THIS MONTH´S PUBLICATIONS.
Hair Removal with Depilatories
Depilatories use a chemical called thioglycolate mixed with sodium hydroxide or calcium hydroxide to literally remove the hair away. The disulfide bonds that hold hair together contain more of the protein cystine than do the disulfide bonds that hold skin cells together. Thioglycolate is more affective on disulfide bonds that contain cystine. The major side effect of a depilatory is skin irritation because the chemical can melt away skin cells.
A depilatory is applied to the place with not wanted hair and left on for 3 to 15 minutes. During this time the chemical dissolves the hair and the resulting jelly type substance is wiped or kept off after the correct time. The chemical should be tested first on a tiny skin area at least 48 hours before applying it to a large area. Apply hydrocortisone cream after hair removal may help decrease irritation.
Hair Removal with Electrolysis
Electrolysis involves inserting a fine needle into the hair follicle and apply an electric current to the follicle base. This procedure actually burns the hair root theoretically preventing it from producing hair. Each hair follicle must be treated individually and may take several treatments to destroy the follicle. Electrolysis is a permanent form of hair removal but it has several drawbacks. There are no standardized licensing guidelines for electrolysis so finding an experienced, effective technician is difficult requiring talking to clients who have experience permanent results. Second, the method requires repeated treatments for up to 12 to 18 months. Hair follicles that are in the telogen phase are more difficult to destroy than hair follicles in the anagen phase. Shaving approximately 3 days before an electrolysis treatment ensures that the hairs that are visible are in the anagen phase. Finally, side effects can include pain, infection, keloid formation (for people who are susceptible), hyperpigmentation, or hypopigmentation.
Hair Removal with Laser
Laser treatment of various skin conditions has blossom, as laser technology has become more understood. Hair removal is a common application of laser technology, but it is not permanent and not for everyone. Lasers work by giving off light at various wavelengths, energy release, and pulse widths. The wavelength used determines the skin structure it will affect such as veins, melanin, water and so on. Most lasers used for hair removal target melanin and are therefore designed to burn structures that contain melanin. The more melanin, the more damage. It makes sense that laser hair removal works best for light skin people with dark hair. Therefore, laser treatments for hair removal must be continued. At this time it appears that laser treatment, while not causing permanent destruction of all hair follicles, does stop the regrowth of new hair.
Removal with Vaniqa
Vaniga is a prescribed topical cream that has been FDA-approved for reducing and inhibiting the growth of unwanted facial hair. The active ingredient in Vaniqa is eflornithine hydrochloride, it has been used to treat African sleeping sickness and certain cancers. Vaniqa works by putting down an enzyme that is needed for cell reproduction and other cell functions necessary for hair growth. Noticeable results are usually observed after 6 weeks of therapy. Application must be continued for as long as inhibition of hair growth is desired. Vaniqa continues to reduce facial hair growth for up to 8 weeks after discontinuing treatment.
OBESE AND/OR CHRONICALLY TIRED?
One-minute quiz !!!!!!!
If you suffer from extreme fatigue and any of the following, the culprit may be an underactive thyroid due to insufficient iodine in the body.
DIFFICULTY CONCENTRATING/POOR MEMORY.
BODY-WISE MUSCLE AND JOINT ACHES.
CHILLS, EVEN IN WARM WEATHER.
DRY SKIN, BRITTLE NAILS, THINNING HAIR.
UNEXPLAINED WEIGHT GAIN.
LOW SEX DRIVE.
Overlooked iodine deficiency is making women chronically tired
- One in three women is tired, heavy and blues as a result of a poorly functioning thyroid. The cause: “Millions of women are unknowingly deficient in iodine,” says Ann Haiden, D.O., and internist in Kentfield, California. “This mineral enables thyroid hormones that regulate cellular metabolism.”
- Healthy choices are contributing to the epidemic. Women are limiting their intake of table salt (fortified with iodine), consuming more soy and cruciferous vegetables (which contain iodine flushing compounds) and eating more leafy salads (a source of the iodine-blocking toxin perchlorate).
- What this means: Doctors are increasingly prescribing thyroid medications, but in many cases their patients could be cured simply by consuming more iodine.
What can help
- Follow these iodine guidelines. For most women, aiming for the recommended daily allowance of 150 mcg of iodine will restore energy. The advice is to take a multivitamin (most contain this dose) and eating iodine-rich foods like eggs, unpeeled baked potatoes, shrimp, tuna and cod. Women who don´t feel better within a month can supplement with 150 mcg of iodine daily, like the one made from kelp.
