Archive for the ‘Healthcare’ Category

You especially want to see a pediatric dermatologist if:

Friday, September 2nd, 2016
  • Your child was born with a skin abnormality like a birthmark or wart. A specialist can make sure it doesn’t get infected, cancerous or harmful.
  • Your pediatrician doesn’t know what to do about a lump, rash or acne outbreak. Yes, she may have diagnosed the issue and prescribed medication. But if the problem recurs or the treatment isn’t working, a pediatric dermatologist can ensure that the condition gets treated correctly.
  • Your child has a recurring or serious skin problem. It’s serious if it changes rapidly in size, color, shape or texture. It’s also serious if it keeps returning, is itchy or could come from an allergic reaction.

8 Wrinkle Causes—Other Than Aging

Thursday, September 1st, 2016


1. Smoking
You’re likely aware of the long list of reasons to quit smoking. Here’s another: Lighting up is one of the most common causes of wrinkles. Smoking can accelerate your skin’s normal aging process, contributing to wrinkles. It may restrict blood flow to your skin. And that makes it difficult for skin cells to reach the oxygen and nutrients necessary to regenerate and stay healthy. Also, smoke’s chemicals break down your skin’s elastin and collagen. And of course, pursing your lips to puff creates fine lines around your mouth.

2. Skipping sunscreen
You know that sunscreen is important. But an occasional tan won’t hurt right? Unfortunately, most signs of aging come from unprotected skin exposure—even just a few minutes worth. How? Exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays breaks down your skin’s elastin and collagen. Without these supportive tissues, skin loses its flexibility and strength. Then it starts to sag and wrinkle. That’s why you should wear sunscreen daily, regardless of the weather. Otherwise, you’re accelerating the aging process. (Just be aware that many sunscreens aren’t the SPF they claim to be.) And don’t be tempted to skip sunscreen even if you’re inside your car. Remember that the sun still hits your face while you’re driving and that some car windows don’t block out UV light.

3. Picking pimples
You may have the urge to pop your zits. But you’re creating scars, irritation and, yes, wrinkles, when you pull and pick at your skin. Your best bet is to use over-the-counter or prescription products to help get rid of acne or let pimples heal on their own.

4. Eating a poor diet
As they say, “You are what you eat.” Cliché, yes. True, indeed. Since the skin is our largest organ, it’s no surprise that it’s the first part of your body to show nutrient deficiencies, including wrinkles. That’s why it’s important to consume a healthy, well-balanced diet. Eating a plentiful amount of fresh vegetables and fruits may help prevent damage that leads to premature skin aging. And findings from research studies suggest that a diet high in sugar or other refined carbohydrates promotes aging.

5. Squinting to see the computer screen or television
Each time you squint, a groove forms underneath the skin. As skin gets older, it loses its flexibility and can’t return to how it was, causing wrinkles. So if you sit too close to or too far away from the computer or the TV, constantly straining and squinting to see the screen, you’re causing fine wrinkles around your eyes. Consider making an appointment with your optometrist to make sure your eyes are in optimal shape and that your prescription, if you have one, is up to date.

6. Chewing gum
Chomping on gum forces your mouth to continuously form different shapes. And if you chew frequently, these formations can lead to a downward turn in the corners of your mouth, a pronounced muscle at the bottom of the jaw line or a wrinkle on your lower mouth.

7. Eager for fresh breath? Opt for mints or mouthwash.
Sleeping on your stomach or side?If you sleep on your face, your comfy and beloved pillow can give you wrinkles. How? Consistently pushing your face into your pillow creates creases that can eventually lead to permanent wrinkles. Sleep on your back if you can, placing a pillow beneath your knees to help prevent you from flipping over. Can’t give up stomach or side sleeping? Try a satin pillowcase; it slides across your face and is less abrasive than one that’s cotton.

8. Not removing makeup
When you sleep in your makeup, those cosmetics plus the pollutants you acquired throughout the day seep into your skin, breaking down elastin and collagen. And that can lead to fine lines and wrinkles.

The Facts on Adult Acne

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

What is adult acne?
Many women think of acne as something they bid farewell to with adolescence. But actually, a significant number of women over the age of 25 years experience adult acne. Because you have acne as an adult, it can be frustrating and embarrassing, but rest assured that adult acne is quite common. Adult acne can be divided into two general types: persistent and late-onset acne. Persistent acne is acne that continues from adolescence into adulthood. Patients tend to have lesions most days and may experience flare-ups before their menstrual cycles. Late-onset acne appears for the first time in adulthood and falls into two categories. Chin acne is concentrated in the mouth area and tends to flare premenstrually. Sporadic acne tends to appear and die down suddenly, with no apparent reason.

