Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Parent Guide to Hair Pulling Disorder

Are you the parent of a child who suffers from hair pulling? This book, The Parent Guide to Hair Pulling Disorder by renowned Houston, TX psychologist, Suzanne Mouton-Odum, PhD, is full of useful tips and realistic expectations to combat the disorder:

Saturday, April 25, 2015

MTV True Life Profiles Ricky Knowles and Trichotillomania

MTV just aired an episode of True Life which profiled Ricky and our client Emily who suffers with trichotillomania.  The episode profiles Emily's real life struggles with the disorder and her relationship with her family.  Ricky is a dedicated master stylist specially trained to help those who suffer from trich to stop pulling.  If you haven't seen the episode, watch it online.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Your Leg Health

Learn to recognize the symptoms of circulatory issues in your legs.  If you have any of these symptoms, you should speak to your doctor about compression garments:

• Heavy, tired and aching legs
• Swollen legs and/or ankles
• Sensation of warmth in the legs
• Tingling or cramping of the legs
• Dull or sharp pain in the calf
• Small varicose veins and spider veins

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Rita Wilson Has Breast Cancer, Undergoes Double Mastectomy and Reconstructive Surgery

Photo Credit: Kristen Lara Getchell

Rita Wilson is sharing some difficult and very personal news: she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and has undergone a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.

In an exclusive statement to PEOPLE, the actress, 58, reveals the diagnosis and how she feels "blessed" to have the love and support of her husband, Tom Hanks, friends, family and the doctors who saved her life.

"I have taken a leave from the play Fish in the Dark to deal with a personal health issue," reveals Wilson, who will return to the Broadway play on May 5. "Last week, with my husband by my side, and with the love and support of family and friends, I underwent a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction for breast cancer after a diagnosis of invasive lobular carcinoma. I am recovering and most importantly, expected to make a full recovery. Why? Because I caught this early, have excellent doctors and because I got a second opinion.

"I have had an underlying condition of LCIS, (lobular carcinoma in situ) which has been vigilantly monitored through yearly mammograms and breast MRIs. Recently, after two surgical breast biopsies, PLCIS (pleomorphic carcinoma in situ) was discovered. I mention this because there is much unknown about PLCIS and it is often found alongside DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ). I was relieved when the pathology showed no cancer.

"However, a friend who had had breast cancer suggested I get a second opinion on my pathology and my gut told me that was the thing to do. A different pathologist found invasive lobular carcinoma. His diagnosis of cancer was confirmed by, yet, another pathologist. I share this to educate others that a second opinion is critical to your health. You have nothing to lose if both opinions match up for the good, and everything to gain if something that was missed is found, which does happen. Early diagnosis is key.

"I feel blessed to have a loving, supportive husband, family, friends and doctors and that I am the beneficiary of advances in the field of breast cancer and reconstruction. I am getting better every day and look forward to renewed health.

"I hope this will encourage others to get a second opinion and to trust their instincts if something doesn't 'feel' right."

For more information, please go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation website at

Friday, April 10, 2015

All Natural Skin Cream - Protect Your Skin Through Radiation Treatment

In our latest video, Ricky talks about My Girls Skin Care cream. My Girls Skin Care cream is non-greasy, free of perfumes, dyes and parabens. We carry this line of skin cream to help our clients who are going through radiation treatments for cancer. It's all natural and great for protecting your skin from peeling and soothing redness.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Costlier Breast Cancer Treatments Linked to Better Survival

(From HealthDay News)

More expensive breast cancer treatments are linked to a greater chance of survival, new research suggests.

"Our findings indicate that in some instances, newer and costlier approaches may be leading to improved outcomes in breast cancer patients," study senior author Dr. Cary Gross, director of Yale University's Cancer Outcomes Public Policy and Effectiveness Research Center, said in a university news release.

"Now we need to tackle the harder questions about what we can afford to pay, and find out which treatments are effective for each patient," Gross added.

The study, published in the April issue of Health Affairs, found an association between more expensive medical care and improved survival rates among breast cancer patients. It did not prove a cause-and-effect link between the two.

In conducting the study, the researchers looked at the Medicare billing records of almost 9,800 women across the United States. The women were between 67 and 94 years old. They all had stage 2 or 3 breast cancer.

The researchers looked for trends in the women's treatment costs and survival rates between 1994 and 1996, and compared them to trends from 2004 and 2006.

The study revealed that the costs for treating women with stage 3 breast cancer jumped from $18,100 to roughly $32,600. Meanwhile, the five-year survival rate for these women improved from 38.5 percent to 52 percent.

Treatment for women with stage 2 breast cancer increased by more than 40 percent. The average cost for treatment was $12,300 in 1996 and $17,400 in 2006, according to the researchers. Five-year survival rates for these women also improved, though more modestly, from 68 percent to 72.5 percent.

Gross said that the rising costs stemmed largely from big increases in the cost of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

"We view our findings as a glass half-full: survival is improving, although costs are rising substantially," study first author Dr. Aaron Feinstein, currently a resident in head and neck surgery at UCLA in Los Angeles, said in the Yale news release.

