Hand hygiene: Find out why it is so important to wash your hands and how to do it correctly

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Xanit salud | Posted on26-12-2019

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15th of October marks World Hand Hygiene Day, a UNICEF-led event born in 2008 with the aim of extending good hygiene practices across the globe, especially in developing countries. The United Nations Assembly also designated the same year as the International Year of Sanitation. Therefore, marking this day has an objective to ensure access to sanitation and safe drinking water throughout the world.

Parallel to World Handwashing Day designated by UNICEF for 15th of October, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared 5th of May as World Health Hand Hygiene Day.

In 2009, WHO launched a global campaign entitled “Save Lives: Wash Your Hands”. Since then, the campaign took place in consecutive years and together with WHO various health ministries, associations for the prevention of infections and private organisations for patient safety have been involved.

The fact that two dates are commemorating the importance of handwashing is an obvious sign of the need to convey this concept to the public. For that reason, in this blog, we would like to raise further awareness of the importance of such a simple gesture as washing hands with the help of Estibaliz Salazar, a nurse in charge of Infection Control and Prevention at Vithas Xanit International Hospital.

Why is hand hygiene so important? Because in our daily activities, we are often in contact with bacteria, viruses and parasites (especially housed in faeces, fluids such as nasal secretions, food or contaminated water) that must be eliminated so that they do not pose a risk to our health. The fact is that, although it does not seem so, proper hand hygiene is just as important as some vaccines or medical interventions, in terms of the prevention of certain diseases. Proper hand hygiene at the right times can even save a life. Besides, if we do it correctly, we will eliminate bacteria that can cause disease, avoid passing bacteria to other people and prevent the spread of diseases that can become serious.

It is important to wash our hands continuously, especially if the hands are dirty, before eating or cooking food and after going to the bathroom or cleaning a baby. If hand hygiene is poor, we can not only catch certain diseases but also pass them onto other people. Also, we can contaminate everything we touch, infecting ourselves and others.

Pathologies such as diarrhoeal diseases or some acute respiratory infections are especially susceptible to their transmission through contaminated hands. Washing hands after going to the toilet and before preparing food help to reduce diarrhoeal diseases by more than 40% and respiratory infections by almost 25%.

 

How should we wash our hands correctly?

The right technique for handwashing is one that reaches all parts of the hands:

 

*Wet hands under running water

*Apply soap (neutral or antiseptic)

* Rub both hands together, insisting on interdigital spaces, nails and wrists

* Rub the palm of one hand on the back of the other by interlocking fingers and vice versa

* Rub the back of the fingers of one hand with the palm of the opposite hand, clutching your fingers

* Hold the thumb with the opposite hand performing rotational movements and vice versa

* Rub the tip of the fingers of one hand on the palm of the other by rotating motion and vice versa, insisting on the soft padded part of the fingers and nails

* Rinse with plenty of running water, preferably cold

* Dry with paper towels

* Close the tap with the paper towel used for drying

 

To maximise the effectiveness of handwashing, some recommendations should be taken into account, starting with the needed time employed for handwashing. Use an adequate amount of soap and plenty of water, dry with disposable paper towels using the same to turn off the tap and avoid repeated exposure of hot water due to the risk of developing dermatitis (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 2002).

With regard to the time we need to spend on handwashing, it will depend on what product we use for hand hygiene. For example, if done with soap and water the appropriate time would be 40-60 seconds, while if we do it with disinfectant gel or hydroalcoholic solution the appropriate time is approximately 20-30, until complete drying of the product.

 

Use of soap in handwashing

Washing hands only with water is not enough. To wash hands properly we should use soap, which favours the rubbing and removal of microorganisms.

It is advisable to use liquid soap since soap bars can become contaminated with bacteria, skin scales and hand grease As a result, solid soap bars become a repository of microorganisms and could lead to disease transmission rather than a reduction.

 

If you still choose to use soap bars, it would be advisable to rinse them beforehand for a few seconds under running water and then place them on surfaces that favour drying and avoid wet areas, which could promote the growth of bacteria.

