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Why do dogs have different coats? Experts explain – and give grooming tips for different types

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/susan-hazel-402495">Susan Hazel</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mia-cobb-15211">Mia Cobb</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>Dog hair comes in many varieties, from shaggy to short, curly to straight. If you live with a dog, you live with their hair – on your couch, in your clothes, it’s everywhere!</p> <p>Beyond colour, have you ever wondered what’s behind the differences in coat type?</p> <p>We actually know quite a lot about why dogs have different coats, and it comes down to their genes.</p> <h2>What are the main coat types in dogs?</h2> <p>The three main features of dog coats are how long the hairs are, whether they are curly or straight, and whether they have extra flourishes. The flourishes are called “furnishings”, and can include a hairy moustache and shaggy eyebrows.</p> <p>Combinations of these three features result in seven different coat types in dogs: short, wire, wire and curly, long, long with furnishings, curly, and curly with furnishings.</p> <p>We know from a <a href="https://www.science.org/doi/abs/10.1126/science.1177808">study of more than 1,000 dogs with varying coats</a> that differences in only three genes are responsible for this variety.</p> <p>The gene responsible for long hair (called FGF5) is <a href="https://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/basics/patterns">recessive</a>, meaning dogs must have two copies of the mutated gene to have long hair. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1402862111">In humans</a>, the same gene has been identified in families with excessively long eyelashes.</p> <p>Curly coats in dogs are related to a gene called <a href="https://www.pawprintgenetics.com/products/tests/details/173/">KRT71</a>, which affects keratin, a protein involved in hair formation. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2974189/">Mutations in this gene</a> in cats result in hairless (Sphynx) or curly-haired (Devon Rex) breeds.</p> <p>The gene responsible for furnishings (<a href="https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/gene/rspo2/">RSPO2</a>) is involved in establishing hair follicles. <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/hair-follicle">Hair follicles</a> are small pockets in the skin that grow hair.</p> <p>Variations in these three genes could explain the coat type in most (but not all!) of the dogs tested. For example, the long coat of the Afghan hound is not explained by these three genes. Further study is needed to identify less common mutations and genes controlling the coat in these dogs.</p> <p>The earliest dog breeds would have been short-haired, as a result of the “wild-type” genes. Later changes would have arisen through mutation and deliberate selection <a href="https://theconversation.com/managing-mutations-of-a-species-the-evolution-of-dog-breeding-96635">through modern breeding practices</a>.</p> <p>If all three mutations are present, the dog has a long, curly coat with furnishings. An example is the Bichon Frisé.</p> <h2>What else varies in dog coats?</h2> <p>Dog coat types can also be single or double. In a double-coated breed such as a Labrador, there is a longer coarse layer of hairs and a softer and shorter undercoat. Wolves and ancestral dogs are single-coated, and the double coat is a result of a <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4425/10/5/323">mutation in chromosome 28</a>.</p> <p>In the Labrador, the mutation was probably selected for as they were bred to <a href="https://www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2023/exec/0525n07/">retrieve fishing nets in Canada</a>. The double coat is a great insulator and helps them to stay warm, even in icy water.</p> <h2>Why does it matter what kind of coat a dog has?</h2> <p>We know with climate change our world is going to get hotter. Dogs with a double coat are less able to tolerate heat stress, as their hair prevents heat loss.</p> <p>In a study of dogs <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/avj.13296">suffering heat-related illness</a>, most of the 15 breeds at higher risk had double coats. The death rate in these dogs was 23%. We can only imagine how it must feel going out on a 40 degree day wearing a thick fur coat.</p> <p>Dogs with a double coat shed more hair than dogs with a single coat. This means even short-haired breeds, like the Labrador retriever, can shed an astonishing amount of hair. If you can’t tolerate dog hair, then a dog with a double-coat may not suit you.</p> <p>When we think of wool we think of sheep, but in the past <a href="https://www.si.edu/stories/woolly-dog-mystery-unlocked">woolly dogs were kept for their wool</a> that was <a href="https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adi6549">woven by Indigenous groups</a> and used to make blankets.</p> <p>A dog’s coat also affects how much time and effort is needed for grooming. Dogs with long or curly hair with furnishings are likely to need more time invested in their care, or visits to a professional groomer.</p> <p>Designer dogs (cross-bred dogs often crossed with a poodle, such as groodles), are likely to be curly with furnishings. In a US study, people with designer dogs reported meeting their dogs’ maintenance and grooming requirements was <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/12/23/3247">much harder than they expected</a>.</p> <p>It’s not just bank balances and the time needed that can suffer. If people are unable to cope with the demands of grooming long-haired dogs, lack of grooming can cause welfare problems. A study of animal cruelty cases in New York found <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2022.827348/full">13% involved hair matting</a>, with some hair mats causing strangulation wounds and 93% of affected dogs having long hair.</p> <h2>How can you prevent problems?</h2> <p>If you have a curly- or long-haired breed of dog, it will help to train them to like being brushed from an early age. You can do this by counter-conditioning so they have a positive emotional response to being groomed, rather than feeling anxious. First show the brush or lightly brush them, then give them a treat. They learn to associate being brushed with something positive.</p> <p>If you take your dog to the groomer, it’s very important their first experience is positive. A scary or painful incident will make it much more difficult for future grooming.</p> <p>Is your dog difficult to groom or hard to get out of the car at the groomers? It’s likely grooming is scary for them. Consulting a dog trainer or animal behaviourist who focuses on positive training methods can help a lot.</p> <p>Keeping your dog well groomed, no matter their hair type, will keep them comfortable. More important than looking great, feeling good is an essential part of dogs living their best lives with us.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/232480/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/susan-hazel-402495">Susan Hazel</a>, Associate Professor, School of Animal and Veterinary Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mia-cobb-15211">Mia Cobb</a>, Research Fellow, Animal Welfare Science Centre, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-do-dogs-have-different-coats-experts-explain-and-give-grooming-tips-for-different-types-232480">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Yes, adults can develop food allergies. Here are 4 types you need to know about

