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August - September 2006


Health

Male Grooming

by Shashi Gossain B.Sc (Hons), MRPS, Member


 
Recently, male grooming has been brought to our attention by magazines which are designed for Men and the rise of male icons in the media. Men experience specific problems with their skin and hair, which require specific solutions. At last, men are taking male grooming into their own hands.

Hair:
Men tend to wear their hair shorter, with a natural hair colour and shape. Overall, this means that they tend not to suffer from split ends and frizz. However, in order to style short hair, stronger styling preparations are required, such as gels and waxes. These can leave heavy deposits on the scalp, which needs to be cleansed thoroughly.

Men also tend to suffer from dandruff, due to frequent washing of their hair. Dandruff is caused by a natural yeast, encouraging the scalp to shed dead skin (seen as white flakes). Specialist anti-dandruff shampoos should be used regularly to control this condition. Mild formulas or 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioners are recommended for men that frequently wash their hair and do not use heavy styling products. For those who do use gel or wax, an anti-build up formula is recommended to cleanse any stubborn residue on the scalp.

To prevent thinning hair, or to improve the appearance of balding hair, thickening shampoos can be used. However, this does not halt the progress of male pattern baldness. A drug called Minoxidil (also known as Regaine) can also be used to improve the thickness of hair, but it is not always 100% effective.

Skin:
Men that suffer from dry skin (can be noticed if you experience a tight, dry feeling after washing or shaving) should use rich moisturisers. There are many unisex ranges which offer this, as male-specific ranges tend to be quite limited.

Those that suffer from greasy skin should use a light lotion moisturiser or lightly scented aftershave balm.

Men that often suffer from shaving rash or razor burn (unsightly red bumps due to swollen hair follicles which are often itchy and irritated) should use pre-shave cleansing and exfoliation to minimise this problem. If the skin is still reactive, fragrance and colour-free products should be used.

Men should shave after cleansing, and before moisturising. If you shave once a day, then it is necessary to cleanse and moisturise twice a day (in the morning and at night).

Shaving:
There are several choices when it comes to shaving. Some methods have a more profound effect on the skin than others, therefore it is important to find a balance between the comfort and structure of the epidermis, whilst achieving the closest possible shave. There are two main methods of shaving: wet shaving and power shaving.

1.Wet shaving:
Wet razors are either entirely disposable or just have disposable heads (the thicker the hair, the more often the heads need to be replaced). These slice off the hair at skin level, or just below it. It is particularly suitable for men with thick, coarse hair growth and is effective in removing longer hairs. However, razor burn is a common problem for those that wet shave and cuts often occur if full attention is not given when shaving. In order to maximise the performance of a wet shave, it is suggested that the skin is softened and lubricated first. Skin should first be cleansed using a facial wash, then a specialist cream, gel or foam should be applied to provide a smooth pathway for the razor. This prevents dragging and nicking. Exfoliation is also an important routine for men to do two or three times a week because it improves a man’s shave by preventing in growing hairs. Shaving should occur in a downwards motion in order to minimise irritation of the skin.

2.Power shaving:
Power shaving involves using a mains, and a battery operated shaving unit to whisk the hairs off at high speed. It is suitable for all skin types and does not require shaving preparations. However, it is not as effective on tough, dense and very dark hair. For electric shaving, the face should be clean and dry with stubble not too long. The skin needs to be thoroughly cleansed beforehand and regularly exfoliated. A closer shave can be achieved by pulling the skin taut to encourage the hairs to stand on end and make them easier to trim. It can be difficult to reach some areas with a power shaver, such as beneath the nose and above the lips. Here, an integral trimmer is ideal.


Tips to overcome a hangover!
Skin becomes very dehydrated after drinking alcohol, so ensure that you have plenty of water the next day.
Dehydration leads to irritation of the skin, so make sure that you splash enough water on your skin prior to shaving.
Use an eye cream to reduce the puffiness and camouflage dark shadows.
Ignore coffee and stick to water for the remainder of the day.

