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gel

New Study Shows UV Dryers For Gel Manicures May Damage The DNA In Your Hands

A new study published in Nature Communications shows that getting frequent gel manicures using UV nail polish dryers can cause damage to the DNA in our hands, and potentially lead to skin cancer. 

Ultraviolet (UV) rays are known to cause skin cancer at high exposures, and there isn’t a lot of current research on the potential harms of UV nail polish dryers.  

The University of California San Diego recently released a press release that explained “that the common devices in nail salons generally use a particular spectrum of UV light (340-395nm) to cure the chemicals used in gel manicures. While tanning beds use a different spectrum of UV light (280-400nm) there have been studies that show tanning bed UV light is carcinogenic, or cancer-causing, however, the spectrum used for nail dryers has not been extensively studied.”

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“If you look at the way these devices are presented, they are marketed as safe, with nothing to be concerned about. But to the best of our knowledge, no one has actually studied these devices and how they affect human cells at the molecular and cellular levels until now,” said Ludmil Alexandrov, a professor of bioengineering and cellular and molecular medicine at UC San Diego, and corresponding author of the study. 

Researchers of the study found that using the device for one 20 minute session led to 20-30% cell death, where three consecutive 20 minute exposures caused between 65-70% of exposed cells to die. 

The UV light also caused mitochondrial and DNA damage to the skin cells, resulting in mutations with patterns that can also be seen in skin cancer in humans. 

“We saw multiple things: first, we saw that DNA gets damaged,” said Alexandrov in a press release. 

“We also saw that some of the DNA damage does not get repaired over time, and it does lead to mutations after every exposure with a UV-nail polish dryer. Lastly, we saw that exposure may cause mitochondrial dysfunction, which may also result in additional mutations. We looked at patients with skin cancers, and we see the exact same patterns of mutations in these patients that were seen in the irradiated cells.”

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation “90% of the visible signs of aging come from daily exposure to UV light. This means fine lines, wrinkling, saggy skin, sun spots, uneven skin tone,” says Mona Gohara, M.D., associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine and Prevention Medical Review Board member. 

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“In addition, it can alter one’s DNA repair mechanisms, making skin cancer possible. In general, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined.”

UV-cured manicures are safest when one applies a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 around 30 minutes before the manicure, as well as when one wears fingerless gloves during the manicure. 

“UV light with manicures can always pose a risk. LED lights pose less of a risk, but could still pose some potential dangers. It’s kind of analogous to smoking a cigarette, the more you do it, the more at risk you are. If you want to be sure that no exposure is happening, use sunscreen, cover your hands with cotton gloves, or avoid manis that involve light devices,” says Dr. Gohara

“The knowledge that UV radiation exposure causes DNA mutation in the skin is not new. We know that UV radiation is a known and proven risk for skin cancer and this is why we wear sunscreen, sun protective clothing, hats, sit in the shade and ideally have regular skin checks with a board-certified dermatologist,” says Dr. Stern. 

“For anyone getting UV gel manicures, it is advisable to protect the skin with a UV protective barrier such as fingertip-less UV protective gloves as well as broad-spectrum sunscreen applied 30 minutes before the gel manicure. It is key that the sunscreen is broad-spectrum in order to protect against UVA rays,” advises Dr. Stern.

isolated

Social Isolation Linked to Higher Risk of Developing Dementia

A recent study found that the risk of developing dementia is 27% higher among older adults who lack regular social contact and interaction with others.

The study, conducted by researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. It used data from a group of 5,022 participants aged 65 and older (with an average age of 76) as part of a long-term study titled National Health and Aging Trends.

At the time of the study, the participants were not living in a nursing home, residential care facility or other institution. They were asked to complete a two-hour, in-person interview to assess cognitive function, health status and overall well-being.

Initially, about 23% of the participants were socially isolated but showed no signs of dementia. The other 77% of participants were not considered socially isolated.

According to the study, social isolation is characterized by interacting with others infrequently and having few relationships. The researchers considered if participants lived with others, attended religious services, participated in social events, or discussed “important matters” with two or more people in the past year. Participants who engaged in none of the above were considered socially isolated.