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/clare-collins-7316">Clare Collins</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-newcastle-1060">University of Newcastle</a></em></p> <p>If you didn’t have food allergies as a child, is it possible to develop them as an adult? The short answer is yes. But the reasons why are much more complicated.</p> <p>Preschoolers are about <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25316115/">four times more likely to have a food allergy</a> than adults and are more likely to grow out of it as they get older.</p> <p>It’s hard to get accurate figures on adult food allergy prevalence. The Australian National Allergy Council reports <a href="https://nationalallergycouncil.org.au/about-us/our-strategy">one in 50 adults</a> have food allergies. But a US survey suggested as many as <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30646188/">one in ten adults</a> were allergic to at least one food, with some developing allergies in adulthood.</p> <h2>What is a food allergy</h2> <p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36509408/">Food allergies</a> are immune reactions involving <a href="https://www.aaaai.org/tools-for-the-public/allergy,-asthma-immunology-glossary/immunoglobulin-e-(ige)-defined">immunoglobulin E (IgE)</a> – an antibody that’s central to triggering allergic responses. These are known as “IgE-mediated food allergies”.</p> <p>Food allergy symptoms that are <em>not</em> mediated by IgE are usually delayed reactions and called <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25316115/">food intolerances or hypersensitivity</a>.</p> <p>Food allergy symptoms can include hives, swelling, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, throat or chest tightening, trouble breathing, chest pain, rapid heart rate, dizziness, low blood pressure or <a href="https://www.allergy.org.au/hp/papers/acute-management-of-anaphylaxis-guidelines?highlight=WyJhbmFwaHlsYXhpcyJd">anaphylaxis</a>.</p> <p>IgE-mediated food allergies can be life threatening, so all adults need an <a href="https://allergyfacts.org.au/allergy-management/newly-diagnosed/action-plan-essentials">action management plan</a> developed in consultation with their medical team.</p> <p>Here are four IgE-mediated food allergies that can occur in adults – from relatively common ones to rare allergies you’ve probably never heard of.</p> <h2>1. Single food allergies</h2> <p>The most <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30646188/">common IgE-mediated food allergies</a> in adults in a US survey were to:</p> <ul> <li>shellfish (2.9%)</li> <li>cow’s milk (1.9%)</li> <li>peanut (1.8%)</li> <li>tree nuts (1.2%)</li> <li>fin fish (0.9%) like barramundi, snapper, salmon, cod and perch.</li> </ul> <p>In these adults, about 45% reported reacting to multiple foods.</p> <p>This compares to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25316115/">most common childhood food allergies</a>: cow’s milk, egg, peanut and soy.</p> <p>Overall, adult food allergy prevalence appears to be increasing. Compared to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14657884/">older surveys published in 2003</a> and <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15241360/">2004</a>, peanut allergy prevalence has increased about three-fold (from 0.6%), while tree nuts and fin fish roughly doubled (from 0.5% each), with shellfish similar (2.5%).</p> <p>While new <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38214821/">adult-onset food allergies are increasing</a>, childhood-onset food allergies are also more likely to be retained into adulthood. Possible reasons for both <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38214821/">include</a> low vitamin D status, lack of immune system challenges due to being overly “clean”, heightened sensitisation due to allergen avoidance, and more frequent antibiotic use.</p> <h2>2. Tick-meat allergy</h2> <p>Tick-meat allergy, also called α-Gal syndrome or mammalian meat allergy, is an allergic reaction to galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, or α-Gal for short.</p> <p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33529984/">Australian immunologists first reported</a> links between α-Gal syndrome and tick bites in 2009, with cases also reported in the United States, Japan, Europe and South Africa. The <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38318181/">US Centers for Disease Control estimates</a> about 450,000 Americans <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/72/wr/mm7230a2.htm">could be affected</a>.</p> <p>The α-Gal contains a carbohydrate molecule that is bound to a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38318181/">protein</a> molecule in <a href="https://alphagalinformation.org/what-is-a-mammal/">mammals</a>.</p> <p>The IgE-mediated allergy is triggered after repeated bites from ticks or <a href="https://www.insectshield.com/pages/chiggers">chigger mites</a> that have bitten those mammals. When tick saliva crosses into your body through the bite, antibodies to α-Gal are produced.</p> <p>When you subsequently eat foods that contain α-Gal, the allergy is triggered. These triggering foods include meat (lamb, beef, pork, rabbit, kangaroo), dairy products (yoghurt, cheese, ice-cream, cream), <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelatin">animal-origin gelatin</a> added to gummy foods (jelly, lollies, marshmallow), prescription medications and over-the counter supplements containing gelatin (<a href="https://www.drugs.com/inactive/gelatin-57.html">some antibiotics, vitamins and other supplements</a>).</p> <p>Tick-meat allergy reactions can be hard to recognise because they’re usually delayed, and they can be severe and include anaphylaxis. Allergy <a href="https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/food-allergy/mammalian-meat-tick-faq">organisations produce management guidelines</a>, so always discuss management with your doctor.</p> <h2>3. Fruit-pollen allergy</h2> <p>Fruit-pollen allergy, called pollen food allergy syndrome, is an <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38002141/">IgE-mediated allergic reaction</a>.</p> <p>In susceptible adults, pollen in the air provokes the production of IgE antibodies to antigens in the pollen, but these antigens are similar to ones found in some fruits, vegetables and herbs. The problem is that <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38002141/">eating those plants</a> triggers an allergic reaction.</p> <p>The <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38002141/">most allergenic tree pollens</a> are from birch, cypress, Japanese cedar, <a href="https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/latex-allergy">latex</a>, grass, and ragweed. Their pollen can cross-react with <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38002141/">fruit and vegetables</a>, including kiwi, banana, mango, avocado, grapes, celery, carrot and potato, and some herbs such as caraway, coriander, fennel, pepper and paprika.</p> <p>Fruit-pollen allergy is not common. Prevalence <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38002141/">estimates are between 0.03% and 8%</a> depending on the country, but it can be life-threatening. Reactions range from itching or tingling of lips, mouth, tongue and throat, called <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20306812/">oral allergy syndrome</a>, to mild <a href="https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/skin-allergy/urticaria-hives">hives</a>, to anaphylaxis.</p> <h2>4. Food-dependent, exercise-induced food allergy</h2> <p>During heavy exercise, the stomach produces less acid than usual and gut permeability increases, meaning that small molecules in your gut are more likely to escape across the membrane into your blood. These include food molecules that trigger an IgE reaction.</p> <p>If the person already has IgE antibodies to the foods eaten before exercise, then the risk of triggering food allergy reactions is increased. This allergy is called <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37893663/">food-dependent exercise-induced allergy</a>, with symptoms ranging from hives and swelling, to difficulty breathing and anaphylaxis.</p> <p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30601082/">Common trigger foods include</a> wheat, seafood, meat, poultry, egg, milk, nuts, grapes, celery and other foods, which could have been eaten many hours before exercising.</p> <p>To complicate things even further, allergic <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33181008/">reactions can</a> occur at lower levels of trigger-food exposure, and be more severe if the person is simultaneously taking non-steroidal inflammatory medications like aspirin, drinking alcohol or is sleep-deprived.</p> <p>Food-dependent exercise-induced allergy is extremely rare. Surveys have estimated prevalence as between <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1555415517300259">one to 17 cases per 1,000 people worldwide</a> with the highest prevalence between the teenage years to age 35. Those affected often have other allergic conditions such as hay fever, asthma, allergic conjunctivitis and dermatitis.</p> <h2>Allergies are a growing burden</h2> <p>The <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36509408/">burden on physical health, psychological health</a> and health costs due to food allergy is increasing. In the US, this <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38393624/">financial burden was estimated as $24 billion per year</a>.</p> <p>Adult food allergy needs to be taken seriously and those with severe symptoms should wear a medical information bracelet or chain and carry an <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/how-to-use-an-adrenaline-autoinjector-epipen-anapen">adrenaline auto-injector pen</a>. Concerningly, surveys suggest only <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30646188/">about one in four adults</a> with food allergy have an adrenaline pen.</p> <p>If you have an IgE-mediated food allergy, discuss your management plan with your doctor. You can also find more information at <a href="https://allergyfacts.org.au/">Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia</a>.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/223342/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/clare-collins-7316"><em>Clare Collins</em></a><em>, Laureate Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-newcastle-1060">University of Newcastle</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/yes-adults-can-develop-food-allergies-here-are-4-types-you-need-to-know-about-223342">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Could not getting enough sleep increase your risk of type 2 diabetes?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/giuliana-murfet-1517219">Giuliana Murfet</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/shanshan-lin-1005236">ShanShan Lin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936"><em>University of Technology Sydney</em></a></em></p> <p>Not getting enough sleep is a common affliction in the modern age. If you don’t always get as many hours of shut-eye as you’d like, perhaps you were concerned by news of a <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2815684">recent study</a> that found people who sleep less than six hours a night are at higher risk of type 2 diabetes.</p> <p>So what can we make of these findings? It turns out the relationship between sleep and diabetes is complex.</p> <h2>The study</h2> <p>Researchers analysed data from the <a href="https://www.ukbiobank.ac.uk/">UK Biobank</a>, a large biomedical database which serves as a global resource for health and medical research. They looked at information from 247,867 adults, following their health outcomes for more than a decade.</p> <p>The researchers wanted to understand the associations between sleep duration and type 2 diabetes, and whether a healthy diet reduced the effects of short sleep on diabetes risk.</p> <p>As part of their involvement in the UK Biobank, participants had been asked roughly how much sleep they get in 24 hours. Seven to eight hours was the average and considered normal sleep. Short sleep duration was broken up into three categories: mild (six hours), moderate (five hours) and extreme (three to four hours). The researchers analysed sleep data alongside information about people’s diets.</p> <p>Some 3.2% of participants were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes during the follow-up period. Although healthy eating habits were associated with a lower overall risk of diabetes, when people ate healthily but slept less than six hours a day, their risk of type 2 diabetes increased compared to people in the normal sleep category.</p> <p>The researchers found sleep duration of five hours was linked with a 16% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, while the risk for people who slept three to four hours was 41% higher, compared to people who slept seven to eight hours.</p> <p>One limitation is the study defined a healthy diet based on the number of servings of fruit, vegetables, red meat and fish a person consumed over a day or a week. In doing so, it didn’t consider how dietary patterns such as time-restricted eating or the Mediterranean diet may modify the risk of diabetes among those who slept less.</p> <p>Also, information on participants’ sleep quantity and diet was only captured at recruitment and may have changed over the course of the study. The authors acknowledge these limitations.</p> <h2>Why might short sleep increase diabetes risk?</h2> <p>In people with <a href="https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/about-diabetes/type-2-diabetes/">type 2 diabetes</a>, the body becomes resistant to the effects of a hormone called insulin, and slowly loses the capacity to produce enough of it in the pancreas. Insulin is important because it regulates glucose (sugar) in our blood that comes from the food we eat by helping move it to cells throughout the body.</p> <p>We don’t know the precise reasons why people who sleep less may be at higher risk of type 2 diabetes. But <a href="https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.23501">previous research</a> has shown sleep-deprived people often have increased <a href="https://doi.org/10.1186/1476-511X-9-125">inflammatory markers</a> and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-015-3500-4">free fatty acids</a> in their blood, which <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s11892-018-1055-8">impair insulin sensitivity</a>, leading to <a href="https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.23501">insulin resistance</a>. This means the body struggles to use insulin properly to regulate blood glucose levels, and therefore increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.</p> <p>Further, people who don’t sleep enough, as well as people who sleep in irregular patterns (such as shift workers), experience disruptions to their body’s natural rhythm, known as the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5995632/">circadian rhythm</a>.</p> <p>This can interfere with the release of hormones like <a href="https://doi.org/10.1210/edrv.18.5.0317">cortisol, glucagon and growth hormones</a>. These hormones are released through the day to meet the body’s changing energy needs, and normally keep blood glucose levels nicely balanced. If they’re compromised, this may reduce the body’s ability to handle glucose as the day progresses.</p> <p>These factors, and <a href="https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.aar8590">others</a>, may contribute to the increased risk of type 2 diabetes seen among people sleeping less than six hours.</p> <p>While this study primarily focused on people who sleep eight hours or less, it’s possible longer sleepers may also face an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.</p> <p>Research has previously shown a U-shaped correlation between sleep duration and type 2 diabetes risk. A <a href="https://doi.org/10.2337/dc14-2073">review</a> of multiple studies found getting between seven to eight hours of sleep daily was associated with the lowest risk. When people got less than seven hours sleep, or more than eight hours, the risk began to increase.</p> <p>The reason sleeping longer is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes may be linked to <a href="https://doi.org/10.2337/dc15-0186">weight gain</a>, which is also correlated with longer sleep. Likewise, people who don’t sleep enough are more likely to be <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2017.07.013">overweight or obese</a>.</p> <h2>Good sleep, healthy diet</h2> <p>Getting enough sleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.</p> <p>Based on this study and other evidence, it seems that when it comes to diabetes risk, seven to eight hours of sleep may be the sweet spot. However, other factors could influence the relationship between sleep duration and diabetes risk, such as individual differences in sleep quality and lifestyle.</p> <p>While this study’s findings question whether a healthy diet can mitigate the effects of a lack of sleep on diabetes risk, a wide range of evidence points to the benefits of <a href="https://www.who.int/initiatives/behealthy/healthy-diet">healthy eating</a> for overall health.</p> <p>The <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2815684">authors of the study</a> acknowledge it’s not always possible to get enough sleep, and suggest doing <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33137489/">high-intensity interval exercise</a> during the day may offset some of the potential effects of short sleep on diabetes risk.</p> <p>In fact, exercise <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jshs.2023.03.001">at any intensity</a> can improve blood glucose levels.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/225179/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/giuliana-murfet-1517219">Giuliana Murfet</a>, Casual Academic, Faculty of Health, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/shanshan-lin-1005236">ShanShan Lin</a>, Senior Lecturer, School of Public Health, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/could-not-getting-enough-sleep-increase-your-risk-of-type-2-diabetes-225179">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Is hyaluronic acid as effective as skincare brands claim?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lian-liu-1459225">Lian Liu</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-surrey-1201">University of Surrey</a></em></p> <p>Hyaluronic acid has become a huge buzzword in the beauty industry, with everything from creams and cleansers to shampoos containing it. Often, these products are marketed to consumers with the promise that hyaluronic acid will boost hydration – important for keeping the skin looking its best.</p> <p><a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2019.00192/full">Hyaluronic acid</a> is ubiquitous in our organs and tissues, playing a crucial role in the function of our cells and tissues.</p> <p>Hyaluronic acid has been in clinical use for decades, for example, as an injectable between joints to help <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31294035/">lubricate cartilage</a>. But at the turn of the century, cosmetic companies began using it as a moisturising ingredient in cosmetic products.</p> <p>Topically, it’s thought that hyaluronic acid works by holding and retaining water molecules in order to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S014181301833770X">hydrate the skin</a> and restore elasticity, preventing wrinkles. When combined with sunscreen, hyaluronic acid may be capable of protecting the skin against ultraviolet radiation as it has <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2018.09.188">antioxidant properties</a> (meaning it prevents damage caused by oxidising agents, such as ultraviolet radiation).</p> <p>One of the most frequent marketing claims used to sell hyaluronic acid is the long-held belief that hyaluronic acid holds 1,000 times its weight in water. This means it can maintain moisture and reduce moisture loss.</p> <p>But this claim has been called into question recently, with <a href="https://www.newscientist.com/article/2418345-benefits-of-hyaluronic-acid-in-skincare-products-have-been-oversold/">numerous publications</a> recently discussing <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-13140853/Benefits-hyaluronic-acid-skincare-oversold.html">the findings</a> of a <a href="https://chemrxiv.org/engage/chemrxiv/article-details/64b5b086b053dad33a6cdcaf">pre-print paper</a> which suggests this claim is not true.</p> <p>The authors of the pre-print, researchers from the University of California, looked into the molecule-binding properties of hyaluronic acid and water to test the claim that it can hold 1,000 times its weight in water.</p> <p>To do this, the researchers created a solution containing 1g of hyaluronic acid and 1,000g of water (0.1% of hyaluronic acid), which was compared with just water. They then applied heat to both solutions, measuring the thermal changes that occurred. They found that there was not much difference in the changes that occurred in the 0.1% hyaluronic acid solution compared with the pure water. They therefore concluded that the long-held claim is not true.</p> <p>These findings may have consumers wondering how well their hyaluronic acid products actually work if it doesn’t hydrate the skin as much as previously claimed.</p> <h2>How hyaluronic acid works</h2> <p>While there’s no disputing the experimental results obtained, the conclusion on hyaluronic acid’s water-holding capacity is not applicable to all forms of hyaluronic acids.</p> <p>Hyaluronic acid comes in different molecular sizes. This pre-print only looked at one medium-sized hyaluronic acid molecule in their experiments. This means the results may only be true for products containing medium and smaller sized hyaluronic acid molecules.</p> <p>When hylauronic acid interacts with water, its water-loving and water-hating parts lead to electrostatic repulsion. This enables large numbers of hyaluronic acid molecules to <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-3083.2004.01180.x">form networks</a>, which look a bit like honeycombs, and expand.</p> <p>The larger the hyaluronic acid’s molecule size, the more capable it is of forming these honeycomb structures – and also the more able it is to retain water relative to its own weight.</p> <p>Hyaluronic acid with larger molecular sizes will form these networks at a concentration of 0.1%, meaning it can hold 1,000 times its own weight in water. Some very large molecules will even form these networks at a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2012600/">concentration as low as 0.05%</a>. This means it can hold 2,000 times its weight in water.</p> <p>It’s also worth noting that hyaluronic acid doesn’t just hold moisture and hydrate the skin. Because of its <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-3083.2004.01180.x">hydrating and antioxidant effects</a>, it also promotes cell regeneration and stimulates collagen production. So hyaluronic acid’s benefits go beyond its ability to retain water.</p> <p>Although this paper may have partially debunked one popular claim about hyaluronic acid’s moisturising abilities, that doesn’t mean you should stop using it. The research still shows there’s no doubt about hyaluronic acid’s moisturising abilities, which can leave skin softer, smoother and with fewer wrinkles. Plus, hyaluronic acid’s antioxidant effects promote the growth of new skin cells and collagen.</p> <p>But if you want to make sure you’re getting the most effective product possible, look for one containing multiple weights of hyaluronic acid molecules (sometimes labelled as “triple weight”, “multiweight” or “multi-molecular weight”). Also look for a product containing a minimum hyaluronic acid concentration of 0.1%.</p> <p>This is because research suggests products containing a <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jocd.14981">formulation of multiple sizes</a> of hyaluronic acid molecules could be more beneficial for skin than formulations containing only one molecule size. This is partly due to smaller molecules permeating skin better, while the larger ones hold more water.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/224906/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lian-liu-1459225"><em>Lian Liu</em></a><em>, Reader, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-surrey-1201">University of Surrey</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/is-hyaluronic-acid-as-effective-as-skincare-brands-claim-224906">original article</a>.</em></p>

