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Some May Be Vulnerable to Severe Skin Reaction While Using Gout Drug

TUESDAY, Oct. 1, 2019 — Some gout patients with heart or kidney disease might be more susceptible to severe skin reactions while taking the gout medication allopurinol, researchers report.

“Our findings suggest that heart disease, like chronic kidney disease, is a risk factor for allopurinol-associated severe cutaneous adverse reactions that warrants adoption of precautionary measures against these reactions,” said researcher Dr. Hyon Choi, from the Department of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Gout is form of inflammatory arthritis that develops in people who have high levels of uric acid in their blood. The acid can form needle-like crystals in joints and cause sudden, severe episodes of pain, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling.

An earlier study found a link between heart disease and an increased risk of hospitalization for people who had a severe skin reaction to allopurinol.

For the latest study, Canadian and U.S. researchers used data from nearly 5 million people in British Columbia. More than 130,000 of these people were on allopurinol. Of these patients, those with heart disease and chronic kidney disease had a higher risk of severe skin reactions than those without such conditions.

People with the genetic marker HLA-B*5801, which is more common in Asian and black people, have a significantly higher risk of this adverse reaction than people without the mutation.

The report was published Sept. 30 in the CMAJ.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently warned patients about the risk of cardiovascular events from the gout medication febuxostat, so the number of prescriptions for allopurinol will probably increase, the researchers noted.

But severe skin reactions are rare, and allopurinol plays an important role in managing gout, they added.

“Physicians who prescribe allopurinol should look for these risk factors so that they may consider initiating lower-dosage allopurinol and other precautions, which may prevent this rare but serious adverse reaction,” Choi and his co-authors concluded in a journal news release.

More information

For more on gout, see the Arthritis Foundation.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: October 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Rugby: Tattooed Samoans don skin suits to avoid offending Japanese hosts

(Reuters) – Samoan players will wear their hearts on their sleeves – but keep traditional Pacific islander tattoos under wraps with skin suits during the World Cup in Japan to avoid offending their hosts.

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union – Autumn Internationals – England vs Samoa – Twickenham Stadium, London, Britain – November 25, 2017 England’s Maro Itoje in action Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs/File Photo

For the Japanese, tattoos have long been associated with members of ‘yakuza’ crime syndicates, and inked tourists may be met with disapproval and sometimes banned from gyms, bathhouses or traditional hot-spring resorts.

But tattoos are also a fundamental part of the Pacific identity back home for the Samoans.

“We have to respect the culture of the land we are in wherever we go. We have our own culture as well but we are not in Samoa now,” team manager Va’elua Aloi Alesana told the World Cup website here

“There are some training venues that have allowed us to show our tattoos and some places where we can’t, and for those places, we’ve been given ‘skins’ to wear to cover our tattoos.”

“The extra skins are only for when we go to the (swimming) pools though. At the training we can wear our normal clothes.”

Last December, World Rugby advised both players and supporters to cover up tattoos during the tournament.

Samoa coach Steve Jackson called in Japanese cultural experts ahead of the tournament to ensure players appreciate the local culture.

“It’s quite normal in our culture,” Samoa captain Jack Lam said. “But we are respectful and mindful to what the Japanese way is. We will be making sure that what we are showing will be OK.”

Samoa, ranked 16th in the world, face Russia in their opening pool stage match on Sept. 24. They will also meet Scotland, Japan and Ireland in Pool A.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Dark Skin No Protection Against Sun’s Harmful Rays

SUNDAY, Sept. 8, 2019 — The widely held belief that people with dark skin don’t need to use sunscreen is a potentially deadly myth, an expert warns.

“There’s a common colloquial phrase, ‘black don’t crack’ — meaning your skin will always be good. You won’t get wrinkles and you don’t need sunscreen if you have melanin-rich skin,” said Dr. Jenna Lester, a dermatologist at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

But there’s no truth to that, she added.

Too much sun can cause common problems in people with dark skin, such as hyperpigmentation and melasma (dark spots), and dark skin doesn’t protect against the ultraviolet rays of the sun that can cause skin cancer. Believing otherwise can be fatal, she explained.

“Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, is less common among people of color, but they have a much higher rate of dying from it,” Lester said.

“That has to do with this misinformation about darker skin. They may not even know skin cancer is a possibility,” she noted in a university news release.

An example of the risk is music legend Bob Marley, who was only 36 when he died from an aggressive form of melanoma that mainly affects people of color.

Black Americans have the lowest survival rates for melanoma of any racial group in the United States. This is because in blacks, melanoma is more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage, when it’s much harder to treat.

The five-year survival rate for melanoma in the United States is 66% for blacks and 90% for whites.

Along with taking sun protection precautions, people of color should know the warning signs of skin cancer, Lester advised.