- Boost absorption with vitamin A. Vitamin “A” enhaces the absortion of iodine and its ability to synthesize thyroid hormones. Sources include eggs, pork and turkey, as well as foods rich in carotenoids (which the body converts to vitamin A), such as oranges, carrots, red peppers, pumpkin, squash and yams.
NEW WAY TO DETECT MELANOMA
Melanoma produces high levels of a protein called IMP-3, which is not over-expressed in harmless moles, University of Rochester Medical Center researchers report. They said the finding may offer doctors a new way to distinguish melanoma–the most dangerous type of skin cancer–from benign moles that look like melanoma.
The study was published in the current issue of Modern Pathology. “We are very excited about our finding that IMP-3 is an important progression marker in malignant melanoma,” study author Dr. Jennifer G. Pryor, a third-year resident in the department of pathology and laboratory medicine, said in a university news release.
“Although we have learned a lot about melanoma in recent years, it has unique biologic properties that sometimes make it difficult to diagnose and to plan for the proper treatment. This protein may have a key role in helping us to understand and distinguish between various types of melanocytic lesions,” Pryor said.
She and her colleagues analyzed samples of 56 biopsied lesions from 48 adults. None of the benign moles over-expressed IMP-3, but excess levels of the protein were found in most melanomas.
IMP-3, which is involved in cell proliferation, appears to play a role in the formation of number of malignant tumors. Previous studies have linked expression of IMP-3 to pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancers. This new study is the first to identify a connection between the protein and melanoma.
Further research is needed to determine if more careful monitoring and aggressive treatment may benefit melanoma patients with tumors that express IMP-3.
The American Academy of Dermatology has more about malignant melanoma.
NEW TREATMENT FOR PSORIASIS EMERGES
Psoriasis can be a maddening disease. Patches of thick, inflamed skin covered with silvery scales form here and there on the patient’s body, often on the elbows, knees, other parts of the legs, scalp, lower back, face, palms, and soles of the feet. They usually itch or feel sore, and the more of the patches there are, generally, the worse the person suffers.
And because psoriasis is a genetic condition that causes inflammation by striking at the immune system, it can have other health effects. An estimated 10-30% of people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis, which causes pain, stiffness and swelling in and around the joints, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.
Psoriasis sufferers also have higher rates of cardiovascular disease and other systemic health problems, said Jennifer Cather, MD, a Dallas dermatologist and a member of the Baylor University Medical Center’s Division of Dermatology. “Often patients think psoriasis is just a rash, [but] it is a systemic inflammatory disease with far-reaching affects,” Cather said. “Patients should be aware of that and understand that controlling that systemic inflammation can help with other diseases.”
That’s a message doctors are looking to share during August, Psoriasis Awareness Month. Until recently, there was little that could be done about the systemic damage done by psoriasis. Sufferers used topical creams to ease their itches or aches, or underwent expensive ultraviolet light treatments that disrupted the surface spread of psoriasis but did not address the underlying problems within the immune system.
But the past few years have seen the development of a new wave of drug treatments known as biologics. These medications do what previous treatments could not–go after the root of the problem by influencing the immune system.
“It’s really changed the way we can treat psoriasis,” said Lawrence Green, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. “It really has made life much more tolerable for patients.”
Psoriasis occurs when the body’s immune system is somehow mistakenly triggered, which speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation. Normal skin cells mature and fall off the body in 28 to 30 days. A psoriatic skin cell takes just three to four days to mature and move to the surface, and, instead of falling off, the cells pile up and form lesions. According to the National Institutes of Health, as many as 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis.
Biologics are made from human or animal proteins, and they treat psoriasis by going after the overactive immune cells causing the disease. “They are based on natural processes,” Green said. “They’re similar to chemicals or compounds we already have in our system. They help lessen immune responses. They help soak up or diminish the extra inflammatory compounds.”
Currently, five biologics are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of psoriasis, and three of those five are approved for psoriatic arthritis. Biologics are effective, and they also are more affordable than ultraviolet therapy, the other leading treatment for dealing with medium-to-severe cases of psoriasis, according to dermatologists.
Ultraviolet light kills the immune cells in the skin that are causing the problem, Cather said. The problem is, a person must come in three to five times a week for treatment, racking up hundreds of dollars in co-payments.
