May 2015 Newsletter for Dermatology Specialists of Charlotte
Shingles: Pain Management
Have you ever had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine? If so, be sure to watch this month’s video. Anyone who’s had chickenpox (or the vaccine) can get shingles, so it’s important to know the signs. Getting medical help within 72 hours can make the symptoms milder and shorter. In this video, you’ll also find out:
- Who should get the shingles vaccine
- What you can do to relieve the pain if you get shingles
Shingles: Pain management (2:52)
What Dermatologists Tell their Patients
Treatment for shingles is strongly recommended. Without it, many people have pain, numbness, itching, and tingling that can last for months — or years.
Related Academy resources:
Your child’s eczema story could help other children
To help parents care for a child who has eczema; the Academy will publish a multimedia guide. We’re looking for inspiring tips from parents. Have you found a certain treatment that works for your child? Do you have a creative way to overcome an eczema trigger? Has teaming up with a dermatologist helped your child?
Your insight could mean relief for many children living with eczema.
Please take a few minutes to share your child’s eczema story.
Dermatology in the News
Sun Exposure During Adulthood May Cause More Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer Than Exposure During Childhood.
Medscape (3/24, Harrison) reports that research presented at the American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting suggests that “exposure to the sun during adulthood might cause more nonmelanoma skin cancer than exposure during childhood.” Researchers found that “women who lived in the southern latitudes of the United States as adults but not as children were 39% more likely to get nonmelanoma skin cancer than women who lived in northern latitudes.”
Physicians, Health Experts Advise Medical Apps Could Be Dangerous, Misleading.
The New York Times (3/17, Kirsch) “Well” blog reports on the fact that “physicians and federal regulators are sounding an alarm” in response to the growing number of fitness and medical apps, claiming “that programs claiming to diagnose or treat medical conditions may be unreliable and even dangerous.” Experts say that “the most reliable medical apps tend to result from collaborations among developers, physicians and experts in health law,” including HemMobile, an app from Pfizer that “helps hemophilia patients track their infusions.” To manage the untested mobile health apps, the FDA “has issued recommendations for developers and distributors.” According to the guidelines, “the agency would enforce regulatory requirements only on apps that qualify as medical devices – anything used to diagnose, treat or prevent a medical condition.”
Review: In-Person Skin Examination Is Important For Detection Of Incidentally-Identified Skin Malignancies.
The Physician’s Briefing (4/15) reports that a review published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology suggests that “an in-person skin examination is important for detection of incidentally-identified skin malignancies.” Investigators came to this conclusion after reviewing “the medical charts of all dermatology consults at the Minneapolis Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center over 8.25 years.”
Incidence Of Deadly Melanoma Skin Cancer Falling Among American Children.
HealthDay (4/10, Preidt) reports that research published in The Journal of Pediatrics suggests that “the incidence of deadly melanoma skin cancer is falling among American children.” Researchers “found that the overall number of new melanoma cases among children fell 12 percent each year from 2004 to 2010.” The investigators “cited effective public outreach on the danger of UV rays from the sun or tanning beds, more kids playing indoors rather than outdoors and a rise in parental awareness of the importance of sunscreen and other sun-protective measures.”
Oregon House Passes Legislation Allowing Students To Use Sunscreen In Schools.
The AP (3/19, Kumar) reports that yesterday, the “Oregon House unanimously passed legislation…allowing students to apply sunscreen or wear sun-protective clothing during school hours and at school-sponsored events.” Additionally, the bill “allows school personnel to help students apply sunblock without risk of liability.”
UV Light From Gel Manicures Unlikely To Increase Risk For Skin Cancer.
Vox (3/18) reports that because gel manicures “require putting your nails under a UV light, there’s been public concern that gel manicures could increase your risk for skin cancer.” While “no one yet has systematically studied” the issue to find out if this is true, during a “2014 study, researchers examined 16 different UV lights in nail salons and found the particular ones studied only posed a small risk, but concluded a wider variety still needed to be tested.” Additionally, the process requires acetone to remove the nail polish which, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, dehydrates the nail and should be followed up “with something like petroleum jelly.”
Ivermectin May Be More Effective Than Metronidazole For Treatment Of Papulopustular Rosacea.
Medscape (4/1, Pullen) reports that research indicates that “ivermectin cream 1% (Soolantra, Galderma Labs) is significantly more effective than metronidazole cream 0.75% in the treatment of papulopustular rosacea.” The findings were presented at the American Academy of Dermatology 73rd Annual Meeting.
Certain Skin Problems Common Among Sports Enthusiasts.
HealthDay (3/25, Preidt) reports that “certain skin problems are also common among sports enthusiasts.” A news release from the American Academy of Dermatology lists “the five skin conditions most often seen in athletes” as “blisters; turf burn (abrasions from falls on an artificial surface); athlete’s foot (a fungal infection); sun exposure, and a type of acne called acne mechanica.”
Research Suggests Dietary Supplements May Increase Risk Of Cancer.
CBS News (4/21, Firger) reports on its website that a meta-analysis “of two decades worth of research – 12 trials that involved more than 300,000 people –” showed that “a number of supplements actually made a person much more likely to develop certain types of cancer” rather than protect against the disease. The analysis revealed that “people who took high doses of beta carotene supplements had an increased risk for lung cancer,” while “selenium supplements were associated with skin cancer” and “men who took vitamin E had an elevated risk for prostate cancer.”
The Medical Daily (4/21, Rivas) reports that “other research supports” the findings. The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) in 2011 “found that after an average of seven years, there were 17 percent more prostate cancer cases among those who took vitamin E alone rather than a placebo.”
