Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Harmful Effects of CFL Bulbs to Skin; Energy-Efficient Bulbs Safest When Placed Behind Additional Glass Cover

The team of Stony Brook researchers reviews the findings of their research. Pictured from left to right (standing) are Marcia Simon, Michael Hadjiargyrou, (sitting) Tatsiana Mironava and Miriam Rafailovich. The images displayed on the screen are of keratinocytes via confocal microscopy which show the results of human skin cells with and without exposure to CFL. (Credit: Image courtesy of Stony Brook University)

From the 18 July 2012 article at ScienceNewsDaily

Inspired by a European study, a team of Stony Brook University researchers looked into the potential impact of healthy human skin tissue (in vitro) being exposed to ultraviolet rays emitted from compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs…

“Our study revealed that the response of healthy skin cells to UV emitted from CFL bulbs is consistent with damage from ultraviolet radiation,” said Professor Rafailovich. “Skin cell damage was further enhanced when low dosages of TiO2 nanoparticles were introduced to the skin cells prior to exposure.” Rafailovich added that incandescent light of the same intensity had no effect on healthy skin cells, with or without the presence of TiO2.

“Despite their large energy savings, consumers should be careful when using compact fluorescent light bulbs,” said Professor Rafailovich. “Our research shows that it is best to avoid using them at close distances and that they are safest when placed behind an additional glass cover.”

July 20, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety | , , , , | 1 Comment

[Infographic] Killer Sunshine

From the post at InsuranceQuotes

If you’re like most people, chances are you’ll take any opportunity to throw on a pair of shorts and soak up a little vitamin D. Summer is the season for taking advantage of every opportunity you can to be outdoors, and while you’re enjoying the weather, you’re also probably happy to work on achieving a nice golden tan while you’re at it. But through all of the barbecuing, swimming, hiking, and good old fashioned sunbathing, it might just slip your mind to lather on a little SPF 40. When it comes to enjoying the great outdoors, it’s in your best interest to make sure that you do so with the proper protection. Skin cancer rates have skyrocketed in recent years, and while popular culture dictates that a beautifully bronzed body is the ultimate summertime achievement, the obsession with having a great tan is also having some scary health effects. While other cancer rates decline, fatalities from skin cancer continue to rise, and most people don’t realize just how much their risk increases with too much sunshine. While a little dose of golden rays is good for you, most people take that to an extreme, and the impacts of long-term tanning can be more deadly than they realize. The following infographic looks into the causes and effects of the rising skin cancer rates, and it might make you think twice before skipping out on the sunscreen.

Skin Cancer Infographic

July 12, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Have Healthy Skin

First television play NBC 1936

Apply skin care product immediately after washing your face

 Photo of actor Eddie Albert and actress Grace Brandt applying make-up for the first television presentation of a play. The play, The Love Nest, was also written and produced by Albert. The telecast took place on 6 November 1936 in NBC’s Studio 3H in Radio City.

The Columbia History of American Television, page 53 Gary R. Edgerton.

From the 29 June 2012 MedicalNewsToday article

Shoppers frequently spend fortunes on high-end facial products as they strive to improve the quality and look of their skin; this may be to treat acne, wrinkling and general aging, etc. Consumers vary in age from early teens to late adulthood. Dermatologists (skin specialist doctors) say that the routine in which these medications are applied really matter for optimum effectiveness.

Dermatologist Susan C. Taylor, MD, FAAD affirms this by saying that medications or treatments should be applied immediately after washing your face. This will ensure that it is absorbed properly. If you do not apply the product straight after washing, it may not do what its manufacturer claims.

Dr. Taylor recommends the following four steps to maximize your skin care:

    • Wash your face with a gentle cleanser. When drying, pat the skin, don’t rub it dry.
    • Apply medication. Use your ring finger when applying cream around the eyes; it is the weakest finger and will not tug at this very delicate skin.
    • Apply sunscreen or moisturizer (or both).
  • If desired, apply makeup.
    (Article continues with additional tips for healthy skin)

June 29, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , | Leave a comment

Study reveals major shift in how eczema develops

Study reveals major shift in how eczema develops
Not 1, but 2 skin barriers influential in most common skin disease

From the December 17, 2010 Eureka news release

Like a fence or barricade intended to stop unwanted intruders, the skin serves as a barrier protecting the body from the hundreds of allergens, irritants, pollutants and microbes people come in contact with every day. In patients with eczema, or atopic dermatitis, the most common inflammatory human skin disease, the skin barrier is leaky, allowing intruders – pollen, mold, pet dander, dust mites and others – to be sensed by the skin and subsequently wreak havoc on the immune system.

While the upper-most layer of the skin – the stratum corneum – has been pinned as the culprit in previous research, a new study published today in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology *** found that a second skin barrier structure, consisting of cell-to-cell connections known as tight junctions, is also faulty in eczema patients and likely plays a role in the development of the disease. Tightening both leaky barriers may be an effective treatment strategy for eczema patients, who often have limited options to temper the disease.

“Over the past five years, disruption of the skin barrier has become a central hypothesis to explain the development of eczema,” said Lisa Beck, M.D., lead study author and associate professor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “Our findings challenge the belief that the top layer of the skin or stratum corneum is the sole barrier structure: It suggests that both the stratum corneum and tight junctions need to be defective to jumpstart the disease.”

Currently, there are no treatments that target skin barrier dysfunction in eczema. To treat eczema, which causes dry, red, itchy skin, physicians typically prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, like prednisone, and a variety of topical anti-inflammatory creams and ointments. But, modest benefit, negative side effects and cost concerns associated with these therapies leave patients and doctors eagerly awaiting new alternatives.

A few related eczema items

  • Eczema (MedlinePlus) has links to overviews, disease management articles, and more
  • Dermatitis, Atopic (eMedicine) is written for physicians, article is free, however one must register to view it
  • Eczema(Atopic Dermatitis) is written for the general public, it has thorough coverage on on causes, treatments, support groups, exams/tests, prevention, follow-up, and more


***For suggestions on how to get this article for free or at low cost, click here.

December 18, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public), Health News Items | , , , | Leave a comment


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