Using soap bar is not dangerous, and can be very efficient if done properly, but liquid soap has greater advantages.

 

Sanitising gel in handwashing

Hand hygiene with disinfectant gel, also known as a hydroalcoholic solution due to its alcohol-based composition, is recommended when the hands do not have obvious dirt. It can only be a substitute for washing hands with soap and water in cases where the hands do not present visible dirt, as a mere means of disinfection.

It is not recommended to apply after hand hygiene with soap and water as it could damage the skin.

 

Skincare during hand washing

To take care of our skin during hand washing, we can follow some tips:

* Very hot water should be avoided

* Dry your hands well

* Use Ph soaps suitable for the skin, which are not too aggressive

* In case of using disinfectant gel, do not apply too much, with a little is enough, and rub your hands until the whole product has dried, thus avoiding the evaporation of the product on the skin that could damage it

* Avoid using disinfectant gel after washing with soap and water

* Use a moisturizer on hands

Although many people choose to use gloves to protect the skin, we must be aware that, although the use of gloves is intended to protect the skin of both staff and patients, their use is not a substitute for hand hygiene. Gloves can be damaged, have micropores and can cause contamination of hands during removal. The right thing will be to wear gloves when necessary and to carry out proper hand hygiene afterwards.

With these simple tips, hand washing will be effective and it will further help us to prevent and protect ourselves from pathologies. It is very important to pass such recommendations to the children as UNICEF considers children as the engine of change. That is why, further to promoting activities and campaigns similar to those of the NGOs, the most important thing we can do is to give children an example. Children will do what they see. We would like to see this message spread across the schools and families.

Treatment of coronary artery disease: bypass surgery and angioplasty

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in cardiology with heart | Posted on17-12-2019

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Today in our blog we will talk about two of the most frequent types of surgeries in Spain, bypass surgery and angioplasty, which serve to treat coronary artery disease, the most common type of heart disease. For more information on these surgical interventions, we spoke with the Head of our Heart Department, Dr Gómez Doblas. In our hospital, we have a long experience in performing these interventions, with more than 500 aortocoronary bypass surgeries and more than 3,000 angioplasty performed.

 

Coronary artery disease, what exactly is it?

People with coronary artery disease form cholesterol and fat deposits, called plaques (lesions), in the coronary arteries. This process is called atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and is progressive. If material continues to be deposited in the plaque, the coronary arteries may become partially or completely obstructed, and, therefore, the heart may not receive enough oxygen carried by the blood. If this happens, it can lead to angina pectoris or even myocardial infarction.

The good news is that, at present, this pathology can be treated through aortocoronary bypass or angioplasty, two of the most common surgical interventions in Spain.

 

Aortocoronary bypass and angioplasty

Aortocoronary bypass diverts blood flow by implanting grafts between the aorta and the distal part of the coronary arteries in order to save coronary lesions.

Angioplasty also restores blood flow by widening the artery with a catheter that grafts into the coronary veins and carries a balloon and a stent device that unfolds over the lesion that obstructs the artery, which allows restoring the passage of blood through the previously obstructed artery.

Every year around 5,000 aortocoronary bypass surgeries are performed in our country and more than

70,000 angioplasties. The progressive development of percutaneous or non-surgical techniques causes the number of the aortocoronary bypass to decrease and increase that of

angioplasty.

 

Care to take into account after the surgery

Patients intervened by coronary bypass technique may present over the subsequent years progression of atherosclerotic disease in the native arteries and the appearance of vascular disease in the grafts; to prevent this situation, the most important thing after a cardiac bypass surgery is to have a strict control of cardiovascular risk factors (no smoking, taking care of cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes…).

Regarding patients undergoing angioplasty, the recommendations to take into account are: follow heart-healthy nutrition based on the Mediterranean diet, exercise, do not smoke and carry out strict control of risk factors. It is also very important to maintain the use of anticoagulation such as aspirin and clopidogrel for at least 6 months or a year.

Depression, are we aware of it?