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During the nine years of the study, researchers periodically administered cognitive tests. The study showed that 26% of the participants considered socially isolated developed dementia, compared with 20% of those who were not deemed socially isolated.

In total, 21% of all participants had developed dementia, leading researchers to conclude that the risk of developing dementia over nine years was 27% higher in socially isolated older adults.

Social isolation among older adults is associated with greater dementia risk. Elucidating the pathway by which social isolation impacts dementia may offer meaningful insights for the development of novel solutions to prevent or ameliorate dementia across diverse racial and ethnic groups.”

Dr. Alison Huang, a senior research associate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said, “one possible explanation is that having fewer opportunities to socialize with others decreases cognitive engagement as well, potentially contributing to increased risk of dementia.”

Dr. Thomas Cudjoe, an assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins and a senior author of the study, stated  in a news release that “social connections matter for our cognitive health, and it is potentially easily modifiable for older adults without the use of medication.”

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that around 5.8 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.  Being socially isolated “has also been linked to poor mental health and emotional well-being in older people.”

Another study that used data from participants in the same National Health and Aging Trends study “found that more than 70% of people age 65 and up who were not socially isolated at their initial appointment had a working cellphone and/or computer, and regularly used email or texting to initiate and respond to others.”

This second study, conducted over four years, found that older adults who used these technologies showed a 31% lower risk for social isolation than other participants. 

Dr. Mfon Umoh, a postdoctoral fellow in geriatric medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said that “basic communications technology is a great tool to combat social isolation.” 

“This study shows that access and use of simple technologies are important factors that protect older adults against social isolation, which is associated with significant health risks. This is encouraging because it means simple interventions may be meaningful.”

covid

60,000 People Have Died In China From Covid-19 Since December

Around 60,000 individuals in China have died from Covid-19 since early December when the country abandoned its strict “zero Covid” policy. 

knee

New Study States Common Treatment For Arthritis May Accelerate Disease Progression

At a recent meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, the findings of two recent studies were presented, which stated that corticosteroid injections, a common treatment used for those with osteoarthritis, could actually accelerate the progression of the disease.

flu

Americans May Face a ‘Tripledemic’ This Winter With the Spread of Influenza, RSV and Covid-19

At least three viruses—influenza, COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)—are threatening to overwhelm the country this holiday season. Americans will grapple with multiple respiratory pathogens, both old and new.

Janet DeMaria Skadoosie

Parents Are Thankful for This Designer’s Contemporary Spin on the ‘Onesie’ | Janet Demaria

Designer-turned-entrepreneur Janet DeMaria saw that infant bodysuits had not changed in decades and came up with the idea for the “Skadoosie,” a onesie that does away with the need for buttons, snaps, and zippers. A lifelong learner and creative, Janet reimagined a modern and functional take on a parenting staple. Now, Janet hopes to drive change and inspire others to pursue their dreams.

monkeypox

CDC Says Monkeypox Is Unlikely To Be Eradicated Anytime Soon

According to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, domestic transmission of the monkeypox virus is unlikely to be eliminated anytime soon.

The CDC said the virus’s spread has slowed but is likely to continue for years. In August, daily infections peaked at more than 400 cases a day. Now the agency reports fewer than 150 cases a day.

The decline in cases is due to vaccines becoming more accessible and the public becoming more knowledgeable about how to avoid infection. Immunity has also likely increased within the most impacted group, which is men who have sex with other men.

The disease is spread between people during close contact, most commonly through sex. Monkeypox is usually not fatal, but it causes those infected to get painful blisters all over their body. At least two people have died from the disease.

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Lori Tremmel Freeman, chief executive officer of the National Association of County and City Health officials, told CNN that people with compromised immune systems should be most cautious.

“These few deaths – whether or not they’re fully attributable to monkeypox or people died with monkeypox – they likely wouldn’t have died if they didn’t have some of these underlying conditions or their bodies weren’t already compromised.”

We currently have the most monkeypox cases worldwide, with more than 24,000 cases reported across 50 states. The Biden administration declared a public health emergency earlier this August when cases were highest. The declaration helped allocate more resources to testing, vaccinations, treatment and community outreach to stop the spread of the virus within the U.S.

