Manuka honey could help clear chronic wound infections and even prevent them from developing in the first place, according to a new study published in Microbiology. The findings provide further evidence for the clinical use of manuka honey to treat bacterial infections in the face of growing antibiotic resistance. Streptococcus pyogenes is a normal skin bacterium that is frequently associated with chronic (non-healing) wounds. Bacteria that infect wounds can clump together forming 'biofilms', which form a barrier to drugs and promotes chronic infection. Researchers at Cardiff Metropolitan University have shown that manuka honey can not only destroy fully-formed S. pyogenes biofilms in vitro but also prevent the bacteria initially binding to components of wound tissue. Honey has long been acknowledged for its antimicrobial properties.
A report compiled by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee slates tanning salons for not making the risks clear to their customers. The committee asked for a thorough investigation to find out whether tanning salons across the country make it clear to their clients the health issues associated with the services they offer. In a sting operation, the committee investigators made enquiries at 300 indoor tanning salons around the United States. Despite posing as fair skinned 16 year old girls, more than 90% of the operators stated that the use of tanning beds did not carry any significant health risks, while more than half denied that they had an increased risk of cancer. Three quarters of the salons claimed there would be health benefits for the supposed young girl, to come and use their faculties, and many said that statements in the media of increased skin cancer risk were "rumor" and "hype".
Basal cell carcinoma is a form of skin cancer caused by regular sun exposure, or other ultraviolet radiation, which starts in the top layer of the skin (epidermis), is usually painless and grows slowly. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration just approved a new drug named Erivedge (vismodegib) for the treatment of adult patients with basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer. The drug is designed for use in patients with locally advanced basal cell cancer, whose cancer has spread to other locations in the body, and who are unsuitable candidates for surgery or radiation. The FDA has granted approval to Erivedge, ahead of the March 8, 2012 prescription user fee goal date, following a review under the agency's priority review program that designates drugs that offer major advances in treatment or provide a treatment where no adequate therapy exists.
A study published Online First by The Lancet has found that children with burn injuries covering 60% or more of their total body surface area (TBSA) are at a much higher risk of experiencing severe complications or death. The authors urge the need for more attention to be given to such patients, with more vigilant and improved forms of therapy. The study, led by by Dr Marc Jeschke, Ross Tilley Burn Centre, University of Toronto, Sunnybrook Research Institute, ON, Canada, and Dr David N Herndon, Shriners Hospital for Children and University of Texas Medical Branch, TX, USA colleagues, involved assessing 952 paediatric burns patients aged 6 to 10 at the Shriners Hospital for Children Galveston, TX, USA between 1998 and 2008. The study included patients with a variety of different burn sizes, including those with the severest burns (90-100% TBSA group) to those with less severe burns (30-39% TBSA group).
According to a study published December 22 in Cell, neuroscientists at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have found out how sense of touch is connected in the nervous system and skin. These findings provide new opportunities for understanding how the brain gathers and processes information from hairy skin. David Ginty, Ph.D., professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins explains: "You can deflect a single hair on your arm and feel it, but how can you tell the difference between a raindrop, a light breeze or a poke of a stick? Touch is not yes or no; it's very rich, and now we're starting to understand how all those inputs are processed." In order to learn how touch-responsive nerve cells develop, Ginty and his team decided to develop new tools that allow them to examine individual nerve cells.