Sun Exposure Severe in Males

Exposure to sun appears to impact more on the skin of males than females. Researchers at the Ohio State University in Columbus exposed a breed of hairless mice to ultraviolet rays from a sun lamp.

According to online edition of health magazine WebMD, The mice underwent eight- to 10-minute tanning sessions three times a week for six months. That was enough to give both male and female mice skin cancer.

"We found males got skin tumours earlier, got more of them, and more of the tumours were severe," assistant professor Tatiana M. Oberyszyn was quoted as saying.

The researchers are now looking at human skin to see if men really are like mice.

Previous studies have shown that there's a huge difference between men's skin and women's skin. Men are more likely to get skin cancer than women.

Threading Salons in US Face Legal Hurdle

California regulators and lawmakers will soon have to decide whether threading, a hair removal technique mostly practised by immigrant Indian American women, should be exempted from state cosmetology regulations that protect consumers.

Threading does not fall under the purview of California's Board of Barbering and Cosmetology, the principal cosmetology industry group that oversees cosmetologists, barbers, manicurists and electrologists, as the practice is void of chemicals and scissors covered by cosmetology rules. Besides, one does not require a licence to run a threading salon.

The method is a more comfortable alternative to waxing and has become increasingly popular with threading salons - mostly run by Indian Americans - that proliferate in the Silicon Valley in a big way.

Democrat assembly member Tony Mendoza recently introduced a bill that seeks to permanently exclude threading from the regulatory books, calling the practice "a tradition that should be respected".

Threading, said to be a direct import from India, appears to be the only exception to the multitude of California regulations that govern everything else that goes on in salons - from hair cutting and waxing to manicures and hair colouring.

These regulations aim to protect customers from health hazards including cuts, skin infections and exposure to harmful chemicals, according to the ‘Mercury News’.

The practice is so new here that the California state doesn't even offer licences to threaders to ply their trade.

"The procedure is very easy, doesn't hurt. You don't feel pain," said Stephania Blaga, who visits a threading salon every month.

Threading has in fact become a preferred method of natural hair removal in the Silicon Valley salons and women working in homes offer eyebrow trims for as little as $8.

California lawmakers have been through this kind of dilemma before. In the 1990s, hair braiders providing what they called a "traditional cultural expression" from Africa were busted for working without beauty licences.

Braiders won a permanent reprieve, but it's too early to know if threading will also follow the suit.

Some threaders like Kokila Shah are for regulation, but many others are opposed to any kind of restrictions.

The Board of Barbering and Cosmetology hasn't yet taken a stance on the issue "because we don't have a curriculum to teach it", said executive officer Kristy Underwood.

Regulation is preferred by the board, which wants the state to update what some salon owners describe as antiquated laws to reflect styles and techniques popular in a multicultural state.

Exercise May Fend Off Arthritis in Women

Get moving, Grandma! Exercise isn't just about improving your heart and fighting flab that comes with aging. It may also be the answer to preventing stiff, achy joints that can lead to debilitating arthritis. An Australian study suggests the more time older women spend exercising, the better their chances are of staying pain-free from one of the biggest chronic conditions plaguing developed countries.

Even exercising as little as one hour and 15 minutes a week now can make a difference over the next three years, according to findings recently published in the journal Arthritis Research & Therapy.

"I don't think the results are suggesting that you should just become this maniac exerciser," said lead author Kristiann Heesch from the University of Queensland, Australia. "What it does suggest is that just adding some walking and moderate activity to your life can make a big benefit."

Doctors have long encouraged exercise among aging patients to keep joints flexible, muscles strong and to keep off weight, which is a leading risk factor for arthritis. This is the first study that focuses specifically on middle-aged and older women who did not have a history of stiff and painful joints. It looked solely at pain and symptoms reported by more than 8,700 Australian women over a three-year period, and could offer a vital clue about prevention.

Women in their 70s who exercised 75 minutes a week reported fewer symptoms of arthritis than those who did less, while more spry women who were active at least 2 1/2 hours weekly had even less pain in the three years that followed. Although there appeared to be a direct correlation between exercise and lower joint pain, the reasons why were less clear.