Biologics, by comparison, are self-administered through injection. The patient usually must inject the medication somewhere between twice-weekly to once every other week, Cather said.
Patients undergoing biologic therapy need to have periodic re-evaluations by their dermatologist to check for the development of new symptoms, including infections and potential cancers, according to guidelines issued earlier this year by the American Academy of Dermatology.
To learn more about psoriasis, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
COMBATING CULTURAL STRESS
The domino effect
In the years since, stress has evolved. Cultural stress started infiltrating people’s lives 20 years ago as society became more technologically savvy and prosperous. And it doesn’t affect only adults—cultural stress starts young and is initiated by parents.
This has a far-reaching domino effect. In order to make more money to pay for all the activities in which you and your family are involved, you must work longer hours.
The more money you make, the more things you buy. And this phenomenon extends well beyond possessions. All of this has put a great strain on people’s health and well-being, especially because the vast majority is barely keeping up.
As a result of this pursuit to stay ahead, workers are experiencing extreme levels of on-the-job stress.
Americans’ busy on-the-go lifestyles have created yet another problem: There is no time to cook at home, so people have grown accustomed to eating out.
In order to help maintain mental and physical health, it is important to consume complex carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and good fats—especially omega-3 fatty acids.
Cultural stress and clients’ skin
How does cultural stress affect the skin? As skin care professionals know, all of these conditions are reflected in the way the skin looks and feels. First of all, any kind of anxiety leads to a tremendous amount of nervous system activity. It can cause an outpouring of adrenaline, cortisol and other stress-related hormones.
The water principle
The good news is that cultural stress can be counteracted, and health can be improved both physically and emotionally by understanding what I have dubbed “the water principle.” Cultural stress contributes to damaged cell walls, allowing the precious water that keeps them functioning to escape. This water loss has a myriad of effects. It causes the cells and connective tissues to break down, preventing your heart, lungs, brain and other organs from functioning at optimal levels—all of which become apparent when you look at the skin. You can encourage more water in the cells and reduce cultural stress by teaching these three simple steps to your clients.
1. Topical care. As the largest organ of the body, the skin is extremely responsive to topically applied products.
2. Internal care. With topical skin care, you can treat approximately 20% of the skin—the epidermis. The remaining 80%—the dermis—responds by feeding the skin from the inside.
3. Emotional care. Maintain connections with others. Discover a passion, such as painting or dancing. Reducing isolation promotes a healthy sense of self.
The esthetician’s role
Estheticians are health care providers. You are in a unique position to help your clients reduce the symptoms derived from cultural stress and achieve an improved state of well-being.
It’s important to understand cultural stress and its pervasiveness. Keeping this concept in mind is a necessary step in creating spa surroundings that are completely free of the factors that can contribute to this type of anxiety, including cell phones, PDAs, television and loud music. The atmosphere should be focused on creating the optimum healing environment.
Also, simplify the remedies that you prescribe to clients. Another simple way to help ease the weight of cultural stress is to make clients aware of the problem. Most people are feeling this tension without even knowing its cause.
Develop coping tools
Cultural stress is a part of life. It’s something that affects everyone, but it doesn’t have to overtake your life. Although clients initially may come to you with a skin condition, they ultimately return to you because you do more than just care for their skin. By helping them to develop tools to cope with the cultural stress in their lives, you will be giving them a benefit that they will see on their skin, as well as feel physically, internally and emotionally.
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TOUCH
You could not exist without touch. From the moment of your birth to the final minutes of your life, touch is one basic human need for which everyone hungers. It is an essential force that shapes and molds your personality, as well as how you present yourself in the world.
Through physical touch, a variety of emotions and reactions is conveyed and elicited. There are many forms of touch—a friendly handshake, a loving pat on the cheek or even a punch that delivers pain and discomfort.
Touching someone begins when you enter into their presence. You can tell immediately whether you are welcome or are perceived as an intrusion. You either are enveloped by the warmth of closeness and familiarity or are blocked by a wall of coldness.
Categories of touch
Although touch offers a richly detailed and almost infinite range of sensations, some of the most frequent types include the following.
Loving and/or intimate. Hand-holding, hugs, kisses or an arm draped across your shoulders all are types of touch that bring out feelings of fondness, desire, tenderness, passion and belonging.
Needy. If you have young children or pets, this method of touch is a familiar one. It is experienced in the hugging of a leg or the tugging of clothing by a child as a request for attention, as well as by a puppy pushing its nose under your hand, begging for a scratch on the head.
