September 2014 Newsletter for Dermatology Specialists of Charlotte (DSC)

Caring for African-American Hair

Millions of people experience hair loss, and most suffer in silence. Many do not know where to turn for help. Others mistakenly believe there is nothing they can do. To dispel these common misconceptions, the Academy sheds light on hair-loss topics every August.

This August, we’re shifting the spotlight from treating hair loss to preventing it. In this month’s video, you’ll find hair-care tips that can help keep African-American hair healthy and beautiful. Tips include how to add moisture and elasticity to the hair.

African-American hair: Everyday care, processing, and styling (2:11)

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Dermatology in the News

Hair-dye allergy can begin any time

“NCIS” star Pauley Perrette plays a forensic scientist who saves the day by uncovering the facts. Now she wants to save your day with this scientific fact. A few people develop a serious allergic reaction to their hair dye.

Perrette learned this fact firsthand. For more than 20 years, she has been dying her hair black. She never had a reaction. Then, about 6 months ago, she began getting a rash on her neck and scalp. It worsened every time she dyed her hair. A few weeks ago, she developed an allergic reaction so serious she went to the ER. From the ER, she began to raise awareness.

If you use hair color, Perrette wants you to know the warning signs of an allergic reaction. To help, a dermatologist gives you the lowdown on what to look for, including what not to dismiss, in The hair dye allergy you should know about.

Academy resources:


African-American women can exercise and have a good hair day

During a recent study, African-American women confessed that their hairstyles prevent them from exercising. If they exercise, they have to restyle or re-straighten their hair. This costs them too much time and money, so they choose to skip the exercise.

This decision, however, can be quite costly to their health. Other options exist. You’ll find some options in Hairdo trumps exercise for many black women, study finds.


ALM “Disproportionately Afflicts” Dark-Skinned People.

The Washington Post (8/4, Cimons) reports on the fact that acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM) “disproportionately afflicts African Americans and other dark-skinned people.” The Post writes that these populations “often assume they are not at risk” which means “their cancers tend to be diagnosed at a more advanced stage” and therefore “patients often face a bleaker outcome.” According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the five-year survival rate for Melanoma among African Americans is 73%, compared with 91% for Caucasians.


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 later this year. 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.


Acne products: FDA issues Consumer Update

A very few people have developed a serious reaction to an acne-fighting product. To inform people of this rare but dangerous reaction, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Consumer Update.

If you are concerned you could have a reaction to an acne-fighting product, be sure to find out what dermatologists recommend by visiting Share your child’s eczema story.


Dermatologists share facts about trending topics

To make informed health decisions, you need facts. When it comes to health information, it can be difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. To help you get the facts about popular topics, dermatologists shared their expertise during the Summer Academy Meeting held earlier this month in Chicago.
You’ll find the facts that dermatologists shared in the following news releases:


Viral Video Shows Skin Under UV Camera.

Fox News (8/15) reported on its website that a video titled “‘How the Sun Sees You’ that reveals hidden sun damage when people step in front of a special ultraviolet light camera has gone viral,” and has been viewed almost two million times. Fox News posted the video and described that “many of those who approach the camera appear to have healthy skin, and are shocked to see the amount of freckles, wrinkles and dark spots on their faces.”

TIME (8/17, Stephen) noted that “damage is caused by ultraviolet rays, which lie outside of our visual spectrum.”

Vox (8/15, McIntyre) reported that “the video’s subjects are invited to slather on sunscreen, which also shows up as black thanks to its UV-blocking properties.”


Good Neighbors May Be Good For Heart Health In Older Adults

In continuing coverage, NBC Nightly News (8/19, story 10, 0:30, Williams) reported, “A new study out from the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health says good neighbors are actually good for your heart.” After examining factors impacting “health like crime, pollution, noise, even fast food restaurant density in” neighborhoods, researchers “found that getting along, feeling connected to your community is as common sense would indicate, good for overall health.”

 TIME (8/19, Hellmann) reported that “participants who rate their communities the highest have an almost 70%” decreased risk for having a heart attack. The study, which “monitored the cardiovascular health of 5,276 participants who were over the age of 50 and had never had a heart attack,” is the first to reveal “the cardiovascular benefits of ‘neighborhood social cohesion.’”

AAD Develops List Of Six Foods That Prematurely Age Skin

TIME (8/6, Aaron) reports that the American Academy of Dermatology has developed a list of food and drink that can prematurely age your skin, including: sweets, alcohol, white wine, charred meat, salty foods, and processed meats. Ariel Ostad, MD, fellow of the AAD, says, “What you eat affects your skin—for better or worse.”


Some Dermatologists Recommending Probiotics For Healthy Skin

On its website, KABC-TV Los Angeles (8/28, Dador) reports that probiotics, along with standard treatment, may help reduce acne breakouts. Probiotics are “a prescription for healthy skin that a growing number of dermatologists are recommending.” Dr. Whitney Bowe, who “is with the American Academy of Dermatology,” said, “There’s accumulating evidence now showing that oral and topical probiotics can actually significantly benefit chronic skin conditions, including things like eczema, acne, rosacea.”