"Maybe the exercise directly benefits the joints. Maybe exercise makes you lose weight and the latter benefits the joints. Maybe exercise causes pain sensing receptors to become less sensitive so one feels less pain," said Dr. John Hardin, chief scientific officer at the Atlanta-based Arthritis Foundation, who did not participate in the study.

Conversely, exercise had no effect on arthritis symptoms reported by middle-aged women. Heesch said it's unclear why the results differed among the two age groups.

The findings also contradict some earlier research, which found no direct link between fitness and arthritis. The Australian study, published last week, focused on specific age groups of fairly healthy women predominantly from rural areas who had not been diagnosed with arthritis, which may partially explain the difference, Heesch said.

"If we could put out a pill that would solve a lot of problems, it would be physical activity, but we can't wrap it up into a little pill and give it to people," she said. "Particularly with the baby boomers getting older, there's going to be a lot more griping and need to address this."

She said walking, swimming, yoga, tai chi and even some weight training were all great ways for older women to exercise after getting their doctors' approval. More women than men suffer from arthritis, and the risk increases greatly with age.

"The fact that the study showed change in a short time speaks to the fact that exercise shows benefit quickly and is another reason to encourage people that exercise has a payback sooner than many people think," said Dr. Patience White, chief public health officer at the Arthritis Foundation.

One in five American adults has been diagnosed with arthritis — half of those over age 75 have reported it — costing billions of dollars each year. In both the United States and Australia, it is the No. 1 cause of disability.

Slimming Down for Summer

If you want to lose 12 pounds quickly so that you can wear white jeans on vacation in June. You probably can't. To drop 12 pounds in a month, you would need to cut 1,400 calories a day. You'd essentially have to starve yourself and exercise 2-plus hours a day—a punishing regimen that you're unlikely to keep up for long.

Even if you succeed, it's likely to backfire because eating too little can cause you to lose calorie-burning muscle and slow your metabolism by up to 100 calories a day, making future weight loss that much more difficult.

I have a better proposal
Before your vacation, aim to lose 5 to 6 pounds, a more realistic amount that won't require draconian measures. In the meantime, buy a new pair of jeans (you'll look thinner in clothes that fit right). Don't deprive yourself while you're away, but don't go overboard on the piña coladas and crème brûlées, either. Then, after you return from your trip, continue your weight loss efforts, and by midsummer you should be back in those white jeans.

To lose about 5 1/2 pounds safely:

Limit your food intake to 1,500 calories daily.
Burn off 300 calories a day, 6 days a week, with aerobic exercise, such as walking.
Lift weights 3 days a week, focusing on your arms, shoulders, and upper back.

The aerobic exercise and calorie cutting will shed pounds, and the weight lifting will give you firm, shapely muscles. Show them off with sleeveless or low-back outfits, and no one will notice the few extra pounds you're still carrying around.

Here are some proven ways to maximize weight loss that have helped me slim down before filming Prevention's exercise videos.

Keep a food diary
Research suggests that you're more likely to lose weight if you monitor what and how much you eat by writing it down.

Replace carbs with protein
In the short term, low-carb diets (high in protein-rich foods such as eggs, chicken, and fish) tend to cause more rapid weight loss than low-fat diets (often high in carb-rich pasta and cereal) by suppressing appetite.

Pick up the pace
Adding 1- to 2-minute bursts of high-intensity activity to whatever exercise you do cranks up calorie burn during and after your workout. Aim for five or six bursts per session.

Get automatic portion control
Reduced-calorie frozen meals such as Healthy Choice and Lean Cuisine make calorie counting easy.

Turn in early
Studies show that a lack of sleep alters hormone levels that can make you hungrier and shift your body into fat-storage mode, making weight loss more difficult. To help the scale numbers move in the right direction, get at least 7 hours of shut-eye a night.

Skip a meal
Not literally, but instead of your typical lunch, try a meal replacement bar. Dozens of studies have shown that liquid meal replacements help people lose weight; a new study suggests that bars, which can offer similar benefits, satisfy your hunger for 2 hours longer than shakes.

And when you're tempted to indulge, remind yourself that it's only for a few weeks, and you can enjoy some treats while you're on vacation.



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