Interesting Facts and Myths About Using Sunscreen

During the summer months, basking in the glow of the sun becomes a national past time.  Bronzed, or tanned skin comes from the sun activating a color pigment in the top layer of your skin, the color only lasts between six to 10 days. However, the long-term effects of your skins over exposure to the sun may cause longer lasting conditions, even if you have a darker skin pigmentation.

Myth:  People with darker skin tones do not need to apply sunscreen because they are not as susceptible to getting sunburned.

Fact: Health experts suggest that no matter your skin tone, you should use sunscreen to prevent sunburn and sun-induced damage to your skin.  People with darker skin tones may believe they do not need to apply sunscreen because they are not as susceptible to getting sunburned as quickly as those with a lighter skin tone, but they are still susceptible to the damage the sun can cause to their skin, such as sunspots and wrinkles and cancer.

To maintain the health of your skin after tanning you should:

  • Exfoliate – The night before you are lying in the sun to ensure that your skin prepped for tanning, slough away dead skin cells with a gentle exfoliator. Dry skin can lead to peeling and, in some cases an uneven tan.  It is easy to create your own body scrubs by combining a few heaping spoonsful of rock salt with essential oils or your regular olive oil from the kitchen.
  • Protect – Wearing sunscreen is vital when exposed to the sun, not only to protect your skin from harmful UV rays, but also if you want a long-lasting tan.  Wearing sunscreen with a skin protection factor (SPF) of 30, will help protect against damaging your skin. Make sure to opt for a sunscreen with a broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) and re-apply throughout the day.
  • Hydrate – Water helps extend the life of your skin cells, so drink as much as possible.  Melons, cucumbers, and celery are also high in water content and make the perfect skin-friendly snack this summer.
  • Moisturize – In addition to drinking lots of water, it is also important to keep the peeling at bay with a daily dose of moisturizer.

While tanning, keep in mind that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.  Exposure to the sun, without the benefit of sunscreen increases the risk of melanoma.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

COVID and Warm Weather

With summer quickly approaching, many are looking forward to enjoying the season and all the activities it brings. However, as we enter our second summer of the pandemic, the question remains as to whether warmer temperatures affect the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Last year, in June, July, and August, New York state experienced a significant decrease in the number of new COVID cases. This trend led many people to believe that the virus was seasonal and followed a similar pattern to the flu where transmission rates are lower during the summer months.

Although COVID rates were lower in New York, scientific evidence does not support a link between the decline in numbers and warmer weather. While parts of the U.S. experienced lower rates, other countries around the world with consistently warmer climates saw different results. For instance, Brazil- which suffered from a very large increase in COVID cases.

Furthermore, in a study conducted by the World Meteorological Organization, it was found that regulations such as mask requirements, and quarantines had more of an impact on reducing the spread of the virus than higher temperatures. The study also concluded that transmission dynamics were greatly influenced by other factors such as human behavior, demographics, and highly contagious variants.

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show safety regulations were proven effective in decreasing the number of COVID cases last summer. This year, it is anticipated that new developments will make a difference in COVID-19 numbers. Millions of vaccines have been administered to people all over the United States, we have also gained more insight into how the virus spreads and the most effective ways to prevent it.

Summer is associated with more social interaction than any other time of the year. Now that many establishments have reopened and there is a renewed sense of normalcy, it may be easy to forget that we are still living through a pandemic. Keeping this in mind, it is important to remember to exercise caution and follow guidelines when in large groups so you can keep everyone as safe as possible.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month which gives us the chance to make the public aware of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease being very important health issues.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s have profound effects on many people. There are an estimated 5 million people with the disease and 15 million people who are caring for them. It is said to be the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

It has been said that Alzheimer’s is the only disease that can lead to death that cannot be slowed down, cured, or prevented. It acts by slowly killing brain cells which affects all of our ability to function normally.

Brain exercises may help mental functionality in areas of memory, focus, concentration and understanding.

