Part II on Ultralight rays from the Sun to Sunburn and Types of Photosensitivity for some!

Polymorphic light sensation 3 Polymorphic light eruption PLE 2 Polymorphic light eruption PLE

The Sun is by far the largest object in the solar system. It contains more than 99.8% of the total mass of the Solar System (Jupiter contains most of the rest).

It is often said that the Sun is an “ordinary” star. That’s true in the sense that there are many others similar to it. But there are many more smaller stars than larger ones; the Sun is in the top 10% by mass. The median size of stars in our galaxy is probably less than half the mass of the Sun. A process called fusion heats the Sun. Fusion happens in the core of the Sun. It is very hot there. In fact, the core’s average temperature is around 27,000,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The surface of the Sun is cool compared with the core, only 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

This fusion process not only heats the Sun, it makes the sunlight we see here on Earth. This sunlight travels the speed of light which is 186,282 miles per second or 299,792,458 meters per second. This means the light from the Sun takes 8.4 minutes to travel 93 million miles to Earth. If the world’s fastest land animal were to travel that same distance, it would take a cheetah over 151 years to reach the Earth running about 70 mph nonstop!

Ultraviolet radiation: Invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. Ultraviolet radiation can burn the skin and cause skin cancer.

Ultraviolet radiation is made up of three types of rays — ultraviolet A, ultraviolet B, and ultraviolet C. Although ultraviolet C is the most dangerous type of ultraviolet light in terms of its potential to harm life on earth, it cannot penetrate earth’s protective ozone layer. Therefore, it poses no threat to human, animal or plant life on earth.

Ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B, on the other hand, do penetrate the ozone layer in attenuated form and reach the surface of the planet. Because ultraviolet A is weaker than ultraviolet B, scientists long blamed ultraviolet B as the sole culprit in causing skin cancer in persons with a history of sunburn and repeated overexposure to ultraviolet radiation. Recent research, however, has also implicated ultraviolet A as a possible cause of skin cancer.

Photosensitivity refers to various symptoms, diseases and conditions caused or aggravated by exposure to sunlight.

  • A rash due to photosensitivity is a photodermatosis (plural photodermatoses).
  • If the rash is eczematous, it is a photodermatitis.
  • A chemical or drug that causes photosensitivity is a photosensitiser.
  • A phototoxic reaction to a photosensitiser results in an exaggerated sunburn reaction and no immune reaction is involved.
  • A photoallergic reaction to a photosensitiser results in photodermatitis and is due to delayed hypersensitivity reaction.
  • A photoexacerbated condition describes a flare of an underlying skin disease on exposure to sunlight.

Photosensitivity is characterized into many groups:

  • Polymorphic light eruption (PLE):

PLE generally affects adult females aged 20–40, although it sometimes affects children and males (25%). It is particularly common in places where sun exposure is uncommon, such as Northern Europe, where it is said to affect 10–20% of women holidaying in the Mediterranean area. It is less common in Australasia. It has also been reported to be relatively common at higher altitudes compared to sea level.

PLE can occur in all races and skin phototypes and may be more prevalent in skin of colour than in white skin. There is a genetic tendency to PLE, and it is sometimes associated with or confused with photosensitivity due to lupus erythematosus (which generally is more persistent than PLE).

Some patients experience PLE during phototherapy, which is used to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis and dermatitis.

Causes:

Genetic factors may be important with many affected individuals reporting a family history of PLE. Native Americans have a hereditary form of PLE (actinic prurigo).

PLE is caused by a delayed hypersensitivity reaction to a compound in the skin that is altered by exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR). UVR leads to impaired T cell function and altered production of cytokines in affected individuals. There is a reduction in the normal UV-induced immune suppression in the skin. This has been suggested to be either due to oestrogen or deficiency of vitamin D.

The rash is usually provoked by UVA (in 90%). This means the rash can occur when the sunlight is coming through window glass, and that standard sunscreens may not prevent it. Occasionally, UVB and/or visible light provoke PLE.

PLE may be a rare occurrence in the individual concerned or may occur every time the skin is exposed to sunlight. In most affected individuals, it occurs each spring, provoked by several hours outside on a sunny day. If further sun exposure is avoided, the rash settles in a few days and is gone without a trace within a couple of weeks. It can recur next time the sun shines on the skin. However, if the affected area is exposed to more sun before it has cleared up, the condition tends to get more severe and extensive with longer to heal.

Treatment: One is prevention and avoid sun light when it is out the strongest in ultra-violet rays 12pm to 3pm and always use sunscreen.

