The Eczema App

EczemaKidNeed help with eczema?  Now there is an App for that!

A large majority of moms of children who suffer from the skin condition eczema didn’t feel knowledgeable about the condition and were unsatisfied with conversations with doctors (and adult sufferers too)  Now, to help bridge the information gap and improve patient-physician dialogue about the condition, the Dermatology Unit of Bayer Health Care has newly launched The Eczema App, which can be downloaded for free at www.theeczemaapp.com, the App Store and Google Play.

The Eczema App enables patients to record and track their flare-ups over time, store photos of affected areas, and keep notes on their flare-ups and treatment. Patients and parents can then use this information to have more informed discussions with their doctor or their children’s doctor. Additionally, the app provides news from the National Eczema Association and access to comprehensive information about the condition.

EczemaApp

As more of us go mobile (nearly 80% of us now own  a smartphone or tablet), three out of four moms said an app which provided them with quality health care information, especially in the area of children’s skin health, would be a welcome aid.  The Eczema App is a supportive tool that moms can use in coordination with their child’s doctor to help better manage their child’s condition and make informed decisions.”

Resources: Skin Inc Magazine 12/11/12

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Accutane for Chemotherapy

Accutane is well-known as an acne drug. But did you know that it was originally developed for chemotherapy? This helps explain why Accutane side effects can be so devastating!

Chemotherapy drugs can wreak devastation on a person’s immune system as their healthy immune cells are killed. Accutane (isotretinoin) was developed as a chemotherapy drug for pancreatic cancer, brain cancer and other lethal cancers. It has the ability to kill rapidly dividing cells.

It takes time for a person’s body and immune system to fight back after the devastation caused by chemotherapy. That is consistent with the fact that some people develop inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) years after taking Accutane.  Accutane side effects from inflammatory bowel disease can include diarrhea, constipation, pain and bloody stools.

Side effects can go beyond the abdomen and include many other parts of the body and can be severely painful and chronic.  Others develop symptoms much more quickly, and flare-ups can occur without warning and varies from person to person.  Accutane like other chemotherapy drugs also weakens the immune system and could trigger the inappropriate immune system reactions that leads to ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Resources: The Accutane Attorney.com

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A Juice Skin Boost

Concentrates of fruits and vegetables taken as capsules may boost skin health by improving hydration and thickness, suggests a new study.

Skin Hydration improved 9% while skin thickens increased by 6% following just 12 weeks of supplementation with a micronutrient-dense concentrate of a range of fruit and vegetables including cherry, apply, broccoli, cabbage, kale, cranberry, orange, pineapple, spinach, tomato, and bilberry along with other dark colored berries with antioxidant values.

Microcirculation also improved 40% following supplementation with the juice concentrate, which could boost the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the skin and thereby boosting health.  So mom was right, “Eat your fruits and vegetables”!

Resources:  CosmeticsDesign.com USA | Fornulations & Science

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Antioxidant For Skin Aging

A new study finds Pycnogenol® is effective in improving visible signs of skin aging in women, aged 55–68 years.

Pycnogenol is an herbal supplement that was first patented in 1970 Pycnogenol  is derived from the bark of the French maritime pine tree. It is used to fight free radicals within the human body, which improves skin appearance and dexterity, reduces the toxic effects of stress on the body  and combats the numerous effects of aging on the body both internally and  externally. Pycnogenol is also used for antioxidant properties comparable to Vitamin C.

The study, published in a recent issue of Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, found that after 12 weeks of supplementing with Pycnogenol®, women experienced improved skin hydration and elasticity. Results showed that Pycnogenol® significantly elevated collagen by an average of 29 percent and 41 percent for respective collagen type 1 proteins and increased hyaluronic acid production in skin by 44 percent. Skin elasticity also increased by 25 percent. Women taking Pycnogenol® also experienced decreased skin fatigue, reduced skin wrinkles and increased skin smoothness.

This study confirms previous findings that Pycnogenol® effectively improves skin conditions, including promoting glowing skin and reducing the appearance of over-pigmentation and skin inflammation.  Pycnogenol is found at most health food stores and many places online.

