As a physician, I have come to cherish good health!
On a daily basis I have the opportunity to witness health, both good and poor, in its many forms. The human body is an amazing entity with an almost limitless array of states. Anyone who doubts this need only start an internet search on “health”, or more primitively, they can look in my basement at the ridiculous number of medical textbooks and journals I have somehow accumulated over the years.
Some factors of the human body and health are obvious. For example, those who exercise regularly have better cardiac reserves, whereas those who lack insulin develop diabetes. Others are more nuanced, such as the impact of topical applications on our metabolic state. Through this blog I would like to take us on a journey of exploration of novel scientific data relating to health, fitness, beauty, and wellness. There is a treasure trove of fascinating scientific information just waiting for our perusal and consideration. One quick example is an interesting article I recently discovered that relates to my illustration above.
While scrutinizing the medical literature for scientific gems concerning skin absorption, I found a series of interesting cases dating back to Rayner in 1886¹ and now routinely quoted in modern medical literature 2.3.4. It seems, back in the day, the compound aniline was an ingredient of the dye hospitals used to mark their linens. This was not a problem to most patients; however, when a cloth diaper with an unlaundered stamp made moist contact with a preterm infant, the babies literally turned blue, developing a significant disorder called methemoglobinemia. Yes, there was enough absorption of the dye through the skin of these babies to trigger a devastating metabolic cascade.
Now, before we all start running around naked for fear of what our skin may be absorbing, we must remember that we do not have the skin characteristics of a preterm infant. Our skin is mature and therefore much less permeable; plus, we are significantly larger and have a more robust metabolic system. Even the skin and metabolic system of a full-term, newborn infant is significantly more “intact” and robust, so please go put that diaper back on your baby – there is no need to panic! However, maybe, just maybe, there is cause for a moment’s consideration of how our environment, intentionally or not, can affect our personal health.
As stated, I cherish good health. Consequently, I am mindful of the many little things we can each do to support and promote wellness in ourselves and in others. I am excited to have this opportunity to share scholarly, scientific, and, I would argue, extremely interesting articles related to health, beauty, fitness, and wellness for your consideration. May we all appreciate our good health and create futures filled with wellness.
1 Rayner, W.: Cyanosis in Newly Born Children Caused by Aniline Making Ink. Brit. M.J.1: 204 (Feb. 13) 1886
2 Neonatal Hematology: Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Management of Hematologic Problems. Second Edition Edited by Pedro A. de Alarcon, Eric J. Werner and Robert D. Christensen
3 Comprehensive Reviews in Toxocology: For Emergency Clinicians By Peter D Bryson
4 Fanaroff and Martin’s Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine: Diseases of the Fetus and Infant 10th Edition by Richard J. Martin, Avroy A. Fanaroff and Michele C. Walsh
Written by: Dr. Monica Penner