The following treatments may reduce the severity of PLE:

stayed tune tomorrow for part III on Ultralight rays from the Sun to Sunburn and Types of photosensitivity for some!

Numerous natural and home remedy tips to help cool a sunburn in this hot weather!

 

  sunburn  sunburn4

sunburn2  sunburn5  sunburn3

 

  • Take a cool shower or bath to cool your sunburned skin. Check out these natural bath therapies to soothe sunburn pain and other symptoms. 
  • Add one cup of apple cider vinegar to a bath to help balance the pH (acid or alkalinity) of sunburned skin, and promote healing.
  • Soak in an oatmeal bath. This is especially helpful for itchy sunburned skin.
  • Add some lavender or chamomile essential oil to the bath to help relieve some of the stinging and pain.
  • Add 2 cups of baking soda to the bath to help ease irritation and redness from sunburn.
  • Avoid soap or perfumes in the bath water as these can be drying on already dry and sunburned skin.
  • Use lotions that contain aloe Vera to soothe and moisturize sunburnt skin. Some aloe products contain lidocaine, an anesthetic that can help relieve sunburn pain. Aloe Vera is also a good moisturizer for peeling skin.
  • Hydrate: Drink lots of water, juice, or sports drinks. Your skin is dry and dehydrated. Replacing lost body fluids will help your skin heal from sunburn more quickly.
  • Apply a cool compress containing Burow’s solution (such as Domeboro Powder Packets -1 pkt in 1 pint of water) to comfort and soothe a sunburn.
  • Topical over-the-counter (OTC) 1% hydrocortisone cream may help relieve sunburn symptoms like pain, itch, and swelling.
  • Take OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) to help relieve sunburn pain and inflammation.
  • Apply cool, not cold, milk with a clean cloth to your sunburned skin. The milk will create a protein film that helps ease sunburn discomfort.
  • Like milk, yogurt applied to sunburned skin also can be soothing.
  • Vitamin E is an antioxidant, and can help decrease inflammation caused by sunburn. Use Vitamin E oil on the skin, or take a regular dose of the supplement. Vitamin E oil also can be rubbed onto peeling skin.
  • Apply freshly brewed tea after it has cooled to sunburnt skin using a clean cloth. The tannic acid in black tea reportedly helps draw heat from sunburned skin, and also aids in restoring the pH balance. Add mint to the tea for a more cooling effect.
  • Apply teabags soaked in cold water to sunburned eyelids to soothe the burn and reduce inflammation.
  • Cucumbers have natural antioxidant and analgesic properties. Chill cucumbers, then mash in a blender to create a paste, and apply to affected sunburned areas including the face. Cucumber also can be soothing for peeling skin following a sunburn.
  • Place a cool compress on sunburned skin for immediate sunburn relief
  • Boil and mash some peeled potatoes, let cool, and apply as a dressing to sunburned areas. It is believed that the starch in the potatoes helps draw out heat, which can reduce pain and speed healing.
  • Cornstarch also can be mixed with water to form a paste that can be applied to skin to help soothe the sunburn.

 

QUOTE FOR THURSDAY:

“Smoking cessation [stopping smoking] represents the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives.”

The U.S. Surgeon General and American Cancer Society

Control your weight as you quit smoking!

risks of smoking  smoking 3   risks of smoking 2

Not everyone gains weight when they stop smoking On average, people who quit smoking gain only about 10 pounds You are more likely to gain weight when you stop smoking especially if you stop smoking when you have smoked for 10 to 20 years or smoked one or more packs of cigarettes a day. You can control life. Although you might gain a few pounds, remember you have stopped smoking and taken a big step towards a healthier life.

What causes weight gain after quitting? When nicotine, a chemical n cigarette smoke, leaves your body, you may experience: Short-term weight gain. The nicotine kept your body weight low, and when you quit smoking your body returns to the weight it would have been had you never smoked.

You might gain 3-5 pounds due to water retention during the first week after quitting.

A need for fewer calories when quitting to smoke. After you stop smoking, you may use fewer calories than when you were smoking.

Will this weight gain hurt your health?

The health risks of smoking are far greater than the risks of gaining 5 to 10 pounds. Smoking causes more than 400,000 deaths each year in the United States. You would have to gain 100 to 150 lbs after quitting to make your health as high as when you smoked. The health risks of smoking and the benefits of quitting are listed below.

The Health Risks of Smoking

**Your Heart Rate Increases

**You expose yourself to some 4000 chemicals in cigarette smoke and 40 of these chemicals cause cancer.

**You are much more likely to get lung cancer compared to a nonsmoker. Men are 22 times more likely to develop lung cancer, while women who smoke are 12 times more likely.