Last year, she opened the UCSF Skin of Color clinic, one of just a few clinics in the United States specifically meant for people of color.

“Patients would walk into the room and say, ‘I’ve never had a black dermatologist before.’ There was a level of comfort that they could achieve, even without me saying anything to them,” Lester said.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on sun safety.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: September 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Ocean Swimming Causes Skin Changes: Study

SATURDAY, June 22, 2019 — The population of bacteria on your skin changes when you swim in the ocean, potentially increasing your risk of infection, researchers report.

They collected samples of skin bacteria from the legs of nine people before they took a 10-minute swim in the ocean, after they had air-dried completely following their swim, and then six and 24 hours after their swim.

Before swimming, all the participants had different communities of skin bacteria (skin microbiome) from one another. But after swimming, they all had similar communities on their skin, which were completely different from their before-swim communities, the study showed.

Six hours after swimming, the participants’ skin microbiomes had started to return to their pre-swim state, and were far along in that process 24 hours later, according to the research. It was slated to be presented Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, in San Francisco.

“Our data demonstrate for the first time that ocean water exposure can alter the diversity and composition of the human skin microbiome,” said lead author Marisa Chattman Nielsen, a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Irvine.

“While swimming, normal resident bacteria were washed off while ocean bacteria were deposited onto the skin,” she explained in a meeting news release.

The study was prompted by previous research showing a link between ocean swimming and infections, and by high rates of poor water quality at many beaches, which can lead to skin infections, ear infections and gastrointestinal and respiratory illness.

“One very interesting finding was that Vibrio species — only identified to the genus level — were detected on every participant after swimming in the ocean, and air drying,” Nielsen said.

The Vibrio genus includes the bacterium that causes cholera. Six hours after swimming, Vibrio were still present on most of the participants, but 24 hours after swimming, only one participant had them.

“While many Vibrio are not pathogenic, the fact that we recovered them on the skin after swimming demonstrates that pathogenic Vibrio species could potentially persist on the skin after swimming,” Nielsen said.

The fraction of Vibrio species detected on the swimmers’ skin was more than 10 times greater than the fraction in ocean water, suggesting Vibrio has a specific affinity for attachment to human skin, according to the researchers.

They noted that skin is the body’s first line of defense against contaminated water.

“Recent studies have shown that human skin microbiome plays an important role in immune system function, localized and systemic diseases, and infection,” Nielsen said. “A healthy microbiome protects the host from colonization and infection by opportunistic and pathogenic microbes.”

Research presented at scientific meetings should be considered preliminary until it is published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on recreational water illnesses.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: June 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Curbing a Skin Oil Might Help Curb Acne, Study Suggests

WEDNESDAY, May 15, 2019 — Acne is the bane of many teens, and even some adults. Now, researchers say they might have hit on a new approach to easing the condition.

The key lies in a naturally produced skin oil called sebum, explained a research team led by William Esler, a researcher with drug giant Pfizer in Cambridge, Mass.

Sebum is important to the skin’s health because it helps regulate temperature and repel microbes, the team said. But an excess of sebum production has also long been thought to be a contributor to acne.

“Too much sebum can get trapped in glands, which cause it to swell and cause a bump under the skin,” explained Dr. Raman Madan, a dermatologist with Northwell Health’s Huntington Hospital in Huntington, N.Y.

So, it stands to reason that identifying “a target to decrease sebum production would be a novel approach to treating acne,” said Madan, who wasn’t involved in the new study.

The research involved a microscopic examination of the skin of 22 healthy volunteers. Esler’s team discovered that skin sebum production relies on a specific molecular mechanism known as the de novo lipogenesis (DNL) pathway.

Most sebum was found to be produced by cells called sebocytes, which secreted the oil based on the ebb and flow of the DNL pathway, the researchers explained.

But nine people with acne showed one major difference: Compared to people with normal skin, they had a 20% higher rate of sebum production and a related rise in fluctuations of the DNL pathway, the findings showed.

Going a step further, Esler’s group designed a compound that targeted an enzyme involved in the pathway. In healthy volunteers, application of the treatment cut sebum production by nearly half, according to the report published in the May 15 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Of course, these experiments are early and it remains to be seen if such a compound might curb sebum — and acne — in a larger, more rigorous trial.

In the meantime, Madan said that the approach “has potential.” But he cautioned that “this may be a treatment for acne, but not a cure, because the cause of acne is more than just sebum production. It has potential to be an addition to current treatments.”

Dr. Michele Green is a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She agreed that the findings “may offer promise to patients suffering with acne vulgaris.”

More information

There’s more on acne and acne treatment at the U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: May 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Skin Fungi May Be Tied to Bowel Disease