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The beginning of summer kicks off the camping and hiking season, anxiously awaited by those who have endured a long cold winter. This year will likely prove to be one of the busier camping seasons as many Americans bypass more expensive vacations that involve pricey airline tickets or gas guzzling road trips. Emergency department staff will probably see a greater number of people with contact dermatitis caused by exposure to poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac. Many people have never seen poison ivy , or perhaps wouldn't recognize it if they saw it. Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac belong to the plant genus Toxicodendron (previously referred to as Rhus ). Toxicodendron means "poisonous tree." These plants have an oil-based substance in the resin on their leaves and in their stems and branches called urushiol that causes a delayed skin reaction in about 50% of people that contact it. Urushiol may cause severe contact dermatitis in people that have previousl...
Each week, Health and Beauty Expert Sue Chung will discuss skin health topics suggested by members of the HealthCentral community. To ask Sue a question, send an email to email@example.com . That old phrase about a cure being worse than the disease could have been invented specifically for cancer. Cancer alone can do a number on your health. However, the treatment works by controlling the rapid growth of cancerous cells and the harsh nature of the therapy often results in a variety of side effects and physical reactions that leave your skin red, raw, sensitive and sore. Radiation therapies target cancer cells by slowing their rate of proliferation. New skin cells form in the deeper layers of our skin and move outwards rapidly in order to replace the dead cells we slough off at the surface on a daily basis. The similarly fast-paced rate of turnover for both kinds of cells means that radiation interferes with our healthy skin cells as a type of collateral ...
Did you know the largest internal organ of the body is the liver? But the overall largest organ of the body is the skin. It’s no wonder the skin is involved with so many aspects of diseases: rash, itching, fever, external bleeding, swelling, pallor (turning pale), and cyanosis (turning blue). Doctors look for signs of hundreds of diseases by examining the organ that is most accessible, the skin.
Often the skin is our first line of defense against adverse conditions such as hot and cold temperatures, external trauma (for example falling on hard ground) and harmful rays of the sun. We are protected from a myriad of germs (bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites) by having a finely woven coat of armor, our skin.
Unfortunately certain substances, after contacting the skin, may cause a break down in protective barrier forces. This may be followed by inflammation and a skin eruption (rash) that signals the development of contact dermatitis (CD) .
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