Some Diet Supplements Found To Have Amphetamine-Like Compounds.
Vox (4/9, Belluz) provides continuing coverage of the new research published in the journal Drug Testing & Analysis that revealed “Some popular dietary supplements contain amphetamine-like chemical stimulants” despite being “marketed as ‘natural’ botanicals.” Despite the FDA being aware of “this mislabeling for two years,” the agency “has done nothing to get the products off store shelves or to inform consumers,” which could be attributed to the fact that, under current law, “supplements are barely regulated” and “supplement manufacturers can make basically any vague health claim about their wares — without needing evidence to back it up.” The study comes amid a push from law makers, including state attorneys general from 14 different states, submitting a letter “asking Congress to investigate — and consider clamping down on — the US supplements industry” and “to give the FDA more regulatory power.”
Cosmetic procedures: What you should know beforehand
Before having any procedure meant to improve your appearance, it’s essential that you learn about the procedure — and who will do it. Stephanie Goelzer wishes she had known this. Now she’s urging everyone, “Don’t make my mistake. Be smart. Do your homework. Get a second opinion.”
You can find out what happened to Stephanie and what you should know before having any cosmetic treatment at:
Some Family Practitioners, Dentists Performing Cosmetic Procedures.
NBC News (3/5) reports on its website that “family practitioners, gynecologists and even dentists are getting into the cosmetic procedure business, and dermatologists say they’re seeing the side effects.” Several dermatologists “from around the country told NBC News that they’ve had to fix the mistakes of physicians who are dabbling in their specialty.” In a statement, the American Academy of Dermatology said, “A dermatologist is a licensed medical doctor and the only residency-trained physician fully educated in the science of cutaneous medicine, which includes medical and surgical conditions of the skin, hair, nails and mucous membranes.” An embedded video features a Today Show segment on the topic. AAD member Dr. Jerome Potozkin is featured in the story.
Itchy patch could be treatable skin condition
Do you have an intensely itchy patch of skin? Do you find yourself scratching or rubbing the itchy patch frequently? That itchy patch could be neurodermatitis, a skin condition that can clear with treatment.
You’ll find out what neurodermatitis looks like, who’s most likely to get it, and what treatment is available at:
North Carolina House Passes Tanning Bed Ban For Minors.
The Raleigh (NC) News & Observer (4/22) reports that yesterday, North Carolina “lawmakers…expressed concern about youths using tanning beds, voting 103-12 in the House to change state law and prohibit anyone under 18 from using indoor tanning beds.” The News & Observer adds, “Supporters said many tanning salons are now backing the bill, in part because spray tan products – the alternative for many teens – have a higher profit margin.”
Tanning-salon customers swear off tanning beds
Academy resource: Time (1:00)
Bacteria, Viruses Can Lurk Inside Tanning Beds.
On the air and on its website, WCBS-TV New York (4/14) reports that “bacteria and viruses can lurk” inside tanning beds. Dermatologist David Goldberg, MD, explained that the ultraviolet light emitted by a tanning bed does not kill germs, and if beds are not properly cleaned, their occupants can end up with “an active herpes infection,” a staph infection, warts or impetigo.
Dermatologist Says There Is “No Way To Safely Tan.”
HealthDay (4/14, Preidt) reports that “the ‘healthy glow’ associated with a tan is actually a sign of danger…says” Dr. Angela Lamb, an assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital’s School of Medicine in New York City. Dr. Lamb says, “The sad news is that unfortunately, no, there is no way to safely tan. The research is clear that there are not any cutoffs for how much sun is safe.”
BGlobe: Teenagers Should Be Banned From Using Tanning Beds.
In an editorial, the Boston Globe (4/13) argues that teenagers should be banned from using tanning beds. According to the Globe, “some suspect that if more local bans” on teen tanning “pass, then tanning salons will start supporting a statewide law to level the playing field.” The Globe argues, “That law is overdue.”
FDA Warns Cosmetic Companies Not To Make Medical Claims For Products.
ABC News (4/14) reports, in continued coverage, of the FDA’s “ongoing efforts” to warn and remind cosmetic companies that “a cosmetic may never claim to do such things as treat a disease like acne, increase collagen or revive cells.” Referring to consumers, the agency’s Cosmetic and Colors Director Dr. Linda Katz said, “If they are picking up a product that seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
Chapel Hill, North Carolina Town Council Will Not Regulate Tanning Beds.
The Raleigh (NC) News & Observer (4/3) reports, “Chapel Hill Students living in off-campus apartments with tanning beds will be able to continue tanning under their apartments’ rules, as the Town Council will not try to regulate the practice.”
The U-T San Diego (4/2, Fikes) reports that “cigarette smoke functions much like an alarm to the superbug MRSA, warning it to activate its defenses, according to a new study” published in Infection and Immunity. U-T San Diego adds, “In lab studies in human cells and whole mice, MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria exposed to cigarette smoke extract become harder to kill, said Dr. Laura E. Crotty Alexander.”
Some 13,000 People In The US Reportedly Affected By Morgellons Disease.
The CBS News (4/3, Firger) website reports that music legend Joni Mitchell suffers from a mysterious ailment known as Morgellons disease, which “reportedly affects some 13,000 people in the US.” People with Morgellons “cite a number of symptoms, but the primary issue is the presence of colorful fibers or ‘filaments’ that sprout from lesions or appear under the skin.” The CDC “has made efforts to respond to the Morgellons community by conducting investigations, and even at one point enlisting the US Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and the American Academy of Dermatology to help with research.” Research on the condition suggests that it “is simply an indication that a person may need to seek treatment for depression, skin-picking disorder, anxiety and even substance abuse.”