Beauty & Style

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Hamish Blake shares major health scare

<p dir="ltr">Hamish Blake has shared the details of a drastic health that resulted in surgery and a series of stitches on his face. </p> <p dir="ltr">The TV presenter took to Instagram to share the news with his followers, revealing that he had to have a skin cancer cut from his forehead. </p> <p dir="ltr">While he was quick to make a joke about the procedure, calling it a “mini-facelift”, he followed up with a serious message for his followers.</p> <p dir="ltr">Sharing a close-up photo of the stitches in his forehead, he wrote: “Got a mini facelift! I love it!”</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m doing the other side in a few weeks. #love #tinylift #bitbybit.”</p> <p dir="ltr">But in the second photo, he wrote, “OK not really ... This is my reminder to anyone who needs it (ie: everyone) to get your skin checked every six months.”</p> <p dir="ltr">He added, “By the way, everything is totally fine, but glad she got caught very early).”</p> <p dir="ltr">After a particularly harsh summer, Hamish Blake joins a long line of celebs who have battled skin cancers, while reminding Aussies to keep on top of their routine skin checks. </p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/hugh-jackman-s-health-scare" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Hugh Jackman</a> had two biopsies after doctors became concerned that he may have skin cancers on his nose.</p> <p dir="ltr">While the tests came back clear, the Hollywood legend issued a warning to his followers, saying if his scare “reminds even one person to put on sunscreen with a high SPF, then I’m happy.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Journalist and news presenter <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/deb-knight-urges-influencers-to-stop-glorifying-tanning" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Deb Knight</a> also issued a recent warning about “glorifying tanning” after sharing the results of her annual skin check up. </p> <p dir="ltr">Knight shared a series of photos showing the sun damage on her skin, writing, "Got off pretty lightly from my annual skin check. Just a few barnacles zapped but nothing serious this time round.” </p> <p dir="ltr">"Timely reminder to get your skin checked and protect it from the sun in the first place," she added, before tagging two melanoma treatment specialists and the Melanoma Institute Australia. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images / Instagram</em></p>

Caring

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The types of insurance that aren’t worth your while

<p>While it’s important to make sure you’ve been covered, some forms of insurance aren’t really worth your while in the long run. We’ve taken a look at several types of insurance you shouldn’t really bother with, why they’re not worth your money and how you can find an alternative.</p> <p>Yes, it’s essential to make sure you’re covered, but at the same time you don’t need to waste any money.</p> <p><strong>Extended warranties</strong></p> <p>Many a salesperson has made a customer fork out that little bit extra for an “extended warranty” to go with a major electronic purchase. The thing is though, in many cases the period of time covered by the warranty is actually exactly the level you’re automatically entitled to under consumer law.</p> <p><strong>Credit protection insurance</strong></p> <p>While this type of insurance can be useful and a way to insure yourself against the possibility of something happening to your income as the result of an injury or a condition, credit protection insurance has tendency to be pretty expensive.</p> <p>A more cost effective way to ensure your payments to your credit card, personal loans or mortgages are fulfilled would be to take out a life insurance or total and permanent disability insurance policy through your individual superannuation fund.</p> <p><strong>Funeral insurance</strong></p> <p>Many people see this as a good way to ease the financial burden on their family that comes with their passing, but in reality funeral insurance is quite expensive and the premiums add up every year.</p> <p>A far better option is a prepaid funeral, funeral bonds life insurance or even a special savings account with money set aside. Just make sure you let your family know!</p> <p><strong>ID theft insurance</strong></p> <p>This is one of those types of insurance that isn’t really protecting your from becoming a victim, rather helping you deal with the costs once it’s already happened. And what’s more, you bank is usually willing to cover the costs of credit card fraud, which is one of the major problems to be associated with ID theft.</p> <p>Instead of spending money on a policy you can protect yourself from ID theft by simply keeping your personal documents safe, shredding documents such as bank account statements before throwing them away, and using antivirus software that is up to date. You can also check your credit file each year to make sure nobody’s using your identity for fake accounts.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Sarah Ferguson makes first public appearance since skin cancer diagnosis

<p>Sarah Ferguson has made her first public appearance since her <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/fergie-reveals-second-cancer-diagnosis" target="_blank" rel="noopener">skin cancer diagnosis</a> was announced almost two weeks ago. </p> <p>The Duchess of York made an unexpected appearance at the <em>Haute Living Celebrates The Haute 100</em> event in Miami, Florida on Monday. </p> <p>Fergie rocked a military-style black and white blazer over a black dress for the cocktail event, and appeared happier than ever as she posed for the cameras. </p> <p>The 64-year-old was pictured cuddling up to and interacting with fellow guests at the event. </p> <p>This comes just two weeks after the Duchess <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/fergie-breaks-silence-amid-second-cancer-battle" target="_blank" rel="noopener">opened up</a> on her second cancer diagnosis in a year. </p> <p>"I have been taking some time to myself as I have been diagnosed with malignant melanoma, a form of skin cancer, my second cancer diagnosis within a year," she said in the Instagram post at the time.</p> <p>She also recently opened up on her recovery from breast cancer, following her mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.</p> <p>The Duchess expressed her gratitude to her two daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, for their constant support. </p> <p>"My two wonderful daughters are my wholehearted cheerleaders, my devoted champions and my soulmates, and they have been as supportive as can be, as they always are," she told <em>People magazine </em>at the time.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty </em></p> <p> </p>

Caring

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Your skin is a mirror of your health – here’s what yours might be saying

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dan-baumgardt-1451396">Dan Baumgardt</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-bristol-1211">University of Bristol</a></em></p> <p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12095893/">Skin accounts for around 15% of our body mass</a>. It is the largest and most visible organ in the human body.</p> <p>Yet many of the skin’s functions are often overlooked. It’s a sunscreen, a shield from germs, a reservoir of <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28994020/">vitamin D</a> and a means of tightly regulating our body temperature.</p> <p>Being the most visible of our organs, the skin also offers us a view into the body tissues that it protects. So don’t think of your skin merely aesthetically – think of it as a reflection of your health. Disorders of the gut, blood, hormones and even the heart might first be seen on the skin in the form of a rash.</p> <p>Here are a few to look out for.</p> <h2>Bullseye</h2> <p>Ticks are pesky creatures that no one will want to return home from a country walk with.</p> <p>But while the vast majority of tick bites <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36116831/">won’t make you ill</a>, there is one rash that should prompt a visit to your doctor if you spot it.</p> <p>Erythema migrans, a rash named for its ability to rapidly expand across the skin, is a hallmark of <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1041.long">Lyme disease</a>, a potentially severe bacterial illness. This rash forms a classic target pattern, like a bullseye on a dartboard.</p> <p>Be vigilant for a few weeks after being bitten to check this rash doesn’t make an appearance – especially if you noticed a red lump that wasn’t there before or if you had to remove a tick from your skin. You should also keep an eye out for other associated symptoms of Lyme disease – such as swinging temperatures, muscle and joint pains and headache.</p> <p>The condition is treated with antibiotics, which can prevent long-term complications, including chronic fatigue symptoms.</p> <h2>Purpura</h2> <p>Some rashes are given a <a href="https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1538-7836(22)01880-3">colourful namesake</a> – purpura is one such example. This rash’s name is derived from a mollusc which was used to make purple dye.</p> <p>Purpura refers to a rash of small purple or red dots. The cause is pooling of blood into a deeper layer of the skin (dermis). When pressed with a finger – or even better, the side of a glass – it refuses to blanch away.</p> <p>Purpura signals an issue with either the walls of the tiny blood vessels that feed the skin or the blood within them. This might be from a deficiency in platelets, the tiny cell fragments that allow blood to clot – perhaps from bone marrow failure, or an autoimmune condition where the body turns on itself and attacks its own cells.</p> <p>At worst, purpura may signal the life-threatening condition <a href="https://www.magonlinelibrary.com/doi/full/10.12968/hmed.2017.78.8.468">septicaemia</a>, where an infection has spread into the bloodstream – perhaps from the lungs, kidneys or even from the skin itself.</p> <h2>Skin spiders</h2> <p>Skin rashes can also take on <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32513406/">recognisable shapes</a>.</p> <p>Spider naevi represent an issue within skin arterioles (small arteries which supply the skin with blood). Arterioles open and close to control the loss of heat from the body’s surface. But sometimes they can get stuck open – and a spider-like pattern will appear.</p> <p>The open arteriole is the spider’s body, and the even tinier capillaries fanning out in all directions are the thready legs. Crush the body under a fingertip and the whole thing disappears, as your touch temporarily stops the blood flow.</p> <p>Often, these are benign and not associated with any specific condition – especially if you only have one or two. However, more than three suggest higher circulating levels of the <a href="https://dermnetnz.org/topics/spider-telangiectasis">hormone oestrogen</a>, often due to liver disease or from the hormonal changes seen in pregnancy. Treat the underlying cause, and the spiders often vanish with time – though they may persist or reappear later.</p> <h2>Black velvet</h2> <p>Changes to the folds of your skin (usually around the armpits or neck) – especially if it becomes thickened and velveteen to the touch – may suggest a condition known as <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jocd.13544">acanthosis nigricans</a>. This “black velvet” skin appearance is more commonly seen in darker skins.</p> <p>Usually, the condition is associated with <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29241752/">disorders of the metabolism</a> – namely type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome. If either of these conditions are successfully treated, the rash may fade. In rare cases, it can also be a sign of <a href="https://www.hkmj.org/abstracts/v29n4/355.htm">stomach cancer</a>, which should be considered in patients with few or none of the key signs of metabolic disease (obesity and high blood pressure).</p> <h2>Butterfly rashes</h2> <p>Even disorders of the heart can be visible on the skin.</p> <p>Cardiac valves have the important role of correctly directing the journey of blood through the heart and preventing backflow. The valve between the chambers on the left side of the heart (the mitral valve – so called because of its resemblance to a bishop’s hat, or mitre) can sometimes become narrowed, causing the heart’s function to deteriorate. The body’s natural response is to preserve core blood volume, shutting off flow towards the skin.</p> <p>The net effect can produce a purple-red rash, high across the cheeks and the bridge of the nose, like the outstretched wings of a butterfly. We call this <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2050313X231200965?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&amp;rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&amp;rfr_dat=cr_pub%20%200pubmed">mitral facies</a> which, depending on the extent of damage to the heart and great vessels, may persist despite treatment.</p> <p>It’s important to pay heed to your skin. It’s constantly talking to you, and any changes in its texture, colour or if new marks or patterns appear, may indicate something is going on beneath the surface.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/221937/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dan-baumgardt-1451396">Dan Baumgardt</a>, Senior Lecturer, School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-bristol-1211">University of Bristol</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/your-skin-is-a-mirror-of-your-health-heres-what-yours-might-be-saying-221937">original article</a>.</em></p>

