Our skin contains natural ingredients that protect it and keep it hydrated. These substances form the outermost layer of the skin (the stratum corneum). When the functioning of this outer shell is disrupted, our skin loses water. Dry skin is a common problem that is tricky to resolve. But why does our skin become dry?
We wash too often, use highly alkaline soaps and expose ourselves to excessively dry air from heating and cooling devices. Often we lead a lifestyle that does not allow the skin to follow its natural regeneration cycles. We know that hydrated skin is essential for the epidermis, most especially its outer protective layer, to retain its structure and function properly. When its barrier function is altered, the skin loses water and shrivels like a leaf, which is when we notice discomfort and even itchiness. In short, the skin dries out. Read More
Too much sun is the main cause of skin ageing. It also leads to the development of melanoma, the most malignant form of skin cancer. A recent study links aspirin use to a lower incidence of melanoma in women.
For decades, aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) has been used to lower the risk of heart disease and of bowel cancer, with millions of people around the world taking a small dose daily. The findings of a recent study published in Cancer would seem to attribute new benefits to the modest and traditional aspirin. The research was conducted in the USA over a period of 12 years on almost 60 000 postmenopausal women aged between 50 and 79 years. The results show that taking aspirin reduces the likelihood of melanoma – the most serious of the skin cancers – by 21%. No doubt this is good news, but further research is needed to confirm that these results are generally applicable. Meanwhile, just remember that the most important thing is to protect our skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. With or without aspirin
Scarification, an ancient practice based on decorating the skin with artistic scars, is being revived in advanced societies. It is an extreme fashion, of minority interest, for which legislation is lacking depite the adverse affects on health. What is it? How does it affect the skin? Is it more harmful than a tattoo or piercing? How far can humans get to express their emotions?
Tattoos, perforations, deformations – since ancient times, humans have modified the body to express individual, cultural and social aspects of their identity, often with the result that they convert their bodies into artistic creations. In contemporary societies, body art includes everything from widespread practices such as body painting, tattoos and piercings, to more extreme and less popular fashions, such as scarification, or decorative scarring. Read More
Mother always nagged us to “wash your hands”. And she was right. The skin of our hands carries the germs that cause various diseases. But that simple and healthy habit is less widespread than you might think.
Most of us form part of the group of people who do not wash their hands enough or properly. The medical profession recommends that we wash our hands with soap for at least 20 seconds each time we visit the bathroom, after we return home or get to work and, above all, before cooking or handling food. Research by Michigan State University (USA) was based on discreet observation of 3 749 users of public toilets. Over 10% did not wash their hands at all, while 23% of those who did so did not use soap. A mere 5.3% spent more than 15 seconds washing their hands. And men washed about half as often as women. Millions of people get sick each year from eating contaminated food; the study authors say that this would not have happened to half of them had hands been washed properly.