What causes adult acne?

The causes of adult acne are not entirely clear. It may be linked to the behavior of certain sex hormones, particularly those called androgens, which control excretion from the oil-producing sebaceous glands. Other possible triggers include smoking, cosmetic use, stress or taking certain medications such as those used to treat epilepsy or depression. Some women may also have a genetic predisposition to the condition.

What are the effects of adult acne?

The physical appearance of adult acne can vary widely. Sometimes acne is confined to comedones—commonly known as whiteheads and blackheads—that exist on the surface of the skin. But it can also include deeper lesions called nodules and cysts that lie further underneath the skin. Such deeper lesions tend to be more painful and are sometimes filled with pus.

Women feel awkward having acne as adults. Because the flare-ups characteristic of adult acne are often unpredictable, women may feel like they are unable to control the condition. Click here to learn more about the effects of adult acne on women.

Adult acne is not something you should attempt to solve yourself, particularly by trying to pop, squeeze or pick at lesions, which may lead to scarring. However, there are things you can do on your own. In addition to carefully following your dermatologist’s prescribed treatment plan, try to keep your skin as healthy as possible. Wash your face gently with a mild soap or cleanser, keep hairsprays and gels away from your face, opt for makeup that is labeled “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic” and eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

Foods Rich in Antioxidants for Healthy Aging

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016


Red peppers, oranges, pine nuts, roasted sunflower seeds, safflower oil: Vegetables and fruits that are high in vitamin C help prevent skin appearance changes related to aging. Nuts and oils with high amounts of linoleic acid provide similar defense. Regardless of age, sun exposure or other factors, women who eat more foods that are rich in vitamin C and linoleic acid have fewer wrinkles, less skin dryness and less atrophy—the gradual thinning of skin layers.

Cocoa: It’s not just for kids anymore! You may have switched to green tea for its antioxidant benefits, but cocoa is actually higher in the powerful phenolic phytochemicals that fight oxidative damage. Indeed, cocoa leads the list for antioxidant capacity—ahead of red wine, green tea and black tea. Make it with nonfat milk and you’ll help strengthen your bones as well.

Spinach, kale, collards: Here’s another reason to eat more vegetables: high vegetable consumption produces a slower rate of cognitive decline with age. People aged 65 or older and found that those who ate about three to four daily servings of vegetables—particularly leafy greens—had much less decline in memory, recall and other mental functions than did those who ate less than one serving of veggies per day.

Walnuts: These popular nuts enabled aged rats to improve motor performance (such as walking on a plank) and thinking skills. Because of these results, researchers believe walnuts look very promising for strengthening cognition.

Fish: It’s been called “brain food” for decades, but now there’s evidence that fish helps keep your mental abilities strong while you age. Compared with people who ate less than one fish meal per week, those who ate fish once weekly or more often showed a slower rate of age-related cognitive decline.

8 Expert Skin Care tips for People in Their 30′s

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

To stay gorgeous through your 30s and after, follow these 8 simple steps:

1. Cleansing – Cleanse your skin each morning and make sure to remove all makeup and cleanse again before bedtime. This allows the skin to perform its essential protective and renewal functions well. Always use products suggested by your dermatologist as there are many products available in the market and picking the right can be confusing.

2. Exfoliate – Exfoliate at night rather than in the day. Overnight skin is in renewal mode and removing dead skin skin prior to bedtime enhances the skin’s function. Exfoliate gently, just to remove dead skin and if your skin is oily or you’ve got acne then exfoliating twice a week should be sufficient.

3. Protect – Protect your skin during the day by combining an antioxidant serum or vitamin C serum with sun screen as they enhance each other. Be sure to apply the sunscreen first.

4. Stay hydrated – Make sure that the skin is not dehydrated. Don’t spend more than 5 minutes in the shower and use lukewarm water. Use a moisturizing body wash as acts as a protective moisture barrier for the skin.

Here’s a golden nugget of advice for working professionals: Add 4-5 drops of essential body oils or if nothing then almond oil/vitamin e oil/sesame oil in 2 mugs of water and splash it on the body to form a moisturizing coat.

5. Sunscreen – Wear a sunscreen with broad spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection every single day of the year, including raining days and on overcast winter days. UVA rays are “slow agers” which remain constant throughout the year.

6. Moisturize – Rub in rich intense moisturizing body lotion or apricot oil daily after bathing on slightly damp body for a healthy, hydrated skin.