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Xanit salud | Posted on17-12-2019

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This week marked the European Day of Depression, a pathology that currently affects a high percentage of the world population and that many specialists even qualify as the epidemic of the 21st century. To better understand depression, today we spoke with Guiomar Travesedo, a psychologist at Vithas Xanit International Hospital.

 

Most people with depression are not aware of it or do not know how to recognise the symptoms. What should we be attentive to?

Further to noticing the typical symptoms of depression, such as sadness, apathy, difficulty in feeling pleasure or joy for things or situations that we have previously enjoyed, there are more indicators that we should be attentive to. People who suffer from depression frequently experience that the feeling of the general malaise is significantly interfering with their lives, work, family or sentimental relationships.

 

Can it affect other aspects of our health?

Depression affects all areas of a person’s life, so it is very important to treat it as, in its most severe form, it can even end up in suicide.

 

And how can we treat depression?

Mild depression can and should (in my opinion) be treated with psychotherapy. Cognitive-behavioural therapy is the most endorsed by specialists, which consists in treating and intervening the patient both at the mental and behavioural level. If we talk about a long-term depression or a more severe form of it, further to therapy we recommend adding the medication also.

 

Specialists indicate that many people are suffering from depression and are not aware of it, is this the case?

It may be that a person has depression and does not know it or does not want to admit it. Still, in most cases, if we talk about major depression, the signs of deterioration are significant enough for the doctor to see them and diagnose depression.

 

There is a lot of talks now about childhood depression… is it true that there are more and more children with depression? Why is it attributed to?

Indeed, there are increasing cases of children with depression, WHO estimates that 2% of children aged 6-12 suffer from depression and in the case of pre-adolescents aged 12-14 it ranges from 4 to 6 per cent.

Depressive symptoms in childhood are similar to those in adults with the exception that they have more common irritability than sadness. Still, it is often difficult to diagnose it because symptoms are confused with the usual emotional changes in a child’s development.

The causes can be very diverse. One of the most booming among psychologists is the excessive load of activities and stimulation that children receive from a very young age (school, extracurricular classes…) and the type of parents education that we see most often in such cases, the so-called overprotector-permissive.

 

CPR, all we need to know

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in cardiology with heart | Posted on05-09-2019

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CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It consists of a series of universal and standardised manoeuvres implemented in the face of a cardiorespiratory arrest and included in what is known as the survival chain.

The cardiorespiratory arrest is defined as a sudden, unexpected and potentially reversible loss of consciousness, accompanied by a cessation of breathing and signs of life.

It is estimated that there are about 65 cardiorespiratory arrests per 100,000 inhabitants per year, resulting in arrest every 20 minutes. The leading cause of cardiorespiratory arrest is cardiac aetiology, 75% occur at home, and a high percentage are witnessed. For this reason, it is of huge importance to raise awareness among the population on CPR manoeuvres that will allow us to intervene in the face of a cardiac arrest.

Today Dr Pablo De Rojas, Head of the Intensive Medicine Department at our hospital, offers us some guidelines for action should we be a witness of a cardiorespiratory arrest.

In the event of a suspected cardiac arrest, the first thing to do is to stay in a safe, danger-free place (move the victim from the road, the water in case of drowning, etc.). Next, we should check the absence of consciousness by vigorously moving the victim and even causing pain with energetic stimuli. If the patient does not respond to stimuli and we are not dealing with a case of severe trauma, we should perform the face-chin manoeuvre pulling the head and raising the jaw, in this way we will open the patient’s airway. We should then check if the victim breathes by bringing our ear to his mouth and also examining whether the chest rises, HEAR if air comes out and FEEL the exhalation of the air.

If we check that the victim is not breathing, we determine the cardiac arrest situation and begin CPR manoeuvres.

How are the CPR manoeuvres performed?

To carry out CPR manoeuvre we must take off the victim’s clothes and perform chest compressions: with the palm of our hand and in the centre of the victim’s chest with our hands crossed, over the patient’s sternum and with a force that depresses the victim’s chest about 5 — 6 cm and at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute. In this way, we will “squeeze” the heart temporarily replacing its pump function.

