Friday, October 14, 2016

Food Cravings

See Also:

  1. When Your Body Craves Certain Foods, It Actually Is Looking For Nutrients

Thursday, August 25, 2016

There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow

There's a great big beautiful tomorrow,
Shining at the end of every day.
There's a great big beautiful tomorrow,
And tomorrow's just a dream away.

Man has a dream and that's the start,
He follows his dream with mind and heart.
And when it becomes a reality,
It's a dream come true for you and me.

So there's a great big beautiful tomorrow,
Shining at the end of every day.
There's a great big beautiful tomorrow,
Just a dream away.

- Richard and Robert Sherman, 1964

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Skin Care: Professional Full-Body Skin Examination

The earlier you find a skin cancer, the easier it is to treat successfully. Both skin self-examinations and professional whole-body skin exams are useful in early detection of skin cancers, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.  Note that melanoma can surface in some of the most unusual places. Like under your toenails. Or behind your ears.[7]

In this article, I will cover the following topics:

Basal Cell Carcinoma vs. Melanoma

The most common skin cancer, with over a million cases diagnosed annually, is basal cell carcinoma (BCC).[1] Basal cell carcinomas rarely metastasize (spread) and are unlikely to be fatal. Melanoma is less common than either basal or squamous cell carcinoma (the second most common skin cancer), but (when advanced), much more likely to spread throughout the body and lead to death.

Therefore, it is essential to detect melanoma early, because the deeper the tumor grows, the worse the prognosis.

Whole-Body Skin Exam

First of all, it's really hard to find a general dermatologist instead of a specialist these days. You know the reason (hint: cosmetic surgery).

Secondly, I have never heard of "whole-body skin exam" until I called a general dermatologist's clinic recently. But, I'm glad that I took it. I wanted to check some brown raised spots on my skin, which were newly formed. They turned out to be "Seborrheic Keratosis".

When you see a dermatologist for a complete skin checkup, do expect at least a 10-15-minute visit, including a review of your medical history and a head-to-toe skin examination.

With my visit, I have 4 moles treated with two different procedures:
  • Freezing (or cryotherapy).
    • Uses liquid nitrogen to freeze and destroy abnormal cells.
  • Punch biopsy
    • Typically, a spot that the doctor suspects is cancerous will be biopsied.
      • During a biopsy, a sliver of tissue is removed for evaluation by a pathologist, who confirms (or refutes) the dermatologist’s suspicions.

Wound Care for Liquid Nitrogen (LN2)

Two of my moles were treated with cryotherapy, which recovered very quickly. Here are the caring steps after the procedure:
  • Keep areas clean daily with gentle soap and water
  • Apply Aquaphor or Vaseline for faster healing
  • The area(s) will crust, scab and peel off after 7-10 days (areas of thh legs can take up to 3 weeks
  • Do not pick the area(s)
  • If a blister forms, you may pop with a sterile needle
  • Makeup can be applied cover area(s) if necessary
  • Discomfort may occur after treatment, we recommend Tylenol or Advil for pain
  • Discoloration may occur after treatment for brown spots, but ususlly fade after 2-3 weeks

Wound Care for Punch Biopsy

Two of my other moles were biopsied, which took more time for the doctor to operate on and more time for me to recover. To care for the wounds, here are the steps:
  • Wash areas daily with gentle soap and water
  • Change the bandage daily; each time you change the bandage apply a thin layer of protective ointment to the wound (Aquaphor, Polysporin, Bacitracin, Vaseline)
    • Neosporin is not recommended
  • The area(s) may be sore, tender, sting or burn the first few nights
    • Tylenol or Advil is recommended for pain
  • If you should have stitches they will need to be removed after 7-14 days, depending on the locatinon of the biopsy site
  • We recommend Mederma scar cream and Silicone scar sheets for scar prevention, after area(s) are completely healed
  • You will be called within 7 days with your biopsy results
Please call your dermatologist if you experience pain, redness, yellow discharge or swelling persisting more than 2-3 days.

Try Duoderm

Here are Dr. Mercola's comments on using Dulderm on skin healing:
However, one of the best tricks I ever learned on wound healing is the use of Duoderm which I first learned of in residency about 25 years ago. It is really amazing especially for burns. It seems to consistently virtually eliminate all the pain of a burn once it placed over the wound.

Duoderm is a skin dressing that is available without a prescription and typically comes in 4 inch by 4 inch squares (other sizes are available). All you do is simply clean the wound with hydrogen peroxide and then cut the Duoderm about half an inch larger than the wound. It typically sticks very well to your skin.

After applying Duoderm, I didn't use any other dressings on top of it (see the above picture). After a few days it looks like pus might be coming up under the wound but it is merely the dressing dissolving.

Because it is semi-waterproof, I have taken showers as normal without worrying about the wound being contaminated. At the beginning, I changed my dressing every 3 days. After removing the dressing, I left my wound exposed in the air for a while and, also, applied some antibiotics. Then I re-wrapped my wound with a new dressing. These steps were repeated for weeks.

As you can tell, the removed area after biopsy was relatively large. It took me about one month to fully recover from it (see the top photo). For the last dressing, I have left it on for about a week.

Overall speaking, I'm happy with the experience of using Duoderm. However, there are newer (maybe better) products such as Aquacel Ag® and from other companies (e.g., 3M, Smith&Nephew) too.