Body

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Deb Knight urges Influencers to stop "glorifying tanning"

<p>Deborah Knight, 51, has spoken out against influencers who glorify tanning as she shared the results from her annual skin check. </p> <p>The TV and radio presenter, shared a series of photos showing the sun damage on her skin, as she reminded her followers to stay sun safe and get their skin checked. </p> <p>"Got off pretty lightly from my annual skin check. Just a few barnacles zapped but nothing serious this time round," she began in the caption. </p> <p>"Timely reminder to get your skin checked and protect it from the sun in the first place," she added, before tagging two melanoma treatment specialists and the Melanoma Institute Australia. </p> <p>She signed off the post with the hashtag #stopglorifyingtanning. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C2n1Rtth20D/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C2n1Rtth20D/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Deborah Knight (@deborah_knight)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The <em>Money News </em>2GB<em> </em>host has regularly shared her skin journey and has previously opened up about the "true extent" of the "damaging effects of the sun" on <em>9Honey</em>.</p> <p>"As a blonde, fair-skinned child growing up by the beach, I resisted putting on zinc and sunscreen as much as my own children do now," she said in the interview in 2023. </p> <p>She added that she now has to pay the price and has to get her age spots frozen off every year. </p> <p>"I've had a Basal Cell Carcinoma surgically removed from the bridge of my nose, leaving a scar far worse than the damage it could have done if left untreated, possibly spreading and destroying skin, tissue, even bone," she said. </p> <p>She also spoke out about the influencers who glorify tanning. </p> <p>"These are often the same influencers who recommend spending a fortune on anti-ageing treatments and creams and serums, despite willingly exposing their skin to the most damaging ageing element there is – the harsh Aussie sun," she added. </p> <p>According to the <a href="https://melanomaresearch.com.au/about-melanoma/what-is-melanoma/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Australian Melanoma Research Foundation</a>, one in 17 Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetimes, with melanoma reportedly the third most common cancer in the country, following prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Caring

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Sarah Ferguson diagnosed with malignant melanoma – here are the latest treatments for this increasingly common skin cancer

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sarah-allinson-137762">Sarah Allinson</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/lancaster-university-1176">Lancaster University</a></em></p> <p>News that Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, has recently been diagnosed with malignant melanoma highlights the dangers of this increasingly common skin cancer.</p> <p>Malignant melanoma affects <a href="https://www.iarc.who.int/cancer-type/skin-cancer/">325,000 people worldwide</a> every year. While it’s not the most common form of skin cancer – typically, for every one diagnosed case of melanoma, up to ten non-melanoma skin cancers are diagnosed – it causes <a href="https://theconversation.com/skin-cancer-more-people-die-from-types-that-arent-melanoma-surprise-new-finding-215378">almost as many deaths</a>. The reason for this is because it’s far more likely to spread, or metastasise, to other sites in the body compared to non-melanoma skin cancers.</p> <p>Melanoma arises in a type of pigment-producing skin cell called a <a href="https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/melanoma-skin-cancer/about/what-is-melanoma.html#:%7E:text=Melanoma%20is%20a%20type%20of,to%20grow%20out%20of%20control.">melanocyte</a>. These cells produce and export melanin in order to provide a protective layer in the skin which helps to screen out ultraviolet (UV) radiation.</p> <p>Mutations in genes that normally carefully regulate cell growth and survival override the controls that ensure the body only produces the cells it needs. The result is uncontrolled cellular growth, or a tumour, that normally appears as an unusual-looking mole.</p> <p>The mutations that drive the growth of a melanoma usually happen as a result of exposure to UV from the sun or from an artificial source, such as a tanning bed. We know this because when a melanoma’s genome is compared to that of a normal cell we can see a high number of mutations that have a <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-1943-3">characteristic “UV signature”</a>. For this reason, melanoma skin cancers occur most frequently in people who have light-coloured skin and who are exposed to high amounts of UV.</p> <p>Non-melanoma skin cancers are also mainly caused by exposure to UV but arise from a different kind of skin cell called a keratinocyte. These are the cells that normally make up the majority of the outer part of our skin, called the epidermis. Cancers that arise from keratinocytes are less likely to spread than those that come from melanocytes – although <a href="https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/non-melanoma-skin-cancer#heading-One">they can still be fatal</a>.</p> <p>In the duchess’s case, the melanoma was discovered during treatment for breast cancer. Her dermatologist recommended that some moles be removed for biopsy during breast reconstruction surgery. After testing, one was identified as malignant melanoma.</p> <p>If the results of the biopsy show that the cancer hasn’t spread, then like the majority of patients with melanoma, the duchess will be treated with surgery. In this case the tumour will be removed along with some of the surrounding normal skin.</p> <p>The amount of normal skin removed depends on the results of the biopsy – in particular, how deep into the skin the tumour has penetrated (called the <a href="https://www.macmillan.org.uk/cancer-information-and-support/melanoma/staging-of-melanoma">Breslow thickness</a>). The normal skin will be checked for any signs that cancerous cells might have spread out of the tumour.</p> <p>For most people diagnosed with melanoma, particularly if it’s at an early stage, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK481850/">surgery will cure the cancer</a> and they will be able to go on with their lives. But for around <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8544364/">20% of patients</a>, additional treatment will be needed. This happens if their cancer has spread further into the body or if their cancer can’t be treated surgically. The <a href="https://ascopubs.org/doi/10.1200/OP.21.00686">good news</a> for these patients is that the past decade has seen huge improvements in treatment.</p> <p>Previously the only options other than surgery were radiotherapy or non-specific chemotherapy treatments. These treatments work by affecting the ability of cells to copy their DNA, which prevents them from duplicating and causes fast-growing cancer cells to die. But because these also affect the patient’s normal cells, they were accompanied by severe side effects – and were often ineffective.</p> <p>But we now have a better understanding of the specific changes melanoma makes to cell growth pathways. This has led to the development of drugs, such as <a href="https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2022/fda-dabrafenib-trametinib-braf-solid-tumors">dabrafenib</a> and <a href="https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Trametinib">trametinib</a>, that specifically target cells with these altered pathways. In other words, they only target the cancerous cells.</p> <p>These drugs are much more effective and have fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapies – although about half of patients who initially respond to them relapse within a year. In these patients a few of the tumour cells survive by activating other pathways for growth and use these to <a href="https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/cncr.30435">regrow the tumour</a>. Promisingly, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10417341/">a recent study</a> suggests that re-using these drugs after a period off them can have good results in relapsed patients.</p> <p>Another exciting development in the treatment of malignant melanoma has been the use of immunotherapies. These involve harnessing the patient’s own immune system to fight the tumour.</p> <p>One particularly successful immunotherapy approach for melanoma involves the use of drugs called checkpoint inhibitors. These prevent cancer cells from being able to hide from the body’s immune system. A <a href="https://www.ejcancer.com/article/S0959-8049(23)00694-9/fulltext">recent report</a> has highlighted how the introduction of these treatments has led to improved survival for melanoma patients.</p> <p>Although the duchess’s skin cancer was discovered while she was being treated for breast cancer, it’s unlikely that the two are related. A more likely risk factor is the duchess’s famous red hair. People with red hair and pale skin that tends to freckle and burn in the sun are at a greater risk of developing skin cancer because their skin produces <a href="https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/gene/mc1r/#conditions">less melanin</a>. This means that their melanocytes are exposed to higher levels of UV and are more likely to undergo cancer-causing mutations.</p> <p>While melanoma is much more common in people with the duchess’s skin type, it’s important to be aware that anyone can get it. It’s a good idea to regularly check your skin for unusual looking moles and to contact a doctor for advice if you have a mole with any of the so-called <a href="https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/melanoma/symptoms">ABCDE characteristics</a>: such as an asymmetrical shape, irregular, blurred or jagged border, uneven colour, is more than 6mm wide and is evolving (either in size, texture or even bleeding).<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/221647/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sarah-allinson-137762">Sarah Allinson</a>, Professor, Department of Biomedical and Life Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/lancaster-university-1176">Lancaster University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty </em><em>Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/sarah-ferguson-diagnosed-with-malignant-melanoma-here-are-the-latest-treatments-for-this-increasingly-common-skin-cancer-221647">original article</a>.</em></p>

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8 reasons everyone should know their blood type

