Summertime means warmer weather and enjoying the great outdoors. It also means long days in the sun and lengthy exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. These long hours in the sun can lead to damaged skin cells and skin cancer.
Signs and symptoms
Even if you wear sunscreen and protective clothing, it is still possible to develop skin cancer. That’s why dermatologists recommend conducting a monthly head-to-toe self-examination of your skin.
You should look for the following items when examining your skin:
- A growth that increases in size and appears pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored
- Moles, beauty marks, or birthmarks that change color, size, texture or appear after you are 21
- Sores that are constantly itchy, crusty, burn or peel
- Sores that do not heal within three weeks
Make note of any suspicious spots you detect during your monthly skin self-exams and contact your primary care doctor or dermatologist for further evaluation.
Importance of early detection
Skin cancer affects more than 3 million people each year. It is also the easiest form of cancer to cure when detected and treated early. That is why it is important to routinely check your skin for any abnormalities. A self-examination should take no more than 10 minutes to complete and could prove to be life-saving.
Yearly skin examinations by your dermatologist are also essential. Dermatologists can identify any areas of concern in the earliest stages and order any necessary biopsies.
Contact your dermatologist to make an appointment for your annual skin exam if you haven’t already had one this year. If you don’t have a dermatologist, your primary care physician can give you a referral.
Harvey Moskowitz says that GreenLight laser therapy is the reason he can enjoy his life again.
For five years, Mr. Moskowitz endured the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) – or an enlarged prostate. Faced with conventional, invasive surgery as the only treatment option, he decided to live with BPH.
One of the most common diseases for aging men, BPH affects half of men between age 51 and 60, and 90% of men age 80 and over. This non-cancerous condition of the prostate gland disrupts the lives of 27 million men over the age of 50 each year.
Symptoms of BPH include:
- Frequent urination
- Pain or burning during urination
- Sudden urge to urinate
- The need to push or strain when urinating
- Blood in urine
- Weak urine flow
An untreated enlarged prostate often leads to more serious conditions, like kidney stones, frequent bladder infections, and, in severe cases, permanent kidney damage.
Like many men with BPH, Mr. Moskowitz finally decided that the side effects and hassle of daily pills didn’t work in his life anymore. Mr. Moskowitz turned to Dr. David Robbins, a seasoned urologist who often recommends and administers GreenLight Laser Therapy to his patients with an enlarged prostate.
Dr. Robbins explains that GreenLight Laser Therapy, a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure, is a simpler solution for treating BPH. The therapy provides immediate relief of lower urinary track symptoms, and it boasts fewer serious adverse events, faster recovery, less bleeding, and lower hospital costs than conventional surgical treatments.
During the GreenLight procedure, a laser fiber is passed through a cystoscope and advanced into the urethra to the location of the prostate. There, the doctor directs the special laser at the prostate and heats up the tissue. The urologist systematically vaporizes the enlarged prostate tissue until the obstruction is removed. This allows the prostate channel to open so the urine can flow with ease.
“The difference between laser therapy and traditional methods is that as the laser vaporizes troubled areas, it opens up the tissue and also seals the blood vessels so there is minimal bleeding,” explains Dr. Robbins. This enables the operating physician to better visualize the area and more accurately and carefully construct the channel to restore urine flow.
Post-treatment, patients experience a rapid relief of symptoms and improvement of urine flow immediately after the procedure. In fact, Mr. Moskowitz returned to work the day after his GreenLight laser therapy. It’s no surprise that 94% of patients are satisfied with this alternative treatment option and would recommend it to others. “It’s a wonderful procedure,” claims Mr. Moskowitz. “I was able to urinate at a normal level again, pain-free. I got my life back.”
Over 700,000 patients have received GreenLight laser therapy worldwide to date. This proven, cost-effective solution doesn’t require daily ongoing medication for men diagnosed with an enlarged prostate. Ask your doctor about GreenLight laser therapy for BPH today.
We all know that soda is bad for your health, but many don’t know how bad soda really is for you.
