Indoor Tanning Products

December 8, 2016

Several risks are involved with using indoor tanning products. For instance, if you use an indoor tanning booth or bed, you are exposing your body to UV (ultraviolet) radiation, which promotes skin damage, eye injuries, melanoma and other skin cancers.

Because of the gradual impact of UV radiation, it places children, adolescents and young adults at a higher risk for eye and skin conditions in their later years. The FDA is determined to minimize the damage of UV radiation caused by indoor tanning products by prohibiting the use of these products by people under the age of 18. Also, indoor tanning sites are required to provide literature about the possible risks associated with using an indoor tanning product and have the consumer acknowledge the awareness of such risks by signing an acknowledgment form.

The FDA is also considering another rule that will require makers of indoor tanning products and tanning sites to create more proactive strategies to prevent injuries from using these products.

Dr. Markham Luke, dermatologist and deputy office director of the Office of Device Evaluation at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health tells us that using indoor tanning products at a young age (childhood and young adulthood) increases the potential to develop melanoma and other forms of skin cancer. Markham also states that several hundred youth each year in the US get injured from using an indoor tanning product.

The American Academy of Dermatology states that exposure to indoor tanning products make people 59% more likely to have melanoma than people who have never used an indoor tanning product.

Studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) between 2003 to 2012 conclude that there are over 3,000 emergency room visits in the US alone due to indoor tanning product-related injuries. Interesting enough, over 400 of the patients were adolescents under the age of 18.

Things to Keep in Mind for those Still Planning on Using an Indoor Tanning Product

Now the FDA has taken steps to prevent injuries to minors who use tanning products. FDA-approved products will carry a disclaimer that prohibits the use of the tanning product by people under the age of 18. Indoor tanning products are required to have a visible, black-box disclaimer that people under age 18 should not use the product. Also keep these points in mind:

  • Being exposed too long (like near the maximum time for the tanning device) can cause sunburn. Since it takes from 6 to 48 hours to realize your skin is sunburned, it’s going to be hard to tell if you’ve stayed exposed for too long.
  • If you take medications or use certain cosmetics, it may make you sensitive to the sun (UV radiation actually), so consult your physician or pharmacist prior to using a tanning product.
  • Neglecting to wear protective goggles while doing indoor tanning can cause temporary or long-term eye problems.
  • Always follow the directions for the tanning product. If you have skin that easily burns or is hard to tan (or does not tan at all), then it is highly recommended you do not use an indoor tanning product.

Remedies for Cracked Heels

August 15, 2016

Anyone can get cracked heel but some people are more prone to the condition than others. Some individuals suffer dry, cracked heel due to poor hygiene. The person may not exfoliate daily or moisturize well enough. Additionally, it could occur because the person is not drinking enough water. Each of these factors may contribute to dry, cracked heel.

The first sign of getting cracked heel is the development of dry, hard, thickened skin around the rim of the heel. This is called a callus and may be yellow or dark brown discoloured area of skin. Initially small cracks over the callus are visible.

If left untreated and as more pressure is placed on the heel, these cracks become deeper and eventually walking and standing will be painful. The cracks may be so deep that they begin to bleed. That is why it’s important to take care of your skin even on feet and find an appropriate remedy for cracked heel.

Severe heel infections may require that individuals take oral anti-fungal medication in order to alleviate or cure the symptoms. The most common ingredients in prescription anti-fungal drugs include ketaconazole, itraconazole, naftifine, and nystatin.

Those who desire a topical treatment should not simply select an anti-itch ointment. These ointments may promote moisture and exacerbate the condition. Experts recommend the use of gels instead of creams for application of topical treatments.

Head Lice Treatment Options

October 16, 2015

Your doctor will likely recommend an over-the-counter (OTC) head lice treatment that kills lice and some of the eggs. These head lice treatment medications may not kill recently laid eggs. Therefore, an appropriately timed second treatment is usually necessary to kill nymphs after they hatch but before they become adult lice.

In some geographic regions, lice have developed resistance to OTC medications. Also, OTC treatment may fail because of incorrect use, such as not repeating the treatment at an appropriate time.

