FROM OUR EXPERTS
Certain individuals can have so-called irritant contact dermatitis from soaps, detergents, and cleaning products. These reactions are similar to allergic contact dermatitis but the skin does not have an allergic reaction but rather is directly irritated, leading to loss of normal barrier skin function and painful rash. These reactions can be slightly less itchy that allergic dermatitis. A common situation is a new rash that comes up after changing or using unfamiliar bath or cleaning products. The treatment for irritant dermatitis is similar to allergic contact dermatitis, except that steroids are less often needed and antihistamine creams don’t typically help much.
For more information on the Allergen of the Month feature, see the overview , and check out the previous post on Poison Ivy (and less obvious ‘relatives’).
The laundry is never-ending. As soon as you get it completed and put away, someone throws something in the hamper. It is a job that goes on forever. Today, laundry can be complicated, with many different fabrics that may need special care. To make matters worse, laundry rooms are often small rooms and sometimes you are working in a closet. Where are you to put all the many items necessary to do the wash and what do you do with the tools, such as laundry baskets? Tips for helping the daunting task of doing laundry not so daunting: Teach older children to do their own wash. In my house it is a “right of passage” when a child enters sixth grade. At this age, they are tall enough to reach the top of the washer and dryer and can understand the basics of washing clothes. Keep a laundry basket specifically for socks, rather than sorting them for each person. All socks go into one basket; each family member can sort through for their own socks. Once clothes are fol...
Education is a wonderful thing, but too much knowledge can be frightening. Back in the days when no one had heard of Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC), a red spot on the breast that looked like a bug bite didn't worry anyone. Of course, some women died because they didn't check with their doctors, but most of the time that bug bite cleared up in a few days.
Now many women have seen a TV news story about IBC in which two patients described their initial symptoms as looking like bug bites, and they write or call in panic afraid they have cancer. I talked to one frightened woman on a toll-free IBC line where I volunteer from time to time. As we talked, it turned out that she had just returned from a camping trip and had mosquito bites on her breast.
Others have Googled a description of their rash and gotten hits for breast cancer along with a world of panic. The breasts are subject to all kinds of rashes, most of which are not dangerous, so how can you tell what you have and when to c...
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