7. Drink water – Drink plenty of water to also stay hydrated internally. Add lemon or lime juice for an extra boost. Eat a healthy and high-fiber diet and workout for atleast 15-20 daily.

8. Stay stress free – Of course that’s easier said than done but indulging in a hobby of ones choice works wonders for the skin.

6 Effective Home Remedies for White Hair

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

1. Amla Powder

Heat 1 cup amla powder in an iron vessel until it turns into ash. Add 500ml coconut oil and simmer on a slow flame for 20minutes. Let it cool and stand for 24 hours, and then strain the next day into an airtight bottle. Use this twice a week as a hair oil massage.

2. Curry Leaves

Take a bunch of curry leaves  and grind them with 2 tsp amla powder and 2 tsp brahmi powder. Apply this as a hair mask on the hair, making sure to cover the roots. Leave on for an hour and rinse with a mild herbal shampoo.

3. Indigo and Henna

Indigo, or neel, as it is more commonly known, is a natural colourant used since ancient time to colour hair. It creates a bluish black colour and can be mixed with henna to cover grey areas, making the hair acquire a darker colour.

4. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil & Lemon Juice mixed together can help darken the hair. The combination of these two causes a chemical reaction which darkens the hair naturally over a period of time.
5. Black Tea

Black tea is another effective ingredient which can help prevent grey hair. I have used it as an after shampoo rinse, created a shampoo out of it and used it as a mask as well. Take tea brew, approximately 200ml, and use it as a leave in conditioner on your hair after shampooing. You can also soak black tea leaves for 2 hours in warm water and grind it to a smooth paste. Mix with some lemon juice and apply it as a hair mask for 40minutes before rinsing the hair.
6. The Herbal Mix

This herbal brew is excellent to slow down the greying process and you can easily make it at home. Take 1 tsp amla powder, 2 tsp black tea, 1 tsp strong coffee, 1/2 an inch piece of kaththa, 1 piece of walnut bark, 1 tsp indigo, 1 tsp brahmi powder, and 1 tsp triphala.

Add all the ingredients to 2 litres of water and simmer on a slow flame for 30minutes. Let it cool, then strain into an air tight bottle. Apply on the roots for 30minutes before shampooing and you will see a marked difference in the colour of your hair

Obese Women Have Uncontrollable Urge To Eat

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

Women with severe obesity often report an underlying drive to eat continually because their brain’s reward centres continue to respond to food cues even after they have eaten and are no longer hungry, a study says.

The findings showed that obese study participants maintained activation in the midbrain, one of the body’s most potent reward centres.

The activity in the prefrontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex significantly changed in the lean group, after eating, but not in the obese group.

However, this brain activity dropped among lean participants while continuing in their obese counterparts.

“Before or after the meal, they’re just as excited about eating. It seems they have an instinctive drive to keep eating,” said Nancy Puzziferri, Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Southwestern, in the US.

Further, while the appeal of pictured food dropped by 15 per cent for lean women after they ate, the severely obese women showed only a 4 per cent decline.

“Lean women when full will either stop eating or just sample a food they crave. It’s just not a level playing field — it’s harder for some people to maintain a healthy weight than others,” Puzziferri explained.

For the study, published recently in the journal Obesity, the team compared attitudes and the brain activity of 15 severely obese women (those with a body mass index greater than 35) and 15 lean women (those with a BMI under 25).

Their brain activity was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

After fasting for nine hours, they were asked to rate their level of hunger or fullness, and then given a brain scan as they viewed pictures of food.

Again, after eating, the participants went through another battery of hunger/fullness ratings and fMRI scans while being exposed to pictures of food.

The obese women showed sustained “hungry” brain activation, even though they reported the same increase in satiation as their lean counterparts, the researchers concluded.

Like Mother, Like Child: Mother’s DNA May Affect Ageing

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

A tiny repository of DNA inherited only from one’s mother may be key for healthy ageing, according to researchers who swapped out mouse genes to prove the point.

For a study published, the team created two sets of lab mice identical but for their mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)- and found that one group was much healthier and more sprightly in old age.

“The way we age might be determined long before the ageing process starts and the first signs appear,” said a statement from the Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) in Madrid, whose scientists took part in the study.

Previous research had suggested that mtDNA variants could yield different health impacts, “but the issue remained very controversial due to contradictory observations,” study leader Jose Antonio Enriquez said.

The new findings, however, “definitively demonstrate” that this is true, he said.

Every cell in the human body holds about 20,000-25,000 genes, almost all of them in the nucleus- so-called nuclear DNA.

