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Sunscreens: what sunscreen should have to protect us

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in dermatology | Posted on 30-07-2019


Dr María Victoria de Gálvez and Dr Norberto López, members of the Dermatology Team at Vithas Xanit International Hospital, led by Dr Enrique Herrera Acosta, talk to us today about the characteristics and properties that sunscreen must have to really protect us. They also explain how to apply sunscreen.

To begin with, we need to know that there are three types of ultraviolet radiation, A, B and C, but only UVA and UVB rays reach Earth because UVC rays are filtered out by the ozone layer. UVA rays are active all year round and affect skin ageing and solar allergies. UVB rays reach the Earth’s surface in less quantity but are more energetic and are active especially in summer. They are primarily responsible for sunburn.


What really makes a cream protect us from solar radiation?

  • Physical and chemical filters: Sunscreens have physical filters and chemical filters. Physical filters contain particles that act as blockage of solar radiation. Chemical filters contain substances capable of absorbing solar radiation in the UV strip.
  • SPF: SPF is the ability of a sunscreen to decrease erythema caused by exposure to the sun. It is a number that indicates how long we can expose our skin without getting sunburned with UV rays.


What factors should we consider when choosing a sunscreen?

As a basic rule, it is necessary to take into account the SPF enclosed on the packaging, photoprotection against UV rays and water resistance, especially at children’s age. It should be borne in mind that in patients with pathologies such as photodermatosis or skin cancer, it is necessary to ensure a very high photoprotection.


Tips for properly using sunscreen

  • The most important thing is that we should never expose ourselves to the sun without any protection because even when it seems to us that there is no evident danger from the sun, ultraviolet rays always reach our skin.
  • We must avoid direct exposure to the sun, mainly during midday and especially in summer.
  • The sun cream blocks UV from the moment it is applied and stabilises after 5-10 minutes. So the general recommendation would be to apply it 5-10 minutes before exposure to the sun and repeat it at least every two hours, or more often if we have been swimming or had the sunscreen absorbed with our clothes.
  • Sunscreens have their expiration day and should be changed every year, as they lose properties and we may not be really protected and may suffer from sunburns or skin allergies.

Children, elderly and pregnant women are recommended to limit exposure to the sun. In the case of children and the elderly, the skin is more sensitive. In the case of pregnant women, hormonal changes cause them to be at greater risk of sunburns.

Technology: Multiparametric Prostate Resonance

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Xanit salud | Posted on 23-07-2019


The prostate is a gland of the male urogenital apparatus, located under the bladder, opposite the rectum with the urethra running through its middle. Through the prostate, urine leaves the bladder, until it is expelled.

Its main function is to generate the fluid in which spermatozoa remain. The prostate gland produces zinc, the specific antigens of the prostate, spermin, magnesium, enzymes such as transglutaminase or acid phosphatase, among others.

One of the cutting-edge equipment that allows studying this organ in detail is the  Multiparametric Resonance of the Prostate  Today we will delve a little into this technology available in the hospital for the detection of pathologies that may affect the prostate.


What is Multi-Parametric Prostate Resonance?

This system allows us to perform a study of the prostate through high-resolution magnetic resonance to obtain different parameters (morphological, functional and molecular) in order to combine them for the detection of prostate cancer.


What do we diagnose with it?

It is the main imaging technique for the diagnosis of prostate cancer, primarily indications being those of extracapsular extension of already known prostate cancer. It is also commonly used when there is a persistent cancer suspicion with previous prostate biopsy being negative and plans a for a new biopsy or control of local recurrence after treatment of prostate cancer.


How is it carried out?

Through a morphological study in T2 sequences, areas are detected where the movement of water molecules is restricted by a high cell density typical of neoformative lesions.  Its sensitivity and specificity are higher in the peripheral prostate.

This dynamic contrast study allows detecting early catchment areas with the washing in late phases that may correspond to prostate cancer.

All these parameters are collected in a score and result in a categorised report.


What benefits does it have?

The diagnosis of prostate cancer has been based for years on blind biopsy, but this system allows the collection of samples affecting the most suspicious areas. This avoids falsely negative results.