**You are twice as likely to have a heart attack as a nonsmoker.

**You increase your risk for heart attack as a nonsmoker.

**You increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, some types of cancer (lung especially), emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and other lung diseases.

The Benefits of Quitting

When you quit smoking your body begins to heal from the effects of the nicotine within 12 hours after your last cigarette.

Your heart and lungs start repairing the damage caused by cigarette smoke.

You breathe easier and your smoker’s cough starts to go away.

You lower your risk for illness and death from heart disease, stroke, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, lung cancer, and other types of cancer.

You contribute to cleaner air, especially for children who are at risk for illnesses because they breathe others cigarette smoke.

Adapted from the National Cancer Institute’s “Smoking:Facts and Tips for Quitting”

 

 

 

QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

“Because even healthy people can fall victim to summer heat, take the following precautions to reduce your risk:

-Drink plenty of water or other non-alcoholic beverages

-Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that is light in color                                                                        

-Reduce strenous activities or do them during the cooler parts of the day (not during 12pm-4pm the hottest time of a day).”

CDC Center for Disease Control and Prevention

 

Common Problems that arise in the Summertime!

Common summer health problems  Common summer health problems

 

1. BOATING ACCIDENTS

People’s biggest mistake by far is drinking and boating. People get out there and drink alcohol all day in the sun, and you end up with the same accidents you have with driving — with the added risks of falling out of boats, getting hit by propellers, and drowning.

It’s also easy to get lax about life jackets. Kids need to have them on all the time. Even if having them under the seat fulfills the law, in an accident, chances are anyone who doesn’t know how to swim won’t be able to get to them in time. When you are going to be out on a boat or at the beach with a child, you take on the responsibility to maintain the safety of that child and basic lifesaving skills are a must, not a luxury; especially for parents.   The courses are easy, usually just one day or half a day and you may save your child’s LIFE or the child you take the responsibility in caring for. There’s no mouth-to-mouth [resuscitation] anymore if you are not trained — just chest compressions but if you get BCLS certified (basic care in life support) your CPR certified.

You can find first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and other emergency lifesaving courses near you with the American Heart Association’s ECC (Emergency Cardiovascular Care) Class Connector tool online at americanheart.org. or near you where you live.

2. Mower Injuries

We know almost every homeowner loves the sight of a pristine, neatly mowed yard. But in their haste to get that lawn in shape, some people forget to take precautions. “In the warmer months we see lots of mower injuries to toes, hands, and fingers getting caught in blades, and things like rocks and sticks getting flung out of them. People will start tinkering with the mower and reach under it to unclog it, and forget there’s a spinning blade there or take the key out when going under to see what clogged the blade from working. Those can be preventative moves and result in hideous injuries for some permanent and with others temporary.

They’re also hard to repair, because not only can whirling blades cause complex lacerations and fractures, but they can bury contaminants like grass and dirt in the wound putting the wound at risk for infection. To be safe:

Wear closed-toed shoes — preferably with a steel toe — when you mow, along with goggles or sunglasses, gloves, and long pants that will protect you from flying debris.

Keep kids away from the push mower and off the riding mower. Riding mowers are not just another ride-on toy.

Get a professional to service your mower or learn how to do it properly. Important: Disconnect the spark plug to prevent it from accidentally starting. Turning a push mower’s blade manually can ignite the engine.

3. Dehydration Disasters

You’ve romped outdoors with the kids all day, and your water bottle ran dry long ago. Suddenly you feel dizzy and lightheaded, and your mouth tastes like cotton. You’re dehydrated — meaning you haven’t taken in enough fluids to replace those you’ve been sweating out.

People can get dehydrated any time of year, but it’s much more common in the summer months, when they are active outdoors in the warm sun. Heatstroke is the most severe form of dehydration. That’s when your internal temperature rises to dangerously high levels. Your skin gets hot, but you stop sweating. Someone with heatstroke may pass out, have hallucinations, or suffer seizures.

Preventing dehydration and heatstroke is so easy: Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, take regular breaks in the shade, and try to schedule your most vigorous outdoor activities for times when the heat isn’t so strong, such as early morning or late afternoon.

For persons suffering more serious dehydration or heatstroke, get them indoors, have them lie down, and cool them off with ice packs and cool cloths. Someone who is seriously affected by the heat may need intravenous fluids in the ER.

4. Sunburn

With all the skin cancer warnings, you’d think Americans would be getting fewer sunburns, not more. But you’d be wrong. The percentage of adults nationwide who got at least one sunburn during the preceding year rose from 31.8% in 1999 to 33.7% in 2004, according to the CDC.

