How to make your legs look better

Dermatologists can now effectively remove unsightly spider veins from the legs with new techniques.
Up to 50 per cent of the population are said to be affected by spider veins, which are tiny, dilated blood vessels appearing on the legs or the face. Some people find them ugly and embarrassing. Either they’ll refuse to expose their legs, or they’ll try to compensate with cosmetics or a heavy suntan (increasing their risk of skin cancer).

However, Dr Margaret Weiss, a dermatology professor at Johns Hopkins University, points out that spider veins on the legs can now be treated effectively. You could opt for treatment with one of the new infrared lasers, which can penetrate to the vascular layer of the skin, where the vessels are located.

The other option is sclerotherapy – which involves injecting a special solution into the veins. This irritates the linings of the vessel, making them swell and stick together. Over a period of weeks, the vessel is transformed into scar tissue which is harmlessly reabsorbed into the body. The veins fade away, although this may take a few months. Consult your dermatologist to see which treatment will work best for you. After all, you have nothing to lose but those unsightly spider veins.

Prostate cancer gene discovered

Researchers have found a gene that seems to play an important role in susceptibility to prostate cancer.
The highest risk of prostate cancer and mortality from the disease occurs in African-Americans. A new study, from researchers at Wake Forest University and Johns Hopkins Medical School, now reveals that a gene plays an important role in the disease,

They looked at families who had a number of men with prostate cancer. The study showed up a number of mutations in a gene called MSR1 (macrophage scavenging receptor). One mutation was found in 4.4 per cent of Caucasians with prostate cancer, compared to 0.8 per cent of those who were unaffected. Another mutation was found in 12.5 per cent of African Americans with the disease, compared to just 1.82 per cent of unaffected men.

The MSR 1 gene is involved in fighting infection. So maybe defective versions lead to infection and inflammation – which are already thought to play an important role in cancer.

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