"We need research that can help us not only to develop new treatments, but to learn how to contain costs while we are advancing patient care," Feinstein added.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

9 Sneaky Hair Loss Culprits

9 Sneaky Hair Loss Culprits
By Rachel Bender

If you’re noticing more hair circling your shower drain than you’re comfortable with, you may be shedding more than the typical 50 to 100 strands per day. Certain surprising factors, from not wearing a sunhat to losing more than 15 pounds, can trigger hair to fall out faster.

You’re on a crash DIET

Your body needs HEALTHY FOODS to thrive. When you don’t get your necessary nutrients — particularly, iron, zinc, and biotin, which play important roles in hair growth, as well as protein — alarm bells go off.

“Nutrients that allow the hair to grow are sensed by stem cells [in the hair follicle],” Anthony Oro, MD, PhD, professor of dermatology at Stanford School of Medicine, tells Yahoo Health. “These stem cells are surrounded by little fat cells that monitor the energy and metabolism of your body. If the nutrients are not there, they shut down [hair] production.”

Eating a healthy, BALANCED diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, can get things back up and running again. It’s also a good idea to make sure you’re getting enough of the nutrients your hair needs, such as iron, as well as ruling out iron-deficiency anemia. Your dermatologist or primary care physician can check your iron levels. If they’re low, your DOCTOR can recommend iron-rich foods, such as lentils, pumpkin seeds, and spinach, and in some cases, an iron supplement.

You don’t WEAR sunhats

The sun’s UV rays don’t just accelerate skin aging and put you at higher risk for SKIN CANCER. They also damage the structure of hair follicles, making hair more fragile and likely to break off and fall out. Protect your locks by wearing a solid, wide-brimmed hat every time you step outside (even on cloudy days) or spritz on a hair sunscreen that blocks UVA and UVB rays.

It’s in your genes

The most common cause of hair loss is hereditary thinning or baldness, affecting about 80 million Americans, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). For women, the first sign is often a part that’s getting noticeably wider, which is caused by the hair thinning. Your DERMATOLOGIST can do a thorough exam and, if female pattern baldness is diagnosed, recommend medication such as topical minoxidil to stop hair loss from progressing.

You’re under a LOT of stress or recently experienced a traumatic event

Emotional and physical trauma such as going through a divorce, losing a loved one, or being in a car accident can speed up the hair’s growth cycle and increase the shedding phase, causing HAIR TO fall out faster. But this doesn’t happen right away. “If you have a stressful event now,” says Oro, “the hair follicle environment will sense it, note it, and you’ll see the effects one to three months later.” Once stress levels are back under control, your hair should return to its normal growth cycle.

Your hormone levels are out of whack

Both insufficient and excessive hormone levels, as well as the drop in estrogen that occurs around menopause, can lead to hair loss. Your physician can run a battery of tests to see what’s going on hormonally. By treating the health problem, such as in the case of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, hair loss can usually be halted or reversed, according to the AAD.

Your ponytail is too tight

Braids, cornrows, and ponytails that are too tight yank on your locks, leading to a type of HAIR LOSS that’s called traction alopecia. Try to avoid hairstyles that pull hair too tightly, or at least limit how often you wear them, and look for other styles that are gentler on the hair shaft.

There’s an autoimmune disease at play

In some cases, the immune system mistakenly identifies hair follicles as foreign entities and start attacking them, causing hair loss. The disease, called alopecia areata, tends to happen to people in their 50s and 60s, according to Oro. Those with a family history of autoimmune diseases, such as TYPE 1 DIABETES and rheumatoid arthritis, are also more likely to have it. “If someone is losing their hair and it’s associated with itching or burning, that can be a sign of autoimmune hair loss,” Oro says. “Often just by looking and doing a scalp exam the dermatologist can tell or we can take a little piece of skin, look at it under a microscope, and you can make a diagnosis.”

While there’s no cure for alopecia areata, there are medications that can help, such as anti-inflammatory corticosteroids and topical minoxidil to help promote hair growth.

You’ve lost a lot of weight

If you’ve dropped more than 15 pounds, the dramatic change in weight can be a shock to THE SYSTEM, triggering hair loss. You may notice some hair loss within three to six months after losing the weight, according to the AAD. As long as your body, including your hair, is getting the nutrients it needs, your body will adjust and your hair will eventually regrow.

You’re getting too much vitamin A

If a little is good for you, then more must be better, right? Not when it comes to vitamin A. Overdoing it, such as by taking supplements that exceed recommended amounts, can lead to hair loss, according to the AAD, as well as DIZZINESS, nausea, headaches and orange-tinted skin. For most adults ages 19 to 50, 700 micrograms for women and 900 micrograms for men is the recommended daily amount of vitamin A, and the upper limits of the vitamin for adults 19 and older is 10,000 IUs daily. The good news? Stopping vitamin A supplements reverses the problem.