Besides, the multiparametric magnetic resonance study does not require an uncomfortable endorectal coil and is well tolerated by the patient.

Insect bites and stings in summer, what should we know about them?

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in dermatology | Posted on 19-07-2019


Summer is here, together with insect bites. It might be due to the heat or because in summer we do spend more time outdoors, nevertheless, stings by mosquitoes, spiders, ticks, or wasps are the most common during the summer months.

Most insect bites and stings are not dangerous, and they only cause slight discomforts such as itching or stinging, however, by over-scratching the affected areas, it is not uncommon to make such injuries worse.

Dr Álvaro Barranquero, from the Dermatology Department at Vithas Xanit International Hospital, led by Dr Enrique Herrera Acosta, explains what the most common bites and stings are and how we should treat them.


The most important thing is prevention

There is no secret method for insects not to bite us, however, we can take some steps to avoid stings, both when indoors and outdoors.

At home, we should keep the doors and windows closed as long as possible and, if we leave them open, try to have the light switched off or at least dimmed, as strong light attracts most insects. It is advisable to keep the food stored in containers because it can also attract insects if left out in the open.

As far as the outdoors is concerned, we can protect ourselves with insect repellents and avoid areas and times of the day where they can reproduce more. We should also apply less perfume and wear clothes with neutral and less striking colours.


What should we do if we’ve already been stung

If we get stung by an insect even though we have applied the repellent, it is very important to avoid scratching. The best thing is to clean the area and apply an ice pack to reduce swelling, which also acts as an analgesic.

It is very likely that insect bites and stings mainly happen while we are on holiday, so for that reason, we should avoid being in the water for longer periods, especially in swimming pools, since for the cleaning and disinfection of the same products are used that can worsen our injury, increasing local symptoms.


When to see a doctor

The greatest risk of an insect bite or sting is the allergic reaction. It is considered serious and worrying when we have difficulty breathing or swelling of the mouth or throat.

If after the above measures the symptoms persist or get worse, we have a generalised malaise or suffer an allergic reaction, we should go to a doctor at once.

The 10 commandments to prevent drowning of children on beaches and in swimming pools

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Miscellaneous, Pediatrics | Posted on 10-07-2019


Every year, a significant number of children die in Spain from drowning in the sea and swimming pools. To make sure that the number of casualties from previous years will not repeat, Vithas and ojopequealagua.com offer you ten recommendations to make your and your child’s holiday as fun and safe as possible.

Besides, these recommendations are tailored not only for children but for the elderly members of the family too, given that there is an elevated risk for their security when it comes to swimming in the sea or swimming pools.


Measures to prevent drowning in swimming pools   

  1. Continuous monitoring: The child must be monitored at all times by an adult who, if absent, must have another trusted guardian.
  2. Rule 10” 20”: The adult must look at the child every 10 seconds and stay at such a distance as to allow him to reach the child in 20 seconds, should that be necessary.
  3. Detecting risks: It is important to check if there is any way for the child to reach the pool alone and if so, to know how to prevent it.
  4. Protection: Incorporate safety devices that prevent the child from getting into the water in an oversight.
  5. Learning: Before the summer and from quite an early age, children should learn to float first and then to swim. In any case, the child also must be monitored while learning to float.
  6. Rescue device: Have on hand life-jacket, pole and phone to contact emergency services.
  7. Orderliness: Keep away from the pool toys or objects that attract the child’s attention, making them get closer to the water.
  8. Drainage: Make sure the drainage systems are off, and the children are away from them.
  9. Safety: Have fences, winter covers, perimeter or immersion alarms, flotation elements adapted to each child.
  10. Emergency: Learn the cardiopulmonary resuscitation sequence (CPR) and the emergency phone number (112).


