Thursday, June 11, 2009

Osteoporosis Awareness Finale

North Carolina Cooperative Extension and Cherokee County Senior Services held the Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention grand finale on June 4th at the Penland Center in Murphy. The guest speaker was Dr. Kate Queen, rheumatologist from Clyde, NC.

Dr. Queen was able to relay her extensive knowledge on the subject of osteoporosis in a way that was easily understood. Program participants were also given the opportunity to ask Dr. Queen questions.

As each attendee registered, they were given an osteoporosis wristband and button. The program also featured deli sandwiches and fruit. After Dr. Queen’s presentation, everyone enjoyed the door prizes, which consisted of Osteoporosis Foundation products and garden flowers.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Summer Skin Care

Summer rain, summer breezes, summer vacation, and summer fun. All of these phrases evoke pleasant mental pictures. Along with all the summer pleasantries come the warnings associated with our skin. Of course special concerns must be acknowledged when spending more time in the great outdoors and hence the sun. According to the
University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension, “If we do not take good care of our skin then we are at greater risk of getting skin cancer. Cancer of the skin is the most common, accounting for nearly half of all cancers. There are three primary types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer.
Here are some tips on how to protect yourself from the sun’s UV rays:

* Avoid, when possible, outdoor activities during midday, when the sun’s rays are strongest.
* Apply sunscreen and lip screen to exposed body areas. The higher the SPF Factor the better the protection.
* Wear loose-fitting clothing made from tightly woven fabric to cover and protect your skin. A wet t-shirt offers much less protection than a dry one.
* Wear a hat with a brim.
* Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and reduce the risk of cataracts.
* Seek shade
After reminding ourselves about the dangers of excessive sun exposure, we also must remember how certain summer plants and insects might affect our skin. If you are one of the unfortunate people who are allergic to poison oak, then you know the torment that this pesky plant causes.
“Ohio State University pharmaceutical researcher John Mark Christensen says there are a number of methods for getting rid of urushiol from poison oak exposure and stopping the itch, ranging from simple soap and water to specialized cleansers that bind with the oil and remove it from skin.
"It's really simple," he said. "If you are diligent about washing off poison oak or ivy oil with soap and water, that works just as well as any of the cleansers that are out there on the market. The problem comes about because most people just aren't diligent enough in their cleansing routines.”
After sun and poison oak, most everyone has experienced chiggers at one point in their lives. The Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet offers the following advice:
“After returning from a chigger-infested area, launder the field clothes in soapy, hot water (125°F.) for about half an hour. Infested clothes should not be worn again until they are properly laundered and/or exposed to hot sunshine. Unlaundered clothes or those laundered in cool water will contain the biting chiggers to again re-infest your skin. As soon as possible, take a good hot bath or shower and soap repeatedly. The chiggers may be dislodged, but you will still have the stylostomes, causing the severe itch. Scratching deep to remove stylostomes can cause secondary infections. For temporary relief of itching, apply ointments of benzocaine, hydrocortisone, calamine lotion, New Skin, After Bite, or others recommended by your pharmacist or medical doctor. Some use petroleum jelly, cold cream, baby oil, or fingernail polish. (The sooner the treatment, the better the results.)”