Rushville Republican

January 2, 2013

Baylor University Health Briefs 010213

Rushville Republican

RUSHVILLE — Eyelid rashes not so easy to solve

Many women who develop an itchy, painful irritation of the eyelid assume makeup is the culprit. But often, it’s the nail polish they’re wearing.

“People who have eyelid dermatitis assume it’s due to something they put on their eye,” said Dr. Rajani Katta, assistant professor of dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine. “Most of the time, it’s something that accidentally comes in contact with the eyelid.”

The eyelid is a common place for rashes to develop, because the skin is so sensitive in that area, she said.

“You can touch things with your hands and it doesn’t bother them. The skin of your hands is thick and not that sensitive,” Katta said. “But, if you accidentally touch your eyelid, a rash can develop.”

Cosmetics for the eyes can cause irritation, even if a patient has used the same product for a long time.

“You can develop an allergy at any time, and sometimes companies even change product ingredients without advertising that fact,” Katta said.

At-home medical test cannot replace doctor’s appointment

Leave the do-it-yourself approach to home repairs. At-home medical tests can’t replace a trip to the doctor, say experts at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston.

Home medical tests sold over the counter and on the Internet should not keep patients from visiting a doctor for diagnosis, said Dr. Clifford Dacso, a professor of medicine at BCM.

Some examples of at-home medical tests claim to detect thyroid abnormalities, diabetes, male infertility, pregnancy, drug presence, HIV and a number of other ailments.

The main problem with at-home medical tests is misinterpretation. People who take these tests must consider false positives and false negatives as well as the sensitivity of the testing environment and variance in how directions are followed.

“A controlled environment is necessary if you take the do-it-yourself approach,” Dacso said. “These tests only work under the most optimal conditions and with qualified supervision.”

If a patient suspects he or she has a disease such as Alzheimer’s, further patient care such as counseling or education is necessary.

Metabolic syndrome: Disease of the new millennium         

A growing number of adults in the United States are afflicted by the fastest growing health condition in the world.

“Metabolic syndrome is the disease of the new millennium,” said Dr. John Foreyt, professor of medicine and director of the Behavioral Medicine Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “Its prevalence is increasing dramatically because of the rising number of people who are obese and inactive.”                  

Metabolic syndrome is characterized by several risk factors, including central obesity or large waist circumference, elevated blood pressure, high plasma levels of triglycerides and low plasma levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and impaired glucose tolerance. Foreyt says that if you have any three of these characteristics you have metabolic syndrome and are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, or having a stroke or heart attack.   

Maintaining a healthy diet and weight, doing 30 to 60 minutes of moderately intense exercise every day and quitting smoking can all help reduce a person’s chances of developing heart disease.

- Rushville Republican