But 37 others reside in tiny structures called mitochondria, which turn sugar and oxygen into energy and power our cells.


While nuclear DNA is transferred to offspring by both parents, mtDNA is inherited from the mother alone.

Sometimes, genetic mutations can cause mitochondria to malfunction, resulting in organ failure and even death.

Both strains of mtDNA used in the study were healthy, with only a 0.5-percent difference in genetic coding.

All the rodents were bred to have the same nuclear DNA.

Mice in one group “were ageing healthier and had a median life span longer than” the other, Enriquez explained by email.

Lab mice have a life expectancy of just over two years.

Comparing a specimen from each test group at the age of two, the researchers remarked that one showed “evident signs of superior health”.

It has “more abundant and more lustrous fur,” they noted, “is more robust, has more muscular mass, and is more active.” Liver function was also better.

“Regarding the central fact that different mtDNA variants may contribute to the natural differences between individuals, we don’t see any reason why this would be different in humans,” said Enriquez.

Experts not involved in the study called the results surprising.

Few would have expected that mixing and matching mtDNA would have such an obvious effect.

And while the implications for human health remain unclear, commentators said the results may be important for the field of “pronuclear transfer” — a technique for producing embryos free of mitochondrial diseases carried by their mothers.

The work “is an important contribution to the necessary and continuing debate concerning mtDNA replacement,” said Robert Lightowlers, director of the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences at Newcastle University.

Stem cell researcher Dusko Ilic of King’s College London described the results as “fascinating and mind-boggling,” though further study must determine whether they could be replicated in humans.


Neurons That Tell Brain To Stop Drinking Identified

Saturday, August 13th, 2016

Scientists have identified a particular type of neurons that may be activated to influence a person to stop drinking alcohol.

Previous research has shown that alcohol consumption alters the physical structure and function of neurons, called medium spiny neurons, in the dorsomedial striatum.

Researchers from Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine earlier found that activation of one type of neuron, called D1, determines whether one drink leads to two.

Simple Blood Test To Tell If Patients Need Antibiotics

Friday, August 12th, 2016

In a breakthrough, researchers, including one of Indian-origin, are developing a simple and low-cost blood test that can accurately identify which patients need antibiotics.

Antibiotics have saved millions of lives and created a world in which complex and lifesaving surgeries are possible.

But the overuse of antibiotics threatens to create a global scourge of antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens, researchers said.

“A lot of times you cannot really tell what kind of infection someone has. If someone comes into the clinic, a bacterial or a viral infection often look exactly the same,” said Timothy Sweeney from Stanford University in the US.

“The idea to look for a diagnostic test came from our previous paper in Immunity last year. In that paper, we found a common response by the human immune system to multiple viruses that is distinct from that for bacterial infections,” said Purvesh Khatri from Stanford.

Too Much Or Too Little Sleep May Up Inflammatory Disease Risk

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

Sleep disturbances and longer sleep duration are associated with increases in markers of inflammation, finds a new study.

Insufficient sleep is considered a public health epidemic by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Together with diet and physical activity, sleep health represents a third component in the promotion of health-span,” said Michael Irwin from the University of California – Los Angeles, US.

Common sleep disturbances, such as insomnia, have been associated with increased risk of inflammatory disease and mortality.

Shock Wave Therapy Can Repair Injured Muscles Fast

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Sending low-frequency acoustic shock waves to injured muscles could speed up the healing process in the tissues, says an interesting study.

The Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) works by mechanically stimulating the tissue, which prompts stem cells to kick-start repair work.

“Our study indicates that shock waves increase the levels of chemical signalling factors in muscle tissue. These factors wake up “satellite” progenitor cells which gradually becomes new muscle fibres,” said Angela Zissler, at the University of Salzburg in Austria.

For injuries like ligament and tendon damage, applying the low-frequency shock waves in ESWT has already proved to be a promising technique.

In the study, the team tested ESWT on rats and discovered that the procedure triggered muscle tissue to kick-start the self-healing process.

Drinking Alcohol May Up Cancer Risk: Study

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Even moderate consumption of alcohol may increase the risk of several types of cancer, a new study has warned.

According to researchers at the University of Otago, drinking was responsible for 236 cancer deaths under 80 years of age in New Zealand in 2012.

The research builds on previous work that identified 30 per cent of all alcohol-attributable deaths in New Zealand to be due to cancer, more than all other chronic diseases combined.

The study used evidence that alcohol causes some types of cancer after combining dozens of large studies conducted internationally over several decades.

