Friday, May 22, 2015

Want to look laser sharp this summer?

It's almost bikini time--or maybe tank top time anyway. This means laser treatments for permanent hair removal for some, says Jayme Bashian, director of Simply Posh Aesthetic Spa.

She says laser is more effective, less time-consuming, and less painful than creams, shaving, waxing, and tweezing.

Here is how it works. A low-energy laser directs light to the target area. The heat is absorbed by the pigment (melanin) in the bulb of each hair follicle. This damages the follicle so it can't grow.  Since dark colors of hair, brown or black, absorb laser light better, this works better on darker hair.

Supposedly this is permanent, although some ligher, finer hair may find its way back. Between three and eight treatments several weeks apart may be needed to get hairs in all stages of growth.

You need to avoid plucking, waxing, and electrolysis as well as sun exposure a few weeks before and after treatment.

During the treatment, a cooling gel may be applied. You may not feel anything but that. The laser is applied several minutes to the upper lip and larger areas.

There may be some redness or swelling for a few hours--apply more lotion. In a couple of weeks, the treated hairs fall out.

Of course, this might not go so smoothly if done by some amateur--you need to be sure it's under the supervision of a properly trained and experienced doctor.

Read that last sentence again. Thank you.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Do not carry your own golf bag

Doctor's orders! Spine expert Kaixuan Liu, MD, founder and president of the Atlantic Spine Center, warms golfers about three routes to back trouble.

The lower back is by far the most common site of injury among golfers--a 2007 study showed that a third of amateur golfers have suffered lower back injuries.

This is not a "low risk" sport when it comes to your back.

Three main injuries:

Muscle strains and sprains. Usually resolve in 2-4 weeks.

Disc injury. These are the shock absorbers between the vertabrae--tear these and you have trouble and pain in the back and legs.

Degenerative arthritis.Joints in the lower back can be worn down from years of use. Swinging a golf club makes this happen in the lower back.

What can you do--or not do?

DO warm up.  Slowly stretch the torso, shoulders, and hamstrings. Do you spend more than 10 mins doing this? You should.

DON'T carry your own bag. Shell out for a caddy or a cart. Golfers who carry their own bags have twice the  injuries.

DO get help with your swing. Hire a pro--if only for a short consultation.

Best advice? Don;t start playing again too soon after an  injury. Make sure it's really resolved.

And take those preventive measures--warming up, the cart, the caddy, the pro.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Are you a sunscreen scorner?

Too late--you dope.
See that big fusion reactor in the sky--it is spewing radioactivity on you that can cause cancer.

Yet, in a new study in the J of Am Acad of Derm, a majority of Americans do not regularly use sunscreen--I mean, radioactivity screen.

Guilty--I am one. I hardly go outside with these knees, but I should and do know better.

Women--42.6%--are more likely to use sunscreen on their face--yeah, for WRINKLE PREVENTION. Only 34.4% use it on the rest of their bodies everyday.  About 18.1% of men use it on their face, 19.9% on other exposed skin.

Men are more likely that women to NEVER use it. Forty-three percent of men say they don't. That figure is 27% for women.

Some people complain the SPF thing is "too hard." It's easy--use broad-spectrum SPF 30.

Apply it at least 15 mins before going in the sun.

Use enough for you whole body--maybe an ounce! Ears, scalp, tops of feet and legs.

Get help with smearing it on your back.

Reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.


Stay in the shade between 10 am and 2 pm.

Wear protective clothing and hat.

Be extra lubed up around water or snow.

To look "tan," use a self-tanner with sunscreen.

OK--it does sound a little "hard." But I know a woman who just--much to her relief--had a clean checkup from a past melanoma. This is not a joke.

Of course, you also manufacture Vitamin D from being in the sun 20 mins a day without protection.

So this is a double-edged sword...You'll figure it out. Summer's on the way.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Misunderstandings about miscarriages

Full disclosure: I had two miscarriages before bringing my daughter to term. I still think about those embryos--both around 8 weeks--all these years later.

A study done by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University and the Montefiore Health System show that feelings of guilt and shame are common after a miscarriage and that most people think "misses" are rare. (J of Obstetrics & Gynecology)

Nearly one million miscarriages occur in the US each year. This is one in four pregnancies. Most people thought maybe 6%--it was 25%.

They did a 33-item survey--crowdsourced in the internet. Each participant got 25 cents. Participants numbered 1,084--over 3 days in 2013--45% men, 55% women. Fifteen percent had suffered a miss or their partner had.

--22% thought smoking, drinking, or drugs caused it--60% are caused by genetic problems. Or the structure of the uterus may be at fault, endocrine disorders, or autoimmune issues. Lower educated or men tended to blame lifestyle choices more.

--28% said celebrities talking about their miscarriages eased their feeling of isolation..46% felt less alone if friends had shared.

--Almost three-quarters felt stress might be at fault or lifting heavy objects or an STD or IUD, even past use of oral birth control. Incorrect.

--47% reported feeling guilty, 41% of feeling alone. Fewer than half said they got good support from the medical community.

An overwhelming majority wanted to know the cause and how another could be prevented.

This should not have a stigma, the doctors said--there are some tests to find out what went wrong.

After two misses, I asked should I continue. Finally, I was put on progesterone to make the uterine lining spongier and more likely to hang onto the embryonic sac trying to adhere...And it worked. But every patient is different.

May I add one other thing. Many women feel bad because they had some drinks before they even knew they were pregnant. Yes, it's better to not drink steadily in a pregnancy--but look at our mothers--they drank two cocktails a night and had healthy babies. This cannot be the huge bugaboo they would have us believe.

And it certainly is not flushing babies from the womb right and left.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Everything you ever wanted to know about olive oil

First, it's yuh-um!

According to the Institute of Food Technologists, the olive tree is native to the Mediterranean basin--oil was produced as early as 4000 years BC.

Olive oil is not only a food, but medicine, lamp fuel, soap and skin softener.

Olives are shaken out of the trees with special vibrations.

Spain is the largest olive oil producer--followed by Italy and Greece. It is also produced in AZ, TX, GA, FL, OR, and HI.

A range of types of olives are used to produce oils of different flavors.

The term"virgin" means produced with no chemicals.

Extra virgin is the highest quality--followed by virgin, refined, and olive pomace oil.

Pomace and vegetative water--coproducts of production--are being explored as foods and cosmetic ingredients.

A while back, I was invited on a press trip to Majorca off the coast of Spain to a conference on olive oil. The dinners and buffets featured a staggering array of olives of every type. Platter after platter--every color imaginable.

Consuming the polyphenols and other factors in olive oil has been credited with helping prevent breast and other cancers.

This is making me hungry.