13 December 2017
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 13, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Many of the foods most associated with holiday meals can actually be good for you and, because they’re filling, leave you feeling satisfied with small servings. Skinless white turkey meat tops the list. A 3-ounce slice has 26 grams of protein, less than 1 gram of saturated fat and just 130 calories. Skip the gravy, but enjoy some homemade cranberry sauce, which typically has 27 calories per tablespoon. Use whole berries, fresh or frozen, and cut the amount of sugar in standard recipes in half. Add zero-calorie stevia if it needs more sweetening once it has chilled. Sweet potatoes pack a punch of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for just 113 calories per half-cup. Slow roasting brings out their natural sweetness, so no need for sugar, butter or marshmallows. Add a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg instead. Pumpkin and other winter squashes are also great side dishes when roasted, and have just 50 calories per cup. Puree cooked pumpkin, add spices, and you have a pudding-style dessert. One medium apple has about 90 calories. To make another sweet treat, bake apples (with the skin on for the most fiber), again using only spices to enhance the natural flavor. Besides cinnamon, try ground ginger or allspice for a taste change-of-pace. If you want to add crunch, sprinkle with a tablespoon of your favorite nuts. Always keep traditional fruits and vegetables low-calorie and savor their natural flavors by using simple cooking methods like roasting, baking and steaming. Remember that ingredients like butter, cream and sugar are the real diet downfalls. More information Harvard Health has more on the healthy benefits of turkey and how it compares to other holiday main dishes.
08 December 2017
FRIDAY, Dec. 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) — If you or a family member develops scabies, you need to take immediate action, a dermatologist advises. Scabies is a common skin condition caused by the human itch mite. Symptoms include an itchy rash, sores and a thick crust on the skin. “Most people get scabies from direct skin-to-skin contact, although it’s possible to get scabies from infested bedding, clothes and furniture,” said Dr. Joshua Zeichner, an assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. “Since scabies is contagious, it tends to spread easily among children, mothers with young children and residents of nursing homes and extended care facilities,” he explained in an American Academy of Dermatology news release. If you suspect you or someone in your family has scabies, see a doctor. Medicine to treat scabies is only available with a prescription. Because scabies is highly contagious, it’s also important to notify people around you. If you get treatment, people you live with or have close contact with also need treatment. Otherwise, they can get the mites, and you can get them again, Zeichner said. The day that you begin treatment, wash all bedding, clothes and towels in hot water and dry everything in a hot dryer. If you can’t wash something in a washing machine, take it to a dry cleaner or seal it in a plastic bag for at least one week to kill the mites, which can’t survive longer than three to four days without being on a human. It’s also important to vacuum your entire home on the day you start treatment. After you’re done, throw away the vacuum bag or wash the vacuum canister with hot, soapy water. You don’t need to treat your pets because the human itch mite cannot survive on animals, Zeichner said. More information The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on scabies.
07 December 2017
THURSDAY, Dec. 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Bathing in water is just as effective for the treatment of eczema as bathing in a bleach solution, a new review of previous research indicates. Doctors sometimes recommend a bleach bath, which is a mixture of a small amount of bleach in a pool of cool or warm water. But investigators say the finding should encourage people with eczema to bathe regularly with just water, without fear of drying out their skin. It should also help people avoid the stinging and burning that can come with a bleach bath. “I don’t know if it throws the baby out with the bathwater, but bleach baths lack the evidence to support how commonly they are being recommended,” said senior author Dr. Jonathan Silverberg. “The water baths appear to be doing most of the heavy lifting. If bleach is adding any benefit, it’s quite modest.” Silverberg is an assistant professor of dermatology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago and director of its Multidisciplinary Eczema Center. Bathing with a bleach solution is sometimes prescribed as a means of controlling both bacterial infection and symptoms, the researchers noted. But their review, which analyzed data from four earlier studies, suggests that it’s no more effective at either task than simply bathing in water. In addition, because many people with eczema also struggle with asthma, bleach fumes can also trigger asthma attacks. “Patients with eczema have much higher rates of asthma than non-eczema patients,” Silverberg said in a Northwestern news release. “Everyone’s home setting is going to be different, and many bathrooms don’t have great ventilation, so a warm bath that causes the bleach to fume can be the perfect setup to potentially have an asthma flare-up,” he said. The findings are outlined in a recent issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. More information The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has more on eczema.
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.
05 December 2017
TUESDAY, Dec. 5, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Your chances of surviving cancer may depend on the type of insurance you have. Researchers from the Cancer Prevention Institute of California found significant improvements in survival among cancer patients with private insurance or Medicare, but not among those who have public insurance such as Medicaid, or are uninsured. The investigators analyzed data on more than 1.1 million patients in California diagnosed with the five most common types cancer in the state — breast, colon, lung, melanoma and prostate — between 1997 and 2014. Compared with people who had private insurance, those who had no insurance had a much higher death rate for all cancers except prostate. Those with Medicaid had a much higher death rate for all cancer types except lung cancer, the researchers found. Also, they found that Medicaid patients had higher survival rates than uninsured people with breast, lung or prostate cancer, but there was little or no difference for colon cancer or melanoma. “A lack of access to preventative health care is likely to have played a key role in these survival disparities, especially for breast and colorectal cancer, for which established screening practices exist,” lead researcher Libby Ellis said in an institute news release. She also noted that people without insurance or with public insurance such as Medicaid also may also trouble getting high-quality cancer care. The findings were published online Nov. 30 in the journal JAMA Oncology. More information The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on cancer.
04 December 2017
MONDAY, Dec. 4, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Parents can get a reliable diagnosis for their child’s skin condition simply by taking a smartphone photo and sending it to a dermatologist, new research suggests. The finding offers a way to get around what experts describe as a dire shortage of pediatric dermatologists. “Advances in smartphone photography, both in quality and image transmission, may improve access to care via direct parent-to-provider telemedicine,” said study author Dr. Patrick McMahon. He is a pediatric dermatologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “Our study shows that — for the majority of cases — parents can take photographs of sufficient quality to allow for accurate teledermatology diagnoses in pediatric skin conditions,” McMahon said in a hospital news release. “This is important because pediatric dermatologists are in short supply, with fewer than 300 board-certified physicians serving the nation’s 75 million children,” he added. The study involved 40 families. Half of them were given photo-taking instructions, while the other half were not. Most were using an Apple iPhone. The researchers then analyzed all images of pediatric skin conditions that were sent in between March and September of 2016. Of 87 images, a digital diagnosis was in sync with an in-person diagnosis 83 percent of the time, according to the report. The study authors noted that of the 200 million pediatric office visits that take place across the United States each year, 10 percent to 30 percent involve skin concerns. “While many children’s skin conditions can be handled without input from a pediatric dermatologist, the national shortage of specialists is a known barrier to accessing care,” McMahon explained. “Our findings suggest that telemedicine could improve access for patient families who have geographic, scheduling or financial limitations, as well as reducing wait times,” he said. The findings were published recently in the journal JAMA Dermatology. More information The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more on skin conditions.