Nail Fungus

nail fungus

Nail fungus, or onychomycosis as it is known medically, is a condition that is commonly found on nails of people of any age, although primarily it is seen in older adults, it can be seen in children as well.. It usually begins as a white or yellow spot under the nail that progressively takes over the whole nail. It appears more commonly on toe nails than on finger nails because this type of fungus likes to live in an environment that is warm, dark, moist, as is commonly found inside of shoes and also where there is reduced blood flow. Men tend to develop nail fungus more often than women.
Nails that are infected with fungus will show signs of being:
• Thickened
• Brittle, crumbly or ragged
• Distorted in shape
• Dark in color
A few risk factors for developing nail fungus are being diabetic, having a nail injury, being immune-compromised, living or working in humid conditions, having poor circulation, receiving chemotherapy, wearing tight fitting shoes, having poor hygiene, and having other fungal infections like athlete’s foot.
There are different ways to treat nail fungus and they range from the simple home remedy to the more intensive that is prescribed by a physician. Home remedies can include applying a vapo rub, tea tree oil, trimming and filing the nails, and over the counter nail creams and ointments. The more intense methods prescribed and administered by a physician includes oral antifungal medications, medicated nail polish, nail removal and laser light therapy.
Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in all conditions of the feet. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist 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.

History of Sunscreen

Three sunscreen tubes isolated on white

The use of sunscreen is highly promoted and protecting our skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays has become a major concern as we learn more about the damages it causes. Today we are able to choose from many brands that offer the level of protection we need- but did you know the concept of sunscreen is nothing new? In fact, sunscreen was used by ancient Egyptians.

The Egyptians were known to use rice bran extracts, jasmine and lupine extracts as a sunscreen because they realized these ingredients had the ability to absorb the sun’s very strong rays. These chemicals are still used today in some of the modern sunscreen products.

Modern sunscreen products really started to become popular in the 1930’s. A South Australian chemist, HA Milton Blake created a sunburn cream that had some limited success. This was followed by the introduction in 1936 by the L’Oreal Company of a sunscreen product that was very effective at providing protection from the sun’s rays. In 1938 a chemist by the name of Franz Greiter developed a cream called Glacier Cream that provided added protection. He is also credited for identifying the sun protection factor (SPF) that became a standard measurement of sunscreen effectiveness.
In 1944 an American pharmacist patented a sunscreen product that eventually would become Coppertone.

Later developments in this field produced products that would protect the skin from the UVA and UVB rays from the sun. Manufacturing sunscreen is a multi-billion dollar industry that continues to evolve. With more and more literature being published about the sun’s harmful effects on the skin, people will always be looking for better ways to stay protected as too much exposure can lead to skin cancer and other dermatologic conditions.

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.

Natural Ways to Revive Your Skin This Spring

skin -78634418Now that winter is over and the days are getting warmer, you are probably going to wear clothing that shows more of your skin.   Unfortunately for many of us the cold and dry winter months has taken a toll, leaving our skin dry, cracked and dull- just simply not at its best.   The good news is you can help revive your skin and bring back its beauty by doing the following:

  1. Exfoliate –Exfoliating helps remove dry and dead skin cells from the surface. The benefits of exfoliation include an increase in cell turnover, healthier skin cells, improved texture, softer and brighter skin. It is recommended that you exfoliate once or twice a week but each individual is different and should consult a dermatologist about frequency. Using a home-made body scrub is one of the ways you can exfoliate.  The most popular scrubs that can be made at home are salt or brown sugar scrubs combined with oils such as coconut, olive or grapeseed.
  2. Moisturize-It is likely that winter has depleted moisture from your skin. Replace moisture by using honey; which is loaded with antioxidants, oils such as olive oil or believe it or not yogurt. It is suggested that you apply yogurt to skin, leave it on for 10 minutes then wash it off to reveal skin that looks refreshed. Applying hydrating masks to the face can help with suppleness. You can include natural moisturizing ingredients such as avocado or bananas in your mask.
  3. More water- Water is good for skin because it combats dehydration, which can make your skin appear drier. Keeping hydrated helps your organs to work better, this includes your biggest organ- your skin. Eating foods with high water content such apples or melons can also help with hydration.

Following these after-winter skin care tips can help you in putting your best spring skin forward; however, it is strongly recommended that you speak with a physician before trying them; especially if you have food allergies or chronic illnesses such as diabetes or hypertension.

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.

Home Remedy to Rid Blackheads

Blackheads are most common on your face, specifically on your nose and the sides of your nose. Common and annoying, blackheads occur when your pores become clogged with excess sebum (an oil created by the sebaceous glands that keeps skin supple) and dead skin cells. The difference between a black head and a white head is simply whether or not the pore is open or closed. Blackheads aren’t as unpleasant as pimples but they are still a nuisance to have. Here are some home remedies to curing pesky blackheads using items you might already have in your kitchen.