  1. What should I expect from a full-body exam?
  2. Seborrheic keratosis
  3. What you need to know about hydrocolloid dressings
  4. A Great Trick For Healing Wounds
  5. Skin cancer risk for freckly red-heads equivalent to 21 years in sun
    • Having genes that give you red hair, pale skin and freckles increases your risk of developing skin cancer as much as an extra 21 years' exposure to the sun, researchers said on 07/12/2016
  6. Skin can show first signs of some internal diseases
  7. Strange places to look for skin cancer
  8. Printing Skin Cells on Burn Wounds
  9. Precancerous Skin Lesions and Skin Cancer Slideshow
  10. Common blood pressure drug raises skin cancer risk
    • The research revealed that those who took HCTZ were up to seven times more likely to develop skin cancer.
  11. Experts explain how to detect the warning signs of skin cancer

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Oral health: A window to your overall health

Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health. Did you know that your oral health offers clues about your overall health — or that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body?

What's the connection between oral health and overall health?

Your oral health might contribute to various diseases and conditions, including:[1]
  • Endocarditis
    • Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart (endocardium). Endocarditis typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in your heart.
  • Cardiovascular disease
    • Some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
  • Pregnancy and birth
    • Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
  • Diabetes
    • Research shows that people who have gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels, and that regular periodontal care can improve diabetes control.

Certain conditions also might affect your oral health, including:
  • Diabetes
    • Diabetes reduces the body's resistance to infection — putting the gums at risk. 
      • Gum disease appears to be more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes. 
  • HIV / AIDS
    • Oral problems, such as painful mucosal lesions, are common in people who have HIV/AIDS.
  • Osteoporosis
    • Osteoporosis — which causes bones to become weak and brittle — might be linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Drugs used to treat osteoporosis carry a small risk of damage to the bones of the jaw.
  • Alzheimer's disease
Other conditions that might be linked to oral health include eating disordersrheumatoid arthritishead and neck cancers, and Sjogren's syndrome — an immune system disorder that causes dry mouth.

Because of these potential links, tell your dentist if you're taking any medications or have had any changes in your overall health — especially if you've had any recent illnesses or you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes.

Warning Signs

Contact your dentist and/or physician as soon as any below oral health problem arises.

Bad Breadth[5-7] Bad breath is the result of poor mouth care, a weak immune system, stress, gastrointestinal infections, liver or kidney disorder, blocked sinuses, or badly fitted fillings (where food can get lodged between the filling and tooth).
  • The best way to check is to lick your wrist. Start with the back of your tongue and move it forward across your wrist. Leave the saliva to dry for ten seconds on your wrist. Then smell this area for any unpleasant odors
  • An easier way: ask a trusted friend or family member
Excessive Thirst[8] An indication of possible diabetes, internal bleeding, severe infection, or a failure of the heart, liver, or kidneys.
Lump or ulcer Oral Cancer
  • Look for are persistent white patches, or sore red areas on the tongue that fail to heal within three weeks.
Bleeding and inflamed gums
  • Gum disease or gingivitis
  • Diabetes, anemia and vitamin C deficiency
Purple Tongue Tip[9] Poor blood circulation due to elevation of plasma viscosity
  • Stick out your tongue and check if it's purple color or with purple spots on the tip.

How can I protect my oral health?

To protect your oral health, do the followings :
  • Proper Oral hygiene 
    • Like many areas of the body, your mouth is teeming with bacteria — most of them harmless. Normally the body's natural defenses and good oral health care can keep these bacteria under control.  
    • Daily oral health care should include:
      • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
      • Floss daily
      • Oil pulling [3]
  • Healthy Foods
    • Eat a healthy diet and limit between-meal snacks
  • Maintain Good Saliva Flow
    • Saliva washes away food and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, helping to protect you from microbial invasion or overgrowth that might lead to disease.
      • Certain medications — such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics and antidepressants — can reduce saliva flow. 
  • Other Considerations
    • Avoid tobacco use
    • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if bristles are frayed
    • Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings


  1. Oral health: A window to your overall health (Mayo Clinic)
  2. Don't Ignore Your Body's Warning Signs
  3. Oil Pulling for Your Oral Health—Why and How?
  4. Esophageal Cancer Risk and Alcohol Flush Reaction
  5. Four do-it-yourself health checks
  6. What Your Breath Reveals
  7. What About Plain Old Bad Breath?
  8. Watch Out for These Warning Signs
  9. 在 家做体检
  10. Health Effects of Element Fluorine (F) (Travel to Health)

Sunday, February 28, 2016

What a Wonderful World

Golden Gate Park

      I see trees of green, red roses too
      I see them bloom for me and you
      And I think to myself
      What a wonderful world
      I see skies of blue and clouds of white
      The bright blessed day and the dark sacred night
      And I think to myself
      What a wonderful world
      The colors of the rainbow
      So pretty in the sky
      Are also on the faces
      Of people goin' by
      I see friends shakin' hands
      Sayin', "How do you do?"
      They're really sayin'
      "I love you"
      I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
      They'll learn much more than I'll ever know
      And I think to myself
      What a wonderful world
      Don't you think Satchmo was right?
      What a wonderful world
      You were right, Pops

Louis Armstrong

Sung by Meryl Streep, Bette Midler, Olivia Newton John

Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole

Amazing Nature

Saturday, February 20, 2016