If the correct use of an OTC treatment has failed, the next head lice treatment option is a prescription remedy. The truth is, while these pesticides may get rid of lice, they are also being absorbed by the skin. As you may well imagine, this can cause a number of negative side effects – from skin irritation, redness and swelling to breathing difficulties or asthmatic episodes – and that’s just from regular, recommended use! These treatments have caused vomiting, seizures, even death.

Natural head lice treatment can be fantastic for both acute cases of lice and chronic recurrent never-ending cases of nits. You can count on the natural head lice treatment products to quickly, safely remove lice and nits without the use of poisons and pesticides. Instead, the natural remedies use the finest grade homeopathics and aromatherapeutic oils to relieve and soothe itchy irritated scalps.

Some cryogenic wart removers—which remove warts from the skin by freezing them off—have caught fire during use at home, harming consumers or setting fire to items around the house.

Since 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—which regulates wart removers as medical devices—has received 14 such reports about over-the-counter (OTC) wart remover products, which are a mixture of liquid dimethyl ether and propane.

Ten patients have described singed hair, blisters, burns or skin redness, according to FDA nurse consultant Karen Nast, RN. Nearby items have also caught fire.

“The labeling for these products clearly states that they are flammable and should be kept away from fire, flame, heat sources, and cigarettes,” Nast notes. In three of the reports, there was a candle nearby, but in the other 11 reports no ignition source was identified. “This is extremely concerning, especially because people may not be aware that everyday household items like curling irons and straight irons can be hot enough to be an ignition source for these products,” Nast says.

How to Use These Products

Warts are growths caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Most treatments using a mixture of liquid dimethyl ether and propane instruct users to follow certain steps.

First, the user presses on the nozzle of a small, pressurized canister (dispenser) containing the mixture. The dispenser releases the mixture, cooled to approximately -40 degrees Celsius, onto an applicator, saturating it. (In some products, the applicator is attached to the cap.) The user presses the applicator on the wart for the amount of time specified in the product directions. An average of three to four treatments is required for warts on thin skin. Warts on calloused skin, such as plantar warts on the soles of the feet, might take more treatments.

In the reports FDA has received, the dispenser generally caught fire when it was releasing the mixture.

Alternative Treatments

Warts can often disappear on their own without treatment in most people, says FDA dermatologist Markham Luke, MD. However, if you are not sure if your warts are cause for concern or if you have questions about using cryogenic products at home, it’s best to be on the safe side and talk with your health care professional before taking action, Luke says.

Your health care professional may prefer to remove the warts in the medical office, using treatments such as surgical paring, laser, or liquid nitrogen cryosurgical treatments. “The advantage is that the health care professional has been trained in providing the treatment safely and under controlled conditions,” he adds.

Alternatively, there are other types of OTC warts treatments available for use at home, such as topical applications of salicylic acid, which soften or loosen warts so they fall off or can be easily removed.

If you are going to use a cryogenic product at home, Luke recommends that you use it only as directed on the labeling, and that you heed warnings such as this one from a currently marketed product: “Extremely flammable. Do not pierce, burn or expose aerosol spray dispenser to excessive heat, even after use or when the dispenser is empty. This may cause dispenser to explode, causing serious injury.” Also be sure to use the product in a well-ventilated area, Luke says.

Nast says that while the FDA has received only 14 reports of fires related to cryogenic treatments to date, such occurrences are often under-reported. She encourages consumers to inform the FDA about similar experiences. “It’s important for us to know when and how problems like this happen,” she says.

Head Lice

March 11, 2015

Head lice. Every parent’s nightmare.

A year-round problem, the number of cases seems to peak when the kids go back to school in the fall and again in January, says Patricia Brown, M.D., a dermatologist at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

An estimated 6 to 12 million cases of head lice infestation occur each year in the United States in children 3 to 11 years of age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Head lice are most common among preschool children attending child care, elementary school children, and household members of children who have lice.

Contrary to myth, head lice are not caused by poor hygiene, Brown says. They are spread mainly by direct head-to-head contact with a person who already has head lice. You cannot get head lice from your pets; lice feed only on humans.

Lice don’t fly or jump; they move by crawling. But because children play so closely together and often in large groups, lice can easily travel from child to child, especially when they touch heads during playing or talking.