The chest compressions are then accompanied by mouth-to-mouth breathing. To do this we should seal the lips of the patient with our lips and pinch his nose, blowing into his mouth twice and making sure that the chest rises (only this way the manoeuvre is effective). It should be performed at a rate of 30 compressions alternating with 2 air blows.

It has been widely demonstrated that many lives can be saved with the chin manoeuvre and with early and correct chest compressions.

The third link in the survival chain is early defibrillation. The first cause of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is cardiac aetiology secondary to infarction and is caused by an arrhythmia. Such arrhythmia responds in a high percentage to early defibrillation. That is why the use of defibrillation is recommended as soon as possible.

With regard to cardiac arrest of paediatric origin, its most frequent cause is by airway obstruction secondary to the intake of a foreign body, therefore prevention and knowledge of airway removal techniques are essential. As for performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation manoeuvres for the paediatric population, they are similar to those for adults, considering that chest compressions, obviously, in this case will be performed with a pair of fingers or with the palm of the hand, depending on the size of the child.

The usefulness of these simple manoeuvres, monitored and recommended by associations that advocate and standardise their use, is now widely demonstrated, recommending their knowledge to the general population and early and universal access to defibrillators.

There are multiple options to access relevant courses, where on mannequins we can learn basic life-saving techniques.

In our Vithas centres, we have a standardised training plan that ensures that all workers are trained to act in this type of incidents.

What should we do if we witness a cardiorespiratory arrest?

In case of suspected cardiorespiratory arrest, it is important to know the chain of survival, which consists of 4 steps:

  1. Notify the universal emergency phone number 112 and follow their recommendations.
  2. Remember the time of the suspected cardiac arrest, later you’ll be asked so.
  3. Start with cardiopulmonary resuscitation manoeuvres
  4. Request, if possible, an automatic external defibrillator.
  5. Expect the arrival of advanced medical services, while continuing to perform chest compressions.

Wearing contact lenses in summer

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Ophthalmology | Posted on02-08-2019

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Summer is the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities and get together with friends and family. Beach, swimming pool, riding a motorcycle, exercising outdoors or snorkelling are activities specially reserved for summer, but sometimes people who wear glasses find them as an uncomfortable inconvenience.

Summer happened to be the time of the year when people who are wearing glasses diced to try contact lenses instead.  There are also those who wear them all year round, but it is usually in summer when they wear contact lenses the most.

Whether you use them all year round or for the first time, you should keep in mind that proper hygiene of both hands and contact lenses is essential to avoid getting an infection. The most common is conjunctivitis, which occurs as a strong itching of the eyes accompanied by eye redness. In case of experiencing any of these symptoms, you should avoid aggressively rubbing the eye at all times.

It would be convenient to always have artificial tears at hand to relieve the discomfort. If the itching persists, the procedure would be to remove the contact lenses and see a doctor in order to avoid a major problem. Besides, frequent use of artificial tears will prevent the hot environment from drying out the eyes. The brand of the product should be consulted beforehand with a specialist since not all tears are compatible with contact lenses.

In any case, to avoid uncomfortable situations, it is recommended not to wear contact lenses for more than 8 hours continuously, nor to sunbathe with them on (unless we protect ourselves with sunglasses with a very high ultraviolet filter).

When storing contact lenses, it is always necessary to do so in their specific case and with the appropriate liquid. Under no circumstances should the lens be moistened with tap water, saliva or any product other than that indicated by a specialist.

In case of contact with chlorine in the pool or sand on the beach, contact lenses should be removed immediately to avoid infection and clean the eyes with saline solution.

Faced with the decision to buy daily or monthly contact lenses, it should be noted that daily contact lenses will be less likely to become contaminated as they are single-use. However, if proper hygiene and preservation of these are maintained, monthly ones may become equally advisable.

You should not abuse contact lenses or forget that, however comfortable they are when making plans for outdoors, the healthiest thing for the eyes is to let them breathe and protect them from the sun.

Sunscreens: what sunscreen should have to protect us

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in dermatology | Posted on30-07-2019

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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 on23-07-2019

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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 on19-07-2019

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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 on10-07-2019

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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 on04-07-2019

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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.