Concerning article about the poor quality control and fraud in medications made in India, which now make up 40% of the generic and OTC medications consumed in the US.

Next time you are using an exfoliating facial or body scrub with microbeads check to make sure that is does not contain plastic. Unfortunately, these plastic microbeads are too small to be filtered out of water treatment plants and are being increasingly found as pollutants in areas like the Great Lakes.

If your favorite product does contain plastic microbeads consider switching to one that uses natural exfoliating materials, such as pumice, oatmeal, apricot or walnut husks, which is found in Burt’s Bees or St. Ives products.

Interesting article about the increase in peanut allergies in children-

Kudos to Johnson & Johnson for removing two potentially harmful chemicals, formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, from their classic Johnson’s Baby Shampoo.

I hope that continued consumer pressure results in more companies eliminating potentially harmful ingredients from their cosmetic products.

Happy New Year! With the recent very cold weather I’ve seen a lot of eczema in my patients.

A great treatment for moderate to severe eczema is bleach baths.

Check out these tips and video from The American Academy of Dermatology as to how to preform bleach baths properly and safely!

If your child’s dermatologist recommends bleach baths, follow these important steps for giving a bleach bath:

Use regular strength – 6 percent – bleach for the bath. Do not use concentrated bleach.

Use a measuring cup or measuring spoon to add the bleach to the bath. Adding too much bleach to the bath can irritate your children’s skin. Adding too little bleach may not help.

Measure the amount of bleach before adding it to the bath water. For a full bathtub of water, use a half cup of bleach. For a half-full tub of water, add a quarter cup of bleach.

For a baby or toddler bathtub, add one teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water.

Never apply bleach directly to your child’s eczema.

While the tub is filling, pour the bleach into the water.

Be sure to wait until the bath is fully drawn and bleach is poured before your child enters the tub.

Talk with your dermatologist about how long your child should soak in the tub. Most dermatologists recommend a five to 10 minute soak.

Pat your child’s skin dry after the bath. If your child uses eczema medication, apply it immediately after the bath.
Then moisturize your child’s skin.

Talk with a board-certified dermatologist before beginning bleach bath therapy with your child. If you have questions or concerns about caring for your child’s eczema, you should make an appointment to see a dermatologist.

Take a look at these excellent tips from the American Academy of Dermatology for dry winter skin:

Following the same skin care routine year round may not work so well when the humidity drops. Without a change in your skin care, dry air can make fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable. Dry skin can itch, flake, crack, and even bleed.

To help heal dry skin and prevent its return, dermatologists recommend the following.

1. Prevent baths and showers from making dry skin worse.

When your skin is dry, be sure to:
Close the bathroom door
Limit your time in the shower or bath to 5 or 10 minutes
Use warm rather than hot water
Wash with a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser
Apply enough cleanser to remove dirt and oil, but avoid using so much that you see a thick lather
Blot your skin gently dry with a towel
Slather on the moisturizer immediately after drying your skin

2. Apply moisturizer immediately after washing.

Ointments, creams, and lotions (moisturizers) work by trapping existing moisture in your skin. To trap this much-needed moisture, you need to apply a moisturizer within a few minutes of:

Drying off after a shower or bath
Washing your face or hands

3. Use an ointment or cream rather than a lotion.

Ointments and creams are more effective and less irritating than lotions. Look for a cream or ointment that contains an oil such as olive oil or jojoba oil. Shea butter also works well.

Other ingredients that help to soothe dry skin include lactic acid, urea, hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, glycerin, lanolin, mineral oil, and petrolatum.

Tip: Carry a non-greasy hand cream with you, and apply it after each hand washing. This will greatly help relieve dry skin.

4. Wear lip balm.

Choose a lip balm that feels good on your lips. Some healing lip balms can irritate your lips. If your lips sting or tingle after you apply the lip balm, switch to one that does not cause this reaction.

5. Use only gentle, unscented skin care products.

Some skin care products are too harsh for dry, sensitive skin. When your skin is dry, stop using:

Deodorant soaps
Skin care products that contain alcohol, fragrance, retinoids, or alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA)

Avoiding these products will help your skin retain its natural oils.

6. Wear gloves.

Our hands are often the first place we notice dry skin. You can reduce dry, raw skin by wearing gloves. Be sure to put gloves on before you:

Go outdoors in winter
Perform tasks that require you to get your hands wet
Get chemicals, greases, and other substances on your hands

7. Choose non-irritating clothes and laundry detergent.

When our skin is dry and raw even clothes and laundry detergent can be irritating. To avoid this:

Wear cotton or silk under your clothing made of wool or another material that feels rough
Use laundry detergent labeled “hypoallergenic”

8. Stay warm without cozying up to a fireplace or other heat source. Sitting in front of an open flame or other heat source can dry your skin.

9. Add moisture to the air.

Plug in a humidifier. If you can check your home heating system, find out if you have a humidifier on the system — and whether it’s working.

When to see a dermatologist:

Your skin should start to feel better quickly. If these changes do not bring relief, you may want to see a dermatologist. Very dry skin can require a prescription ointment or cream. Dry skin also can be a sign of a skin condition that needs treatment. A dermatologist can examine your skin and explain what can help reduce your discomfort.

Before you sit down and stuff yourself with turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes and apple pie, check out this article from the NY Times looking at the health benefits of 45 minutes of moderate exercise for those of us overeating during the holiday season.

Also at dinner today don’t forget to have some nuts. A new study out of the New England of Medicine found that by eating one ounce of nuts (15-20) daily you had a longer life.


Great advice for all from “The Wolverine!”

“Deb (his wife) said to get the mark on my nose checked. Boy, was she right! I had a basal cell carcinoma. Please don’t be foolish like me. Get yourself checked. And USE sunscreen!!!”

On the photo, I circled the Basal cell. You can see it on the nose as a reddish mark.

So if you or a friend or a family member has a reddish spot that is not going away, is itching, burning or bleeding see your dermatologist!

Check out this EXCELLENT article in the Washington Post looking at the actual science of whether herbal supplements actually work.

If you or a friend or a family member take ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort, garlic, saw palmetto, milk thistle, chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine or echinacea, you need to read this article.

There is a great quote at the end of the article; “There is a name for alternative medicines that work… It’s called medicine!”