A little baking soda goes a long way for blackheads, but don’t overdo it, as it can seriously dry out your skin thanks to its saltiness. While pH may or may not have a role to play in blackheads, the biggest reason baking soda helps is because of it’s small, fine, granules that can work as a natural and inexpensive way to occasionally exfoliate and remove anything clogging your pores (and therefore causing blackheads.)

You will need baking soda and fresh water.

Mix the water with enough baking soda to form a thick, but spreadable, paste. Using a gentle circular motion, massage the paste into your skin. Rinse thoroughly with plain water, pat your face dry, and then make sure you moisturize.

Since blackheads are caused by open, clogged, pores reacting to oxygen, it only makes sense that “shrinking” your pores down will help. Lemon juice is just the astringent substance needed to get the job done, however, it can lighten skin temporarily and it does make you sensitive to the sun, so load up on sunscreen if you plan on using this method in the summertime. If you have sensitive skin, try diluting the lemon juice with water first.

You will need a lemon, cotton balls and a small bottle.

Rinse your face and pat dry. Squeeze the lemon juice into a small bottle and then use just enough to dampen a cotton ball. Apply to affected areas 3-4 times a week, at bedtime. When you wake up, rinse your face with luke-warm water and apply moisturizer as usual. Store the rest of the juice in the refrigerator for up to a week. Be aware-the juice can sting sometimes!

Green tea can also be used to treat blackheads. Mix one teaspoon of dry green tea leaves with a little water to make a paste. Then, gently scrub the paste over the affected area for two to three minutes. Rinse your face with lukewarm water and apply a little bit of moisturizer once your face is dry. This scrub deep cleans oily skin and helps unclog pores.

There are many prescription medicines for the treatment of blackheads if trying natural treatments isn’t your thing. To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Dermatology Department please call, 718-206-6742.

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.

Vitiligo: Causes, Myths, and Facts

Vitiligo2Vitiligo (vit-uh-lie-go) also called ‘leucoderma’ is a condition in which there is a development of milky-white patches on the skin. Anyone can get this skin disorder. Millions of people of all races and ethnicities worldwide have Vitiligo. It occurs in 0.5-2% of the general population. Some well-known cases of vitiligo have occurred in celebrities such as Michael Jackson, supermodel Winnie Harlow, and comedian Steve Martin.

So what causes vitiligo? Vitiligo is usually seen on the skin but other areas such as the scalp, lips and genitals can also be affected. Patches of hair can turn white. It develops because color producing cells in our skin called melanocytes, die.

Scientists have not completely understood why these cells die. Multiple factors such as genetics, a weak immune system which attacks its own cells, and increased free radical-induced damage (oxidative stress) may be the cause. Those whose parents have vitiligo and associated autoimmune diseases are more likely to get it as compared to the general population, although in most cases there is no family history of the condition. Certain factors such as skin injury and severe sunburn can cause development of new patches in a predisposed individual as well.

There are several myths associated with the spread of vitiligo but the fact is that vitiligo is not contagious. People also think that it is caused by eating white foods and drinking too much milk which is also false. Certain prescribed medications can stop the spread of new vitiligo spots but is not guaranteed, as new spots may appear but recover as treatment proceeds. Although vitiligo is not life-threatening it is life-changing. Those afflicted with vitiligo and their families face social stigmatisation leading to low self-esteem, anxiety, embarrassment, anger and even serious depression.

The Division of Dermatology at Jamaica Hospital offers several services, including adult and pediatric dermatology, dermatologic and skin cancer surgery, and cosmetic dermatology. For an appointment, please call (718) 206- 6742.

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.

How “Annual” Is Your Annual Physical?

HypertesionThinkstockPhotos-477722758A.  Yearly

B. Bi-Yearly

C. When I don’t feel good

D. I don’t do doctors

 

An annual exam is a good way of tracking your health progress.  Some of the benefits are:

  • Primary prevention
  • To identify risk factors for common chronic diseases
  • To detect disease that has no apparent symptoms (secondary prevention)
  • A way for the doctor to counsel people to promote healthy behavior
  • To update clinical data since your last check-up
  • To enhance the relationship betweenyou and your doctor

If you are interested in scheduling an exam, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center is centrally located and has convenient hours.  Call 718-206-7001 for an appointment.

 

 

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.

World Psoriasis Day – October 29 2015

October 29th has been designated  World Psoriasis Day by the International Federation of Psoriasis Association to raise awareness about this disease. It is estimated that worldwide there are 125 million people worldwide who have psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a chronic, reoccurring, immune related inflammatory disorder of the skin. It is believed to have a genetic component  which means it can run in families. The disease usually starts to appear in the younger years and continues into adulthood, and it affects men and women equally. There is no known cause other than it is triggered by a malfunctioning of the immune system.  Psoriasis is unsightly but is not contagious.

