Archive for June, 2013

What you need to know before undergoing a cosmetic medical procedure

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

As the quest for the perfect body and flawless face continues, many consumers have turned to spas, salons and walk-in clinics for cosmetic medical procedures at bargain prices. With the number of these facilities increasing, more consumers are influenced to believe that certain cosmetic procedures are easy, inexpensive and risk-free.

“In many instances, dermatologic surgeons, who are properly trained and experienced in performing cosmetic medical procedures, are sought to correct the mistakes of inexperienced and unqualified physicians,” says Dr. Susan Weinkle, president-elect of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS). ”Consumers should be aware that lower prices do not mean equal training and treatment, and should be cautious that these discounted prices could put their health at risk as a result of the provider’s inadequate training and lack of expertise.”

Dr. Weinkle and the ASDS urge consumers to recognize that all cosmetic procedures are medical procedures that should be performed by a qualified physician or under the close supervision of an appropriately trained physician.

Serious side effects, such as burns, infections, scars and pigmentation disorders can occur when consumers visit non-physicians or physicians who do not specialize in dermatology and perform treatments like laser hair removal, deep chemical peels, acne therapy and other procedures, says Dr. Weinkle. Non-physicians do not have the necessary medical training, and physicians who are not board-certified in dermatology lack the qualifications to determine and optimally perform the best treatment for your concern, or to handle complications adequately, should they occur.

“It’s critical that consumers take precautions and understand that dermatologic surgeons with the experience and knowledge of the health and function of the skin should perform cosmetic surgery procedures,” Dr. Weinkle says.

The ASDS suggests consumers follow these tips before undergoing any cosmetic medical procedure:

  • Check credentials: Research the physician before undergoing the procedure to ensure that he or she is board-certified in dermatology. To find a board-certified dermatologic surgeon, visit
  • Don’t rely on price: If a procedure’s cost seems too good to be true, it probably is. Bargain-priced treatments may end up costing you in the long run if they cause harm, need correction or are ineffective.
  • Make sure a doctor is on-site to closely supervise: Most cosmetic surgery procedures should be performed by a physician. If the physician is supervising a procedure, make sure he or she is immediately available on-site to respond to any questions or problems that may occur while the procedure is being performed.
  • Ask questions: Always ask questions no matter how minor your questions may seem. Good questions include the following: Who will perform the procedure? Is this treatment right for me? What if something goes wrong? What procedures are in place to deal with an emergency? What training does the staff have? Is this laser, device or technique appropriate for my skin type? How many of the procedures do you perform in a month? May I see before and after photographs?
  • Be sure your medical history is taken: Before undergoing any cosmetic surgery procedure, make sure the physician is aware of your medical history, including allergies to medications and previous surgeries.
  •  Don’t be afraid to walk away: Trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, find a more reputable location.

For more information and to download a free pre-cosmetic surgery questionnaire, visit

Courtesy of BPT

Consuming more fatty acids may reduce symptoms of dry eye

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Spring weather may bring warmer, humid air, but millions of people still experience discomfort associated with dry eye syndrome. Dry eye is a condition where tears lack sufficient moisture and lubrication, which is necessary to maintain good eye health and clear vision. Tears not only wash away dust, but also soothe the eyes, provide oxygen and nutrients to the cornea and help defend against eye infections by removing bacteria.

The frequency and severity of dry eye varies but may include irritated or gritty eyes, redness, burning, a feeling that something is in your eyes, blurred vision and even excessive watering. This condition has a multitude of causes but generally stems from the following factors:

* Age: As people age, eyes naturally become drier. Typically, people older than 65 experience some dry eye symptoms.

* Gender: Women are more likely to develop dry eye with hormonal changes during pregnancy, while using oral contraceptives and following menopause.

* Medications: Decongestants, antihistamines and antidepressants are among numerous medications that can reduce tear production.
* Medical conditions: Health issues associated with arthritis, diabetes, Sjogren’s syndrome and thyroid problems can produce dry eye symptoms.

* Environment: Dry climates and exposure to wind and smoke may trigger dry eye.

* Eyewear/surgery: Contact lenses may cause dry eye or make eyes less comfortable if they are dry, and eye surgery may lead to a temporary decrease in tear production.

* Cosmetics: When the lid margin is coated with heavy makeup, it can block the openings of the oily glands, which help lubricate the eye.

Treatment for dry eye syndrome varies depending on the severity. Several new studies have confirmed the correlation between fatty acids and an improvement in dry eye syndrome. Salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel and other cold-water fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation, enhance tear production and support the eye’s oily outer layer, as well as provide health benefits for your cardiovascular, immune and nervous systems.