Soda can lead to weight gain, heart problems, diabetes and more. Some health experts say soda doesn’t have any nutritional value at all and you are better off eating fast food because that at least has some nutrition.
Sugar is the main culprit of weight gain from soda. Although some sodas are lower in calories, your body still turns the sugar into fat and causes you to gain weight.
Consuming sugar in the form of a drink is also troublesome. Your body doesn’t register fullness as easily when you drink calories versus when you eat them. This means you often drink more calories than necessary because your body doesn’t know when to tell you to stop.
This excess drinking can lead to “sugar rushes” which can cause your body to have a difficult time regulating your insulin levels. A person with long-term insulin problems often becomes diabetic.
Even diet sodas formulated with artificial sweeteners can contribute to weight gain by tricking your body into craving sweeter foods. In studies with mice, artificial sweeteners changed the gut bacteria in ways that made them vulnerable to insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, both of which can lead to weight gain. Artificial sweeteners also contribute to a drop in leptin, the hormone that inhibits hunger.
In addition to sugar, two other main ingredients in soda are sodium and caffeine. These ingredients can cause major heart issues if consumed in excess.
Caffeine causes your heart rate to increase and blood pressure to rise. It’s also a diuretic in large doses, which causes frequent urination and leads to dehydration. Sodium causes fluid retention, which can increase blood pressure as well.
Keep it in moderation
While it is a bad idea to drink soda regularly, it is okay to enjoy a sugary drink every once in a while. The American Heart Association says people with a daily diet of 2,000 calories can enjoy 450 calories from sugary drinks each week.
It is best to replace most of your soda consumption with plain water. This change can help you lose weight and keep your heart healthy.
For more on what you can do to lose weight and live healthier, call 740-439-8000 to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians today.
It’s summertime – school’s out, and the living’s easy! Don’t let summer boredom or June-gloom get you down. It’s the perfect time to turn off the tube, get off the couch, head outside, and explore beautiful Cambridge. All of us at Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center want this to be your family’s happiest and healthiest season yet!
There are plenty of exciting options for summer fun for everyone from adventurous explorers to the more reserved residents. Explore the Downtown Cambridge Events Calendar and the Cambridge-Guernsey Count Events Calendar for all the exciting summer activities happening around town.
And follow these tips to keep the fun going while ensuring health and happiness.
Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water!
High temps during summertime can increase the amount of water we need to consume. The typical recommendation is 64 oz. of water per day, but with additional moderate physical activity, your water intake needs can double.
Getting enough water benefits mind and body, enhancing concentration and cognition while also improving endurance and physical performance. Keep soda, alcoholic beverages, lemonade, and other caffeinated and sugary drinks to a minimum, especially during the summer due to their dehydrating effects. Low-calories sports drinks and electrolyte waters are good choices, but fresh, clean water is still the best.
If you feel you’re out of shape, introduce an exercise regimen slowly and work your way up to higher-intensity workouts.
When it comes to their workout goals, many folks are in a hurry – they want to lose those few extra pounds quickly. Sometimes, this approach can lead to soreness or even injury – and an end to the exercise effort. Start slowly and gradually build up to enjoy the workout and benefit from the exercise. In addition to the physiological and physical benefits, our minds also improve with added activity. Rich, oxygenated blood enters our brain, sharpening our reasoning and thinking, and awakening out mental faculties.
Eat fresh, seasonal, and local produce
Naturally, summertime foods are healthy!
Watermelon, tomatoes, cantaloupes, cucumbers, summer squash, and berries – to name a few – are yummy foods that are abundant during the summer. These delicious fruits and veggies are filled with healing nutrition and nourishing juices. For example, watermelon is high in lycopene, a compound with strong antioxidant properties that protect the body from aging and inflammation. Fruits of summer are jam-packed with minerals and vitamins, including magnesium and Vitamin C, which are lacking in the diets of many Americans.
Check out the Cambridge Main Street Farmers’ Market on Fridays from 9am - 1pm to stock up on your favorite summer foods!
