Malignant melanoma cases are on the rise in the UK, with about 10, 000 individuals diagnosed each year. This specific type of cancer claims 2, 300 deaths annually and disproportionately affects young people. In the UK, malignant melanoma is now the second most frequent cancer in those aged 15 to 34 years. Once the cancer is advanced, i.e. once it has spread to other organs, treatment becomes complicated and the life expectancy is short. The European Commission has licensed a new life-extending drug for adults with advanced inoperable melanoma or whose cancer has spread. Vemurafenib is now available in the UK by Roche under the name of Zelboraf as the first personalized treatment that demonstrated to increase patients' survival time with a specific BRAF gene mutation. Vemurafenib, taken as four pills twice daily, has been designed to inhibit the cancer causing form of the BRAF gene, which, according to an ICR study, evidently drives the development of cancer in about 50% of malignant melanomas.
A combined therapy of common acne medications was shown to be a potent regimen for treating patients with severe facial acne, according to two published studies involving Henry Ford Hospital. The companion studies found that a therapy of the topical Epiduo Gel containing adapalene and benzoyl peroxide and the antibiotic doxycycline proved more effective at reducing acne lesions compared to other treatment regimens. Of the 459 patients involved in the study, 76 percent of those who received the regimen of Epiduo Gel and doxycycline as initial therapy for 12 weeks, then Epiduo Gel as maintenance therapy for 24 weeks, showed the highest reduction in acne lesions and 50 percent said it cleared or nearly cleared their acne lesions. Findings from the studies are published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology and Journal of Dermatological Treatment.
Necrotizing fasciitis (NF), also known as flesh-eating disease, is a bacterial infection which can progress rapidly, causing severe disease. It is treated with very high doses of intravenous antibiotics. This rare and serious condition attacks the deeper layers of skin and subcutaneous tissues. It easily spreads across the fascial plane (tissue covering the muscle) within the subcutaneous tissue. Muscle and fat tissue are affected as a consequence of infection. Necrotizing fasciitis is a severe complication of group A streptococcal infection. The bacteria cause the destruction of skin and muscle by releasing toxins. Additional complications can occur from necrotizing fasciitis, such as shock and organ failure. The flesh-eating bacteria can appear where there is a wound or trauma. It begins at the site of a break in the skin (a surgical or non-surgical wound).
Most people know eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is good for long term health, but unfortunately, not that many actually consume the recommended daily amount. Now scientists at the University of St Andrews in the UK are hoping to appeal to another motivator: vanity. They report in a study published recently in the American Journal of Public Health, that eating more fruit and vegetables can change skin tone, lending it a healthier glow, within a matter of weeks. Apparently it is all down to carotenoids, the orangey-red pigments found in fruits and vegetables. Study supervisor Professor David Perrett and colleagues found that just two extra portions of fruit and veg a day for six weeks was enough to cause a detectable change in skin tone. For the study, they recruited 35 students and followed their diet and changes in skin colour over 6 weeks.
African Americans are seven times more likely than Caucasians to develop an excessive growth of thick, irregularly shaped and raised scarring on their skin - known as a keloid - following head and neck surgery, according to a new study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. This finding, however, is much lower than that previously reported in medical literature, where rates of keloid development have been shown to be up to 16 percent in African Americans. Unlike regular scars, keloids do not subside over time and often extend outside the wound site. Keloids also may be painful to the touch and itchy. "Many African American patients are afraid to have head and neck surgery or any facial cosmetic procedures for fear of developing keloids at the incision sites, " says Lamont R. Jones, M.