Additionally, some people can use artificial tears or ointments that simulate the action of tears. There are also oral capsules that can maintain tear production and guard against future tear loss. Experts recommend consulting an eye doctor to diagnose the condition and discuss proper treatment. They also recommend adults have yearly eye exams.

Courtesy of BPT

Stand out in style this season with the hottest beauty and fashion trends

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Each season celebrities and models strut down the runways wearing the latest fashion and beauty trends that inspire women everywhere. Every fashionable woman knows that getting the most sought-out dress or top isn’t enough. Hair can be your best accessory and if styled correctly, can make your entire look.

Theodore Leaf, Suave Professionals celebrity stylist and lead stylist from the NBC hit show “Fashion Star,” knows the importance of creating the right hairstyle for any outfit. “I’ve styled many designer runway shows and they all want hairstyles that accentuate the clothing to create the ultimate look,” he says. “Whether you’re going for a fun and flirty ponytail to pair with colored denim or an elegant chignon to complement your little black dress, the perfect hairstyle is essential for pulling together an outfit.”

Read on for Theodore’s hair and style tips that are sure to keep you on trend this season. 

Pumped-up ponytail: An effortless ponytail is the perfect style to pair with this season’s hottest colors and prints.  This sleek style usually reserved for the gym was all over the runways with a new, modern twist. The trick to giving the classic ponytail new life is adding volume on top.  Pull the hair into a high ponytail but leave out the front section. Tease the front pieces by gently backcombing at the root. Then gather together and pin into place so the ends lay over the ponytail. To add shine and prevent frizz, apply a serum like Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Smooth & Shine Serum in the palm of your hand, emulsify and run your fingers through the pony. 

Bohemian braids: The boho trend is all about being relaxed and natural. A loose side braid complements this look and, if you’re up for it, try this season’s hottest new trend: a mermaid tail braid. Divide hair into two sections and braid each. Then line the two braids up side-by-side and use small bobby pins to hold them together. The key to making this look effortless is to keep it casual, don’t over-style the braid. Spray the braid with Suave Professionals Dry Conditioner to lightly condition and renew shine. 

Bombshell blowout: To counterbalance the sharp tailoring of the menswear trend, wear your hair in a sexy, feminine style. You can never go wrong with a full-bodied blowout that has volume at the roots, bounce at the ends and is utterly sexy. To get a bouncy smooth style without going to the salon, use a large round brush when blow-drying. The front pieces are the most important so be sure to blow-dry them first. Then work with two-inch sections to completely dry the rest of the hair. To really turn up the volume, wrap warm hair around large rollers and let it set. Once hair has cooled down, remove the rollers for a va-va-voom look. 

Chic chignons: The great thing about a chignon is that it can work with a casual look or an evening style. For a daytime look, create a low chignon keeping it a little messy and undone with loose pieces to frame your face. For nighttime, take your look up a notch by creating a sleek top knot. The beauty of this hairstyle is that it can be made more or less dressy depending on how tight you pull the knot, sleeker for a more formal look and looser for an understated feel.

Courtesy of BPT

Understanding risks is half the battle against breast cancer

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

With one in eight women projected to be diagnosed with breast cancer over the course of her lifetime, understanding what affects your risk and how to catch any warning signs early – not only for your own sake, but for the sakes of your loved ones- is more important than ever. There may not be a cure for breast cancer yet, but there is so much you can do to raise awareness and lower your risk.

1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle

You can reduce your risk for breast cancer by leading a healthier lifestyle – including exercising regularly, making healthier choices when it comes to eating and drinking, and limiting your exposure to tobacco and alcohol. The changes don’t have to be drastic – start with simple changes, such as swapping one sugar-sweetened beverage a day for water, adding fruit and vegetables to your diet or taking the dog for an extra-long walk.

2. Know your history and how to detect the symptoms

Despite a healthy lifestyle, if you have a family history of breast cancer, that adds to your risk. So, it’s crucial to know if any of your close relatives have had the disease. In addition, there are factors you can be on the lookout for as warning signs at almost any age. Doctors recommend starting routine self-examinations in your 20’s, so you can report any changes or concerns to your health care provider.  You can also visit for more information. Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40.

3. Support research and the mission to find a cure

Great work has been done to improve the treatment of breast cancer and researchers are working tirelessly towards a cure. In order to continue their intensive and innovative research, they need the support of organizations, such as The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), to help fund their work. BCRF, for example, directs more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to breast cancer research and awareness programs.

