The Himalayan Times-Medical board

Sunblock prevents skin cancer

I am 15yrs old and my skin is oily and I always have to walk on sun and for that I have to wear sunblock. For this what I should do? — Shres

Oily skin is a very common problem, affecting many, and seen mostly in youngsters. Oiliness is due to sebum (oily secretion of skin) produced by sebaceous glands, which are located on seborrhoeic sites such as face, scalp, mid chest and mid back. Some of us are oilier and than others, which probably has a genetic base. Oiliness gives undesirable look and is also a major cause of pimples, folliculitis (boils) and a type of eczema known as seborrhoeic dermatitis.

So how would you take care of oily skin?

Rule no 1 – Avoid or use less, oily creams, when necessary choose a lotion/milk form.

Rule no 2 – Wash frequently but gently with small amount of soap or face wash, twice or thrice daily. Washing only with water will not remove the oily secretions. Rule no 3 – Use a soap, which does not contain glycerine, better a face wash with 5.5pH.

Sunblocks protect from sunlight (UVA & UVB) and moistens the skin. Sunblocks delay the photo aging of skin and also protects from skin problems due to ultraviolet rays, including skin cancer. But if you have oily skin it’s better that you use sunblocks when really necessary, as most of them are oily. So choose a sunblock where it is written ‘non greasy’, or one in gel form. If available you can use water based sunblocks, which are not oily but much more expensive.

— Dr Dwarika Shrestha

My mom is about 50 years old and she had breast cancer. She had two operations two years back. These days she feels weakness and shivers as well. Would it be okay if she does simple exercises? What kind of exercises would be good for her? How could she feel better since she needs to do a lot of work at home? Please specify.

— Nagen Karki

Gone are the days of prolonged bed rest the present trend is to get one back to normal life as early as possible. After the age of forty one’s physical system only goes downhill and exercise is like the brake that’s going to control or delay the aging process. Of course exercise depends upon the particular individual and what disease. In your mother’s case, deep breathing, stretching, and walking would be a good. Popular alternative form of exercise in yoga asan, meditation, etc which especially suit our culture and lifestyle can be followed as well. You also mention weakness and shivers. Cancer has to be followed up with blood tests & scans at regular intervals, so you must visit your surgeon or oncologist for these particular symptoms. Lastly, any form of cancer patients needs counselling which unfortunately is still not readily available in our country.

— Dr Ranjit Baral

I am unmarried girl of 24 I have been suffering from lower stomach pain during the period of menstruation. My sister had the same problem but after she got married she no longer has the problem. I have visited many doctors but couldn’t find appropriate solution to the problem. I have been taking soludol whenever I have pain in my lower stomach during the periods. What should I do? — DDA

Many women feel pain and abdominal discomfort during menses. There are many causes for that – some of them are physiological, psychosomatic (ie a physical expression of some other problem) and some may be pathological.  A little bit of pain and discomfort may not really require any treatment and certain measures like a hot water bag and ordinary painkillers like paracetamol may suffice. Sometimes the pain can be very severe and may be accompanied by nausea, low grade fever and even vomiting and diarrhoea. The first thing to do is undergo an examination by a doctor. If you are unmarried, you may need to get an ultrasound examination done to rule out any uterine/pelvic abnormalities. Any abnormality if detected will be treated accordingly. If there is no obvious abnormality, then certain painkillers like Brufen, mefenamic acid (Meftal 500), drotaverine (Drotin) will help.

You mentioned your sister had the same problem and it got better after she got married, this seems to be the belief among many people, which is not true. Marriage is not the cure to period pains however, there is one condition known as ‘endometriosis/adenomysis’ which is classically causes severe pains during and after menses (in this condition, cessation of menses is the recommended treatment) after marriage

when the woman gets pregnant, and her menses stops for nine months or more, the condition may get cured.

In your case I would suggest you get an ultrasound examination done and if that does not reveal any abnormality, then try the painkillers I have suggested above, if that does not help, then consult a gynaecologist for more advanced treatment.

— Dr Kundu Yongzam 

My child is a month-old and I am breastfeeding her. She vomits even after she has been burped. This happens quite often. Should I worry or is it normal?

— Megha Gurung

Vomiting is one of the symptoms very commonly and frequently seen in children. It happens from various causes. It may be the first symptom of any infection- such as ear, throat, chest, and urine infection in the body. However in your case, vomiting after feeding would indicate ‘possetting’, I presume your child is well otherwise.

A small amount of feed coming up frequently in small babies is called ‘possetting’ and this is normal and very common. The child would be growing normally and putting on weight adequately. Bringing up large amounts of milk soon after feeding would indicate Reflux. This usually happens as a result of weakness of the muscles around the gastro-oesophageal junction and this will improve with time. Adopting slight inclined posture with head up for few hours soon after feeding is one way to reduce Reflux. Thickening the feeds and introduction of solids at five months of age will improve the Reflux. The vomiting will lessen with time as the child begins to adopt an upright posture – usually by six months of age. Further

Investigations are needed only if the child is failing to put on weight and there is failure to thrive or the vomiting is excessive and frequent.

The only caveat to what I have said earlier is that hidden urinary tract infection is one that can be missed in small children and the best way to check on this is to send off a urine sample for routine and culture. I would advise you to do this at the outset.

— Dr Kishore Pandey 

The doctors on THT Medical Board are

• Dr Sanduk Ruit

Medical Director, Tilganga Eye Hospital

• Dr Bhagwan Koirala

Director, Shahid Gangalal National Heart Centre

• Dr Upendra Devkota

Chief of Neurosurgery, National Institute of Neurological and Allied Sciences

• Dr Kundu Yangzom

Chief of OBGYN Services, Patan Hospital

• Dr Kishore Pandey

Pediatrician, CIWEC

• Dr Sameer Aryal

Dentist, Advanced Dental Care

• Dr Dwarika P Shrestha

Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, Teaching Hospital

• Dr Ranjeet Baral

Consultant Cardiologist and General Physician, Member of International Aviation Medicine Panel

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