<p><strong>Why you should know your blood type</strong></p> <p>What’s in a blood type? Potentially a lot, according to research, including a review of studies published in the Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Systems Biology and Medicine, that connects different blood groups to everything from risk of heart disease and dementia to urinary tract infections and the norovirus.</p> <p>While none of the studies are conclusive about cause and effect (they can’t say X blood type causes Y disease) and any increased risks are still pretty small, the research does highlight the importance of knowing your type – A, B, AB, or O – and how it could affect your wellbeing.</p> <p><strong>Blood clots: Type AB, A, and B increases risk</strong></p> <p>Danish researchers studied how blood type interacts with a genetic predisposition for deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), or blood clots in the lower legs that can travel to the lungs and become life-threatening. After analysing data on about 66,000 people over more than 30 years, they found that those with type AB, A, or B had a 40 per cent higher risk of DVT than people with type O, the most common type.</p> <p>When the scientists did further analysis to see which factors have the biggest impact on DVT risk on a population level, they found that an AB blood type contributed to about 20 per cent of blood clots; genetic mutations accounted for 11 per cent, being overweight accounted for 16 per cent, and smoking accounted for six per cent.</p> <p><strong>Heart disease: Type AB, B, and A all increase risk </strong></p> <p>People whose blood type is A, B, or AB have an increased risk of heart disease and shorter life spans than people who have type O blood, according to a large study published in BMC Medicine. After following more than 50,000 middle-age and elderly people for seven years, on average, researchers found that as many as nine per cent of cardiovascular deaths were attributed to having non-O blood types.</p> <p>However, as any doctor will tell you, lifestyle factors like weight, smoking and diet, which, unlike blood type, are modifiable, have a much greater impact on heart disease.</p> <p><strong>Stomach cancer: Types A and AB increases risk </strong></p> <p>Researchers have known for a while that people with blood type A are at risk for stomach cancer. But research published in BMC Cancer shows that people with blood type AB are also at risk. Using genetic data from a large number of cases and controls, researchers found a link between both blood types and gastric cancer in Chinese populations. A review of 39 previous studies confirmed their findings.</p> <p><strong>Fertility: Type O reduces it </strong></p> <p>Women with this blood type were twice as likely to have blood levels of the hormone FSH high enough to indicate low ovarian reserve, a measure of fertility, according to a study published in Human Reproduction. Researchers couldn’t say for sure why, though. Given that type O blood is the most prevalent, it doesn’t pay to worry too much about it. Age is a far more important risk factor for fertility problems.</p> <p><strong>Pregnancy risks </strong></p> <p>This has nothing to do with your “letter” blood type or the type determined by the ABO grouping system. This has to do with what’s known as the Rhesus (Rh) factor, which determines whether your blood type is positive or negative. This could cause complications in pregnant women if the baby’s Rh blood type is different from the mother’s.</p> <p>For instance, if the mother has a negative blood type and the baby has a positive one, the mother’s body can actually build up antibodies against the baby’s blood type. Luckily, this doesn’t affect the baby, but it could have a negative effect on future pregnancies. Fortunately, doctors can give pregnant women a shot early in their pregnancy that can prevent Rh-incompatibility problems.</p> <p><strong>Dementia and memory loss: Type AB increases risk </strong></p> <p>People with type AB blood have an 82 per cent greater risk for cognitive decline later in life, according to a study published in Neurology. That’s likely because they have larger amounts of what’s known as the Factor VIII protein, which helps with blood clotting.</p> <p>Study participants with higher levels of this protein were 24 per cent more likely to develop memory problems – regardless of their blood type – than people with lower levels. Blood type, however, is far from the only, or even most important, factor that affects your risk for cognitive decline.</p> <p><strong>Stroke: Type O has the lowest risk</strong></p> <p>People with a blood type other than O (the most common) have a higher risk of cardiovascular issues such as stroke, according to a study published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis. Biologists are still investigating why this might be; one possible explanation is that non-O blood types contain more of the Von Willebrand factor, a protein that has been connected to blood clotting and stroke in the past.</p> <p><strong>Mosquitos like Type O blood </strong></p> <p>If you find yourself scratching bug bites all summer long, your blood type might be to blame. In a one small study, researchers found that type Os are up to twice as attractive to mosquitoes as type As, with type Bs falling somewhere in the middle. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 26px;"><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/8-reasons-everyone-should-know-their-blood-type" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

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"I just don't like old skin": Jane Fonda's bizarre confession

<p>Jane Fonda has made an unusual confession about her dating life, explaining why she would only date people of a certain age. </p> <p>The Hollywood legend, 85, has been married three times throughout her life: first to director Roger Vadim from 1965 to 1973, then to activist Tom Hayden from 1973 to 1990, and finally to CNN founder Ted Turner from 1991 to 2001.</p> <p>Fonda is currently single, but doesn't plan on staying that way. </p> <p>Despite being open to finding love, the actress has a very specific criteria for potential suitors to meet before agreeing to a date. </p> <p>On the <em>Absolutely Not</em> podcast, the Oscar winner initially suggested she was done with men for good, saying, “I’m done, I’m over, I’m [almost] 86 years old, even in the dark I wouldn’t want to be naked in front of anybody.” </p> <p>But she then went on to confess that there’s still a chance she could fall for a man, but they would just have to be substantially younger. </p> <p>“And here’s another thing, I’m ashamed to say this, if I were to take a lover, he’d have to be 20. Because I don’t like old skin,” said Fonda.</p> <p>She continued, “And consequently, I don’t want to foist that on anybody else. I assume other people are like me, I just don’t like old skin.”</p> <p>“I disapprove of 86-year-old men with 20-year-old women, so I’m not going to repeat it. I can ogle them, and I can’t pretend that I don’t get turned on if I see a certain kind of a person, but no, no, no, I don’t want to force that on anybody.”</p> <p>Her confession has been criticised on social media, with some suggesting the star would be “cancelled” if it was a man that had said the same about young women. </p> <p>“This is seriously weird,” tweeted one fan, while another said: “But an 85 year old man wanting to date a 20 year old woman is disgusting? Am I right?”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

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Michael Clarke reveals serious health scare

<p>Michael Clarke has opened up about a terrifying health scare, which left him needing surgery. </p> <p>The former Australian cricket captain has spoken candidly about discovering a dangerous basal cell carcinoma in his chest, which left him 27 stitches after surgery to remove it. </p> <p>The 42-year-old said being diagnosed with cancer was a major wake up call. </p> <p>“It does scare me,” Clarke told <a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/sydney-confidential/michael-clarke-reveals-skin-cancer-battle-after-spending-years-playing-cricket/news-story/5fd388960c6113c7461479522bd18c9d?amp&nk=5bc945873ffec79da7263488711d2aab-1699400816" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>The Daily Telegraph</em></a>.</p> <p>“I am a dad ... I don’t want to go anywhere. The most important thing in the world is making sure I help my seven-year-old daughter (Kelsey Lee) and I guess set a good example for her."</p> <p>“To me, making sure I am putting sunscreen on so she can see it is not just me getting her to do it, it is dad doing it as well.”</p> <p>Clarke has had a number of cancers removed since his first diagnosis in 2006, and just last year had a skin cancer removed from his forehead. </p> <p>His extensive history of skin cancer could be a result of spending a lot of time in the sun over his 115 Tests and 245 one-day internationals for Australia, as Clarke pointed out. </p> <p>For that reason, he has recently joined the Australian Skin Cancer Foundation as a national ambassador.</p> <p>“I am excited to partner with the Australian Skin Cancer Foundation to not only spread the word on skin safety, but to help share the importance of sun protection, getting checked and remembering prevention is better than cure,” Clarke said in a statement.</p> <p>“I know first-hand how important these factors are and I am passionate about raising awareness on this vital subject."</p> <p>“Everyone needs to be aware of the danger of the sun all around the world, but particularly in this country. This is not just about being safe, this is about saving lives.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Name that rash: 6 common skin conditions (and how to treat them)

<p><strong>Psoriasis</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>What psoriasis is like:</em></span> Psoriasis is made of red, scaly plaques that can be itchy and painful. It can show up anywhere but is most commonly found on the scalp, as well as the outside of the elbows and knees. It usually starts between age 10 and 30 and tends to be a chronic condition. “It’s a stubborn disease that waxes and wanes, so people have it for their whole lives,” says dermatologist Paul Cohen.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>What causes psoriasis:</em></span> This skin rash is the result of your immune system attacking the skin’s cells, and creating new ones too quickly, which then build up into the plaques. There’s no one single cause, but the condition runs in families. Stress, obesity, smoking and having many infections (particularly strep throat) increase your risk.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>How to treat psoriasis:</em></span> The first step is generally topical steroids, which can be used for a week or two at a time to clear up the plaques. For ongoing treatment, people use a synthetic form of vitamin D (which slows skin growth), medicated shampoos and retinoids (a topical version of vitamin A). Daily exposure to sunlight also seems to help, as does moisturising well. For more serious cases, options include oral medications that suppress the immune system and phototherapy done in a doctor’s office with a special light. (Discover more applications of light therapy.)</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Possible red flag:</em></span> Serious cases can involve the joints, a condition called psoriatic arthritis. Also, psoriasis increases your chances of having some other diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and autoimmune conditions such as Crohn’s – all of which are, like psoriasis, linked to inflammation.</p> <p><strong>Hives</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>What hives are like:</em></span> Hives are itchy, raised welts that often have a red ring around them. Their most salient characteristic is that they disappear after about a day, only to show up later in a different location. They come in two forms: acute, which lasts six weeks or less, and chronic.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>What causes hives:</em></span> Hives are often the result of the body releasing histamine as part of an allergic reaction to drugs, food or some other irritant. They also commonly appear after a viral illness, as a side effect of your immune system revving up to battle the disease. “There are a number of potential triggers,” says dermatologist Katie Beleznay. In most cases, she adds, the specific origin is never determined.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>How to treat hives:</em></span> Since hives are a histamine reaction, over-the-counter antihistamines are the first line of defence. If that doesn’t clear them up, ask a doctor if you should use a stronger antihistamine or oral prednisone, an anti-inflammatory medication.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Possible red flag:</em></span> Rarely, people suffer from ongoing outbreaks of hives almost daily for six weeks or more, a condition called chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU). The treatment for CIU is the same as for regular hives, but in some cases, it can also be a sign of an underlying thyroid disease or cancer.</p> <p><strong>Eczema</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>What eczema is like:</em></span> Eczema presents as patches of red, scaly skin that are extremely itchy, especially at night. These rashes often appear on the inside of your elbows and knees. If it’s more serious, the skin might blister or look thickened and white in those areas.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>What causes eczema:</em></span> Eczema is the result of having a weakened skin barrier, which can lead to inflammation and an overreaction from your immune system. Most people are born with it, and your genes are partly to blame. “You’re more predisposed to eczema if you have a family history of asthma, hay fever or the condition itself,” says Lisa Kellett, a dermatologist in Toronto. Some research also suggests that it might be a reaction to pollution, or to not being exposed to enough germs in childhood. (Kids who have dogs, for example, are less likely to have eczema.)</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>How to treat eczema:</em></span> For general maintenance, apply a thick, hypoallergenic moisturizer to affected areas immediately after a bath or shower and at night. More serious flares will need topical prescription steroid creams or non-steroid immunosuppressant creams. People with stubborn eczema might also try phototherapy, which uses UVB light to help calm your immune system and reduce itchiness.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Possible red flag:</em></span> Rarely, what looks like eczema is actually skin cancer, as both can appear red and scaly. “The difference with skin cancer is that it doesn’t go away if you use a steroid,” says Kellett.</p> <p><strong>Contact Dermatitis</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>What contact dermatitis is like:</em></span> Contact dermatitis is a variation of eczema, and it looks similar – red, itchy patches on your skin. But unlike that chronic condition, this skin rash is a reaction to something specific and appears only where the offending object has made contact. “Poison ivy, for instance, will show up as a streak where the branch touched the skin,” says Beleznay.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>What causes contact dermatitis:</em></span> Besides poison ivy, other common culprits that can cause the immune system to go into overdrive are face cream, jewellery or fragrances. You can also develop a new intolerance to something you’ve used for a long time, such as Polysporin. If it’s not clear what caused it, your dermatologist can do a patch test, putting small amounts of suspected substances on your skin to see if you react.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>How to treat contact dermatitis:</em></span> Contact dermatitis is treated with topical steroids, or a stronger oral one, to calm down your immune system and stop the reaction.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Possible red flag:</em></span> Like eczema, the red and scaly presentation of contact dermatitis could be confused for skin cancer, which is another reason to visit your doctor if you’re not sure what caused it.</p> <p><strong>Rosacea</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>What rosacea is like:</em></span> As rosacea is a dilation of the blood vessels in your cheeks and nose, it often presents as red, sensitive skin in those places. Another form of the condition also includes bumps that resemble acne. For some people, the skin on their nose thickens, making it appear larger.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>What causes rosacea:</em></span> We don’t know what brings rosacea on, but, as with eczema, you’re more likely to have it if others in your family do, too. You’re also prone to acquire the condition if you have sun-damaged skin. “Rosacea usually begins around the age of 35 and gets worse with time,” says Kellett. People often find their flare-ups come after eating or drinking specific things.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>How to treat rosacea:</em></span> For many, preventing activation of their rosacea is as simple as avoiding triggers – but that’s easier than it sounds and can be a serious test of a sufferer’s willpower. “Those are often the good things in life,” says Beleznay, citing coffee, spicy foods and alcohol as common aggravators. Some women find that everyday makeup is enough to cover up the cosmetic impact of the condition, while others use prescription creams or laser or light therapy to constrict the blood vessels in the cheeks and reduce redness. For those whose rosacea includes bumps, topical creams or oral antibiotics often get rid of them.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Possible red flag:</em></span> Rarely, what looks like rosacea can be confused for the butterfly rash that’s a symptom of lupus, a serious autoimmune disease. The butterfly rash is named as such because of the shape it makes on the nose and both cheeks.</p> <p><strong>Shingles</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>What shingles is like:</em></span> Shingles normally starts out as a tingly, numb or bruised feeling in a small area, most commonly a patch on the abdomen. A few days later, a painful skin rash with blisters appears over those places. As the condition follows the path of a nerve, the rash eventually presents as a stripe that lasts from two to six weeks.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>What causes shingles:</em></span> This one’s easy: chicken pox. Even once you have fully recovered from that virus, your body never totally beats it; it simply retreats and lies dormant in your nerve cells, where, decades later, it can re-erupt as shingles. You’re more likely to get them if you’re immunocompromised or over 50, the age at which most public health agencies recommend you get the vaccine.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>How to treat shingles:</em></span> If you suspect you have shingles, see your doctor immediately. “You have to go right away because studies show that people do much better if the antiviral pills are started within 72 hours of the rash onset,” says Cohen. Additionally, sufferers are often given medication, like a local anaesthetic or codeine, to help control the pain.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Possible red flag:</em></span> The real worry with shingles is that for some people, if it is not contained quickly, the virus can lead to longer-term pain lasting over three months and in some cases over a year. If the skin rash appears on the face, it can even cause blindness.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/name-that-rash-6-common-skin-conditions-and-how-to-treat-them" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