The cancers that are known to be causally related to alcohol include two of the most common causes of cancer death in New Zealand, breast and bowel cancer, but also cancer of the mouth, pharynx, oesophagus, larynx and liver.

The study estimated mortality for 2007 and 2012. “About 60 per cent of all alcohol-attributable cancer deaths in New Zealand women are from breast cancer,” said Professor Jennie Connor of the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine at Otago Medical School.

One In Nine Men At Risk Of Sudden Cardiac Death

Monday, August 8th, 2016

About one in every nine men, and one in 30 women in the US may experience sudden cardiac death, most before age 70, scientists including one of Indian origin have found.

Sudden cardiac death claims up to 450,000 American lives each year, according to a new study and most commonly occurs in people with no prior symptoms of cardiovascular disease.

The study offers the first lifetime risk estimates for sudden cardiac death.

“We often screen for conditions that are less common and much less deadly than sudden cardiac death,” said Donald Lloyd-Jones, from the Northwestern University in the US.

“The lifetime risk of sudden cardiac death for men is one in nine, and yet we’re not really screening for it,” he said. (more…)

Fitness Bands Undervalue Exercise By Up To 40 Per Cent:

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

Fitness freaks, take note! Popular wrist-worn tracking bands may underestimate exercise levels by up to 40 per cent, a new study has found.

Researchers from the University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia determined the accuracy of several popular wrist-worn fitness monitors.

“None of the devices proved to be consistently more accurate overall and the percentage error for energy expenditure was between nine and 43 per cent. Measurement of heart rate was more accurate, with only minor variances,” said Matthew Wallen from UQ’s School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences.

“Combining these two factors, it shows there are limits to how much trust we can place in such devices to monitor energy balance and, therefore, to serve as weight loss aids,” said Wallen.

Testing for the study involved 22 healthy volunteers (even split of males and females) completing a variety of activities – ranging from running, cycling and walking, to seated and laying rest – for a period of approximately one hour.

Eat Fruits, Vegetables To Feel Happy, Suggests Study

Friday, August 5th, 2016

Eating more fruit and vegetables can substantially increase people’s happiness levels later, a new study has claimed.

The study is one of the first major scientific attempts to explore psychological well-being beyond the traditional finding that fruit and vegetables can reduce risk of cancer and heart attacks, researchers said.

Happiness benefits were detected for each extra daily portion of fruit and vegetables up to 8 portions per day. Researchers found that people who changed from almost no fruit and veg to eight portions of fruit and veg a day would experience an increase in life satisfaction equivalent to moving from unemployment to employment. The well-being improvements occurred within 24 months, researchers said.

Scientists Outline Strategy For AIDS Cure

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

PARIS, FRANCE:  Calling the AIDS epidemic “the most important global health challenge in modern history,” more than 50 top scientists pressed their case on 12th July for a drive to stop the killer disease in its tracks.
Anchored by Nobel Medicine laureate Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, the group unveiled an aggressive research strategy for an outright cure — an objective once seen as unrealistic and out of reach.

“Not long ago, few considered the possibility that a cure for HIV infection could some day be possible,” said Barre-Sinoussi, who in 1983 helped identify the mysterious virus that causes AIDS.

Today, “the search for a cure has become a top priority in HIV research,” she said in a statement, hailing a “new optimism” among experts.

Boys At Higher Risk Of Life-Threatening Complications At Birth

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

MELBOURNE:  Baby boys are much more likely to experience potentially life threatening outcomes at birth than girls, a first of its kind population-based study in Australia has found.

Researchers studied data of more than 574,000 births in South Australia over a 30-year period (1981 to 2011), to confirm the presence of differences in birth outcomes based on the sex of the baby.

The team – involving the University of Adelaide in Australia and the University of Groningen in The Netherlands – evaluated the relationship between the babies’ sex and adverse outcomes, such as pre-term birth, pregnancy-induced high blood pressure disorders, and gestational diabetes mellitus.

Pregnancy Multivitamins ‘Unnecessary’ For Most

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Multivitamins and mineral supplements in pregnancy are an “unnecessary expense” with no proven benefits for most well-nourished women or their babies, said a review of science data.

Pregnant women are a soft target for products which promise to give their baby the best start in life “regardless of cost”, said the authors.

And while daily doses of a B vitamin called folic acid, and vitamin D to a lesser degree, are known to be beneficial, there is no evidence that cocktails stuffed full of other vitamins are protective.

Some may even be harmful, said the paper: high doses of vitamin A can harm a developing foetus.