Skin care

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Mercury Poisoning Linked to Skin Products

Published October 6, 2016 by teacher dahl

mercury

Whatever your complexion, it’s important to use products that will help your skin and not damage it. But as you wade through the beauty aisles, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cautions that you should avoid skin creams, beauty and antiseptic soaps, and lotions that contain mercury.

How will you know if mercury’s in the cosmetic, especially one that’s marketed as “anti-aging” or “skin lightening”? Check the label. If the words “mercurous chloride,” “calomel,” “mercuric,” “mercurio,” or “mercury” are listed on the label, mercury’s in it—and you should stop using the product immediately.

The products are usually marketed as skin lighteners and anti-aging treatments that remove age spots, freckles, blemishes, and wrinkles. Adolescents may use these products as acne treatments.

Jason Humbert of FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs says these products usually are manufactured abroad and sold illegally in the United States, often in shops catering to the Latino, Asian, African, or Middle Eastern communities. They are promoted online on social media sites and sold through mobile apps. Consumers may also have bought them in another country and brought them back to the U.S. for personal use, he adds.

If the ingredients aren’t listed and there is no product label, don’t assume it’s fine. Federal law requires that ingredients be listed on the label of any cosmetic or nonprescription drug, so do not use a product that doesn’t have a label. In addition, don’t use drugs or cosmetics labeled in languages other than English unless English labeling is also provided. That’s also a sign that the product may be marketed illegally.
“Even though these products are often promoted as cosmetics, they also may be unapproved new drugs under the law,” says Linda Katz, M.D., director of FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors. FDA does not allow mercury in drugs or in cosmetics, except under very specific conditions where there are no other safe and effective preservatives available – conditions that these products do not meet.

Sellers and distributors who market mercury-containing skin whitening or lightening creams in the U.S. may be subject to enforcement action, including seizure of products, injunctions, and, in some situations, criminal prosecution.

Dangers of Mercury
Exposure to mercury can have serious health consequences. The danger isn’t just to people who use mercury-containing products but also to their families, says Arthur Simone, M.D., a senior medical advisor at FDA.
“Your family might breathe mercury vapors released from these products. Your children might touch washcloths or towels that are contaminated with mercury. It could be as simple as touching someone’s cheek or face,” Simone says.
Some people – including pregnant women, nursing babies and young children – are especially vulnerable to mercury toxicity, he adds. Babies may be particularly sensitive to the harm mercury can cause to their developing brains and nervous systems. Newborns who nurse are vulnerable because mercury is passed into breast milk.

Signs and Symptoms of Mercury Poisoning
• irritability
• shyness
• tremors
• changes in vision or hearing
• memory problems
• depression
• numbness and tingling in hands, feet or around mouth

Tracking Skin Products Containing Mercury
In the past few years, FDA and state health officials have discovered numerous products that contain mercury, and there have been cases in which people exposed to such products have had mercury poisoning or elevated levels of mercury in their bodies. FDA has an import alert in place that lets our field staff know that the agency has enough evidence or other information to refuse admission of shipments of mercury-containing skin products.
But this is only a partial solution, Humbert says.

“Many of these products are coming into the country through illegal channels,” he says. “That’s why it’s so important for consumers and sellers to know about the dangers of possible mercury poisoning associated with the use of these skin products.”

How to Protect Yourself

  • Thoroughly wash your hands and other parts of your body that have come in contact with products that contain mercury.
  • Contact your health care professional or a medical care clinic for advice. If you have questions, call your health care professional or the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222; it is open 24 hours a day.
  • Before throwing out a product that may contain mercury, seal it in a plastic bag or leak-proof container. Check with your local environmental, health, or solid waste agency for disposal instructions. Some communities have special collections or other options for disposing of hazardous household waste.

    Credit: fda.gov

Boils, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Published December 26, 2014 by teacher dahl

frame 1 what is boil

What Is a Boil?
A boil is a skin infection that starts in a hair follicle or oil gland. Also referred to as a skin abscess, it is a localized infection deep in the skin. A boil generally starts as a reddened, tender area. Over time, the area becomes firm and hard. Eventually, the center of the abscess softens and becomes filled with infection-fighting white blood cells that the body sends via the bloodstream to eradicate the infection. This collection of white blood cells, bacteria, and proteins is known as pus. Finally, the pus “forms a head,” which can be surgically opened or spontaneously drain out through the surface of the skin.