FDA Urges Caution In Use Of Dermal Fillers

HealthDay (8/15, Preidt) reports that FDA is advising in a news release that consumers should “know the risks” related to “injectable dermal fillers,” and notes that “only one permanent wrinkle filler is approved” by the agency. FDA medical officer Dr. Janette Alexander said “as with any medical procedure, being injected with dermal fillers poses some risks. You should ask what you can expect and contact your health care professional if you are concerned about a particular side effect.”


FDA Issues Warning Over Injectable Filler

Forbes (8/8) contributor Melanie Haiken reports that the FDA has issued a warning over the use of “newly popular injectable filler” called Expression, noting it could cause “lumps, nodules, discoloration, swelling and bruising.” The agency also highlighted that the filler has never been “approved for cosmetic facial use in the first place.” According to Haiken, Expression, made and sold by Enhancement Medical, LLC, “was approved by the FDA in 2012 as an intra-nasal splint, to be used post-surgery inside the nasal cavity.”


FDA Issues Warning Over Infections Linked To Tattoo Ink

The AP (8/7, Jalonick) reports that the FDA “is warning tattoo parlors, their customers and those buying at-home tattoo kits that not all tattoo ink is safe.” Last month, California company White and Blue Lion Inc. recalled inks in in-home tattoo kits after testing confirmed bacterial contamination in unopened bottles. Now, the article notes, “at least one skin infection has been linked to the company’s products, and FDA officials say they are aware of other reports of infections linked to tattoo inks with similar packaging.” Linda Katz, director of the FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors, said, “What the consumer can do is talk to the tattoo artist and see the ink bottles.”


Study Finds Fewer US Teens Using Sunscreen

Reuters (8/22, Beasley) reports that a study published Aug. 21 in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease found that according to survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, high school students are using sunscreen less frequently, with the percentage dropping to 56.1 percent in 2011 from 67.7 percent in 2001.

The NBC News (8/22, Fox) website reports that “even though the federal government warns that indoor tanning raises skin cancer risk, more than 29 percent of white girls still used them in 2011.” Study author Corey Basch said “these findings indicate the need for prevention efforts aimed at adolescents to reduce risks for skin cancer.”

HealthDay (8/22, Reinberg) reports that “the reasons for the decreased use of sunscreen among teens aren’t clear, Basch said, but she thinks future research should focus on finding out why.” The Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger (8/22, O’Brien) also covers the story.


Tanning Industry May Be Declining As Awareness Of Risk Increases

In a lengthy feature on tanning, the Atlantic (8/26, Khazan) offers some history on how the “tan” aesthetic rose to popularity through advertising and media, noting that “tanning has become so ingrained, in other words, that ‘looking tan’ is in some ways its own rationale.” The article also outlines the increased risk of skin cancer that indoor tanning reportedly causes, and some of the regulations that have been enacted in response to the growing trend, particularly restricting minors’ access to tanning salons. The Atlantic notes that “after decades of soaking up the sun, there are signs that we might be returning to the age of the parasol – or at least a bottle of SPF 30 in every beach tote,” as people become more aware of the risks.


News Program Challenges Claims Of Drinkable Sunscreen

WPTV-TV West Palm Beach, FL (8/26, Strathman) put a purported drinkable sunscreen to the test in a “Consumer Watchdog” segment. The product, called Harmonized Water, claims to be able to provide protection from UV rays. The network tested the drinkable product against its topical alternative and found no benefit. Dermatologist Dr. Stefan Weiss explained to WPTV that even the product’s packaging fails to provide any verifiable claims of skin defense: “There’s no evidence to suggest on the bottle itself that it works. It didn’t seem that there were any ingredients that were suggestive of sun protection.”


Treating Pre-Cancerous Skin Spots With Photodynamic Therapy May Be More Effective Than Usual Therapy

HealthDay (8/28, Reinberg) reports that a review published in JAMA Dermatology suggests that “treating pre-cancerous skin spots with a type of light therapy may be more effective than the usual therapy – freezing the lesions with liquid nitrogen.” Investigators who looked at previous “research found that people who underwent the light treatment – called photodynamic therapy – were 14 percent more likely to have the lesion completely cleared three months later than those who had the freezing treatment known as cryotherapy.”


Lack Of Regulation For Wearable Technology A Factor In Rising Nickel Allergies

The New York Times (8/21, Abrams, Subscription Publication) reports that physicians and consumers have “expressed concerns about a lack of regulatory oversight to monitor the frequency of skin allergies and other reactions” to Nickel, “one of the most common allergens” amid the heightened popularity or wearable technology. Stephen Stone, director of clinical research in dermatology at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and former president of the American Academy of Dermatology, said “I am absolutely concerned about it.” The Times notes that the CDC “estimates that 10 to 20 percent of the population is allergic to nickel.

 

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