Blood-Sucking Bugs

Head lice are blood-sucking insects about the size of a sesame seed and tan to grayish-white in color. They attach themselves to the skin on the head and lay eggs (nits) in the hair.

According to Brown, you can check for head lice or nits by parting the hair in several spots. You can use a magnifying glass and a bright light to help spot them. Because head lice can move fast it may be easier to spot the nits. Nits can look like dandruff, but you can identify them by picking up a strand of hair close to the scalp and pulling your fingernail across the area where you suspect a nit. Dandruff will come off easily, but nits will stay firmly attached to the hair, Brown explains.

FDA-approved treatments for head lice include both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs, such as Nix and Rid, in the form of shampoos, creams and lotions. “Many head lice products are not for use in children under the age of 2, so read the label carefully before using a product to make sure it is safe to use on your child,” Brown says.

Although OTC drugs are available for treatment of head lice, Brown says your health care professional may prescribe drugs recently approved by the FDA, such as Ulesfia (approved in 2009), Natroba (approved in 2011) or Sklice (approved in 2012).

Steps for Safe Use

Follow these steps to use any head lice treatment safely and appropriately:

  • After rinsing the product from the hair and scalp, use a fine-toothed comb or special “nit comb” to remove dead lice and nits.
  • Apply the product only to the scalp and the hair attached to the scalp—not to other body hair.
  • Before treating young children, talk with the child’s doctor or your pharmacist for recommended treatments based on a child’s age and weight.
  • Use medication exactly as directed on the label and never more often than directed unless advised by your health care professional.
  • Use treatments on children only under the direct supervision of an adult.

Heading Off Head Lice

  • Teach children to avoid head-to-head contact during play and other activities at home, school, and elsewhere (sports activities, playgrounds, slumber parties, and camps).
  • Teach children not to share clothing and supplies, such as hats, scarves, helmets, sports uniforms, towels, combs, brushes, bandanas, hair ties, and headphones.
  • Disinfest combs and brushes used by a person with head lice by soaking them in hot water (at least 130°F) for 5–10 minutes.
  • Do not lie on beds, couches, pillows, carpets, or stuffed animals that have recently been in contact with a person with head lice.
  • Clean items that have been in contact with the head of a person with lice in the 48 hours before treatment. Machine wash and dry clothing, bed linens, and other items using hot water (130°F) and a high heat drying cycle. Clothing and items that are not washable can be dry-cleaned or sealed in a plastic bag and stored for two weeks.
  • Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the person with lice sat or lay. Head lice survive less than one or two days if they fall off the scalp and cannot feed.
  • Do not use insecticide sprays or fogs; they are not necessary to control head lice and can be toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
  • After finishing treatment with lice medication, check everyone in your family for lice after one week. If live lice are found, contact your health care professional.

Skin Tags Removal

July 25, 2013

A skin tag, also known as an acrochordon, cutaneous papilloma, cutaneous tag, fibroepithelial polyp, fibroma molluscum, fibroma pendulum, papilloma colli, soft fibroma, and Templeton skin tag, is a small tag of skin which may have a peduncle (stalk) – they look like a small piece of soft, hanging skin.

As skin tags are usually harmless, people have them removed for aesthetic or cosmetic reasons. Sometimes large ones, especially in areas where they may rub against something, such as clothing, jewelry or skin, may be removed because the area becomes frequently irritated. An individual may have a large skin tag removed from his face or under her arms in order to make shaving easier.

Pores are small passageways through which hair reaches the surface of your skin. The small openings also have additional roles that contribute to your health: Pores act as ducts, allowing oil to travel from under-the-skin glands to the surface to condition the dermis. Aside from that, the tiny holes are one of the paths your body uses to get rid of toxins. In fact, during exercise, your pores become enlarged to facilitate the excretion of waste.

Sometimes pores become so enlarged that they create unattractive craters. Although it’s usually not a medical concern, enlarged pores can damage your self-confidence and self-esteem and require any kind of cosmetic enlarged pores treatment.

Fortunately, there are proven strategies for minimizing or concealing enlarged pores — and restoring even-looking skin.