• Rosa Taberner, dermatologist

    Athlete’s foot: not just in athletes

    30 Jan Athlete’s foot: not just in athletes

    Athlete’s foot is the popular name for a fungal infection that affects the skin on the soles and between the toes of the feet. It is one of the most common dermatological problems caused by fungi. Here’s why it develops and what you can do about it.


    The term “athlete’s foot” was coined by the New York physician Charles Pabst (1888-1971), who encountered many cases of this infection among “sandwich men”, very common at that time in the streets of large cities. Also referred to as "athletes", these walking billboards carried advertising on their chest and back, walking long distances wearing sturdy boots as protection against bad weather. It was those strong, tightly laced boots that created conditions conducive to the spread of fungal infections of the feet. The name became popular and, since the infection is common among athletes, it continues to be used today — although almost nobody remembers its origins. Read More

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    How do we sense wetness?

    26 Jan How do we sense wetness?



    Science Daily

    It seems to be a simple notion, yet is deceptively so. Since our skin has no receptors to alert us to dampness, how can we know we’re touching a wet surface? How do we know that the rain has soaked our clothes? In fact, we infer rather than feel wetness: our brain remembers wetness because of a combination of stimuli recorded in memory.


    The mystery is this: the skin lacks specific receptors for the sensation of wetness, yet we sense dampness when we touch something wet. Researchers at the University of Loughborough (UK) report that the perception of wetness comes from our ability to feel cold and tactile sensations such as pressure and texture. This combination of stimuli is, in short, what tells us that we are touching something wet. Read More

  • Ailish Maher, science journalist

    Laser treatments for ageing or damaged skin

    21 Jan Laser treatments for ageing or damaged skin



    Mayo Clinic

    Mail Online

    You have probably heard of the wonders of laser skin treatments and so may be asking if laser could help overcome some of the effects of ageing that start to become increasingly visible as you grow older. Be guided by a reputable dermatologist who will advise you regarding the treatment best suited for your skin type and condition — and also for your pocket.


    Laser advances are most especially being made at the cosmetic end of the spectrum, which means they are less invasive than traditional treatments like chemicals peels and dermabrasion. However, if you are considering some kind of laser or light-based treatment for your skin, it is extremely important that you consult a dermatologist or specialist centre. Be sure to ask about side effects, recovery times, number and frequency of treatments, any pre- and post-treatment skincare requirements. Read More

  • Anna Solana, science journalist

    Microneedling: needles that rejuvenate the skin

    16 Jan Microneedling: needles that rejuvenate the skin



    DermNet NZ


    Microneedling, which can be performed on all skin types, is starting to overtake laser, as there is no burn risk. Also called skin needling or collagen induction therapy, it is a minimally invasive treatment that improves the appearance of the skin and can even treat problems like acne, cellulite and stretch marks. The technique, based on thousands of pinpricks that activate skin regeneration, is the latest in rejuvenation.


    Microneedling consists of passing a roller with very short, fine needles over the skin. The resulting tiny wounds open microchannels that cause the body to naturally produce more reparative collagen and elastin. The procedure improves the texture and firmness of the skin and so attenuates scars, stretch marks and even the size of pores. These tiny wounds can facilitate the absorption of other substances that fight the signs of ageing, such as vitamin C, retinol and hyaluronic acid. Read More