Clock adequate sleep
The old folks used to say “I’m getting my beauty rest” – they understood the importance of sleeping and resting to balance out the active side of life. Sleep gives the body time to renew and rejuvenate.
Generally speaking, the more physically active you are, the more rest your body requires. Experts estimate that over 40% of American have difficulty sleeping and suffer from sleep deprivation, a condition that predicts medical issues later in life.
When possible, adopt a bedtime routine. Avoid eating and working late. Turn off the television and smart devices 30 minutes prior to going to bed – the blue light emitted from electronics prevents the body from releasing melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. End the day with deep breathing, quiet reflection and light stretching to let your body know that it’s time to sleep. Clock eight-nine hours of sleep per night most nights of the week.
The Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center team wishes you all a safe, fun, and healthy summer!
From sun and bugs to heat and water, parents face a few challenges when it comes to keeping kids healthy and safe in the summer. Here are a few tips to minimize the ouch-factor and maximize your summer fun.
Beat the heat
These three simple practices will keep children safe when temperatures soar.
- Apply sunscreen regularly and generously
- Give plenty to drink (half a cup to two cups of water every 15-20 minutes, even when swimming)
- Offer hydrating, healthy snacks like veggies and fresh fruit.
Stay sun savvy
We all love long summer days, but it’s important to be proactive about sun protection.
Infants under six months old should be kept out of direct sunlight. For babies and toddlers, use a barrier sunscreen containing titanium dioxide or zinc oxide – ideally both. Older children need a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 or greater. Reapply sunscreen every two hours – more frequently when swimming or perspiring.
Spending the day in the car? Remember, children can get sunburned through car windows, so slather on the sunscreen before heading on your road trip and invest in window shades for the back seat.
Sun-protective clothing, hats and sunglasses will also help protect kids’ skin and eyes from UV rays.
Pack smart snacks
When traveling, invest in a small thermal bag and cold pack to keep food fresh. Opt for healthy snacks, like fresh, local, seasonal fruits and veggies. Salads or sandwiches, especially those that contain mayonnaise, can cause illness if they’re exposed to hot temperatures for too long.
Also, ensure your kids wash their hands with soap before eating whenever possible. Keep antibacterial wipes or sanitizer handy to clean up in a pinch.
Prepare for bugs – and bites
When outdoors, you’re likely to encounter critters that bite. Ticks and mosquitoes are two pests you should be particularly wary of in warm weather months. The state of Ohio reported more than 150 cases of Lyme disease caused by tick bites last year. And a type of mosquito found in Ohio can transmit West Nile virus. Thirty-five cases were reported in the state in 2015.
Keep mosquitoes, ticks and other bugs at bay with insect repellent. The American Academy of Pediatrics says formulas containing up to 30% DEET are safe for children over two months old. Repellents at this concentration should be reapplied about every five hours. Formulas with a lower DEET concentration, should be reapplied about every two hours. Note that DEET can reduce the effectiveness of sunscreen by up to a third, so you may need to reapply sunscreen more often and use protective clothing to prevent sunburns.
Embrace tick safety practices. Know where ticks can be found in your area – most often in wooded areas, grassy fields and leaf piles. They can even be in your yard at home. Make a habit of performing a tick check when the kids come in from playing outside. And learn how to remove a tick and properly dispose of it.
If your munchkin gets stung by a bee or wasp, over-the-counter pain medicine such as acetaminophen and a cold pack applied directly to the area will provide relief. Allergies to stinging insects are common and can manifest suddenly, especially in children. Monitor your child for any symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as abnormal swelling or difficulty breathing, and seek emergency treatment immediately to treat the reaction.
Watch the waves
Whether you’re making sandcastles at the beach or chilling by the community pool, kids need supervision around water at all times. In a lake or ocean environment, stay within an arm’s length of your children in the water, regardless of their age or swimming ability. At a pool, join younger children and weaker swimmers for a dip and supervise older children and stronger swimmers from a lounge chair close to the edge. Just be sure to keep an eye on them at all times – no texting or reading.
Longer days, abundant sunshine, and an ice cream cone (or two!) – there’s no time like summer to enjoy family. Ensure your kids have a healthy summer by being proactive and tapping into your parenting instincts.
