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July 02, 2012

What is Lyme Disease?

Patients with Lyme disease often present with a characteristic red, expanding rash called erythema migrans, typically on the torso. Multiple lesions of erythema migrans (shown) occur in ~20% of patients. Other typical symptoms include fever, headache, and fatigue. A number of antibiotics may be used to treat early Lyme disease. Doxycycline is recommended for adults and children 8 or older. Young children and pregnant women should be treated with amoxicillin or cefuroxime. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.[3]

How do people get it?

Ixodes scapularis (commonly known as a deer tick or black-legged tick) can transmit Borrelia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme disease. In most cases, the tick must be attached for at least 36-48 hours before the Lyme disease bacterium can be transmitted. Most humans are infected through the bites of immature ticks called nymphs. Nymphs are tiny (<2 mm) and difficult to see; they feed during the spring and summer months. Adult ticks can also transmit Lyme disease bacteria, but they are much larger and therefore more likely to be discovered and removed before they have time to transmit the bacteria.[4]

What regions are "Deer Tick's" prevalant?

The approximate U.S. distribution of Ixodes scapularis is shown. Tickborne disease prevention can be divided into environmental and personal measures. Patients exposed to tick-endemic areas should wear long-sleeved, light-colored clothing when outside. Lighter colors allow for easier identification of ticks. Chemical repellents with DEET (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) and picaridin are available in numerous over-the-counter skin preparations as sprays or lotions. Permethrin is an acaricide that can be applied to clothing and is used in conjunction with chemical repellents.[3] Image courtesy of the CDC.

*Information courtesy of Medscape


October 10, 2011

Dermatology Victory: CA Signs Most Restrictive Tanning Law

Congrats to California. Hopefully, New York won't be far behind.

California's governor has signed the most restrictive statewide tanning law in the country. The new law, which was signed yesterday, bans children and teens under 18 from using indoor tanning. Congratulations are in order to the California Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery as well as AIM at Melanoma for their tireless efforts in advocating for this bill.

Read the article from the American Academy of Dermatology Association


August 01, 2011

By next summer, you’ll see several changes to sunscreen labels. These changes, which are required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will provide you with more information about what a sunscreen can do.

Here are some key changes you’ll see:
Skin cancer prevention versus sunburn protection

On the label, you’ll see whether a sunscreen can:

   * Help prevent skin cancer and sunburn.
   * Only help prevent sunburn.

That’s thanks to new FDA testing requirements. For a label to claim that a sunscreen can help prevent skin cancer and sunburn, it will have to pass two tests.

The first test is the broad-spectrum test. This test shows whether a sunscreen can protect your skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Both rays can cause skin cancer.

The second test is the sun protection factor (SPF) test. This test shows how well a sunscreen protects you from sunburn. Like today, you’ll see the SPF as a number, such as SPF 30. All sunscreen must offer some SPF. The minimum is SPF 2.

New warning: For a sunscreen to carry the claim that it can prevent skin cancer and sunburn, it must offer both: 1) broad-spectrum coverage and 2) an SPF of 15 or higher. If the sunscreen does not offer both, the label will have to carry this warning:

“This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.”
Water resistance

The FDA will ban companies from claiming that a sunscreen is “waterproof” or “sweat proof.” This is simply not possible.

You’ll now see the term “water resistant.” To make this claim, the product must pass another test. This test shows how long a sunscreen keeps its SPF when a person goes in the water or sweats. The label also must state how long the water resistance lasts, either 40 or 80 minutes.

New warning: If a sunscreen is not water resistant, the label must carry a warning. This warning will tell you to use a water-resistant sunscreen if you are likely to sweat or be in water.


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