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A study from the University at Buffalo in New York suggests that fear of developing skin cancer is the driving force behind sunblock use, more so than existing statistics reflecting the likelihood that it will happen.
Marc Kiviniemi, lead researcher and assistant professor of community health and health behavior, used the data collected during a U.S. study by the National Cancer Institute that involved approximately 1,500 participants.
Study participants were selected based on an absence of personal history of skin cancer and answered questions about sunblock use and their worries and estimated risks of developing the disease.
Although only 14 percent of subjects reported always using sunblock, and a significant portion — 32 percent — reported never using it, each individual reflected on hypothetical worry when describing what motivates them to grease up before greeting the sun.
Kiviniemi points out that such worry, called “cognitive risk” in scientific terms, is often labeled as an irrational influence and devalued by researchers and health care workers.
“These findings show that clinicians might want to think more about feelings when encouraging people to use sunscreen,” says Kiviniemi. “In addition to providing educational information about risk, encouraging people to consider how they feel about cancer and how worried they are about it might inspire preventive behaviors.”
The study was published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine.
Meanwhile, a study conducted by the University of Colorado Cancer Center in January that found teenagers use sunblock in fear of losing their beauty rather than fear of disease. While the findings are different, the fear factor does appear to be consistent.
Researchers for the Colorado study recruited 50 subjects from local high schools and gauged their knowledge of sun protection by means of a questionnaire, after which they were divided randomly into two groups.
One group was asked to watch a video about the dangers of skin cancer, while the other viewed one about premature aging provoked by sun damage.
Researchers revisited both groups six weeks later and found those who had watched the exposé on cosmetic sun damage had taken full control of their health — OK, beauty — and significantly upped their sunblock dosage on a regular basis.
The other group had made little to no changes in their habits, according to Dr. April W. Armstrong, MPH, investigator at the CU Cancer Center and vice chair of Clinical Research at the CU School of Medicine Department of Dermatology.
“For teenagers, telling them UV exposure will lead to skin cancer is not as effective as we would hope,” says Armstrong. “If our endgame is to modify their behavior, we need to tailor our message in the right way and in this case the right way is by highlighting consequences to appearance rather than health. It’s important to address now — if we can help them start this behavior when younger, it can affect skin cancer risk when older.”
Both studies present a valuable lesson that a little fear can go a long way in terms of health, and that the message must be adjusted according to the age of the audience.
Source: New York Daily News
Benzoyl peroxide has been used to treat acne for over 45 years, and for many women and men who struggle with breakouts, it’s been the key for clear skin. Available over-the-counter on its own and in combination with retinoids or antibiotics by prescription, it’s not ideal for everyone since it can dry out and irritate the skin. Although many dermatologists still consider benzoyl peroxide to be the gold standard for treating acne, its use has waned as other options have become available.
But many people don’t know the full story about benzoyl peroxide…
Benzoyl peroxide is an effective treatment for acne because it penetrates the pores (and the oil that resides there) and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, which means it kills the bacteria that cause acne while soothing the redness and pain associated with blemishes. Studies have also shown that when benzoyl peroxide is combined with other ingredients like antibiotics, skin-clearing results are amplified. This can be due to enhanced penetration or reducing antibiotic resistance. Benzoyl peroxide is also commonly used in tandem with salicylic acid to prevent breakouts. If a benzoyl peroxide serum or spot treatment is too harsh on your skin, a cleanser containing this ingredient may be effective enough to improve acne, especially when left on the skin for a few minutes before rinsing.
In addition to the dryness and irritation benzoyl peroxide can cause, it kills bacteria by releasing free radicals. This is an issue in and of itself, especially for anyone concerned about visible signs of aging. Beyond these side effects, benzoyl peroxide may also deplete the skin’s natural antioxidant defenses. Even more, one study performed on mice found that benzoyl peroxide had the same effects on the skin as UVB rays (which are the same rays that cause sunburn). Acne is very common among pregnant women due to hormone fluctuations, however the safety of benzoyl peroxide use during pregnancy has not been established.
What should you do?
If benzoyl peroxide is effective for controlling your acne, I recommend sticking with it. If you experience dryness or irritation, I have found a barrier-repair moisturizer can soothe and hydrate the skin. I tell all of my patients that using an effective antioxidant serum (in addition to sunscreen) is the most effective way to prevent visible signs of aging, and I suggest anyone who uses benzoyl peroxide also use a vitamin C product every morning to offset the free radicals created by this skincare ingredient.
If you’re concerned about acne and the effect benzoyl peroxide may be having on your skin, talk to your dermatologist about other treatment options.
By Leslie Baumann, M.D.
Source: Yahoo! Health
Why is reducing stress so important? Because stress is not just problematic in the moment — it’s a real health risk. The more stress, the more likely you will suffer physical ailments, from migraines to belly fat. Or even a heart attack. But before you get even more anxious about the long-term effects of chronic stress, try these several tried and true stress-reduction and relaxation techniques.
1. Breathe: Yes, breathing is second nature, but during stressful times, that’s often not the case. Under a cloud of worry, many people hold their breath or have shallow breath, or tense up so much that it’s actually difficult to inhale adequate oxygen. So the first way to turn your stress level down a few notches is to focus on your breathing. Sitting up, close your eyes and inhale and exhale, nice and easy, then repeat 10 times. Or, lie down, place a pillow under your knees, and put your hand on your belly to feel your breath rise and fall. You can say the words “rising” and “falling” in your head as you take in and release your breath.
