Posts for: September, 2016
There have been many studies about how diet impacts skin disease. The exciting takeaway from most of these studies is that we can, in part, control our overall skin health and appearance through diet. One such study of the Mediterranean diet, which is considered anti-inflammatory and low glycemic, revealed several skin health benefits worth noting.
“To maintain healthy skin, one’s diet must be rich in antioxidants, which are also anti-inflammatory,” says Dermatologist Jeanette Jacknin, MD. “Free radical damage has been shown to be an important factor in the aging process, as well as in the development of cancer. It is also thought to be the root cause of wrinkles and aging skin with sagging, discoloration, enlarged pores, and lack of radiance. Unfortunately, the typical North American diet contains excessive amounts of simple carbohydrates and saturated fats, which has been shown to correlate with an increased appearance of skin wrinkles and other skin problems.”
According to Dr. Jacknin, “The Mediterranean diet is beneficial for the skin, as its anti-inflammatory effect is due largely to its emphasis on extra virgin olive oil, which is high in compounds that modulate oxidative stress and quell inflammatory reactions.” Oleocanthal, one of the components of olive oil, has recently been shown to possess anti-inflammatory actions similar to ibuprofen. It has also been suggested that a nutritional approach to sun protection using the Mediterranean diet would be a useful complement to topically applied sun protection.
Healthy skin is also well-hydrated skin, and it is recommended that we drink a minimum of eight glasses of pure or sparkling water a day, and limit our intake of dehydrating coffee, alcohol, and colas. Eat fish, rolled oats and ground flax seeds frequently, as they are high in omega-3 essential fatty acids which help the skin to retain moisture. Grapes, berries, plums, pears, seaweeds and algae all contain sorbitol, which also helps prevent dehydration. Source: Dermatology Times
Before you get that dolphin tattooed on your ankle or "Mom" on your bicep, be aware: The ink used in tattoos may be harmful -- even years later. A new report has raised questions about the safety of tattoo inks used in Europe, most of which are imported from the United States. The inks have been found to contain hazardous chemicals, including carcinogens.
The report, from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, also identified heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, and nickel, preservatives, organic compounds, bacteria, and other potentially harmful substances in the inks. It calls for a thorough review of tattoo inks in use throughout the European Union, and it highlights the need for strict regulation of the inks, which are also used for permanent makeup.
The concerns accompany a rapid rise in the number of people getting tattoos. Nearly 1 in 3 U.S. adults have a tattoo, according to a Harris Poll. Four years ago, only 1 in 5 adults were inked. In this country, the FDA has also raised concerns about tattoo ink. Last August, the FDA announced a voluntary recall of some inks which were found to be contaminated with bacteria. The year before that, there was another recall on inks and tattoo equipment because of contamination that could have caused sepsis, a potentially deadly complication of infections. Other concerns regarding tattoo ink raised by the FDA include:
- Allergic reactions
- Itchiness and inflammation when exposed to summer sunlight
- Granulomas, or small knots or bumps that form around areas where the body senses foreign material, such as the pigments in tattoo ink
- The spread of tattoo ink to the body’s lymphatic system. It’s unknown whether this has health consequences.
Summer may be winding down, but we are still spending a lot of time outdoors. As such, we will continue to be exposed to biting insects, like mosquitoes. With increasing concern about the spread of the Zika virus in the United States, it is more important than ever to know the safest and most effective way to protect your family.
Skin rash is among the symptoms of Zika virus disease, according to the World Health Organization. Other symptoms include mild fever, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. These symptoms typically last from two to seven days.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging people to take steps to prevent mosquito bites with such things as ample clothing and insect repellents registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to the CDC, the repellents should have one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane- diol. DEET has demonstrated that it is the best insect repellent readily available to the consumer, and in a 20% to 50% concentration, it is effective and safe.
Consumer Reports tested repellents specifically against the Aedesspecies mosquito, which spreads the Zika virus. They found that the most effective products were Off! Deep Woods, which contains 25% DEET, as well as Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellant and Natrapel 8 Hour, each containing 20% picaridin. These products provided protection for about eight hours, and were just as effective as products with higher chemical concentrations.