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Boil Symptoms

A boil starts as a hard, red, painful lump usually less than an inch in size. Over the next few days, the lump becomes softer, larger, and more painful. Soon a pocket of pus forms on the top of the boil. Signs of a severe infection are
• the skin around the boil becomes red, painful, and swollen;
• more boils may appear around the original one;
• a fever develops;
• the lymph nodes in the area become swollen.

frame 3 where

Where Do Boils Form?
The most common places for boils to appear are on the
neck,
armpits,
shoulders,
buttocks.
When one forms on the eyelid, it is called a sty.

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What Causes Boils?
There are many causes of boils. Boils are usually caused by a type of bacteria called Staphylococcus (staph). Most staph infections develop into abscesses and can become serious very quickly. This germ can be present on normal skin and enters the body through tiny breaks in the skin or by traveling down a hair to the follicle. Some boils can be caused by an ingrown hair. Others can form as the result of a splinter or other foreign material that has become lodged in the skin that causes the infection to develop. Others boils, such as those of acne, are caused by plugged sweat glands that become infected.

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Additional Causes of Boils
The skin is an essential part of our immune defense against materials and microbes that are foreign to our body. Any break in the skin, such as a cut or scrape, can develop into an abscess (boil) should it then become infected with bacteria.

frame 6 fecolytis

Folliculitis Could Be an Early Warning
Folliculitis is an inflammation or infection of the hair follicles. This condition can develop into a boil and appears as numerous small red or pink little bumps at the hair follicles. Infection of the hair follicles can occur when the skin is disrupted or inflamed due to a number of conditions, including acne, skin wounds or injuries, friction from clothing, excessive sweating, or exposure to toxins.

Are Boils Contagious?

Boils themselves are not contagious, but the bacteria that cause boils are. Until it drains and heals, an active skin boil is contagious. The infection can spread to other parts of the person’s body or to other people through skin-to-skin contact or the sharing of personal items.

carbuncle

  1. Boil Type: Carbuncle
    A carbuncle is an abscess in the skin caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. It usually involves a group of hair follicles and is therefore larger than a typical furuncle, or boil. A carbuncle can have one or more openings onto the skin and may be associated with fever or chills.

    cystic acne

  2. Boil Type: Cystic Acne
    Cystic acne is a type of abscess that is formed when oil ducts become clogged and infected. Cystic acne affects deeper skin tissue than the more superficial inflammation from common acne. Cystic acne is most common on the face and typically occurs in the teenage years.

    armpit

  3. Boil Type: Hidradenitis Suppurativa
    Hidradenitis suppurativa is a condition in which there are multiple abscesses that form under the armpits and often in the groin area. These areas are a result of local inflammation of the sweat glands. This form of skin infection is difficult to treat with antibiotics alone and typically requires a surgical procedure to remove the involved sweat glands in order to stop the skin inflammation.

    Puwit

  4. Boil Type: Pilonidal Cyst
    A pilonidal cyst is a unique kind of abscess that occurs in or above the crease of the buttocks. Pilonidal cysts often begin as tiny areas of infection in the base of the area of skin from which hair grows (the hair follicle). With irritation from direct pressure, over time the inflamed area enlarges to become a firm, painful, tender nodule making it difficult to sit without discomfort. These frequently form after long trips that involve prolonged sitting.

    sty

  5. Boil Type: Sty
    A sty (sometimes spelled stye) is a tender, painful red bump located at the base of an eyelash or under or inside the eyelid. A sty results from a localized infection of the glands or a hair follicle of the eyelid. A sty is sometimes confused with a chalazion, a lump of the upper or lower eyelid, but a chalazion is usually painless and caused by obstruction and inflammation of an oil gland, not an infection.

    what can be done 1

  6. What Is the Treatment for a Boil?
    Most simple boils can be treated at home. Ideally, the treatment should begin as soon as a boil is noticed since early treatment may prevent later complications. The primary treatment for most boils is heat application, usually with hot soaks or hot packs. Heat application increases the circulation to the area and allows the body to better fight off the infection by bringing antibodies and white blood cells to the site of infection. Do not pop the boil with a needle. This usually results in making the infection worse.

    drained

  7. Should Boils Be Drained?
    As long as the boil is small and firm, opening the area and draining the boil is not helpful, even if the area is painful. However, once the boil becomes soft or “forms a head” (that is, a small pustule is noted in the boil), it can be ready to drain. Once drained, pain relief can be dramatic. Most small boils, such as those that form around hairs, drain on their own with soaking and/or heat application. On occasion, and especially with larger boils, the larger boil will need to be drained or “lanced” by a health-care practitioner. Frequently, these larger boils contain several pockets of pus that must be opened and drained.

