Feb 13, 2012, 3:05 GMT
Use moisturizers to wash feet with dried out skin
Berlin (dpa) - Split and dry skin on the heels should be treated by washing the feet in a mild moisturizing product, according to Anne Hundgeburth of the German association of dermatologists.
In addition, the feet should be rubbed with cream containing urea, ammonium lactate, hyaluronic acid or glycerine. These products help to retain moisture in the skin, allowing it to remain soft. By contrast, creams containing fats seal the skin too effectively, preventing perspiration from evaporating effectively.
Cracks tend to occur primarily at spots with thick calluses and corns that may be caused by ill-fitting shoes or unusually-shaped feet. The callused area often then dries out and cracks. The elderly and people with metabolic ailments like diabetes, zinc deficiency, psoriasis and neurodermatitis are particularly at risk.
Patients should seek medical advice when cracks in the skin begin to appear in any case, but definitely see a doctor should the cracks become inflamed, or should painful swelling occur, according to Hundgeburth. Patients should avoid attempting to treat the complaint themselves, as infections or injury could result.
Restless legs syndrome needs to be medically investigated
Berlin (dpa) - A tickling or itching sensation in the legs may be caused by restless legs syndrome (RLS). The symptoms usually occur shortly after going to bed for the night and often make falling asleep impossible. Those affected are forced to get up to relieve the symptoms, according to Curt Beil, a member of the professional association of German neurologists. The symptoms can persist for an hour.
As the ailment is frequently associated with nervousness, tension and feelings of insecurity, patients tend to attribute the symptoms to psychological causes, and for this reason the real causes can remain untreated over a long period. Beil advises seeking the advice of a neurologist who will be able to rule out other causes like circulatory ailments and ascertain whether kidney malfunction, iron deficiency, or other medication could be causing the symptoms.
Mild cases of RLS do not necessarily have to be treated with medication. The root cause of the symptoms is not entirely clear, according to the association. RLS can affect up to 10 per cent of the population, with a tenth of those suffering symptoms sufficiently acute to seek medical assistance. Slightly more than half of these are women.
Stroking animals is good for stress
Berlin (dpa) - Stroking an animal is good for stress, according to a long-term scientific study. The study, published in the February edition of a German animal lovers' magazine, found that eight-minute stroking sessions of a pet dog or cat were sufficient to cause a drop in the stroker's blood pressure and pulse rate.
Other beneficial effects include strengthening the immune system and improving the mood of the person doing the stroking. This is caused by a rise in the production of endorphins, also known as happy hormones, when an animal is stroked.
Vitiligo patients should avoid strong sunshine and stress
Berlin (dpa) - Patients with vitiligo, an ailment that causes depigmentation resulting in white patches on the skin, should avoid too much sunlight as well as stress. The condition renders the skin more sensitive to ultra-violet radiation, according to the association of German dermatologists, although they note that precisely this kind of radiation is often used to treat the ailment.