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We found 3 types of food wasters, which one are you?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/trang-nguyen-1454838">Trang Nguyen</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/patrick-oconnor-109973">Patrick O'Connor</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a></em></p> <p>Each year, Australian households discard about <a href="https://workdrive.zohopublic.com.au/external/06152b9ff5971843391f39fc4d32a847e56fb907c167a4a645887b0a4bc43000">2.5 million tonnes of food</a>. Most (73%) of this food waste <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652622042081">ends up in landfill</a>.</p> <p>This is costly and contributes to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37118273/">escalating greenhouse gas emissions</a>, because food waste rotting in landfill produces methane. So reducing household food waste and diverting it from landfill saves money, improves food security and benefits the environment.</p> <p>To address the problem, we need to understand how people generate and dispose of food waste. In <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2023.105000">our new study</a>, we found households fell into three categories – based on the amount of food wasted, how much of that waste was avoidable and how it was sorted. These insights into consumer behaviour point to where the most worthwhile improvements can be made.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JvAFaD5f1Lo?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption></figcaption></figure> <h2>Three types of households</h2> <p>We conducted an online survey of 939 households in metropolitan Adelaide between April and May 2021.</p> <p>The sample closely matched the national Australian population in terms of gender, age and income.</p> <p>We asked about the types of food waste produced, the amount of food waste typically discarded in a week and motivations towards reducing and sorting food waste.</p> <p>We identified three distinct types of households:</p> <p><strong>Warriors</strong> are typically older and highly motivated to reduce and sort food waste. They generate minimal waste (9.6 litres per week), such as bones and vegetable peels, that is mostly unavoidable. This group comprised 39.6% of the sample.</p> <p><strong>Strugglers</strong> mainly consist of families with children who produce the largest amount of food waste (33.1 litres per week). They produce the highest proportion of avoidable food waste, such as uneaten fruits and vegetables, bread and cereals. They are moderately motivated to reduce and sort food waste, but more than half of their food waste still ends up in landfill. This group made up 19.6% of the sample.</p> <p><strong>Slackers</strong> are generally younger. They show little concern about reducing or sorting food waste. Slackers produce the smallest amount of food waste overall (9 litres a week), but the proportion of avoidable food waste (such as mixed leftovers) is significantly higher (38.9%) compared to warriors (24.5%). They are more than twice as likely to live in units, with 17.2% doing so, compared to just 7.8% of warriors. This group was 40.8% of the sample.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/550951/original/file-20230928-27-f7cw8e.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/550951/original/file-20230928-27-f7cw8e.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/550951/original/file-20230928-27-f7cw8e.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=361&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/550951/original/file-20230928-27-f7cw8e.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=361&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/550951/original/file-20230928-27-f7cw8e.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=361&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/550951/original/file-20230928-27-f7cw8e.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=454&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/550951/original/file-20230928-27-f7cw8e.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=454&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/550951/original/file-20230928-27-f7cw8e.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=454&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="Graphic explainer showing the three types of households with their typical characteristics and food waste behaviours." /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">The three types of households with their typical characteristics and food waste behaviours.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2023.105000">Trang Nguyen using Canva.com</a>, <a class="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/">CC BY-NC-ND</a></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>What can households do about their food waste?</h2> <p>Reducing household food waste involves changing behaviours in both food management (“upstream”) and waste management (“downstream”).</p> <p>Upstream measures aim to prevent food waste in the first place. For example, households can avoid buying or cooking too much food. Supporting households to plan and buy just the right amount of food is a great starting point.</p> <p>Once food waste has been produced, downstream measures come into play. The focus shifts to how we handle and dispose of this waste.</p> <p>When households engage in food waste recycling they <a href="https://doi.org/10.3390/su131911099">start thinking more</a> about their behaviour including purchasing and cooking.</p> <p>In Australia, food waste management is mainly the responsibility of local councils.</p> <p>There are three ways to target household food waste management and drive behavioural change:</p> <ul> <li> <p>providing kerbside collection of food organics and garden organics, also known as “FOGO”</p> </li> <li> <p>changing social norms around food waste</p> </li> <li> <p>offering economic incentives and disincentives.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>1. Providing a FOGO system</h2> <p>Councils should provide this option at a minimum. This ensures sufficient infrastructure is available to support motivated households to sort food waste.</p> <p>Unfortunately <a href="https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/e6b5c78e1dac47f88e7e475ffacfc49b">fewer than half of Australian councils</a> provide a garden organics system and only a quarter of councils provide a FOGO system.</p> <p>You can explore <a href="https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/e6b5c78e1dac47f88e7e475ffacfc49b">the FOGO interactive map</a> to see how your area stacks up.</p> <p><a href="https://www.greenindustries.sa.gov.au/resources/adelaide-metro-kerbside-waste-performance-report-2021-22">Most councils in metropolitan Adelaide</a> provide access to food waste recycling through the FOGO bin. But <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.134636">our research</a> indicates more than half of household food waste still ends up in landfill. So we need additional programs to promote more sustainable behaviours.</p> <h2>2. Changing social norms</h2> <p>Social norms, the unspoken rules about what behaviours are deemed appropriate, can drive behavioural change.</p> <p>Examples of promoting social norms around food waste reduction include a <a href="https://www.stopfoodwaste.com.au/stop-food-waste-nationwide-consumer-campaign-summit-communique/">nationwide consumer campaign</a> on stopping food waste and the <a href="https://www.cityofadelaide.com.au/resident/recycling-waste/kitchen-caddies/">kitchen caddy</a> for benches to increase convenience for collecting food waste.</p> <p>But our research suggests some groups, like slackers, remain unmotivated without additional incentives. Economic incentives might motivate this group to engage in more sustainable behaviours.</p> <h2>3. Economic incentives</h2> <p>Currently, Australians pay for waste management through their council rates. This is a “pay-as-you-own” system.</p> <p>The cost is determined by the property’s value, regardless of the amount of waste generated. Renters indirectly contribute to this cost by paying rent.</p> <p>Neither owner-occupiers nor renters have any incentive to reduce waste generation when the cost is levied on property value rather than the amount of waste.</p> <p>An alternative approach gaining momentum in other parts of the world is the “pay-as-you-throw” approach, such as <a href="https://www.collectors2020.eu/wcs-ppw/stockholm-se/">Stockholm</a> and <a href="https://pocacito.eu/sites/default/files/WasteCharging_Taipei.pdf">Taipei</a>. This system charges households based on the weight of their waste, usually the general waste that needs to be discarded in landfill, while the collection of food waste and other recyclables remains free to encourage waste sorting.</p> <p>Recent <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2023.137363">research</a> in Italy shows pay-as-you-throw schemes result in significant reductions in both the quantity of waste and costs associated with waste disposal in many Italian municipalities.</p> <p>The reduced costs flow on to savings for councils that could potentially reduce waste management fees passed on to homeowners and renters through council rates. Giving households incentives to reduce waste and find alternatives to disposal encourages residents to place a higher value on food that may otherwise be sent to landfill.</p> <h2>Reducing food waste is a win-win</h2> <p>Tackling food waste is a win-win for people and the planet. It’s worth using various approaches to encourage people to change their behaviour.</p> <p>Our findings can help inform the design of interventions aimed at reducing and sorting food waste in specific segments of the Australian population.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/214482/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Dx7RWtfgbVw?wmode=transparent&amp;start=11" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">No time to waste: Halving Australia’s food waste by 2030 (Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre)</span></figcaption></figure> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/trang-nguyen-1454838"><em>Trang Nguyen</em></a><em>, Postdoctoral Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/patrick-oconnor-109973">Patrick O'Connor</a>, Associate Professor, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/we-found-3-types-of-food-wasters-which-one-are-you-214482">original article</a>.</em></p>

Food & Wine

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Joh Griggs’ warning following husband’s health scare

<p dir="ltr"><em>Better Homes and Gardens </em>host Johanna Griggs has shared an update after her husband's health scare.</p> <p dir="ltr">Late last year her husband Todd Huggins was diagnosed with a basal cell carcinoma, but the “simple surgery” led to complications which resulted in a bad infection.</p> <p dir="ltr">Speaking to <em>7News</em>, the TV personality provided an update on how her husband is doing and a reminder for all Australians.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He had a skin cancer removed and they didn’t get enough of the margins around it, so when he went back in, he managed to pick up a random infection, which is not uncommon in hospitals,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He absolutely lucked out; it was very hairy stuff for a couple of weeks.</p> <p dir="ltr">“But he’s back, fighting fit, 100 per cent again,” Joh added.</p> <p dir="ltr">Joh looked at the positive side of things despite everything and said that the situation served as a reminder for her to get her skin checked, which she’s now encouraging other Australians to do.</p> <p dir="ltr">“If anything, I think it was an apt time to remind people to go and get their skin checked,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I think that was one of the things during COVID that fell off the radar - people getting breast checks and skin checks, going to the dentist, all the health things that we are usually in the habit of doing regularly.</p> <p dir="ltr">“But during COVID, those health services weren’t as easily available, or people were concerned about going out.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We used to be so vigilant with skin checks because of my background in sport and with health - you didn’t want to miss anything.</p> <p dir="ltr">“But we realised he hadn’t actually gone and had a skin check throughout the duration of COVID,” she revealed the impact of the pandemic on her personal life.</p> <p dir="ltr">Joh spends a lot of her time outdoors, both as part of her job as the host of <em>Better Homes and Gardens</em> and in her everyday life, so the TV personality is taking sun protection more seriously - especially after her husband’s recent health scare.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It was a chance to say to people, ‘hey listen, put it back on your agenda and make it a priority’.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Caring