Your risk for melanoma doubles if you’ve had just five sunburns in your life. A sunburn is a first-degree burn, right up there with thermal burns. Also, we even see some second-degree thermal burns, often when people are out drinking or falling asleep in the sun and don’t realize how long they’ve been out there.

In addition to practicing “safe sun” — wearing sunscreen that protects against both UVB and UVA rays, long-sleeved shirts, and wide-brimmed hats, and staying out of blistering midday rays — there are things you can do to treat a severe sunburn, Stanton says:

-Drink water or juice to replace fluids you lost while sweating in the hot sun.

-Soak the burn in cool water for a few minutes or put a cool, wet cloth on it.

-Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen.

-Treatitching with an OTC antihistamine cream or a spray like diphenhydramine (such as Benadryl), which helps block the inflammatory reaction.

-Apply an antibiotic ointment or an aloe cream with emollients that soften and soothe the skin directly to the burned area.

-You’re going to have a pretty miserable 12 to 24 hours with the initial symptoms no matter what you do.

5. Picnic Poisoning

Food poisoning puts about 300,000 people in the hospital every year, hitting its peak in the summer months. You don’t want diarrhea to be the souvenir of your family’s annual summer picnic.

Anything that has mayonnaise, dairy, or eggs in it and any meat products can develop some pretty nasty bacteria after only a couple of hours unrefrigerated. Every summer we’ll have five or six people coming in from the same reunion or family picnic with food poisoning symptoms.

To prevent food poisoning, follow the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s advice to:

  • CleanWash your hands as well as the surfaces where you’ll be preparing foods.
  • Separate — Wrap raw meat securely and keep it stored away from other food items.
  • Cook — Bring along a meat thermometer. Grilling meat browns it very fast on the outside, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe on the inside. Steaks should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees, ground beef and pork to 160 degrees, and poultry to 165 degrees.
  • Chill — Keep everything refrigerated as long as possible. Store perishable picnic items in an insulated cooler packed with ice, and follow the “last in, first out” rule — whatever you’re going to eat first should go at the top of the cooler.

Mild cases of food poisoning can be cared for at home, Stanton says. Avoid solid foods, and stick with small, frequent drinks of clear liquid to stay hydrated. Once the nausea and vomiting have eased, you can try bringing food back into your diet — slowly and in small, bland portions (Grandma knew what she was talking about when she recommended tea and toast to settle an upset stomach). If symptoms persist for more than a couple days (or more than 24 hours in small kids), see a doctor.

Independence Day arrives. Many people love fireworks, but fireworks don’t necessarily love them back. Nearly 9,000 individuals were injured by fireworks in 2009, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, and two were killed. We see pretty significant hand and eye injuries from fireworks every summer. The safest way to watch fireworks is at a professionally sponsored display. At least six states ban all consumer fireworks, and several more allow them only with limitations. But if you can buy fireworks legally and want to set off a few at home, take these precautions:

  • Keep a hose or fire extinguisher handy to put out small fires.
  • Keep children away from fireworks.      
  • Everybody loves to give sparklers to kids, but they burn very hot and can cause significant eye injuries. In fact, a sparkler can burn as hot as 2,000 degrees — hot enough to melt some types of metals.       They can go off quickly and cause burns or just explode in your hand.

To care for a fireworks burn, wrap it in a clean towel or T-shirt saturated with cool water and get to an emergency room to have the injury checked out.

 

 

 

 

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY:

” The most common types of breast cancer are ductal carcinoma in situ, invasive ductal carcinoma, invasive lobular carcinoma, medullary carcinoma, and Paget disease of the nipple (see definitions under these headings).

American Cancer Society

Part II Breast Cancer

breast cancer preventionBreast Cancer Part IV

Can a healthy diet prevent breast cancer?

Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables hasn’t been consistently shown to offer protection from breast cancer. In addition, a low-fat diet appears to offer only a slight reduction in the risk of breast cancer.

However, eating a healthy diet may decrease your risk of other types of cancer, as well as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. A healthy diet can also help you maintain a healthy weight — a key factor in breast cancer prevention.

Is there a link between birth control pills and breast cancer?

A number of older studies suggested that birth control pills slightly increased the risk of breast cancer, especially among younger women. In these studies, however, 10 years after discontinuing birth control pills women’s risk of breast cancer returned to the same level as that of women who never used oral contraceptives. Current evidence does not support an increase in breast cancer with birth control pills.

Be vigilant about breast cancer detection. If you notice any changes in your breasts, such as a new lump or skin changes, consult your doctor. Also, ask your doctor when to begin mammograms and other screenings.