    Should Boils Be Treated With Antibiotics?
    Antibiotics are often used to eliminate the accompanying bacterial infection. Especially if there is an infection of the surrounding skin, the doctor often prescribes antibiotics. However, antibiotics are not needed in every situation. In fact, antibiotics have difficulty penetrating the outer wall of an abscess and often will not cure an abscess without additional surgical drainage.

  8. When Should I Seek Medical Attention?
    You should call your doctor and seek medical attention if:
    • the boil is located on your face, near your spine, or near your anus;
    • a boil is getting larger;
    • the pain is severe;
    • you have a fever;

    serioux boils

  9. What Can Be Done to Prevent Boils (Abscesses)?
    Good hygiene and the regular use of antibacterial soaps can help to prevent bacteria from building up on the skin. This can reduce the chance for hair follicles to become infected and prevent the formation of boils. Your health-care practitioner may recommend special cleansers such as pHisoderm to further reduce the bacteria on the skin. When hair follicles on the back of the arms or around the thighs are continually inflamed, regular use of an abrasive brush,
    (loofah brush) in the shower can be used to break up oil plugs and other buildup around hair follicles.

    source : medicine.net

Treating “Chicken Skin” Bumps: Keratosis Pilaris

Published January 5, 2014 by teacher dahl

Image

Chicken skin bumps – such a simple yet instantly identifiable description of the skin problem named keratosis pilaris (commonly dubbed “KP”). Can’t you just visualize it? These minute, rough bumps with their grater-like texture are most frequently scattered along the upper arms and thighs. However, the cheeks, back and buttocks can all become involved at one time or another. They’re annoying, unsightly, chronic and incredibly commonplace.

If you don’t have this condition, odds are that you know somebody who does.

Because keratosis pilaris affects 50% of the entire world’s population, this reaction isn’t surprising. KP is somewhat more common in children and adolescents; 50 to 80% of children have KP. Adults needn’t feel neglected. Keratosis pilaris affects 4 out of every 10 adults, too. Women are slightly more prone to developing keratosis pilaris. Most people with KP are unaware that not only is there a designated medical term for the condition, but that treatment exists.

Keratosis pilaris is hereditary, inherited as an autosomal dominant gene. This is similar to the brown versus blue eye color phenomenon. All it takes is a single gene from either parent to find oneself with less than perfectly smooth skin. But not everyone can point a finger at who’s to blame since only 30 to 50% of KP patients have a positive family history.

Treatment is all about smoothing away the bumps. Therapy can eliminate the bumps, improve the texture, eliminate acne-causing plugs, and improve the overall appearance. Chemical exfoliation needn’t be fraught with irritation, redness or discomfort.

  • Glycolic Acid   An array of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are utilized in a dermatologist’s quest to smooth out keratosis pilaris. Glycolic and lactic acids work as chemical exfoliating agents. Dermatologists often turn to over-the-counter and prescription lactic acid products to palliate KP.
  • Urea  . Thi is one of those special little known ingredients used by dermatologists to dramatically soften the crustiest of skin concerns. It is an awesome additive in improving the appearance of KP.
  • Vitamin A Treatments  Patients may turn to prescription vitamin A creams to help restore a smooth texture in recalcitrant cases, or as a way to help treatkeratosis pilaris complicated by acne. Potent over-the-counter retinols (up to 1%) are another option. Overeager use won’t help hasten silky skin. Instead it can leave the skin parched, peeling and painful. A tiny dab every other night is more than adequate for beginners.
  • Immunomodulators  Since keratosis pilaris is often thought of as a manifestation of eczema, it stands to reason that new prescription medications may play a role in treating keratosis pilaris. I tend to reserve this for more complex cases or for the patient who already has a tube at home; occasional use may be a helpful, off-label option.
  • Scrubs, Rubs and Peels   It’s true that scrubbing at dry, bumpy skin can make it a tad smoother. But it doesn’t entirely smooth KP away. Nor does it eradicate the little pink polka dots. But incorporating a scrub, a series of microdermabrasions or even getting a chemical peel can certainly jumpstart your way to smoothness, especially as we get nearer to sleeveless weather. Just remember that since keratosis pilaris is a chronic condition, committing oneself to never-ending weekly sessions of more medically useful microdermabrasion or chemical peels rapidly adds up financially.
  • Treatment for keratosis pilaris is ongoing – if discontinued, skin begins reforming around hair follicles. Maintenance is the best way to maintain silky smooth skin. Letting your keratosis pilaris show is unnecessary and so easy to control. Get ready for sleeveless fashion now and look your absolute best!

source : drOz.com

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