There are simple ways for you to get involved – from buying products that support these types of organizations to hosting a fundraiser with friends. Nestle Pure Life brand bottled water is a great example, spotlighting breast cancer awareness on its packaging during Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October).  For every specially marked “pink ribbon” package produced, the company will donate 10 cents to BCRF (minimum donation of $350,000). The funding will support a BCRF grant directed to researchers who are working on innovative ways to prevent, treat and cure all aspects of breast cancer.

For more information on how to get involved in raising awareness and on the latest research and breakthroughs, visit There are even more tips on precautions you and your loved ones can take to reduce your risk and get involved.

Courtesy of BPT

Living with depression – What you need to know about treatment

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Do you or does someone you know constantly feel sad, empty, tired, or have difficulty concentrating? Have you lost interest in activities that once made you happy? Do you think you may be depressed but don’t know how to talk about it? If so, you are not alone. More than 15 million Americans suffer from a serious condition known as Major Depressive Disorder. Dr. Prakash Masand, Consulting Professor of Psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center, has answered some important questions to help you or a loved one determine if talking to a healthcare provider about your depression symptoms is needed.

Q: What is Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)?

A: Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, is a serious medical condition requiring treatment. More than 15 million Americans suffer from MDD, about 7.3%; of the adult U.S. population. Despite the seriousness of the condition, nearly 50%;  of people with MDD do not receive treatment.

Q: How do you get MDD?

A: There is no known single cause of MDD. Psychological, biological, and environmental factors may all contribute, but whatever the cause, scientific research has firmly established that MDD is a biological, medical illness. Scientists believe that people who suffer from MDD have an imbalance in certain brain chemicals. However, MDD is treatable with antidepressant medications that improve the function of these neurotransmitters. There may also be an increased risk for developing depression when there is a family history of the illness, but not everyone with a family history develops depression.

Q: How can I tell if I have MDD, or if someone I know has it?

A: Sufferers of MDD may display a lack of interest in or pleasure from activities they once enjoyed, and may be persistently sad or in an irritable mood with noticeable changes in sleep, appetite, and energy. They may have difficulty thinking, concentrating, or remembering. They may think or talk about feelings of guilt, worthlessness and emptiness, or death. Sometimes these feelings can be so severe they turn into physical symptoms, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain, that do not respond well to treatment.

Q: How do I get help?

A: There are a number of treatment options for MDD. The majority of people diagnosed with MDD can be effectively treated. Speak with your healthcare provider to determine if you are a candidate for antidepressant treatment. Along with medication, seeking the help of a healthcare provider for talk therapy treatment can help many individuals manage symptoms of depression.

Q: Are there any recently approved antidepressants?

A: Yes. VIIBRYD® (vilazadone HCl) received approval from the FDA in 2011 and is available in pharmacies. VIIBRYD is the first and only FDA-approved selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist for the treatment of adults with Major Depressive Disorder. The mechanism of the antidepressant effect is not fully understood but is thought to be related to its enhancement of serotonergic activity in the central nervous system (CNS) through selective inhibition of serotonin reuptake. VIIBRYD is also a partial agonist at serotonergic 5-HT1A receptors; however, the net result of this action on serotonergic transmission and its role in antidepressant effect of VIIBRYD are unknown. Talk to your doctor about the benefits of treatment with VIIBRYD and visit the website

Important Risk Information

What is the most important information I should know about VIIBRYD?

VIIBRYD and other antidepressant medicines may cause serious side effects. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the symptoms described below, or call 911 if there is an emergency.

Suicidality and Antidepressant Drugs

Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, teens, and young adults. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. VIIBRYD is not approved for use in patients under 18.

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms as they may be signs of rare but potentially life-threatening conditions: Agitation, hallucinations, coma or other changes in mental status, muscle twitching or coordination problems, fast heartbeat, high or low blood pressure, fever or sweating, muscle stiffness or tightness, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Who should not take VIIBRYD?Do not take any drugs known as MAOIs within 14 days of stopping VIIBRYDDo not start VIIBRYD if you stopped taking an MAOI in the last 14 daysPeople who take VIIBRYD close in time to taking an MAOI may have serious or even life-threatening side effects.