Smoking
The best way to achieve healthy, youthful skin is to stop smoking. Smoking leads to dehydration of your skin and deprives it of oxygen. Overall, this causes your skin to look sallow and prematurely wrinkled.
When you inhale cigarette smoke, free radicals are produced in your lungs which trigger off inflammatory responses in your body. This leads to lines or wrinkles on the face, causing gauntness and prominence of the underlying bony contours.
Shashi Gossain Bsc (Hons), Member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society & Member of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists

Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a viral liver disease which if left untreated can lead to death from cirrhosis, liver failure, or liver cancer. 
A London specialist says the UK is seeing around 2000 new cases of hepatitis B per year, the vast majority occurring among recent immigrants.  There are currently 180,000 people in the UK with hepatitis B, about half of these living in London.
It affects two billion people worldwide, around one third of the global population of whom about 400 million are carriers of the infection experiencing no symptoms.  In some parts of the world including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and China, the disease is endemic and large numbers are infected.
A new treatment for people suffering from chronic hepatitis B infection, has just been approved for use in Europe and could be in the UK as early as this autumn.  The drug developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb is called Baraclude (entecavir).  It is swallowed as a tablet and is highly effective, say specialists.

BARACLUDE® (entecavir) AUTHORISED IN EUROPE FOR TREATMENT OF CHRONIC HEPATITIS B

PARIS, (DATE, 2006) -- Bristol-Myers Squibb announced today that the European Medicines Evaluation Agency (EMEA) has approved Baraclude® (entecavir) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus infection.

Baraclude is an oral antiviral therapy specifically designed to block the replication of hepatitis B virus (HBV).  The medicine, which was developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb, is expected to be available in the UK in the third quarter of 2006.  Baraclude will also be available in other countries in the European Union, the Middle East and Africa around the same time.

Baraclude is indicated for use in adults with chronic hepatitis B infection with compensated liver disease and evidence of active viral replication, persistent elevations of the blood levels of aminotransferases – a marker for liver disease – or active liver disease as determined by biopsy.
“With the approval of Baraclude in Europe, Bristol-Myers Squibb will address another area of significant medical need: hepatitis B,” said Beatrice Cazala, President, Europe, Middle East and Africa for Bristol-Myers Squibb.  “Baraclude is another example of how we are living our mission of extending and enhancing human life by focusing on discovering and developing innovative treatments for patients.”

Chronic hepatitis B infection is a potentially life-threatening disease and is a serious global public health issue.  The Department of Health estimates that 0.3% of the UK population is chronically infected with hepatitis B, equivalent to some 180,000 people.

Hepatitis B is the 10th leading cause of death worldwide, causing 1.2 million deaths annually, and is the main cause of hepatocellular carcinoma, a form of liver cancer.

The hepatitis B virus is 100 times more infectious than HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Measuring the amount of the hepatitis B virus in a person’s bloodstream – also known as the viral load – can be an important way to predict their progression to serious liver disease and liver cancer.  Recent studies have shown that among hepatitis B patients who have the highest viral load levels, there is a significantly increased future risk of eventually developing cirrhosis and liver cancer.

 “Hepatitis B is a worldwide problem, yet awareness remains low in the UK.  The virus can remain dormant and the disease silent for many years which means that thousands of people are still unaware they even have the disease,” said Professor Geoffrey Dusheiko, Department of Medicine, Royal Free Hospital, London. 

The benefits seen in studies of Baraclude relate to its ability to slow the progression of chronic HBV infection.  This was shown in three clinical studies in patients naïve to previous antiviral treatment and in patients with resistance to lamivudine, another anti-hepatitis B agent, infected by wild type virus (HBeAg positive), pre-core mutant virus (HBeAg negative) and with compensated liver disease. 5,6,7

After 48 weeks of treatment – or two years for those with only a virological response initially – Baraclude achieved responses higher or similar to lamivudine, with regard to improvement in the liver inflammation and degree of liver fibrosis (scarring) caused by HBV, reduction in the amount of virus in the blood, normalization of liver function and seroconversion.8 Among nucleoside-naïve patients without evidence of lamivudine resistance at baseline, no resistance has emerged through 96 weeks of treatment with Baraclude.9

About Baraclude (entecavir)
The global Baraclude clinical trial programme was the first to compare two antivirals, Baraclude and la mivudine (the most commonly used oral antiviral therapy for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B worldwide) and involved over 1,600 patients worldwide.  
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global pharmaceutical and related health care products company whose mission is to extend and enhance human life.

More Health

More articles by Shashi Gossain B.Sc (Hons), MRPS, Member

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