Every day for the last week I’ve seen a new report of someone dying or losing a limb due to “flesh-eating bacteria.”
Is there an epidemic? Should we panic?
Flesh-eating bacteria are bacteria that cause a serious—and deadly—disease called
. necrotizing fasciitis
But even though necrotizing fasciitis (NF) is a really, really bad disease, it’s also really, really rare.
The news media like to pick up these stories because …
read on Infections can be expensive!
When my son was about 10 years old, he developed a nasty blister on his foot after a long hike in poorly-fitting shoes. I wasn’t aware of the blister until several days later when he came to me with what was obviously a badly infected sore between two of his toes.
I had to take him to the pediatrician to have the wound lanced (opened) and …
read on Mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and other biting insects are active this time of year. Most cause discomfort; some carry dangerous diseases. Protect yourself with an effective bug repellent.
There are four chemicals on the market that make up most of the available bug repellents.
Always read the labels to know what the active ingredients are, and follow the directions for use, especially if you’re using it on children.
DEET is …
read on For years one of my family members has had to have multiple skin cancers—basal cell and squamous—removed from his face.
He heard that the supplement niacinamide might help prevent these skin cancers, so I volunteered to do a little research into the research. 😄
Vitamin B3, niacin, niacinamide & nicotinamide
First I had to educate myself about the multiple and confusing names in this group of supplements!
Vitamin B3 is … read on On a cloudy summer day it’s easy to forget that the sun’s skin-damaging ultraviolet or UV rays aren’t blocked by the clouds. We still have to use sunscreen, wear hats and sunglasses, or stay out of the sun to protect ourselves.
UV rays not only cause sunburn, but also skin cancer and cataracts. And there aren’t enough beauty creams in the world to undo the premature aging effects …
read on Itchy bug bites and skin rashes are common complaints this time of year.
A lot of products at the drugstore claim to relieve itchiness, but which anti-itch cream (or ointment or gel or liquid) is best?
That depends on what you’re treating.
There are four main types of ingredients in anti-itch creams: corticosteroids, counter-irritants, antihistamines, and colloidal oatmeal.
These are often combined with soothing agents such as zinc or aloe, …
read on An apple a day…
Keeps the doctor away.
the old saying tells us. (It was shortened in the 19th century from the rather lengthy “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” )
Is it true? What are the health benefits of apples?
I personally love apples and really do eat one most days of the week, because I know …
read on Tanning beds are dangerous to your health
It’s mid-winter, and that’s when tanning beds are most popular.
Either people want a little artificial sunshine to help them cope with the weather, or they’re heading off on a tropical holiday and want a bit of color before they go.
But be warned: Tanning beds not only increase your risk of melanoma, they also increase the likelihood of a recurrence.
For years …
read on Painful and ugly…
…are the best words to describe cold sores.
They typically show up on the lips, too, which makes them so difficult to hide.
Cold sores are caused by a virus, the herpes simplex 1 virus or HSV-1. (Herpes simplex 2 or HSV-2 is what’s known as genital herpes.)
If you’ve ever had a herpes cold sore, don’t feel embarrassed. HSV-1 is extremely common; more than 70% of …
read on Protect your lips
Did you ever stop to wonder how the skin of our lips differs from the skin on the rest of the face?
The skin over our lips is very thin and highly vascular, hence their typical “vermilion” or red color. Our lips also have more nerve endings, making them very tactile and sensitive.
These anatomical differences make our lips attractive and nice for kissing, but they also …