- Be aware of small bodies of water your child might encounter, such as bathtubs, fishponds, ditches, fountains, rain barrels, watering cans—even the bucket you use when you wash the car. Empty containers of water when you're done using them. Children are drawn to places and things like these and need constant supervision to be sure they don't fall in.
- Children who are swimming—even in a shallow toddler's pool—always should be watched by an adult, preferably one who knows CPR. The adult should be within arm's length, providing "touch supervision" whenever infants, toddlers, or young children are in or around water. Empty and put away inflatable pools after each play session.
- Enforce safety rules: No running near the pool and no pushing others underwater.
- Don't allow your child to use inflatable toys or mattresses in place of a life jacket. These toys may deflate suddenly, or your child may slip off them into water that is too deep for him.
- Be sure the deep and shallow ends of any pool your child swims in are clearly marked. Never allow your child to dive into the shallow end.
- Backyard swimming pools, (including large, inflatable above-ground pools), should be completely surrounded with at least a 4-foot (1.2 meters) high fence that completely separates the pool from the house. The fence should have a self-closing and self-latching gate that opens away from the pool, with the latch at least 54 inches high. Check the gate frequently to be sure it is in good working order. Keep the gate closed and locked at all times. Be sure your child cannot manipulate the lock or climb the fence. No opening under the fence or between uprights should be more than 4 inches (10 cm) wide. Keep toys out of the pool area when not in use so that children are not tempted to try to get through the fence.
- If your pool has a cover, remove it completely before swimming. Also, never allow your child to walk on the pool cover; water may have accumulated on it, making it as dangerous as the pool itself. Your child also could fall through and become trapped underneath. Do not use a pool cover in place of a four-sided fence, because it is not likely to be used appropriately and consistently.
- Keep a safety ring with a rope beside the pool at all times. If possible, have a phone in the pool area with emergency numbers clearly marked.
- Spas and hot tubs are dangerous for young children, who can easily drown or become overheated in them. Don't allow young children to use these facilities.
- Your child should always wear a life jacket when he swims or rides in a boat. A life jacket fits properly if you can't lift it off over your child's head after he's been fastened into it. For the child under age five, particularly the non-swimmer, it also should have a flotation collar to keep the head upright and the face out of the water.
- Adults should not drink alcohol when they are swimming. It presents a danger for them as well as for any children they might be supervising.
- Be sure to eliminate distractions while children are in the water. Talking on the phone, working on the computer, and other tasks need to wait until children are out of the water.
** Information taken from: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Water-Safety-And-Young-Children.aspx
Zoom! Zoom! You’ve probably seen numerous children in your neighborhood riding their skates, scooters and bicycles. We are finally in the midst of summer vacation and children are eager to get outside and take advantage of this season. Many children will be getting out their bikes, ready explore the world around them once again. Surely you can envision the scrapes and bruises that will happen as your children enjoy their time adventuring outside. While these are often common, especially during warmer months, it is always important to promote safety. This is true in all activities, including when riding a bicycle. Just like a motor vehicle, there are rules that promote safety.
Pick a Proper Helmet: Helmets are incredibly important in preventing injury if your child should crash while on their bike. Did you know that if you wreck your bike, wearing a helmet reduces the risk of brain injury and head injury by as much as 85 to 88 percent? Consider wearing a bicycle helmet as well when biking with your child. Actions often speak louder than words, and your child needs to see you practicing good safety habits, too. While most helmets may not be fashionable, it’s important that beyond just encouraging your child to wear one, that you model that same behavior. If your child(ren) are discouraged by the aesthetics of the helmet, suggest that they personalize their helmet with stickers, glitter, or pick out a colored helmet that is pleasing to them. When they are proud of their helmet, they are more likely and excited to wear it.
Your child should always wear a properly fitted helmet regardless of where s/he is riding. Whether it be in your yard, driveway, on a bike path, or even with you on the road, it is essential that your child wear a helmet. Accidents can happen anywhere and wearing a helmet is one of the best ways to prevent injury. A well-fit helmet can decrease your risk of a head injury by at least forty-five percent.
