• Anna Solana, science journalist

    The first mother-baby contact: beneficial for both

    5 Feb The first mother-baby contact: beneficial for both

     

    Sources:

    Science Daily

    A baby entering the world suddenly stops feeling its mother’s heartbeat and the warmth of the space where it had floated like a fish in water for nine months. Delivery protocols therefore recommend immediately placing the newborn on the mother's stomach. A recent study confirms that this skin-to-skin contact is highly beneficial for both.

     

    The first mother-baby contact in the minute after birth is immeasurably comforting, wet and strange, all at the same time. If there are no complications that prevent it, this skin-to-skin contact is crucial. It has a powerful calming effect on both the baby and the mother and it helps create emotional bonds and mutual recognition, while preventing heat loss and contributing to successful breastfeeding. Read More

  • 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

  • Ailish Maher, science journalist

    Laser treatments for ageing or damaged skin

    21 Jan Laser treatments for ageing or damaged skin

     

    Sources:

    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

  • Violeta Camarasa, science journalist

    Personal hygiene: an amazing story

    10 Jan Personal hygiene: an amazing story

     

    Sources:

    The Economist

    Monografías.com

    The concept of personal hygiene has always been associated with issues as diverse as health, morality and beauty. Maybe that's why the history of the toilette is full of surprising advances and retreats. Understanding how hygiene evolved gives us insights into humanity and our current personal care practices.

     

    1. Cleanliness is (next to) godliness. The ancient Egyptians attached great importance to bathing — and also to natural body odours, which were accentuated with special perfumes for the genitals. The first bathtub on record dates from around 1700 BCE in Ancient Greece, while the invention of the steam bath is attributed to refined sybarites of the 8th century BCE. The fact that the word “hygiene” comes from the Greek goddess Hygeia is hardly surprising, as this goddess — of healing and cleansing — was especially popular during the plagues that devastated Athens in the 5th century BCE and Rome in the 3rd century BCE. Read More

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