Measures to prevent drowning in the sea    

  1. Always accompanied: Never let children go to the beach alone. They do not have the same perception of danger as we do and can belittle it.
  2. Better with lifeguard: Choose beaches with lifeguard service. Respect and follow their indications.
  3. Swim Vest: It is better if a child knows how to swim, but if not, in the sea, better to wear on a swim vest than swim floaties or water wings.
  4. Avoid jumps: Tell children not to jump from rocks or any elevated platform and teach them by example.
  5. Be wary of inflatables: Inflatable rubber or plastic mattresses and floaties give a false sense of security.
  6. After eating: Children should slowly enter the water as there is a risk of hydrocution in the face of sudden changes in temperature.
  7. Watch constantly: There are a lot of people on the beach. Do not leave them alone for a minute.
  8. Trust the lifeguard: If you have to do a rescue, always follow the lifeguard’s instructions.
  9. CPR saves lives: Learn the cardiopulmonary resuscitation sequence (CPR) and the emergency phone number (112).
  10. Protect children from the sun: Apply SPF 50 sun cream frequently, make sure they wear a cap, sunglasses, light clothing, sunscreen lip balm. Heat strokes can be fatal in the water.

*These recommendations are extendable to swamps, water reservoirs or ponds that form on some beaches when the low tide.

By following these recommendations you and your family will enjoy a refreshing and safe holiday.

Happy summer!

Does laser hair removal hurt? — Discover the most sensitive areas and hair removal methods (Part 1)

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in dermatology | Posted on 04-07-2019


Laser hair removal consists of the application of light focused on the dark pigmentation of the hair, transforming it into heat. This heat reaches the hair root destroying it and preventing the hair from growing again. There are different methods of laser hair removal. Today, from the Vithas Xanit Aesthetic Dermatology Department, led by Dr Enrique Herrera Acosta, we review some of the most common methods and clarify some frequent doubts about this type of hair removal.

The existing methods of laser hair removal

The best laser hair removal method is that using a wavelength between 700 and 1200 nanometers ensuring that the skin will not suffer any damage during exposure. The available options are: the Alexandrite laser for medium-dark skin and a very fine, dark hair or short in length; the Diode laser, recommended for dark skin with dark hair; the Soprano laser, which can be used on tanned skin safely, although it requires a very precise technique for its use, and the Neodymio-Yag laser, which has the great advantage of adapting to all skin types, it is very safe and suitable for dark and deep hair.

Difficult areas

Any body area with enough hair is susceptible to laser epilation (legs, groin, armpits, arms, back, face, etc.). Laser hair removal differs between men and women, given that men have a more substantial amount of hair and much thicker than women. However, in matters of pain, the sensitive areas are usually the same.

  • Moustache and beard: In reality, all areas of the face are the most painful and cause the most discomfort to those who undergo laser hair removal. The reason lies in the degree of skin and nerve sensitivity of this zone.
  • Nipples: This area is often popular, above all, by men. Being an internal area, which practically is not exposed to the sun and is always covered by clothing, it is much more sensitive and delicate than the rest of the chest.
  • Perianal area: This area is highly sensitive due to its internal nature. The intimate zone, in general, is very sensitive to the laser since it has virtually no contact with the outside and has many nerve endings.
  • Neck: Although a priori does not seem like it, is also very sensitive to laser. The reason lies in its nerve endings and skin sensitivity.
  • Labia and pubic area: The female genital area is also susceptible to laser hair removal, not only because of its nerve endings but also because of the darkness of the skin and the amount of hair that populates it.
  • Inner thigh zone: This zone is also very delicate, not only for men but also for women. Normally, the hair in this area is removed more quickly, as it is not very strong, although its sensitivity is still high.
  • Toes: Toes, due to their nerve endings, are characterised by being the most sensitive zone of the feet of men and women.
  • Knees: Knees are also another critical area of the legs because although it may not seem, this area has many nerve endings. Apart from these areas, there are many individuals with special cutaneous sensitivity and skin ticklishness.

Differences between laser hair removal and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

Both are light sources but with different fluencies and different wavelength. Each laser has been manufactured to perform a specific treatment (e.g. epilation) and specifically IPL is a very useful tool with various uses in dermatology, but in some epilations, it is not as effective as the laser that is specifically manufactured to perform the same treatment.

The minimum sessions required to remove hair

It depends on the area, but the average number of sessions is between 6 and 8. The areas that are best epilated are armpits, groin and legs, achieving more than 85% of less superficial hair in three or four spaced sessions. This is because the total density of hair to be removed is stable and, under normal physiological conditions, the woman does not produce new hair in these areas.