Healing. Hands-on practitioners use this form of touch with their clientele in order to promote good health, stress relief and recovery from an injury. Some forms are gentle and relaxing, while others are deep and penetrating.
Inquisitive. Babies who are only months old explore their new world of faces, colors, shapes and temperatures by touching and grabbing. The blind learn to “see” with their hands. Physicians use touch to get a better idea of where you may be feeling pain or where there is an abnormality that may require further examination.
Abusive and/or aggressive. Many people are affected by those who express themselves through hitting, slapping or forcing themselves on others.
Other senses. In fact, all of your senses are an extension of touch. When you hear sounds, a flurry of air molecules touches the delicate membranes of your inner ears. When you see something, light waves touch your sensitive retinas. The senses of smell and taste similarly require molecules to touch the membranes of the nasal passages and the tongue, respectively.
Physical and emotional healing
As estheticians, massage therapists and body workers, you have an important role in regard to this most special of senses. Unlike most other professionals, your work gives you the opportunity to connect with others through sustained, intentional touch. Your touch assists bodies in regenerating, rejuvenating and relaxing, which leads to the healing of physical, emotional and spiritual injuries.
For years, a plethora of research has been done to prove the validity of physical and emotional healing through touch. At the University of Miami’s School of Medicine’s Touch Research Institute (TRI), which began conducting formal research in 1992, teams of physicians and psychologists investigate and document the role of touch in health and wellness. As revealed by the TRI’s studies, touch therapy yields many positive effects, including facilitating weight gain in preterm infants, reducing stress hormones, alleviating depressive symptoms, easing pain, improving immune function and altering electroencephalography (EEG)—a test that measures and records electrical brain activity—in the direction of heightened awareness.
Bernie Siegel, MD, the respected author and surgeon who founded Exceptional Cancer Patients (ECap) and specializes in mind/body/spirit medicine for chronic illnesses, once said, “The person to help is always the one in front of you. The time to help is now, and the thing to do is what that person needs. We make a difference by helping individuals. The ripple effect is a powerful one.”
We all need to remember that people are touched through all of their senses !!!!
WANT TO FEEL INVINCIBLE? DO IT WITH PLUMS
Smooth your digestion
Plums are a top source of the natural sugar alcohol sorbitol and are packed with the insoluble fiber hemicellulose. Research shows that this healthy duo improves the digestive tract´s foodshuttling efficiency, slashing heartburn and constipation risk by 36 percent. Bonus !!!: Once consumed, gellike hemicellulose fuels bload-fighting probiotic bacteria in the large intestin, rapidly flattening the belly.
Eating plums prevents fat accumulation in the belly, hips and thighs. The reason: Plums are acidic and high in vitamin C, two factors that trigger bile production. This digestive fluid traps dietary fat molecules before they can be absorbed, speeding their elimination from the body. And acidic, C-rich fruit helps flush fat-packing toxins from the lymphatic system.
Just one cup of plums contains 248 grams of vitamin K –more than any other fruit. This nutrient reduces the appearance of spider and varicose veins by stimulating the body´s production of thrombin. In a recent study, this clotting protein was shown to obstruct blood circulation to damaged veins, causing them to shrink and fade in as little as six weeks.
Juicy plums are rich in chlorogenic acid and neochlorogenic acid. These antioxidants fight off superoxide anion radical (a toxic by-product of a normal immune response). Shutting down this free radical halts brain-cell damage, thus safeguarding memory, enhacing reasoning skills and supporting new neuronal growth.
POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth and obesity, though it can affect women in a variety of ways.
The condition stems from a disruption in the monthly reproductive cycle. The name polycystic ovary syndrome comes from the appearance of the ovaries in some women with the disorder — large and studded with numerous cysts (polycystic).
Early diagnosis and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome can help reduce the risk of long-term complications, which include diabetes and heart disease.
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome usually have at least several of the many signs and symptoms associated with PCOS, including:
- Irregular or no menstruation. This is the most common characteristic. Irregular menstruation means having menstrual cycles that occur at intervals longer than 35 days or fewer than eight times a year. The condition may begin in adolescence with the onset of menstruation, or it may appear later after a weight gain.
- Signs of excess androgen. Elevated levels of male hormones may result in physical signs, such as long, coarse hair on your face, chest, lower abdomen, back, upper arms or upper legs (hirsutism); acne; and male-pattern baldness (alopecia). However, not all women who have polycystic ovary syndrome have physical signs of androgen excess.
