Weekly Health Watch on how to care for your skin during the colder weather, new research on "sexting" among teenagers and much more.
Colder months present unique challenges for keeping skin moisturized, protected and smooth. Follow the tips below during the fall and winter months to avoid dryness, itching and other skin damage associated with dry, cold weather.
* Moisturize. Keeping the moisture level up in your skin is important all year-round, but it's an absolute necessity when the dry, cold air arrives.
* Humidify. If you find yourself constantly suffering from dry skin, try sleeping in a room with a humidifier, so skin can take a break from being exposed to dry air.
* Protect yourself from the sun. Even though the weather isn't warm in most places, the sun can still harm skin during the winter months, so be sure to apply sunscreen before heading outdoors for extended periods.
* Adjust bathing habits. A piping hot shower may feel like just what you need on a cold day, but skin care experts recommend turning it down a bit in temperature for a more skin-friendly wash. Use gentle soaps and cleaners that allow your skin to retain as much of its natural moisture as possible.
-- Eucerin/ ARA
New Research: Child mortality rate down
An annual report by the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation shows that in 2011, an estimated 6.9 million children died before their 5th birthday, compared to around 12 million in 1990. Rates of child mortality have fallen in all regions of the world in the last two decades – down by at least 50 percent in eastern Asia, northern Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, south-eastern Asia and western Asia.
-- World Health Organization
Did You Know?
Nearly 1 in 3 American adults (67 million) has high blood pressure, and more than half (36 million) don’t have it under control. -- CDC
Health Tip: Workout with family
Try some of these tips to get your family moving, healthy and happy. Get out those jump ropes, hula-hoops and basketball. Play hopscotch. Grab some chalk and draw a ladder on the driveway, then time yourselves doing fast feet or single leg jumps along the rungs. Get a quick pick-up game of hoops started, or play a game of four-square. Try to think of it as active family playtime instead of workout time.
-- Life Fitness
Number to Know
131 billion: High blood pressure — blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90 mm Hg — is responsible for direct health care costs of almost $131 billion each year. -- CDC
Children’s Health: ‘Sexting’ linked to sexual activity
“Sexting,” the sending or receiving of sexually explicit text messages or photos via cellphone, appears to be part of a cluster of risky sexual behaviors among adolescents, rather than a substitute for “real world” sex, according to a study that involved more than 1,800 Los Angeles high school students. Adolescents who said they had sexted were more likely to report being sexually active, and were more likely to have had unprotected sex during their most recent sexual encounter.
-- American Academy of Pediatrics
Senior Health: Fight high cholesterol with tomatoes
If you are combating high cholesterol, try eating tomatoes, which are high in lycopene, a plant compound that reduces levels of LDL cholesterol. Research shows the body absorbs more lycopene if the tomatoes are processed or cooked, like tomato juice, marinara sauce and tomato soup. A small amount of olive oil can also help increase absorption.
GateHouse News Service