features an aromatherapy bath scented with rosemary and mint. 845-255-1000