Resources: CosmeticsDesign.com USA, eHow.com (Health)

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Sunscreen Myth or Fact #1

No matter what season it is, skin cancer still on the rise!

Fact or Myth-The higher the “Skin Protection Factor” (SPF) rating, the better the protection

Myth – SPF ratings only refer to protection from UVB (burning rays), NOT the more damaging UVA aging rays. Therefore, a higher SPF gives a false sense of security.  For example, a SPF of 50 is only marginally more protective than an SPF of 15; an SPF of 30 has only 2% more protection than an SPF of 15, and a SPF of  40 has only 1% more than a 30. Sunscreens need to be reapplied every 90–120 minutes to insure adequate protection.

Fact or Myth– If you wear a moisturizer with SPF, then you do not need to wear sunscreen

Myth – These moisturizers (and liquid foundations) do not “offer broad spectrum” protection from UVA (aging rays) and only offer minimal protection from UVB (burning rays) so additional sun protection  is recommended.  A good coverage mineral powder is best since its ingredients already provide excellent sun protection due their mineral content.

Fact or Myth  – Layering several products with SPF ratings increases protection

Myth – You are only protected to the extent of the higher rating of one product. A foundation with an SPF of 10, moisturizer with an SPF of 15 and a sunscreen with an SPF of 20 does not yield an SPF rating of 45.

See part 2

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Sunscreen Myth or Fact #2

Continued from part 1

Fact or Myth– Minerals such as zinc and titanium in sun protection products protect differently than chemical types

Fact – These minerals from the earth actually “reflect” rays away from the skin in contrast to chemical ingredients (such as avobenzone, oxbenzone, etc.)  that absorb rays (and will eventually enter the skin).  In the past people stayed away from minerals due to the unattractiveness of the white residue. However, advances in how the minerals are processed have eliminated this.

Fact or Myth — You do not need to use sunscreen if you have dark skin

Myth- Even people with deeply pigmented skin, who rarely burn, should use sunscreen. Research has shown dark-skinned people are not immune to most skin cancers and its related complications, as well as premature aging.

Fact or Myth–You need sunscreen in the winter

Myth – Don’t let shade or outside temperature fool you!  Snow reflects 80% of the sun’s rays.   Although rays cannot penetrate through umbrellas and straw shades, they still bounce off snow, sand, water, concrete, and other reflective surfaces

Fact or Myth – Simply wearing clothes is adequate sun protection

Myth –  Typical cotton T-shirts and summer weight fabrics can allow 50% of harmful UVB rays through to your skin  when dry, and 10-20% more when wet.

Fact or Myth  – Indoor tanning (i.e. tanning beds) is safer than laying outside in the sun

Myth — UVA rays found in indoor tanning lead to deeper, more harmful skin damage. You do not  need a sunburn to create damage to skin cells.

 See Part 1

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New Sunscreen Rules #1

‘Broad Spectrum’ Means UVA Plus UVB Protection

A SUMMARY From Web MD Health News…June 14, 2011

Sunscreen labels will carry a “broad spectum” label to show they offer protection against UVA rays as well as UVB, according to the  –click ** new rule **  from FDA.

Products currently labeled as “broad spectrum” may or may not protect against UVA. The new rule reserving the “broad spectrum” claim only for products that protect against UVA and UVB will not take effect until the summer of 2012.

The old “SPF” designation will still show how well a product protects against UVB rays. But products with the new “broad spectrum” label will have to pass a test showing that they protect against UVA, too.  The higher the SPF level on these broad-spectrum sunscreens — up to SPF 50 — the better they protect against both UVA and UVB.

UVB radiation is responsible for sunburn and plays a major role in causing skin cancer. It affects only the outer layer of the skin. UVA, while less intense than UVB, is 30 to 50 times more prevalent than UVB and penetrates to deeper layers of the skin. UVA is the dominant tanning ray and is closely linked to skin aging. It also damages skin DNA and causes skin cancer.  See part 2

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