12 January 2019
SATURDAY, Jan. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — If you pledged to hit the gym this year, take some steps to prevent skin infections, an expert says. “While skin infections are not a reason to cancel your gym membership, it’s important to follow a few simple steps to avoid germs while you’re at the gym,” said Dr. Brian Burke Adams, professor and chair of dermatology at the University of Cincinnati. “The bacteria, viruses and fungi that cause skin infections to develop thrive in warm, moist places like sweaty exercise equipment and locker room showers. If you’re not careful, you could end up with an infection like ringworm, plantar warts or impetigo,” he said in an American Academy of Dermatology news release. Here’s what Adams recommends: At the gym, wear loose-fitting, moisture-wicking clothes that will help keep your skin dry and prevent germs from growing. Wash your gym clothes after a workout. Always wear shoes, especially around pools, and in locker rooms and showers. Keep shower shoes, flip-flops or sandals in your gym bag. If you have cuts, keep them clean and covered. Don’t use saunas, steam rooms or hot tubs until the wound is healed, Adams said. Wash or sanitize your hands immediately after working out, and shower as soon as possible. After showering, put on clean clothes, including clean socks and underwear. Never share towels, razors or other personal items. Use disinfectant wipes or sprays to clean gym equipment before and after you use it. It’s also a good idea to place a barrier, such as a towel, between your skin and shared surfaces such as workout benches and bicycle seats. Use your own equipment, such as yoga mats, when possible. “Without treatment, skin infections can worsen,” Adams said. “Keep an eye on your skin, and if you notice signs of an infection, such as increased pain or swelling, pus or persistent redness, make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist.” More information The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more on skin infections.
31 January 2018
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Winter can be harsh on your skin, especially your hands and face. Try these fast, easy and inexpensive steps to avoid the chapping and flaking that comes with the season. Resist taking hot showers and long soaks, both of which remove your skin’s natural oil barrier, causing it to dry out more easily, suggests the American Academy of Dermatology. The water temperature should be between the high 90s and 100 degrees, no higher. Immediately after bathing, seal in any moisture your skin absorbed by slathering on a thick moisturizer. Choose an ointment or a cream, not a thin lotion. For daytime, use nourishing products with sun protection. The sun’s rays can still age you, even in cold weather months. Washing hands frequently is essential to avoid the spread of cold and flu germs, but to avoid chapping, moisturize them after every rinse. And always wear warm gloves when outdoors and protective ones when using cleaning products or washing dishes. Don’t forget your lips, which can also fall prey to dryness. Dab on lip balm to prevent chapping. It can be as simple as plain petroleum jelly. Resist licking lips that are dry — that actually increases dryness. If your skin is easily irritated, avoid all scented products and harsh deodorant-type soaps. Wear cotton or silk clothes next to your skin before layering on woolens. If the air in your home is dry from your heating system, use a humidifier, especially at night, to put moisture back in the air. If the same situation exists at work, consider a desktop unit. Don’t wait to see signs of dryness. Be proactive to save your skin from winter’s wrath. More information Get additional winter skin tips from Wake Forest Baptist Health.
06 December 2017
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Good nail care is important, but it’s possible to overdo it. For instance, it turns out that too much clipping can actually be harmful. Trimming nails every day can create stress across the entire nail. Over time, it can change nail shape and even lead to conditions like ingrown toe nails. It’s fine to trim your nails with nail clippers or scissors, but no more than once every week or two. Fingernails should follow the shape of your fingertips, straight across and slightly rounded at the sides. Clip toenails straight across at the level of the toe. File in only one direction to keep nails strong. Here are other care tips: Keep nails clean and dry whenever possible. Moisturize nails and cuticles with hand lotion or cream. Nail polish offers some protection, but don’t use polish remover more than twice a month. Try to avoid all nail products with toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate. Avoid prolonged exposure to water when bathing and housecleaning. Protect nails from harsh chemicals by wearing cotton-lined rubber gloves when cleaning. It’s also important to check your nails regularly for warning signs of a problem that merits a doctor visit. Signs to look for include: Discoloration of the entire nail or a dark streak under a nail. Any change in shape. Any change in thickness — thinner or thicker. Separation of the nail from the surrounding skin or nail bed. Bleeding, redness, swelling or pain around the nails. If you see any worrisome signs, get prompt medical attention from your doctor or a dermatologist who specializes in nail problems. More information The Mayo Clinic has more do’s and don’ts for healthy nails.