May 2007 News Tips

Note to media: To reach the media contacts for any of these health news tips, call the Office of News and Publications at 214-648-3404.


No need to sweat excessive perspiration

If you’re sweating out embarrassing perspiration for the upcoming prom or that summer wedding, consider Botox injections.

Best known for relaxing facial muscles to cut down on wrinkles, Botox works by blocking a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. The same neurotransmitter also sends the signal to stimulate sweat glands. The treatment takes about 15 minutes and involves several small injections in the armpits. Numbing cream is applied to the skin beforehand to make the procedure virtually painless.

“This is a popular treatment at this time of year for brides and grooms, as well as before prom or other events involving formal wear, for people who experience excessive sweating that can be a source of embarrassment or ruin expensive clothing,” says Dr. Erin Welch, a cosmetic dermatologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

People who experience excessive sweating, called hyperhidrosis, can also try prescription-strength antiperspirants and prescription pills that can temporarily decrease sweat production, but sometimes these can result in dry mouth and eyes as side effects. There’s also a surgery called sympathectomy that severs the nerves that signal the sweat glands.

Visit utsouthwestern.org/dermatology to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in dermatology.

Media Contact: Russell Rian


Make seasonal sun block a daily habit

Popular outdoor activities, from riding bikes to boating and lying on beaches, can mean wrinkles and skin cancer down the road if you don’t take time to put on sun block, dermatologists at UT Southwestern Medical Center warn.

If applying sun screen is only a seasonal habit for you during summer months, turn it into a daily habit, says Dr. Erin Welch, a UT Southwestern skin cancer specialist. “Since chronic sun damage adds up over our lifetimes, preventing every sunburn is important.”

Pick a sun screen with at least a 30 SPF (sun protection factor) if you’ll be outdoors more than 15 minutes. Make certain the sun screen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Apply it at least 30 minutes before heading outdoors and remember to reapply after swimming or sweating a lot, or after more than a couple of hours outside. Also consider a lip balm that contains an SPF of 15 or higher.

Visit utsouthwestern.org/cancercenter to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in cancer.

Media Contact: Russell Rian

May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month


A mother’s eating habits and body image affects her daughter’s

A mother who has unhealthy eating habits and a poor body image can negatively impact her daughter’s perspective on eating and weight, which can cause low self-esteem or endanger the health of a young girl, says Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Studies have long linked a mother’s and daughter’s food preferences, Ms. Sandon says.

For instance, if a mother drinks milk and eats a healthy diet, her daughter’s eating habits often will follow. If a mother obsesses about calories, dieting and losing weight, her daughter will also.

“A mother who openly expresses dissatisfaction with her own weight and body image is putting her daughter at risk for disordered eating habits, such as not eating when hungry,” Ms. Sandon says.

To promote healthy eating and body image, Ms. Sandon urges mothers to follow these tips, which are especially relevant as Mother’s Day approaches:

  • Be a positive role model for your daughter by “doing” rather than “telling.” Parents who eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains have children that eat them. Parents who don’t eat those foods but tell their children to do so often generate the opposite effect.
  • Set aside time for family mealtime. Do not discuss weight at the dinner table.
  • Exercise, together and separately.
  • Avoid using food as a punishment or a reward at mealtimes or any other time.
  • Keep negative thoughts about food, your body, and your child’s body to yourself. Discuss concerns privately with your doctor or dietitian.
  • Compliment daughters on qualities other than their appearance.
Visit utsouthwestern.org/nutritionto learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in nutrition.

Media Contact: Cliff Despres


Try gum for heartburn relief

If no antacids or other medications are available for unexpected heartburn, try a stick of gum.

Chewing gum stimulates swallowing and the secretion of alkaline, which could provide some temporary relief, says Dr. Stuart Spechler, a gastroenterologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center and a heartburn expert.

Swallowing helps to clear acid from the esophagus, and the alkaline in saliva can neutralize acid that remains in the esophagus after swallowing,” Dr. Spechler says.

Heartburn is generally caused by naturally occurring acids splashing back up from the stomach. Nearly 40 percent of Americans experience it at least once a month, according to the American College of Gastroenterology.

Visit utsouthwestern.org/digestive to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in digestive disorders.

Media Contact: Russell Rian

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