skin care

Bed Bug Histamines are Substantial, Persistent in Infested Homes

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NC State post-doctoral researcher conducted a Raleigh-based study to compare histamine levels in homes with and without bed bug infestation. The researchers also evaluated the extent to which treatment and time affect those histamine levels.

“Histamine levels in bedbug-infested homes were at least 20 times higher than histamine levels in homes without bed bug.” And these levels didn’t decrease many three months after treating the infested homes with heat and insecticides.”

In humans, histamines are generally released as part of an immune response. They cause inflammation and help allow other immune system chemicals to fight a pathogen or to do cellular repair work. Histamines, though, can have deleterious effects in humans, including rashes when contacted with skin and respiratory problems when inhaled — think of the allergic reactions to certain foods, pollen, mould or other environmental conditions.”




Gene Expression Profile Analysis and Identification of the Effects Triggered by Essential Sandalwood Oil on Human Skin Explants

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Sandalwood oil is an essential oil obtained from the tree wood of various species of Santalum spp by steam distillation and has a history of medicinal use besides as a fragrance. However, the mechanisms involved in its activity are still unclear. In the present report, Sandalwood oil (S. album) was applied to living human skin explants to evaluate the sustained activity of the oil through gene expression profiling. Transcriptomic analysis showed a number of metabolic pathways and biological activities triggered by treatments previously described for aloe, curcumin and luteolin. No inflammatory responses accompanied the beneficial activities. The most intriguing impact was the natural effect of the retinoic acid (vitamin A) metabolism.

Furthermore, we found that mechanisms normally acting in more specialized cell types such as immune cells, adipocytes, nerve cells, or hair follicles were activated in human skin explants in response to sandalwood oil. Thus, the oil may have the potential of further beneficial activities such as its antibacterial activity among other protective mechanisms.

These results corroborate at a molecular level the rationale for clinical studies with sandalwood oil and support recent studies of patients with eczema (atopic dermatitis) or acne, which is often accompanied by bacterial growth on the skin of Propionibacterium acnes.



Stem Cells in Hair Treatment

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Adult stem cells provide the body with a reservoir from which damaged or used up tissues can be replenished. In organs like the intestines and skin, which need constant rejuvenating, these stem cells are dividing frequently. But in other body structures, including the hair follicles, they are held in a quiescent state–one in which they don’t reproduce until they receive signals from their surroundings that it’s time to regenerate.

It makes intuitive sense that stem cells, being such a valuable resource, would be used sparingly. Yet scientists have limited understanding of how their quiescence is regulated, and are even unsure of its precise biological function. In a study published recently in PNAS, a report on new insights into the biological signals that make hair follicle stem cells oscillate between states of quiescence and regenerative activity.



Toxin-Producing Bacteria

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Our skin is covered with bacteria as part of our normal skin microbiome and typically serves as a barrier that protects us from infection and inflammation. However, when that barrier is broken, the increased exposure to certain bacteria really causes problems,” says Lloyd Miller, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of dermatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, or S. aureus, is an important human pathogen and the most common cause of skin infections in people. Miller says, “20 to 30 percent of the U.S. population have S. aureus living on their skin or in their nose, and over time, up to 85 percent of people come into contact with it. Eczema is an inflammatory skin disease that affects 20 percent of children and about 5 percent of adults. Ninety percent of patients with eczema have exceedingly high numbers of S. aureus bacteria on their inflamed skin.”

It was previously shown by others that a rare disease called generalized pustular psoriasis (in which the skin erupts into pustules) was caused by a genetic mutation that resulted in the unrestrained activity of a protein normally produced in our skin, called IL-36. This, says Miller, was a clue that IL-36 might have something to do with how bacteria on the skin surface induce inflammation. So they set out to test this idea in mice. They soaked a small gauze pad with S. aureus and applied it to the back skin of normal mice and those that had been genetically engineered to lack the receptor for IL-36 that triggers inflammatory responses. Miller’s team found the normal mice developed scaly and inflamed skin, and the genetically engineered mice lacking IL-36 activity had almost no skin inflammation.

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Molecular profiling of melanoma tumors

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The more times metastasised melanoma has mutated and the patient’s immune system has been activated against a tumour — the better the chances of survival after immunotherapy. This is what emerges from a research collaboration between Lund University in Sweden and Herlev university hospital in Denmark. The findings are now published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

In simple terms, the treatment entails first removing the patient’s own T cells from a tumour. T cells are the part of the immune system that recognises tumour cells. The patient’s cells are then cultured in the lab and subsequently injected back into the patient.

“The aim is for them to seek out and fight a tumour and the circulating tumour cells,” explains Göran Jönsson, a researcher at Lund University. He is collaborating with Herlev university hospital in Copenhagen, which is one of few hospitals in Europe currently conducting clinical trials of this form of immunotherapy.

Although the treatment outcomes are promising, only just below half of the patients respond to this immunotherapy.

“Between 10 and 20 percent of those affected by advanced melanoma can be cured with a single treatment of adoptive T cell therapy. On the other hand, the treatment is very intensive and has many side effects. It is therefore important to be able to predict which patients stand to benefit from the treatment so that we give it to the right ones,” say, Inge Marie Svane and Marco Donia, physicians at Herlev university hospital and researchers at the University of Copenhagen.

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Skin Complications of Obesity

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Obesity is a worldwide public health burden with an increasing prevalence. It is mainly attributed to interactions between diet, sedentary life and genetic predisposition. A chronic accumulation of adipose tissue found in obesity is associated with long-term consequences such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypercholesterolemia, etc. Many skin changes have been reported in obese patients.

Significantly more skin diseases were found in the obese patient than control; plantar hyperkeratosis, Acanthosis nigricans, Scalp scale (dandruff), Skin tags, Striae cutis, Intertrigo, Callosity, Candida that strongly correlated the degree of obesity. Many patients had more than two conditions. The most frequent combination observed were Acanthosis nigricans with skin tags, Striae and varicosity are significantly more among obese females than obese males.

Obese patients experienced more skin diseases than non-obese. Obese females have more skin diseases than obese males. Obese patients with skin diseases should reduce their weight to improve their skin lesions.

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Your Own Blood in Improving Your Look

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Aesthetic dermatology is probably the fastest growing branch of the dermato-venereology. New trends in aesthetic medicine underline the natural resources and the use of non-invasive methods in the treatment, replacing the radical invasive methods and the use of medicaments. The benefits of these new procedures are, very short recovery time from the intervention, better tolerance by the patient, low-cost treatment. One of the innovations that is successfully applied in everyday practices at many dermatological and aesthetic departments and clinics is the treatment with plasma rich in platelets (plasma rich platelets). More recently it is being practiced in dermatology for face rejuvenation or so-called vampire lift, and lately in therapy of alopecia and to treat wounds. In fact, the procedure is performed to drawn the blood from the patient, then the blood is centrifuged and leads to the isolation of pure plasma rich in platelets that is rich in growth factors. The procedure can be practiced for more than once without any risk to the patient. New therapeutic modality for rejuvenation combines fractional CO2 laser with PRP (platelet-rich plasma). The combined treatment maximize the deep ablative effect of CO2 laser, as well as underlining the therapeutic effect of platelet-rich plasma. Laser micro-perforations improve plasma rich in platelets penetration. In this era of technological wonders, probably the most surprising things are the natural resources for the treatment of diseases. One of those breathtaking resources is the autologous plasma which demonstrates the inexhaustible possibilities of the human organism. All that is needed is to identify them and explore together with the increasing use of technical means and the hunger for profit of the modern world. However, even in the era of robotics we will remain just people.

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