The Jynneos monkeypox vaccine has been administered to more than 684,000 people. The CDC believes the virus will continue to spread mainly among men who have sex with other men, but anyone can catch the virus through close contact with someone infected. So far, 29 children and 408 women have also caught the virus.

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Within the reported cases, 75% of patients reported having male-to-male contact, but that number has decreased over time. The CDC says the decline may be due to missing data rather than a change in the transmission pattern of the virus. However, more than 90% of infections are still among males.

The outbreak could start spreading among the U.S. population through other forms of contact, but no country with infected populations has found a significant spread outside men who have sex with other men.

Marc Lipsitch, director of science in the CDC disease forecasting center, told The Associated Press that the disease is still a continuing threat.

“It’s in many geographic locations within the country. There’s no clear path in our mind to complete elimination domestically.”

The virus is endemic in parts of West and Central Africa and was mainly transmitted through contact with infected animals until May. If the U.S. animal population gets infected, it could also spread quickly among people in the future. The CDC is still learning which species of animals can get monkeypox.

The agency cannot predict the number of people who may get infected with the virus. However, it believes the number of cases will continue to decline over the next several months.

doctor

‘Health In Her Hue’ Platform Helps Black Women Find Supportive Healthcare 

A new platform from co-founders Ashlee Wisdom (CEO) and Eddwina Bright (CPO), Health In Her Hue, helps Black women find culturally sensitive healthcare options tailored to their specific wants and needs from medical professionals. 

Wisdom and Bright created the platform as a means of combating issues in the healthcare system that leave many Black women in America feeling helpless and without answers. Initially launched in 2018, the New York City-based co-founders were able to secure $1 million in pre-seed funding last summer, according to The Guardian, who recently interviewed the two entrepreneurs.

“Fundraising is never a walk in the park, especially as Black women. No matter how credentialed you are, it’s hard for everyone. But then you add on the layer of the fact that there aren’t many Black women who are building venture-backed companies or get funding. We’ve experienced some challenges throughout that journey,” Wisdom explained

Wisdom and Bright explained that they intend to use their new funding to develop a new web platform with membership experiences to offer a multitude of care and support for each individual’s specific needs. 

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“Ultimately, our vision for Health In Her Hue is to be the first touchpoint for women of color managing their healthcare.”

Wisdom and Bright then explained to Guardian writer Kelli Maria Korducki what led them to launching Health In Her Hue and why they found it so necessary to fill a void that existed within America’s healthcare system and its treatment of Black women: 

“I was working in a toxic work environment, and I was breaking out in chronic hives. So I was going to see an allergist, who happened to be a white woman. She was a great doctor, but because we didn’t have that shared identity, it never occurred to me to tell her that I was dealing with racism and discrimination at work,” Wisdom stated.

“So long story short, she was running all these tests on me and I wasn’t allergic to anything. We couldn’t figure out what was triggering the hives. After I left the job, I realized that they were related to that stressful, toxic work environment. That got my wheels turning, and made me realize that I shared much more with my Black gynecologist. If I was more transparent and felt more comfortable sharing the full picture of what was going on in my life, that allergist would’ve been able to get to the root cause of what was triggering my hives.

At the same time, I was getting my master’s in public health, and got really tired of reading research papers about the disparate healthcare outcomes for Black women. And so I decided I wanted to do something to support Black women and women of color to better manage their health and also better navigate the US healthcare system,” Wisdom expressed. 

Bright explained her own discrepancies with how the healthcare system has failed her in the past, and why it inspired the two of them to launch Health In Her Hue. 

“I’d like us to help the women that we serve to advocate for themselves without having to go through really traumatic healthcare experiences. And the company happens to align with my professional experience in finance and non-profit entrepreneurship. So we definitely have a great balance of health and business expertise,” she said. 

Specifically, Wisdom and Bright wanted to create a directory of Black physicians and doctors of color currently practicing throughout the US so users could easily find individuals in their area who could provide an empathetic sense of care. 

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Wisdom explained how one of the biggest issues they heard from Black women and women of color was how “difficult it is to find a Black doctor, or a doctor of color, on existing platforms. So that was the impetus to build out a curated directory of Black physicians across the country. 