- Enlarged ovaries with multiple cysts. Your doctor may detect ovarian cysts by ultrasound. However, you may have ovaries with multiple cysts but still not have polycystic ovary syndrome. And you may have PCOS but have ovaries that appear normal.
- Infertility. Polycystic ovary syndrome is the most common cause of female infertility in the United States.
- Obesity. It’s estimated that about half of women with polycystic ovary syndrome are obese.
- Skin tags. These small, excess growths of skin that are usually found on your neck or in your armpit are common in women with PCOS.
- Prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. The ability to use insulin effectively is impaired in PCOS and can result in high blood sugar levels and diabetes. Prediabetes is also called impaired glucose tolerance.
- Acanthosis nigricans. This is the medical term for darkened, velvety skin on the nape of your neck, armpits, inner thighs, vulva or under your breasts.
Additionally, the following are more likely to occur in women with PCOS:
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol
- Elevated levels of C-reactive protein, which may be associated with cardiovascular problems
- Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a liver disease
- Sleep apnea
The intricate process of a woman’s reproductive cycle is regulated by fluctuating levels of hormones produced by the pituitary gland in your brain, including luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and by your ovaries.
The ovaries secrete the female hormones estrogen and progesterone and also produce some androgens, the so-called male hormones. Androgens include testosterone, androstenedione and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).
In polycystic ovary syndrome, your body produces an excess of androgens, and your ratio of LH to FSH is often abnormally high. The process of ovaries releasing eggs (ovulation) occurs less frequently than normal (oligo-ovulation), or the ovaries don’t release eggs at all (anovulation). In the absence of ovulation, the menstrual cycle is irregular or absent.
Doctors don’t know the cause of polycystic ovary syndrome, but research suggests a link to excess insulin, the hormone produced in the pancreas that allows cells to use sugar (glucose), your body’s primary energy supply. By several mechanisms, excess insulin is thought to boost androgen production by your ovaries. Studies also indicate that genetic factors may play a role in PCOS.
When to seek medical advice
Early diagnosis and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome may help reduce your risk of long-term complications, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Talk with your doctor if you have irregular, scant or no menstrual periods, are overweight, and have acne or excess facial hair growth. Your doctor may refer you to a doctor who specializes in hormonal disorders (endocrinologist).
SKIN DISORDERS LINKED TO STRESS
Scientists have long sought to learn whether and how stress can lead to skin problems. A new study in mice shows that a stress-triggered hormone could worsen or even cause skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema.
The scientists found that blocking the hormone called glucocorticoid—which increases in stressful times—resulted in better skin.
Understanding how glucocorticoids work could help scientists come up with ways to prevent human skin problems triggered by psychological stress, said lead researcher Kenneth Feingold of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco and the University of California at San Francisco.
“Here you have things going on in your mind that affect what’s going on in your skin,” Feingold told LiveScience.
The outermost layer of your skin, the epidermis, is composed of dead skin cells, which form a permeability barrier to prevent water loss. Every day tens of thousands of these dead cells slough off as tiny flakes. Typically, cells at the bottom of the epidermis grow, move to the surface and differentiate into skin cells to replace the lost flakes.
Previous research showed that psychological stress decreases cell growth and inhibits differentiation into skin cells.
In the new study, scientists subjected hairless mice to stress while either blocking the production of glucocorticoids or blocking the action of the hormone. Some mice weren’t treated at all. The stress was created by placing the mice in small cages in constant light with a radio playing for 48 hours.
The two groups of mice treated with a type of glucocorticoid-blocker showed much better skin function compared with untreated and stressed mice.
While the researchers hope the study will lead to a way to treat people who suffer these skin conditions, there is still a long way to go. Besides needing to test the effect in people, blocking glucocorticoids could have negative side effects that are worse than exacerbations of skin disorders.
The research is detailed in the December issue of the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.
HAIR REMOVAL TECHNIQUES
OBESE AND/OR CHRONICALLY TIRED?
NEW WAY TO DETECT MELANOMA
NEW TREATMENT FOR PSORIASIS EMERGES
COMBATING CULTURAL STRESS
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TOUCH
WANT TO FEEL INVINCIBLE? DO IT WITH PLUMS
POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME
SKIN DISORDERS LINKED TO STRESS