• Josep Orellana, science journalist

    Apps for the skin: consult your doctor

    10 Dec Apps for the skin: consult your doctor



    JAMA Dermatology

    The growing popularity of smartphones and tablets worldwide has led to the emergence of thousands of medical apps, a good number referring to care, problems and disorders of the skin. Some are professional tools that facilitate the work of doctors, but others are aimed at the general public. Are all of them risk-free? Can we safely use them for our skin?


    Some 40,000 medical apps are available; most likely you have already downloaded some to your mobile device. Undoubtedly, these new technological advances will bring great benefits to the world's population in the future. Creators of apps have not failed to notice the growing interest in skin care, which explains why hundreds of apps are available today offering tips to keep our skin healthy and beautiful and diagnosing all types of skin disorders. There are even apps that will tell you if a mole could be cancerous. Most skin care apps are free. Read More

  • Josep Orellana, science journalist

    Contact dermatitis: substances to avoid

    11 Nov Contact dermatitis: substances to avoid




    Clinical Key

    Contact dermatitis is one of the ten main reasons for primary care consultations. More than 3,000 substances may cause contact dermatitis on different people’s skins. Certain cosmetics, hair dyes and shampoos contain potentially irritating components. Identifying the causative agent is crucial.


    Contact dermatitis is an inflammatory reaction of the skin due to exposure to certain substances. Irritant contact dermatitis is when a product first produces a local toxic effect in the skin cells, whereas allergic contact dermatitis is when a substance causes an allergic reaction due to skin sensitization from repeated contact. Read More

  • Josep Orellana, science journalist

    Atopic dermatitis: skin care is essential

    31 Aug Atopic dermatitis: skin care is essential



    PubMed Health


    Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammation of the skin of obscure origin. Very common in children, it tends to mitigate with age. The itchiness can be very persistent and there is no real cure, although complications can be avoided with good skin care.


    Atopic dermatitis is also known as eczema. It usually has an intermittent course with flares and remissions of unknown origin. Experts believe it may be due to a malfunction of the skin’s immune system, with genetic or environmental factors possibly contributing to its occurrence. The most characteristic symptoms are redness, dryness, blistering, oozing, crusting, scaling, itching, skin thickening and sometimes slight pigmentation. The itchiness may be felt before the rash appears. Read More

  • Josep Orellana, science journalist

    The fact that a cosmetic is natural doesn’t mean it’s safe!

    8 Jul The fact that a cosmetic is natural doesn't mean it's safe!



    Food and Chemical Toxicology

    The use of "natural" skin care products has grown exponentially in recent years. The market offers cosmetics, creams, lotions, fragrances and numerous other products labelled as "natural". Bamboo, lavender, fruits and essential oils are often the ingredients in such cosmetics. But are they effective in keeping our skin healthy? Are they safe?


    Interest in what is natural and sustainable has led to the increased availability of “natural” products in street markets, supermarkets and, most especially, online. Thousands of websites sell natural cosmetics, promising all kinds of remedies and treatments for all skin types and conditions. The countries with the greatest demand for such products are the USA and the EU. It is estimated that in 2015 in the USA alone this sector will move about 19,000 million dollars. Also anticipated is a large increase in sales in the Asia and Pacific regions, due to the growing concern for personal care in the emerging economies. Read More