Some suggested ways to keep our brains healthy are:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Staying physically active
  • Eating properly
  • Not smoking
  • Challenging your mind with social interaction
  • Taking classes
  • Being aware of challenges that could lead to depression

If you would like to schedule an appointment at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Men’s Health Month

The month of June has been recognized as Men’s Health Month. The reason for this designation is to bring awareness of preventable health issues and to encourage early detection and treatment of diseases prevalent in men.
The leading causes of death among men are:
• Heart Disease
• Cancer
• Diabetes
• Lung Disease
• Injuries
• Stroke
• HIV/AIDS
Some of the reasons that men tend to have more serious chronic illnesses is because more men than women don’t have health insurance, men tend to have more physically demanding jobs with greater safety risks. Additionally  more men smoke than women and they also tend to  take greater risks with unsafe behavior.
Women tend to live five years longer than men and one of the reasons for this is that women usually take better care of their health. Men are often guilty of waiting until a disease has progressed to a more serious level before they seek help. There is an old adage that if a man is in a doctor’s waiting room, most likely a woman brought him there for an exam.
During the month of June, organizations across the country hold health awareness campaigns to educate men about various health issues that they may be at risk for and to encourage them to see a doctor regularly. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Do You Have Post-COVID Re-Entry Anxiety?

As more individuals across the United States are getting vaccinated, many of the places that were forced to close due to the pandemic are slowly beginning to re-open and other social distancing restrictions are being lifted.

For some, these are signs that the country is returning to a degree of “normalcy” and is reason for excitement. For others however, the lifting of these restraints can evoke feelings of uncertainty, stress, fear, and anxiety.

Those who are experiencing these emotions might be living with a condition referred to as “Re-Entry Anxiety”, which is characterized by the stress encountered while attempting to return to a normal lifestyle. Those who experience reentry anxiety may have feelings of uneasiness about returning to work or school, are uncomfortable at social gatherings regardless of the size, and avoid human contact such as handshakes or hugs.

Re-entry anxiety is not an uncommon condition. According to experts, nearly 50% of Americans admit to feeling anxious about resuming in-person interactions after it is acceptable to do so. The same research also concluded that those who were vaccinated expressed the same level of concerns as those who have not yet been vaccinated. History has also taught us that the number of people presenting with mental health conditions, such as agoraphobia or obsessive compulsive disorder tend to increase following public health crises, such as after the recent SARS and Ebola outbreaks.

There are a few things those dealing with re-entry anxiety can do to ease themselves back into social situations, these include:

  • Giving yourself permission to be anxious – Don’t judge yourself for whatever feelings you may be having. Understand that your feelings are natural, normal, and shared by many.
  • Starting small –Rather than thrusting yourself into an overwhelming environment, start gradually with brief, one-on-one interactions with a trusted friend. Try going for a short walk or sitting at an outdoor café.

  • Confronting your fears – If you are feeling anxious about something, it is best to address the issue as soon as possible.   The longer you wait, the harder it will be to overcome it.

  • Creating a bucket-list – Think about the things you have missed that bring you the most happiness. Setting a goal to do these things once again can shift your focus from anxiety to optimism and joy. 
      
  • Buddy-up – If you know someone who has similar levels of anxiety, work through your anxieties together. You can support each other and provide the strength to get through the otherwise difficult re-entry process.

  • Focusing on the facts – By relying on trusted sources, such as the CDC and state and local health departments will help you make informed decisions about the best and safest course to reintegrate yourself into normal activities.

While some may find these tips helpful, it is important to understand that there is no right or wrong way to overcome re-entry anxiety. We all had different experiences that affected how we coped during the pandemic; therefore everyone may have different factors that determine their reentry process.

For some, reentry might require professional assistance. The good news is help is available. There are many individual or group therapy options available either in-person or via telemedicine. To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s outpatient mental health center, please call 718-206-5575.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

June is Men’s Health Month

The month of June has been recognized as Men’s Health Month. The reason for this designation is to bring awareness of preventable health issues and to encourage early detection and treatment of diseases prevalent in men.
The leading causes of death among men are:
• Heart Disease
• Cancer
• Diabetes
• Lung Disease
• Injuries
• Stroke
• HIV/AIDS
Some of the reasons that men tend to have more serious chronic illnesses is because more men than women don’t have health insurance, men tend to have more physically demanding jobs with greater safety risks. Additionally  more men smoke than women and they also tend to  take greater risks with unsafe behavior.
Women tend to live five years longer than men and one of the reasons for this is that women usually take better care of their health. Men are often guilty of waiting until a disease has progressed to a more serious level before they seek help. There is an old adage that if a man is in a doctor’s waiting room, most likely a woman brought him there for an exam.
During the month of June, organizations across the country hold health awareness campaigns to educate men about various health issues that they may be at risk for and to encourage them to see a doctor regularly. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

June is Cataract Awareness Month

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has designated June as Cataract Awareness Month. The purpose of this designation is to help educate the public on what cataracts are and how to treat them once they are diagnosed.

Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye. This will result in blurry vision, and since less light is being transmitted, objects will appear darker as well.

It is estimated that 25 million people in the United States age 40 and older will be diagnosed with a cataract, and by the time people reach the age of 80, more than half of the population of the United States will be affected with the disease.

Risk factors for developing cataracts include:

  • Age
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Prolonged exposure to sunlight
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Hereditary factors
  • Prior eye injuries

Cataracts are classified by what causes them. Age is the biggest factor, followed by eye trauma, congenital causes and secondary to taking certain medications like steroids.

There are a few ways to lower the risk of developing cataracts, but they may not be completely successful. 

  • Wearing sunglasses when outdoors
  • A diet rich in vitamin C foods
  • Avoiding smoking

Treatment for cataracts involves a surgical procedure which removes the old lens of the eye  and replacing it with a synthetic one. It is a very common procedure and considered relatively safe. If you would like to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-5900.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

When people live through a traumatic event such as a war, an act of violence, a rape, a serious accident, an act of terrorism, or have been seriously threatened, they may experience  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, also known as PTSD. This is a mental health disorder that affects approximately 3.5% of the U.S. population. PTSD is known to occur more commonly in women than men and certain ethnic groups including Latinos, African Americans and American Indians.

When people go through traumatic events they may not necessarily experience the effects immediately. It is not uncommon for the symptoms to start anywhere from a month to several years after the event.  Sometimes traumatic events that occur during childhood may not manifest until later in life.

Symptoms of PTSD can vary from person to person and are divided into four groups: Intrusive memories, avoidance, changes in emotional and physical reactions, and negative changes in thinking.

Symptoms of intrusive memories include:

  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Severe emotional distress or physical reactions

Symptoms of avoidance include:

  • Avoiding certain places that remind you of the event
  • Avoiding talking about the event

Symptoms of changes in emotional and physical reactions include:

  • Easily frightened
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Aggressive behavior

Symptoms of negative changes in thinking include:

  • Feeling hopeless
  • Negative thoughts about the world or yourself
  • Difficulty maintain relationships
  • Sense of detachment

Long-term PTSD may lead to alcohol or substance abuse, eating disorders, thoughts of suicide or depression. Complications can also lead to poor coping skills, loss of work, loss of relationships and health complications.

Anyone who has experienced a traumatic event and has any PTSD symptoms that last more than a few weeks should seek professional care. If any of the symptoms are so severe that they may lead to physical danger, for themselves or to someone else, 911 should be called immediately. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a mental health professional at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center please call,  718-206-5575

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Jamaica Hospital Receives Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence Designation

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is proud to receive Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence (DICOE) designation from the American College of Radiology (ACR).

To receive this elite distinction, facilities must be accredited by the ACR in all modalities they provide, and in which the ACR offers an accreditation program. Another requirement is participation in the Dose Index Registry® and General Radiology Improvement Database, as well as Image Wisely® and Image Gently® pledges. All of which are initiatives promoted by the ACR to ensure the delivery of safe, high-quality, and effective imaging care to patients.

Furthermore, facilities must demonstrate excellence at multiple levels.  Performance is measured by the successful completion of comprehensive assessments in the following areas:

  • Governance and personnel
  • Facility organization and management
  • Physical environment
  • Equipment and IT infrastructure
  • Radiation and general safety
  • Quality management
  • Policies and procedures
  • Patient rights and medical records

Jamaica Hospital has exceeded the standard requirements of accreditation to achieve DICOE designation.  Patients of the hospital can be assured they are receiving the highest levels of imaging quality, safety, and care.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.