“When we launched that directory in June 2020 – given the pandemic and the racial reckoning – people were ready. Thirty-four thousand people logged in within the first week or two.”

Separately, we also had articles and videos that people could engage with on our website, as well as a community forum where women could talk to each other. So we brought all of those components together to continue the momentum, and realized we had tens of thousands of women in our community. We only had six doctors at first, and now we have more than 1,000,” Bright added. 

In terms of the future of the platform, Wisdom and Bright intend to continue to expand the community on the platform so more individuals can make their healthcare experiences easy and smooth. 

Wisdom stated: “We really want to continue to grow and expand the community so that Health In Her Hue is the go-to, safe space for women of color for all things healthcare-related. That’s my overarching big vision for what we’re building.”

“I’d love for us to also become a resource for BIPOC women to better navigate not only their individual health, but the health of their families: their kids, their spouse, their parents. Because we know that community health is very important for the collective.” 

“I would also like us to help support the talent pipeline of culturally sensitive health care providers. Maybe that means helping with scholarships and internships, putting students into doctor’s offices and teaching them the business of medicine. That’s a major gap in the market, which I’d love to see us fill,” Bright concluded.

TJ Johnson Sleep Science Coach

How a Sleep Science Coach Uses Hypnosis To Help Clients Find Restful Sleep | TJ Johnson

According to the CDC, more than 1 in 3 Americans are sleep-deprived. Sleep deficiency leads to injuries, chronic diseases, mental illnesses, poor quality of life and lost work productivity. And yet, it is rarely addressed adequately in healthcare. Sleep Science Coach TJ Johnson is trying to change that. By using Neurolinguistic Programming, she empowers her clients to approach sleep in a new way.

flu

How To Stay Healthy Against The Flu And Covid-19 This Fall 

According to reports from a Salt Lake City newspaper, doctors are gearing up for a severe flu season in the coming months after Australia’s season just ended. The US often looks at Australia to predict what the states might experience during a typical flu season. 

Australia reported 300 deaths and 1,700 hospitalizations brought on by influenza season this year. Kencee graves, an associate professor of internal medicine, noted that Utah specifically hasn’t seen major flu outbreaks within the past two years, however, that doesn’t mean other states shouldn’t relax health and safety precautions as the winter season approaches. 

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In 2021, Australia experienced no deaths and very little hospitalizations brought on by the flu, so the major increase in cases this year was unexpected. 

“That is what makes us in the U.S. a little concerned about how severe this flu season could be. That makes this year an important one to get the flu vaccine,” Graves said.

Doctors typically recommend getting a flu shot before Halloween, as flu season officially starts in October in the US, and continues into March, according to Graves. 

Graves also explained that it’s typically okay for one to get a flu and Covid-19 vaccine at the same time, but if you’re an individual who tends to have a severe reaction to vaccines, you should get both doses at different times to allow your body to adjust. 

“A person’s primary series of the vaccine provides immunity to COVID-19, then follow-up boosters add to that immunity. The original boosters were targeted against the original strain of SARS-CoV-2,” Dr. Hannah Imlay, assistant professor of internal medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at University of Utah Health, told KSL

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“But successive waves of different variants have swept across the world, and vaccines don’t target them as well. They do protect against severe disease and death. But the new bivalent booster targets current variants as well as the ancestral strain,” she explained.

Imlay also expressed that people who have received previous Covid-19 boosters should remain well protected, but it’s important to note that “the new bivalent boosters are authorized to be taken at least two months after one’s most recent vaccine dose, regardless of how many boosters a person received.” 

“Spacing out one’s vaccine doses and infection helps increase protection against the disease. If you’ve had a recent COVID-19 infection, it may be best to wait at least three months before receiving the bivalent booster. You’ve got a lot of immune priming from your infection, you get a lot of immune priming from your most recent vaccine dose, so wait some time before getting the bivalent booster,” Imlay recommends. 

The US is still very much coping with the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Imlay there’s an average of 70,000 new cases and 500 deaths a day throughout the nation. 

“That said, a lot of policy decisions and choices that we as a population have made has really transitioned this to being a large-scale public health response to a response that hopefully is more sustainable and kind of has turned to the endemic model, the country will continue to see high numbers of cases,” she explained.