What should I talk to my healthcare provider about?VIIBRYD may increase suicidal thoughts or actions, especially when starting treatment or when the dose is changed. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have suicidal thoughts, or if you become agitated, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive or restless, or if your condition gets worse.Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription and over-the-counter medications you are taking or plan to take, including: – Medicines to treat migraines, anxiety, psychotic or thought disorders, or mood disorders, including triptans, tricyclics, lithium, SSRIs, SNRIs, buspirone, or antipsychotics; this is necessary to avoid a potentially life-threatening condition – Aspirin, NSAID pain relievers, or blood thinners (warfarin, Coumadin or Jantoven) because they may increase the risk of bleeding – Tramadol, mephenytoin (Mesantoin) or over-the-counter supplements such as tryptophan or St. John’s Wort

Before starting VIIBRYD, tell your doctor if you: -  Have kidney or liver problems – Have or had mania, bipolar disorder, seizures or convulsions – Have or had bleeding problems. VIIBRYD may increase your risk of bleeding or bruising – Have low salt (sodium) levels in your blood. Elderly people may be at greater risk – Are nursing, pregnant, or are planning to become pregnantCall your healthcare provider right away if any of these symptoms or conditions occur while you are taking VIIBRYD. Some may be signs of serious side effects.

Do not stop VIIBRYD without first talking to your healthcare provider.

Stopping VIIBRYD suddenly may cause serious symptoms including: anxiety, irritability, high or low mood, feeling restless or sleepy, headache, sweating, nausea, dizziness, electric shock-like sensations, tremor, and confusion.

What should I avoid when taking VIIBRYD?Until you know how VIIBRYD affects you, be careful driving a car, operating heavy machinery or engaging in other dangerous activities. Avoid drinking alcohol while taking VIIBRYD.

What are the most common side effects of VIIBRYD?The most common side effects in people taking VIIBRYD include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and trouble sleeping.Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of VIIBRYD. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

Please also see the Medication Guide within the full Prescribing Information.

Courtesy of BPT

Rest easy: Expert advice on choosing a mattress

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Everyone likes to save money, but some purchases it just doesn’t pay to skimp on. If you’re buying an item that affects your well-being – like shoes or a mattress – it’s smart to buy the best you can afford.

Your mattress directly affects your ability to get a good night’s sleep, according to experts. Poor sleep has been linked to a host of physical and mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, hypertension, memory loss and appetite changes.

If you’re not resting as well as you know you should and it’s been 10 years or more since you bought a mattress, you may need to take advantage of summer mattress sale season. The summer holidays – Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day – and the weeks in between are a great time to find a new deal on a mattress, as retailers tend to ramp up discounts and promotions at this time of year.

“The Better Sleep Council recommends that you replace your mattress every five to seven years,” says Jim Ruehlmann, a mattress expert with mattress-maker Simmons. “If you haven’t gone mattress shopping in a while, you may be surprised and a bit overwhelmed by the variety of choices, advances in technology and plethora of sales you’ll find this summer.”

Ruehlmann offers these tips for making your next mattress purchase:

* When it comes to comparison shopping, patience pays off. Watch the sales fliers that will be arriving in your mailbox or tucked into your local paper. The “red, white and blue” holidays are prime sale time for mattress sellers. If you have an idea of what you want, chances are it will go on sale this summer.

* Play the pricing games to your advantage. Stores near each other rarely carry the exact same make and models of mattresses, so it can be difficult to do a direct price comparison. To get a fair comparison, note the construction of a model you like, including the types of foams, coil count, etc. Then take that information to a competing store and see if they have a bed of similar construction and quality that feels just as good – but for less money.

* Brush up on new technology. If it’s been 10 years or longer since you bought a mattress a lot has changed. For example, if you tried memory foam years ago and didn’t like the hot, quicksand sensation older foam types created, you may be pleasantly surprised at how new technology has eliminated that problem. For example, some mattresses feature memory foam that provides the supportive sleep, contouring comfort and pressure relief of traditional memory foam, but helps dissipate heat and has quick recovery – meaning the foam doesn’t make you feel hot when you lay on it and springs back to shape quickly as you move.

* Coils count. In traditional coil mattresses, those coils are what make a mattress comfortable – or uncomfortable. Quality coil construction equates to better sleep. Coils should provide motion separation, comfort and back support. The top section of the coil, which is tapered, conforms to your shape for comfort and pressure relief. The firmer barrel-shaped bottom section reacts to body weight and sleeping position for individualized back support and alignment. 

* Never settle. You’ll spend more hours in bed than on your couch, so keep searching until you find one that you feel good about. When testing in the store, lay on the bed however you normally sleep and stay that way for a few minutes. Be sure to try the bed with your sleeping partner beside you, so that you can feel the level of motion when one of you moves around.

* Ask about the store’s policies for delivery charges, returns, testing periods and removal of your old mattress. Every store is different, and the policies may affect where you decide to buy.

Finally, says Ruehlmann, “Buy the box spring.”

A mattress and foundation complement each other. Buying just the mattress may reduce its comfort and support – and shorten the bed’s lifespan.

Courtesy of BPT