A new Toy Story movie. A new Taylor Swift album. A new British Prime Minister. There’s not a ton of superficial differences between 2010 and today. Yet in the last decade, scientists and doctors have made an incredible amount of discoveries and advances, finding new cures and treatments and tirelessly progressing medicine while researching areas like genes and stem cells. Before the dawn of the new decade, The Remedy asked the country’s top doctors to select the most impactful medical discoveries of the last one.
We’ve Developed Targeted Cancer Therapies
Melanoma is one of the deadliest skin cancers because it spreads aggressively, and metastatic melanoma has a poor prognosis, resisting chemotherapy. “Fortunately, the landmark discovery of activating mutations in the cancer gene called BRAF–present in up to half of all melanomas and responsible for unrestrained cell proliferation–has allowed the development of several targeted therapies specifically aimed at suppressing this mode of tumor growth,” says Peterson Pierre, MD, board-certified specialist in dermatology and cosmetic dermatology at the Pierre Skin Care Institute in Thousand Oaks, CA. “In addition, advances in immunotherapy–antibodies that are targeted directly at melanoma–have revolutionized the treatment landscape for metastatic, recurrent and late-stage melanoma. Similar discoveries are occurring for many different types of cancer.”
The Human Genome Project is Paying Off
“Scientists have completed sequencing of the human genome, meaning they have established the order of the more than three billion letters in all the genes that make up our DNA,” says Dr. Pierre. “Gene sequencing has helped researchers identify single genes that cause diseases which, in turn, leads to better treatments, such as curing sickle cell disease, building new skin for a patient with a connective tissue disorder, restoring sight in patients with eye diseases, and addressing hemophilia. Scientists are now working on the Human Microbiome Project to better understand the complex bacteria that live in and on our bodies.”
Stem Cell Research Advances
“There certainly has been a lot of potential promise in this area of medicine but also a lot of controversy and with good reason,” says Dr. Pierre. “The ability to cure diseases is quite fascinating, but the source of the stem cells raised moral and ethical concerns. Now that we have the ability to transform skin cells into embryonic-like stem cells, the moral dilemma has been somewhat addressed and we can focus on the possibility of regenerative medicine, the ability to grow new tissue to replace damaged or defective ones.”
We’ve Nearly Obliterated Polio
“In 2018, the World Health Organization announced that only 33 people worldwide are now afflicted with polio, an illness that mostly affects children,” says Dr. Pierre. “That’s quite an improvement over the 350,000 cases reported in 1988. Lots of work, however, remains to be done to completely eradicate the disease.”
Dry brushing, one of the latest skin crazes, sort of feels like a massage, it only takes a few minutes, and it reportedly provides a variety of significant benefits–everything from lymphatic drainage to improved circulation and cellular exfoliation, purportedly helping to make your skin glow–but for most people dry brushing remains a mystery. How does it work? How do you keep it from hurting? Will any old brush do? To demystify the process of dry brushing, we spoke with dermatologists who shared their wisdom, and techniques.
Among other benefits, dry brushing is a fantastic exfoliator. “Dry brushing, or when you use a large bristle brush to massage the skin while it’s dry, helps to exfoliate and increases blood flow,” says Dr. Sapna Palep of Spring Street Dermatology in New York City. While benefits aren’t clinically established, derms tend to regard it as a worthwhile practice.
Seguro te ha pasado que te encuentras con alguien que hace mucho no veías y, no solo te das cuenta que tiene retoques estéticos en el rostro, sino que éstos, en lugar de hacerle ver más joven, lo avejentan.
En muchos casos, inclusive, el rostro se ve igual al de muchas personas que se aplican inyecciones cosméticas, como si fuese un procedimiento en serie que deja a todos luciendo de manera similar: con el rostro que parece hinchado y las mejillas protuberantes, como si tuvieran dos pelotas de golf.
¿Por qué sucede esto? ¿Acaso las inyecciones cosméticas hacen más mal que bien? Consultamos con Rian A. Maercks, cirujano plástico y fundador de Maercks Institute, quien nos ayuda a entender este… ¿efecto adverso de las inyecciones cosméticas?
Dr. Peterson Pierre, a certified dermatology and cosmetic dermatology specialist at the Pierre Skin Care Institute , explains that UV nail lamps use the same mechanism as sunbeds so they ”can pose a risk to skin health “ . “Gel manicures use UVA radiation to harden nail polish and make it less likely to splinter. Ultraviolet rays penetrate deep into the skin and damage collagen and elastin, two proteins that keep our skin young. This can lead to signs of premature aging such as dark spots and wrinkles. Cumulative DNA damage can lead to precancerous growths and eventually skin cancers, “says Pierre.
However, there are several other factors involved. ”First is the strength of the bulbs used that emit different amounts of ultraviolet light. Second, the amount of exposure to that light
and thirdly, the frequency of exposure. Given that manicures are usually performed one or Twice a month for a few minutes, the amount of exposure to ultraviolet light is relatively low, especially when compared to sun exposure. Therefore, health risks are low, but not zero, ”he says.