2. Eat Chocolate: Having a bad day? A piece of dark chocolate might be just the nibble you need to brighten your outlook and reduce stress. In fact, a daily dose of dark chocolate (70 percent cacao or higher) is a proven antidote to stress (Plus, it can lower your risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease.). Cocoa beans are rich in flavonoids, an antioxidant, which counteract the anxiety-producing hormone, cortisol. If possible, opt for brands that offer the purest form, preferably organic and made from “single estate” or “single origin” beans. (Sorry, milk chocolate does not count.)
3. Reach for Soothing Scents: To calm those nerves in an instant, try inhaling aromas from bergamot, lavender or peppermint oils. Have a tension headache? Put one drop of lavender oil on your fingertips and massage your temples. To get the scent to permeate the room, add a few drops of essential oil to an unscented candle and light it. Not only will your space smell heavenly, this relaxation technique will calm your spirit in no time.
4. Take a Bath: Since ancient times, hydrotherapy has been practiced for its healing and restorative powers. To make your tub-time extra therapeutic, sprinkle in a handful of bath salts, turn down the lights, turn on some relaxing music and light an aromatherapy candle.
5. Get Moving: Even if it’s the last thing you feel like doing at the moment, one of the quickest, most effective ways to reduce stress is to exercise. You’ve heard of a runner’s high? The “high” comes from the endorphins that our brains produce when we get our heart pumping. Low impact exercises — walking, swimming, biking, weight lifting, yoga or Pilates — are just as effective when it comes to boosting your mood, too.
6. Picture Peacefulness: When you feel tension throughout your body, calm those nerves by closing your eyes and picturing the most peaceful place you can imagine. Whether it’s curling up by the fire, lying on the beach or staring at a moonlit lake with only the sounds of lapping waves and crickets, just the thought can bring you some measure of peace.
7. Apply Pressure: Stress can cause some serious aches and pains. To manage these physical ailments, try acupressure — a Chinese therapy in which pressure is applied to the meridians, or channels, in your body. It is believed these channels connect your organs, and, when one is blocked, can result in pain or illness. To alleviate the discomfort of a headache, apply your index and middle finger to your wrist, at the base of your palm in line with your pinky finger and hold firmly for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other wrist. Similarly, you can try the point between your big toe and the second toe. Also, The breathing exercise is more useful when the breath is taken through the nose and out through the mouth. Try it — it works!
The quest to stay young looking has become a virtual passion especially as baby boomers move through middle age. You can see it in commercials, particularly for women, who maintain that the effects of age can be defeated, so the skin can remain smooth, soft and wrinkle free. While it’s easy to discount this quest for great looking skin as vanity, there is truth to the idea that taking good care of our skin is a worthwhile ambition for baby boomers as they approach their retirement years.
Often we don’t think a lot about our skin. It seems so self sufficient and self healing that we take for granted that it will just get better when it suffers mild abrasions or cuts or other ailments. Few of us take the time to appreciate the fact that the skin is one of vital organs (the largest one) and that we should take care of it with as much concern as we do for our heart and lungs. Maintaining robust health is a goal for baby boomers who have always been driven to fight the effects of aging and stay youthful. So just as we all have worked together to become aware of the risks for heart disease, cancer and other endemic problems as we age, we should also become well informed on lifestyle choices that can affect the ability of our skin to stay healthy and able to take good care of us well into our golden years.
There is no other body organ that is so exposed to damage and so rugged in resisting the wear and tear of the world than the skin. But the elements and even things we do can cause wear and tear on the skin and cause it to become dry, wrinkled and eventually more susceptible to disease. Some of the things we can do from a lifestyle point of view to give our skin a head start on staying healthy throughout our lives are…
Protect the skin from the extremes of temperature such as harsh wind and cold. These elements will dry the skin and lead to preliminary aging if we don’t take care earlier in life.. Similarly being sensible about exposing our skins to the sun just makes sense. The quest for a good tan, while attractive in the short term, is not good skin care long term. It doesn’t pay to wash the skin in harsh soaps or to scrub it too harshly. While it is good to maintain a clean lifestyle and clean the skin regularly, we have to remember that harsh soaps and being too aggressive with the skin can wear it down and remove natural lubrication and cleansing agents that the skin generates to take care of itself.
Some habits such as smoking which we already identified for other health risks, are also hard on the skin. All you have to do is to look at the face of a lifelong smoker to see the deep lines and the deterioration of the skin caused by that habit to make you want to throw your smokes out the window. Good skin care like tooth care and care of other part, so your body require regular attention, good life style habits and common sense. Just as over attention to brushing the teeth can be as harmful as good, excessive washing and obsession about the skin is just as damaging as neglecting it.
There are proactive things we can do from a lifestyle point of view to give the skin the care it needs to do it’s job of keeping us healthy. Routine use of coconut oil each night helps the skin remain smooth and healthy and is a pleasant nightly ritual for you. Good diet with an emphasis on Vitamin A and including generous portions of fruit, vegetables and carrot juice can keep your skin healthy and robust well into those sunset years. And as baby boomers move into that stage of their lives, they will benefit from a lifestyle of good skin care that started early and continued throughout life.
Presented by: Bello Signature.