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The best cruise cabin for every type of need

<p><strong>So many options</strong></p> <p>Cruise accommodations – also known as staterooms or cabins – are your home away from home while at sea. Far from a one-size-fits-all decision, there are numerous factors to consider when determining the best rooms on a cruise ship to fit your and your companions’ needs.</p> <p>From size to location to view and beyond, there are many things to keep in mind when selecting your stateroom, says Gianluca Corneli, hotel director at Royal Caribbean International. “How many will stay in the room? Is your room a place to hang out or just where you sleep?” Also, think about what you’d like to be near on the ship. “For example, consider if you would like to be near the elevator for convenience or prefer a location down the hallway with fewer guests passing by,” she says. Also factor in any ways you’d like to elevate your stay, like maybe a balcony or a suite for your next Caribbean cruise.</p> <p>It’s no wonder that some of the best cruise lines offer up to 28 different types of rooms on a single ship – they want to ensure there’s an ideal solution for every guest. Let’s focus on upgrading your room choice to the perfect fit for your specific needs.</p> <p><strong>Best for avoiding seasickness</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Choose</em></span>: the middle of the ship, on a low deck</p> <p>Picture a ship like a seesaw – the most movement will be felt on either end, while the middle stays fairly even-keel. “Middle and low, that’s where you want to be,” says cruise expert Dori Saltzman, senior editor with trade publication Travel Market Report. “While you don’t need to be on the absolute lowest passenger deck, you don’t want to go above the middle of the ship (vertical wise). You also want to try to be as middle (horizontal wise) as possible.</p> <p>If cabins in the middle of the ship aren’t available, she says to choose aft over forward, because the more forward a cabin is, the more you’ll feel the motion of the ocean. And while this may seem counter-intuitive, be sure to book a cabin with a window or balcony, so you can keep your eyes on the horizon if you start feeling queasy.</p> <p><strong>Best for great views</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Choose</em></span>: a cabin with a balcony, preferably at the back of the ship</p> <p>While you can always go to the upper decks of any ship for 360-degree views of your surroundings, there’s no greater cruise ship luxury than enjoying the scenery from your own private balcony. They may also be called verandah cabins. Balconies are the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning or glass of champagne during a spectacular sunset and pretend you’re all alone at sea.</p> <p>And some of the absolute best rooms on a cruise ship are located at the rear, where you’ll also be treated to the photo-worthy wake left behind, which is a fun way to mark your ship’s progress. Balconies are also nice for having access to fresh air when you want it, it can be very soothing to listen to the sounds of the ocean from your stateroom, and you’ll have a better chance of spotting wildlife along your cruise too.</p> <p><strong>Best for light sleepers</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Choose</em></span>: a deck filled with other guest cabins and away from elevators</p> <p>Finding the best rooms on a cruise ship for light sleepers usually takes a little research, but that due diligence will pay off come bedtime. “You need your cabin to be located away from any bank of elevators, but also away from crew entrances,” says Saltzman. So being surrounded by other cabins of people who want to sleep too is a safe bet. “You also don’t want your cabin to be located above the ship’s main theatre, underneath any restaurants where you can hear the chairs scraping on the floor or under/over any of the lounges that have music late into the night.”</p> <p>Finally, you don’t want to be on a low deck that’s too aft or too forward, as you may end up above the engines or the anchor, which makes a lot of noise when it’s lowered and raised. You may feel a bit like Goldilocks trying to choose that perfect cabin on your next romantic cruise, but the reward of peace and quiet will be priceless.</p> <p><strong>Best for a little more space</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Choose</em></span>: a forward-facing cabin</p> <p>While you aren’t likely to find a balcony on a forward-facing cabin, you may find more interior space than similarly priced mid-ship cabins. Why? There are some odd angles in forward-facing cabins that the designers had to work around, thanks to the slanted style of the front of a ship. Those odd angles may work in your favour when it comes to square footage.</p> <p>It’s important to note that while these are some of the best rooms on a cruise ship for extra space, you will experience the most movement in a front-facing cabin, so this choice is not an ideal position for anyone prone to motion sickness.</p> <p><strong>Best for cruising with little kids</strong></p> <p>Most cruise lines offer family-friendly cruises and specific cabins suited for kids, which can be a mix of in-room amenities and proximity to other areas of the ship children will love. “On Disney’s ships, all cabins have two bathrooms, one with a sink and toilet and the other with a shower/bath combo (a small minority of rooms do not have the tub) for families that need the little one to be able to take a bath, while everyone else is still able to wash up,” says Saltzman.</p> <p>“Another good option is the Family Harbour cabins on Carnival’s Vista-class ships (Vista, Horizon, Panorama) and Excel-class ships (Mardi Gras, Celebration). Similar to the Disney cabins, these have two bathrooms, one a full one with a shower, sink and toilet, and the other with a sink and shower/tub combo.”</p> <p><strong>Best for staying on a budget</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Choose</em></span>: an interior cabin</p> <p>Unless you’re worried about feeling claustrophobic – since there will be no porthole or window to the outside world – an interior cabin is a nice option for saving money (we’re talking $300 for 7-day cruises). Not only is it the lowest-priced cabin type, which means you’ll have more funds to put toward excursions, a drink package or souvenirs, but you’ll also be able to take midday naps or sleep in later because there won’t be any light sneaking in.</p> <p>Another positive is that an interior cabin might encourage you to spend more of your free time roaming around the ship, meeting other people and getting more involved in activities, since you may not find it desirable to spend your time beyond sleeping and showering in a windowless box.</p> <p><strong>Best for mobility disabilities </strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Choose</em></span>: an accessible stateroom</p> <p>For passengers with limited mobility or no mobility, most major cruise lines offer accessible staterooms in a variety of room types (inside cabin, ocean view and balcony). These options do vary based on the cruise line and the age of the ship, so it’s best to research this in advance and factor the accessible options available into your cruise planning process.</p> <p>Accessible rooms tend to be larger than standard cabins to accommodate wheelchair or scooter users, and they also feature larger bathrooms. Additionally, some rooms will have emergency-call buttons or specific amenities for hearing or vision-impaired guests. For instance, the fully accessible rooms on Holland America Line provide adequate turning space, accessibility routes throughout the room, roll-in showers, wheelchair access on both sides of the bed, handlebars in the shower and hand-held shower heads, says Sissel Bergersen, director of rooms division, Holland America Line. Before you lock in a booking, it may be best to call the cruise line and explain your needs so they can help steer you toward the perfect cabin.</p> <p><strong>Best for being spoiled rotten</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Choose</em></span>: a cabin with butler service or a spa cabin</p> <p>For travellers who like adult-only cruises or who are yearning for a little extra pampering, the best rooms on a cruise ship fall into one of two categories. The first is a suite that comes with butler service, where you’ll have someone helping with all the details you don’t want to spend your precious holiday time tending to – like reserving prime-time dinner slots at specialty restaurants, booking shore excursions, packing and unpacking and even drawing rose petal bubble baths. Rooms at this level may also come with exclusive access to private pools, clubs and lounges with more luxurious touches and solitude than you’ll find elsewhere on the ship.</p> <p>The other category that’s becoming increasingly popular is spa suites. On Norwegian Cruise Line, the Haven Spa Suite, Spa Club Balcony Suites and Spa Balcony (available on the Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Epic) have varying amenities that range from more tranquil room décor with an oversized shower and body spray jets to priority access to Mandara Spa. And on Celebrity Cruises, the AquaClass staterooms are focused on wellness, with a pillow menu, complimentary fitness pass, preferential rates on spa packages, healthy room-service menu options, an exclusive restaurant, a spa concierge, access to the SEA Thermal Suite and a yoga mat for use onboard.</p> <p><strong>Best for solo cruisers</strong></p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Choose</span></em>: a cruise line that offers single rooms or waives single supplements</p> <p>Solo cruises are a wonderful experience, yet so many cruise lines penalise single cruisers by forcing them to pay a ‘single supplement.’ This surcharge is added to the fare of a solo passenger, since cruise room pricing is generally based on double occupancy. This fee can be an additional 10 per cent all the way up to a full 100 per cent of the rate, making solo cruising unaffordable for many travellers.</p> <p>Instead, look for cruise lines that offer single staterooms, like Celebrity, which has the Edge Single Stateroom with Infinite Veranda (available on Celebrity Edge, Celebrity Apex, Celebrity Beyond and Celebrity Ascent) and the Single Inside Stateroom on Celebrity Silhouette. Other cruise lines, including Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, also offer single cabins – these special solo and studio cabins aren’t subject to single supplements. Occasionally, you may even find cruise lines running special promotions and waiving their single supplement for a regular-size room.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/cruising/the-best-cruise-cabin-for-every-type-of-need" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Cruising

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"A night in hospital and a trip to the burns unit later”: Concerned mum's warning against popular fruit

<p><em><strong>Warning: This article contains images that some readers may find distressing.</strong></em></p> <p>A mother has taken to the internet and shared photos of her son’s severe burns that came as a result of him playing with a popular fruit. “A night in hospital and a trip to the burns unit later.” She began in her Facebook post.</p> <p>Her son Otis was playing happily outside with a lime in the sunshine, but the next day horror ensued.</p> <p>“It wasn’t until the next day that we noticed a rash appeared.” The mother said.</p> <p>The parents had assumed the rash must’ve been an allergic reaction to the lime juice, however, the rash quickly developed into a “horrific burn,” she added.</p> <p>The parents took Otis to the hospital where they were informed their son was suffering from a condition called phytophotodermatitis.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cku5QH2thxE/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cku5QH2thxE/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Tiny Hearts (@tinyheartseducation)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Phytophotodermatitis, more commonly known as margarita burn, is a little-known condition which causes burns to the skin when a chemical called furocoumarin reacts to sunlight.</p> <p>The chemical is found in limes, citrus fruit and some plants.</p> <p>“The small lime he had been innocently playing with - had now burnt his skin horrifically!“ The mum said. “If our story can help raise awareness into phytophotodermatitis at least something good has come out of our horrific experience!”</p> <p>The woman has urged parents to be on the lookout for this little-known skin condition.</p> <p>To minimise the risks of phytophotodermatitis, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Healthline</a> suggests washing hands and other exposed parts of the skin immediately after being outdoors, wearing gloves when gardening, putting on sunscreen before going outdoors and wearing long-sleeved tops and pants in wooded areas.</p> <p><em>Photo credit: Getty</em></p>

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The best skin-care routine for oily skin, according to dermatologists