Once you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, your doctor works to find out the specifics of your tumor. Using a tissue sample from your breast biopsy or using your tumor if you’ve already undergone surgery, your medical team determines your breast cancer type. This information helps your doctor decide which treatment options are most appropriate for you.

Here’s what’s used to determine your breast cancer type.

Is your cancer invasive or noninvasive?

Whether your cancer is invasive or noninvasive helps your doctor determine whether your cancer may have spread beyond your breast, which treatments are more appropriate for you, and your risk of developing cancer in the same breast or your other breast.

  • Noninvasive (in situ) breast cancer. In situ breast cancer refers to cancer in which the cells have remained within their place of origin — they haven’t spread to breast tissue around the duct or lobule. One type of noninvasive cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is considered a precancerous lesion. This means that if it were left in the body, DCIS could eventually develop into an invasive cancer. Another type of noninvasive cancer called lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) isn’t considered precancerous because it won’t eventually evolve into invasive cancer. LCIS does, however, increase the risk of cancer in both breasts.
  • Invasive breast cancer. Invasive (infiltrating) breast cancers spread outside the membrane that lines a duct or lobule, invading the surrounding tissues. The cancer cells can then travel to other parts of your body, such as the lymph nodes. If your breast cancer is stage I, II, III or IV, you have invasive breast cancer.

In what part of the breast did your cancer begin?

The type of tissue where your breast cancer arises determines how the cancer behaves and what treatments are most effective. Parts of the breast where cancer begins include:

  • Milk ducts. Ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer. This type of cancer forms in the lining of a milk duct within your breast. The ducts carry breast milk from the lobules, where it’s made, to the nipple.
  • Milk-producing lobules. Lobular carcinoma starts in the lobules of the breast, where breast milk is produced. The lobules are connected to the ducts, which carry breast milk to the nipple.
  • Connective tissues. Rarely breast cancer can begin in the connective tissue that’s made up of muscles, fat and blood vessels. Cancer that begins in the connective tissue is called sarcoma. Examples of sarcomas that can occur in the breast include phyllodes tumor and angiosarcoma.
  •  FYI a complication that can occur with advanced cancer that many of you may be unaware of. Bone metastasis occurs when cancer cells spread from their original site to a location in the bone. The most common types of cancer more likely to spread to bone include breast, prostate and lung cancers.Signs and symptoms of bone metastasis may include the following:
  • Bone metastasis can occur in any bone, but more commonly occurs in the pelvis and spine. Bone metastasis may be the first sign that you have cancer, or it may occur years after your cancer treatment is completed, ex. Hodgkins Disease.
  • Bone pain (back and pelvic pain are most common)
  • Unexplained broken bones
  • Loss of urine and/or bowel function
  • Weakness in the legs
  • High levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia), which can cause nausea, vomiting and confusion
  • The most common problem with metastatic bone cancer is pain and fractures. Metastatic bone cancer usually can’t be cured, but instead the goal is to provide pain relief and control further spread. Treatment can make a big difference and may include the following:
  • Medications to repair and build new bone — These medications are similar to those used by people with osteoporosis and can help in building and strengthening your bone.
  • Chemotherapy — Given as a pill or through a vein, used to control and treat cancer that has spread to the bone.
  • Traditional radiation therapy — Radiation is given as external beam therapy to treat the cancer in the bone.
  • Hormone therapy — Medications are used to block hormones (for breast and prostate cancers) that help control the spread of cancer to the bone.
  • Surgery — Used to fix a fracture and stabilize a break from the cancer in the bone.
  • Cryoablation — A special technique that freezes the cancer cells.
  • Radiofrequency ablation — A special technique that heats the cancer cells.
  • Chemoradiation — A form of internal radiation that is given through the vein and travels to the site of bone metastasis and targets the cancer cells.
  • Pain medications — Medications provided with the goal of relieving and controlling pain from bone metastasis.
  • Physical therapy — Exercises may be prescribed to assist in strengthening muscles and providing any assistive devices that may help you (cane, walker, crutches, etc.).If you’re living with metastatic bone cancer, you may find help and resources from a website called Bone Health in Focus. It was established with partners including BreastCancer.org, the National Lung Cancer Partnership and International Prostate Cancer Education & Support Network to offer resources that help patients and caregivers understand more about cancer that has spread to the bone (find the site at www.bonehealthinfocus.com).
  • Are you living with cancer that has spread to the bone? Feel free to share your experiences with each other on the this blog striveforgoodhealth.com or on TheMayoclinic.org.