Psoriasis presents as reddish plaques on the skin with silvery scales. These lesions can be very painful and itchy. It can also affect the joints (psoriatic arthritis) which can cause physical and functional deformity. There is no cure for the disease, but treatments do exist that make the skin lesions less painful and less visible.
To make an appointment a dermatologist at Jamaica Hospital’s ambulatory care center  please call    718-206-7001.Psoriasis

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.

Shingles

ShinglesShingles is the term used for a skin rash that is caused by the herpes-zoster (varicella) virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person has had chickenpox, and the symptoms have resolved the virus can lie dormant dormant in their nerve roots for years. In some cases it can reactivate and cause shingles.  Some of the factors that can cause the virus to become activated are stress, advanced age, exhaustion or a weakened  immune system.

This rash is very painful and can last for many weeks. It is most frequently located on one side of the body, usually it shows up on the abdomen, the back or the buttocks as a band or stripe of  fluid filled lesions that later are covered with scabs. They can also be found on the face and when they do, extra precautions must be taken so as to not affect the eye. Shingles isn’t contagious to people who have already had the chickenpox. There is the possibility of people contracting chickenpox if they come in contact with the open sores and  if they have never had it before,  however that risk is very low.

Signs and symptoms of shingles:

• Itching
• Red rash on one side of the body
• Pain
• Sensitive to the touch
• Headache
• Weakness
• Fluid filled blisters
• Tingling sensation
• Exhaustion
• Fever

Symptoms will last for several weeks, sometimes months. There isn’t a cure for shingles but a physician will usually prescribe medications to make the symptoms less intense. Antiviral medication will shorten the length of time that the symptoms will be present. Medication for pain will also help.  People with shingles also get some relief by using certain skin creams, oatmeal baths, and cool compresses while the skin rash is active.
There is a vaccine for chickenpox which is given to children and to adults who have never had the disease. There is also a shingles vaccine that people who have had chickenpox can be given. It doesn’t guarantee that a person won’t develop shingles but can reduce the chances of developing complications. To learn more about vaccines for chickenpox or shingles please make an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital by calling  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.

Rare but True – Can You be Allergic to the Cold ?

Every winter people complain that they need to be in a warm climate because they are “allergic” to the cold. While we think most are just trying to dramatize the effects of the cold weather in reality, there are some people who actually are allergic to the cold. The condition known as “Cold Urticaria” is brought on by exposure to the cold. It is caused by the body’s release of histamine i to the blood stream. the same chemical that gets released during an allergic reaction. This condition may be either an inherited trait or due to a virus.
Some of the signs and symptoms are:
• Reddish hives on skin that was exposed to the cold
• Hands that swell when they come in contact with cold objects
• Swelling of the lips, tongue  and throat when touched by cold liquids
• Heart palpitations or fainting might occur in extreme cases.
• Headaches, fever and joint pain.
The effects of this allergic occurs when the temperature drops below 39 degrees but can also present  at higher temperatures. The condition is usually limited to the part of the body that has been exposed but can have a full body effect if a person goes swimming in cold water or if they aren’t properly dressed in cold weather. One of the ways that it is diagnosed is by placing an ice cube on the skin for five minutes to see if there are any signs of a rash.
Treatment options include taking antihistamines, which will help ease the symptoms, avoiding extreme cold and making sure that you don’t leave areas of the body exposed in cold weather .
People who have cold urticaria should see a dermatologist to obtain prescription medications which may help to ease the symptoms. To schedule an appointment with a dermatologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-7001.Goose Bumps

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.

Unusual but True – Werewolf Syndrome

werewolf-118321409 V2Werewolf Syndrome does exist but it is not what Hollywood or science fiction depicts it to be. Werewolf syndrome is medically known as hypertrichosis. It is a disorder that is characterized by excessive body hair. Typically the entire body with the exception of the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet are covered in dense hair, which can resemble fur.  In some cases hair growth can be localized to a specific body part such as the back, elbows or ears.

Hypertrichosis can be classified into three main subcategories: congenital hypertrichosis terminalis, Naevoid hypertrichosis and congenital hypertrichosis lanuginosa.

  • Congenital hypertrichosis terminalis- Is often associated with gingival hyperplasia, which causes those that are afflicted to have very few teeth or soft voices.
  • Naevoid hypertrichosis – Symptoms may include excessive beard growth (men and women), a heavy unibrow, hairy ears and in some cases with underlying spina bifida-a tail on the lower back.
  • Congenital hypertrichosis lanuginosa- This form of hypertrichosis is extremely rare and is characterized by excessive hair at birth. There have only been about 50 cases reported globally since the middle ages.

Some possible conditions believed to cause hypertrichosis are metabolic disorders or genetic disorders caused by spontaneous mutations. The recommended treatment for this condition is hair removal because it is usually considered a cosmetic problem.

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.