<p><strong>What is oily skin?</strong></p> <p>Oily skin is exactly what it sounds like: skin characterised by the production of a lot of oil. If you’re constantly dealing with shininess, always feel like your face has been hit by an oil slick by the end of the day or tend to notice a bit of oil buildup across your nose and forehead, it may be time to invest in a skin-care routine for oily skin.</p> <p>Need another reason to target oily skin with your daily regimen? Because it produces so much oil (also known as sebum), this skin type often goes hand in hand with acne. But take heart: if you’re battling breakouts, you’re in good company. According to the Australasian College of Dermatologists, acne is the most common of skin diseases and up to 85 per cent of Australians will develop it during their lifetime.</p> <p>Luckily, there are great skin-care formulations that can help oily skin avoid acne and stay healthy, and some formulas may even help curb oil production. Finding the best skin-care routine for oily skin just takes a little know-how, so we reached out to board-certified dermatologists Dr Corey L. Hartman and Dr David Kim to find out what makes a great oily-skin routine.</p> <p><strong>What causes oily skin?</strong></p> <p>“Oily skin is genetic, and it has to do with the size and activity of the oil glands that are associated with the hair follicles,” Dr Hartman explains. “That means if you have thicker hair, you may have thicker or larger oil glands.”</p> <p>Another thing that can impact the amount of oil your skin produces? Hormones. That’s why acne, which is so often associated with oily skin, commonly shows up during puberty, and for those who menstruate, around their periods.</p> <p>Now that you know what triggers oiliness, it’s time to put together your ideal skin-care routine for oily skin – and it’s simpler than it sounds. As Dr Kim notes, when it comes to oily skin types, less is more. “It’s best not to add too many layers for oily skin,” he says. “Otherwise, it can clog your pores and cause acne flares.”</p> <p>If you’re ready to get glowing (but not shiny!) skin, follow the regimen below. Trust us: skin care for oily skin has never been easier.</p> <p><strong>Skin-care routine for oily skin</strong></p> <p>The heart of a good skin-care routine for oily skin has four main daily steps:</p> <p>Cleanser</p> <p>Toner</p> <p>Moisturiser</p> <p>Sunscreen</p> <p>There are additional steps you can add in if necessary or as needed:</p> <p>Exfoliator</p> <p>Acne treatment</p> <p>If hitting all those steps sounds intimidating, don’t worry. We have everything you need to know, including product recommendations.</p> <p><strong>1. Cleanser</strong></p> <p>Every good skin-care routine – including one for oily skin – begins with a good cleanser. You want to use it twice a day: once in the morning to prep your skin to apply your products, and again at night to take off any debris you’ve collected throughout the day.</p> <p>You might’ve heard that you can skip a morning cleansing, but rinsing without washing is better suited to a skin-care routine for dry skin. If yours is oily, go ahead and use a cleanser in the morning and at night.</p> <p>Dr Hartman says that for oily skin, the best face wash is likely “something a little astringent” that uses hydroxy acids or benzoyl peroxide. “You don’t want to do so much that it pushes you in the direction of overly drying,” he explains. That can lead your skin to produce more oil, a process called rebound oiliness.</p> <p>As for the best face wash formulations, Dr Hartman recommends staying away from oils, which can sometimes be comedogenic. (In other words, they can clog your pores.) Instead, look for gel, foam or cream cleansers.</p> <p><strong>2. Toner</strong></p> <p>Toner is technically an optional skin-care step, but many dermatologists recommend it for oily skin because it can help regulate sebum. These watery formulas are meant to eliminate any leftover makeup and grime left after cleansing, while treating the skin with helpful ingredients.</p> <p>What’s the best way to use them? “Once or twice a day on a cotton pad,” says Dr Kim. “Apply to [your] full face.”</p> <p>The best toner for you depends on your goals: Are you aiming for better skin texture? Regulated oil production? A combination of both? According to Dr Kim, if you have oily skin, look for gentle exfoliating acids, such as glycolic or lactic acid, to gently resurface the skin. Or go with salicylic acid to help with sebum control.</p> <p>You’ll know you’ve found the right one when your skin feels soft and smooth after use, not tight or dry. Luckily, unlike the harsh toners of the past, today’s formulas are much gentler and more foolproof.</p> <p><strong>3. Moisturiser</strong></p> <p>Yes, oily skin needs moisturiser. It may sound counterintuitive, but keeping your skin moisturised means it won’t have to work as hard to keep hydration levels up! In fact, Dr Hartman says it’s one of the keys to holding off rebound oiliness. You want to use it morning and night, after cleansing.</p> <p>When looking for the best moisturiser for oily skin, the formula is everything. “I like things that are less creamy and more like a serum or gel base,” says Dr Hartman. “You want something light, nothing too heavy, nothing too emollient,” he explains. In other words, look for terms like daily or sheer, and skip thicker formulas – night creams and bottles marked intense may be too heavy for oily skin. One thing to stay away from: oils, as they can be comedogenic, meaning they may clog pores.</p> <p><strong>4. Sunscreen</strong></p> <p>Sun damage impacts every skin type, including oily skin, so having SPF in your morning routine is non-negotiable. And, yes, that means you need to use it year-round, even on cloudy days and in the winter.   (And don’t forget the scalp sunscreen!)</p> <p>Admittedly, sunscreen can make your skin look a little oily, so finding a nongreasy sunscreen is essential (more on that in a second). But Dr Kim reassures us that’s not impossible. “If you’re using good skin care that helps exfoliate and regulate sebum production, you should be able to wear sunscreen without feeling too greasy,” he says.</p> <p>When it comes to the best face sunscreens for oily types, lightweight daily formulas win. Just be sure yours has an SPF of 30 or higher.</p> <p>Whether you reach for a mineral or chemical sunscreen is a matter of personal preference, and it often comes down to how they wear on your skin (mineral sunscreens can sometimes leave a white cast). “The goal is to find your favourite sunscreen – chemical or mineral – and actually use it every day,” says Dr Kim.</p> <p>Powder sunscreens are a good option for touching up oily skin – they allow you to reapply SPF on the go while soaking up oil. Sunscreen oils, on the other hand, are best avoided. “These can clog the pores,” he says.</p> <p><strong>Exfoliant</strong></p> <p>Exfoliators help remove the dead skin cells that can mix with sebum and clog pores, which is why exfoliating can be an important step in your routine.</p> <p>There are two categories of exfoliants: chemical (like glycolic and salicylic acid or retinols, which increases cell turnover) and physical (scrubs that use friction). Dr Hartman recommends starting with chemical exfoliators, as “they’re a more controlled way of exfoliation,” he says.</p> <p>Apply an exfoliator once or twice a week – or more if your skin can handle it – either in the morning or at night. You may need to start slow, only using it more often if you don’t experience irritation. Beyond that, exfoliate only for very special events, when you really want a glow. That way, you won’t trigger irritation.</p> <p>Dr Hartman’s go-to products for oily skin are prescription retinoids or over-the-counter retinols – not surprising, as these vitamin A derivatives are darlings of the dermatology world. But retinoids are harsh chemicals. “For retinol, start using a pea-size [amount] only twice weekly, and let your skin develop tolerance,” says Dr Kim. You’ll want to apply retinol at night and be extra careful about wearing sunscreen during the day.</p> <p>For people who don’t tolerate them well, Dr Hartman says an alpha hydroxy acid (like glycolic acid) or beta hydroxy acid (like salicylic acid) is a great alternative. If you prefer a physical facial scrub, remember: the finer the particles, the better.</p> <p><strong>Acne treatment</strong></p> <p>First, forget about spot-treating blemishes – if you’re dealing with acne, Dr Kim insists it’s best to treat your whole face. That way, you prevent breakouts before they have a chance to form. And if you’re struggling with breakouts, he says, “you should use at least one prescription cream on your full face to treat existing pimples and prevent new ones.”</p> <p>Heads up: retinoids don’t just aid exfoliation; they can treat acne too. If you’re using a retinoid for acne control and have sensitive skin, you may want to consider this your combo acne and exfoliating treatment. It covers both needs, and including an additional exfoliant in your skin-care routine may cause irritation, especially if your skin is sensitive.</p> <p>If acne is something you grapple with more than occasionally, see your dermatologist for a prescription cream – your doctor will pick the formula that’s best for your skin. If it’s a retinoid, you’ll use this at night.</p> <p>But if you only experience the occasional pimple and would rather go for an over-the-counter option, you’ve got some choices. First things first: you’re going to want a cream rather than a medicated face wash. Sure, face washes offer some acne-fighting ingredients, but you wash them away almost immediately. “Acne wash stays on your face for five seconds, so you need something that will stay on your skin the whole day or night,” Dr Kim explains.</p> <p>While you may see a few other ingredients (like azelaic acid) pop up in the acne world, when it comes to OTC options, there are two all-star ingredients: salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Both are effective, but of the two, benzoyl peroxide tends to get a little more love – it’s especially effective when combined with antibiotics (under a doctor’s care), according to the Mayo Clinic.</p> <p>Just be aware that it can bleach fabrics, so make sure to let it really soak in before getting dressed. And, again, make sure to apply it to your whole face, not just one pimple. Remember, your goal is to avoid pimples in the first place.</p> <p><strong>Skin-care tips experts swear by</strong></p> <p>Armed with our dermatologist-approved skin-care routine for oily skin, you’re well on your way to a less-greasy face. But there are a couple more things to consider as you follow this regimen.</p> <p><strong>Skin care and exercise</strong></p> <p>You know you need to wash your face in the morning and at night. But what if you’re feeling particularly grimy midday? If you work out in the middle of the day, for instance, should you wash your face if you have oily skin? “You probably don’t need to do that,” says Dr Hartman. “Twice a day is enough.”</p> <p>Adding an additional cleansing session may dry your skin out, causing more oiliness. You do want to rinse your face, however. That’ll prevent the sweat, debris and oil from mixing and clogging your pores. And it has the added bonus of leaving you refreshed after a gruelling workout.</p> <p><strong>Smart product use</strong></p> <p>Take your time when introducing ingredients. Before slathering a new product all over your face, do a spot test to make sure your skin can handle it. And when dealing with ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and retinoids, which some people find irritating, start slow to acclimate your face, building to more frequent use as your skin adjusts to the ingredient.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/the-best-skin-care-routine-for-oily-skin-according-to-dermatologists?pages=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

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Why being married cuts your risk of skin cancer

<p>A new study has found that married couples are less likely to die of skin cancer because they spot warning signs earlier than singles.</p> <p>The study, which observed 50,000 American skin cancer patients, found that 45.7 per cent of those who were married, had stage 1 tumours – which have a 98 per cent survival rate.</p> <p>The chance of catching skin cancer early dropped 32 per cent for singles, 38 per cent for divorcees and 70 per cent for widowers.</p> <p>The researchers from the University of Pennsylvania said they were stunned by the striking difference in diagnoses.</p> <p>The researchers believe these findings should help dermatologists adjust their advice to patients based on their relationship status, suggesting screening at an earlier age for single patients and encouraging home-screen training for those in relationships.</p> <p>Victims of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, are expected to increase by seven per cent by 2035.</p> <p>For those diagnosed with stage 1 disease, the five-year survival is reportedly 98 per cent. The five-year survival drops to 62 per cent for those diagnosed with stage 3 disease</p> <p>The study, published in the<em> Journal of the American Heart Association</em>, aimed to investigate how lifestyle and relationships could impact patients’ early detection chances.</p> <p>“Spouses likely facilitate early detection of melanomas by assisting in identification of pigmented lesions that may have otherwise gone unnoticed,” said corresponding author Dr Cimarron Sharon, a dermatologist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.</p> <p>“They may also provide support and encouragement to see a physician for evaluation.</p> <p>“Thus, married patients are likely to receive a better prognosis because of earlier surgical management.”</p> <p>The study also found that married patients were more likely than single, divorced or widowed patients to have a sentinel lymph node biopsy.</p> <p>SLNB is linked to survival as the sentinel lymph node is closest to a tumour and is the first place it would spread.</p> <p>Dr Sharon said this could be “associated with the spouse's role in supporting the patient and engaging in further discussion”. A partner also reduces the difficulty in travelling to and from a hospital and finding a carer post-surgery.</p> <p>This study is the largest of its kind to find the influence of marriage on the detection of melanoma.</p> <p>Dr Sharon said, “These findings support increased consideration of spousal training for partner skin examination and perhaps more frequent screening for unmarried patients.</p> <p>“Marital status should be considered when counselling patients for melanoma procedures and when recommending screening and follow-up to optimize patient care.”</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p>

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