May Newsletter 2014
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arrow The hidden danger of temporary tattoos
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Tips to help athletes prevent skin conditions

As the weather warms, participation in sports increases, and so does the risk for skin conditions in athletes. The following tips can help prevent skin infections:

  • Keep scrapes and cuts clean and bandaged until they are healed. When the skin’s defense has been weakened, the germs that can cause infection gain an entry point.
  • Reduce the risk of infection with blister prevention. Make sure footwear fits properly and apply a spray, gel, or pad to areas that are prone to blistering.
  • Wear clothing that wicks moisture away from the body. This will help prevent germs from growing by keeping the skin dry
  • Protect feet in the locker room. Reduce the risk of infections on the feet by wearing some type of shoes.
  • Shower after activities. The entire body should be washed with an antimicrobial soap after every game or practice.
  • Personal care items should not be shared. Razors, towels, soap, and other items for personal care should not be shared with others.

The key is to choose the product containing the ingredients that are effective for your type of acne, and make sure it is in a form you like to use. Comedonal acne associated with whiteheads and blackheads is one version of acne that will sometimes not respond to OTC products. The best ingredients to treat this type of acne are referred to as retinoids and the only way to get these in medications is with a doctors prescription.

Skin infection can get worse without treatment. Anything on the skin that is infected, or that burns or itches, should be checked by a dermatologist or sports medicine doctor.
The hidden danger of temporary tattoos

The FDA is warning consumers that temporary tattoos are not necessarily “harmless” fun. These temporary adornments, normally advertised as henna, can cause severe reactions and even permanent scarring in some cases. The FDA’s MedWatch has received complaints of severe reactions including redness, sunlight sensitivity, red weeping lesions, blisters, pigmentation loss, and even permanent scars. The reactions can develop immediately, or as long as three weeks after the tattoo is applied.

Henna is a natural red-brown coloring that has been in use since the Bronze Age. However, marketers are offering so-called “black henna” as an alternative to traditional henna. Black henna can contain hair dye with substances such as p-phenylenediamine (PPD) in it.

PPD is banned in substances to be applied to the skin because it can cause severe reactions in some people. Some states regulate temporary tattooing and others don’t, and the regulations vary. If you, or a loved one, seem to be reacting to a temporary tattoo, see your dermatologist immediately, and notify MedWatch here: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/
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