Pick the Best Size Bike: Just like a helmet, bikes can be too big or small for your child depending on their individual height and weight. Bikes are not “one size fits all.” When your child is on their bicycle, s/he should stand straddling the top bar of the bike so that both feet are flat on the ground. There should be 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.6 centimeters) of space between the rider and the top bar.
Check out your child’s bike before they go on a ride. Look for the following things:
- Make sure your seat, handlebars, and wheels fit tightly.
- Check the oil and chain regularly.
- Check the brakes to be sure they work well and aren't sticking.
- Check the tires to make sure they have enough air and the right amount of tire pressure.
Wear Bright Clothing: It is also important for children to be wearing bright, easily-visible clothing. This makes it less likely for someone to hit your child. Likewise, it’s important that s/he rides during daylight hours. Too close to sunrise or sunset makes bicyclists less visible to motorists who are traveling at a much higher rate of speed. Children should avoid earphones or anything that could distract them or cause impaired hearing. If s/he is listening to music, s/he might not hear the honk of on-coming traffic.
Follow Rules of the Road: Children must understand that just because s/he is riding a bike doesn’t mean that road rules can be overlooked. Remind your child to ride on bike paths or sidewalk whenever possible. They should watch for pedestrians and other bikers in order to avoid an accident. When passing other bikers or people on the street, always pass to their left side, and say “On your left!" so your presence is known. If riding on the road, instruct your child to ride on the right-hand side of the street, traveling in the same direction of motorists. Bikers should NEVER ride against the traffic. Bikers must also follow rules of the road that include stopping at stop signs and respecting traffic lights. Learning universal hand signals are also helpful for both bikers and motorists, because it tells motorists what the biker(s) plans to do next. This promotes safety and fewer accidents. The Great Guernsey Trail is one local riding option that was designed with bikers and walkers in mind. Remember; use your best judgment when allowing your child to ride his or her bike, especially if they are riding out of your eyesight. It is always best to accompany your child(ren).
Watch for Road Hazards: Bikers should always be observant of the world around them. This includes any road hazards that might cause an accident.
Common road hazards include:
- wet leaves
- big puddles
- changes in the road or sidewalk surface
- storm grates
- gravel or rocks
- Pedestrians or other bikers
Summer is a great, fun time for children and it is important for them to remain active. Encourage your child to practice safe habits while enjoying their time outdoors. You can never be too proactive or too protective when it comes to your child’s health and safety. Now that you know the basics of keeping your family safe while biking, get out there and enjoy some fresh air on your bike!
** Information taken from www. KidsHealth.org**
Psoriasis is the most widespread autoimmune disease in the U.S. with more than 7.5 million cases being reported throughout the nation.
Despite being widespread, few know about the disease or how it is treated.
What is it?
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disorder that typical causes red, raised and scaly patches of skin. These flare-ups typically happen around elbows, knees, shins, buttocks and back.
The cause of psoriasis is not clear, but it is believed to be hereditary. More than 40% of people who have psoriasis have a close relative who also suffers from the disease. Since the cause of psoriasis is unknown, it is difficult to determine exactly what causes psoriasis flare-ups. However, flare-ups have been linked to stress, infections and certain medications.
There are five types of psoriasis:
Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the disease accounting for 75%-80% of psoriasis cases.
How to treat psoriasis flare-ups
There is currently no cure for psoriasis. Patients who suffer from mild to moderate psoriasis typically use creams and ointments daily to treat affected areas.
Oral and injectable treatments are typically reserved for patients who suffer from moderate to severe psoriasis. These forms of treatment often have increased risks of side effects, so doctors and patients should discuss the risks involved before seeking this form of treatment.
If you are suffering from psoriasis and would like to know what form of treatment is best for you, talk with your primary care physician. He or she may refer you to a dermatologist who specializes in psoriasis treatment.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and the most common form of cancer among 25 to 29 year olds in the United States. It is also very curable when detected in its early stages.
That is why it is important for everyone, especially young adults, to know the warning signs of melanoma.
What to look for
Dermatologists recommend conducting a full-body skin examination once a month. This allows you to identify which marks on your body are normal and spot those that are new or out-of-place.
Follow the ABCDEs of skin cancer when examining moles and skin marks that can be cancerous:
A – Asymmetrical: marks that have one half that is different from the other
B – Borders: Irregular borders that are poorly defined
C – Color: Multiple shades from one area to another
D – Diameter: Diameter that is larger than 6mm or ¼ inch (about the size of a pencil eraser)
E – Evolution: marks/moles that change over time
If you notice a spot during your monthly skin self-checks that meets one of the ABCDEs, make a note of where it is on your body and contact your dermatologist or primary care physician for an immediate appointment.
The best way to prevent melanoma is the protect your skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays. Here are some guidelines to protect your skin:
Head for shade: Especially from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. when UV rays are at their strongest
Wear sunscreen: Use SPF 30 or higher. Be sure to apply sunscreen 15 minutes before heading outdoors
Wear lip balm: Melanoma can also develop on your lips. Find lip balm that is SPF 30 or higher.
Wear protective clothing: Broad brim hats and UV-blocking sunglasses are great options.
And stay out of the tanning bed! The FDA lists indoor tanning as one of the main contributors to the increase of skin cancer among young people, including melanoma. In fact, your risk of developing melanoma increase by 75% if you start using a tanning bed before age 35.
Everyone should have a thorough annual skin exam conducted by a certified dermatologist. Contact your dermatologist to schedule your skin exam today if you haven’t had one already this year. If you don’t have a dermatologist, ask your primary care physician for a referral.
We all know it is important to exercise every day, but how does daily exercise actually improve your health?
The benefits of daily physical activity are seemingly endless. It is not only beneficial for your physical heath, but your mental health as well.
Here are just a few ways daily exercise can have an impact on your everyday life:
- Controls weight – When you exercise, you burn calories. You don’t even have to set aside time to go to the gym. Simple changes like taking the stairs instead of the elevator can have big impact.
- Combats health conditions and diseases – Being active helps improve high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, which can prevent cardiovascular diseases. Exercise can also prevent stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression and arthritis.
- Improves your mood – A 30-minute workout can stimulate chemicals in your brain to help you feel relaxed and happier. Those workouts can also improve your body image which may boost your self-esteem.
- Gives you energy – By boosting your muscle strength and endurance, exercise can help your body work more efficiently. That extra energy can allow you to complete your daily chores without feeling tired or winded.
- Helps you sleep – By being more relaxed, exercise can help you fall asleep fast and benefit from deeper sleep. The key is to not exercise too close to bed time or you may be too energized to fall asleep.
- Can re-energize your sex drive – As previously mentioned, exercise can boost your energy level and confidence level. Regular physical activity can also lead to more arousal for women and a decreased chance of men developing erectile dysfunction.
Set a goal before you begin an exercise regimen, and talk with your physician about your plans. He or she will be able to provide you with information about the right kinds of exercise and how much to do, as well as helpful nutritional advice.
Be realistic. If you haven’t run for ten years, you shouldn’t start training for a marathon straight-off. Instead, find a running routine that will get you started slowly, such as Couch-to-5K. You don’t even have to run! A brisk 30-minute walk burns about 200 calories.
Don’t ignore your muscles. Cardio is a go-to exercise for many people just starting out, but strength training is important, too. Muscle burns calories 40% better than fat. There are a variety of body weight exercises you can do to improve muscle strength and tone. (And contrary to popular belief, lifting heavier weights will not turn women into body builders.) In a set of 10 reps, your last three reps should be difficult, without compromising your form. If you can easily complete the 10 reps without fatiguing toward the end, ramp up the weight a bit.
Keep at it. Many people start a new exercise routine with vigor only to fizzle out a few days later. It takes 12 weeks to develop noticeable change, so be consistent with your routine and don’t give up when you haven’t achieved your goals at the end of the first week.