Kayla wrote in:

Hello!  I am curious what you think about essential oils.  They have recently become incredibly popular in my community, but I am pretty skeptical because so much of the enthusiasm is coming from those who have signed up as ‘distributors’ with doTerra or Young Living (2 essential oil multi-level marketing companies.). The biggest concern I have is that these companies (and all these new distributors) recommend taking many ...

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An article published in the New York Times last weekend has been circulating widely on the Internet, and I feel that more than ever, physician voices are needed to reach the public and counter certain misconceptions put forth by the media. The article, "Patients’ Costs Skyrocket; Specialists’ Incomes Soar," charts the growth of specialist incomes in the past decade, using the case of a patient from Arkansas who had a $25,000 medical ...

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Skin cancers are never truly benignI spent 4 hours on New Year's Eve sitting in the surgeon's chair getting a skin cancer taken off my nose. Nothing about the experience fits the "benign" label so many professionals, including yours truly, have used:  routine; easy to treat; nothing to worry about.  Friends, after this experience, which left me looking like a tall, white-haired Rudolph the ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 72-year-old man is evaluated for a 3- to 4-month history of diffuse, intractable itching involving most of the body. He uses emollients regularly. He cannot identify any precipitating causes. He was relatively healthy before the onset of the itch but now feels chronically fatigued. The itch is relentless. He has used ...

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Nothing puts more fear into the heart of an internist than a dermatologic chief complaint. And for good reason: we have very little exposure to the breadth of the field. To us, all rashes seem to be maculopapular, all bumps are pustules … or was that nodules? It’s not that we internists don’t care about the skin or don’t appreciate its complexity. Rather, we simply haven’t seen enough bumps, rashes, and ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 32-year-old woman is evaluated for a recurrent pruritic rash on her hands. She works as a dental hygienist and notices that it improves when she goes on vacation. Topical corticosteroids alleviate the rash, but it quickly recurs. On physical examination, she has scaling, erythematous patches on her dorsal hands, fingers, and wrists. She has ...

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As a light skinned, be-freckled woman with a history of pre-melanoma, I have been sternly instructed to keep my dermatologist on speed dial. Every six months I dutifully return to his office for inspection -- nervously eyeing the biopsy tray as I sweat through my paper gown, legs dangling from a vinyl exam table. In preparation for my most recent trip, I decided to be “an empowered patient” and ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Risk for Breast Cancer Low with Testosterone Tx. Women with symptoms of hormone deficiency had a substantially lower than expected incidence of breast cancer when treated with testosterone implants with or without an aromatase inhibitor (AI).
  2. HSV Vaccine Linked to Lower Viral Shedding. A therapeutic vaccine for herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2) virus reduced viral shedding and had an acceptable safety ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Psoriasis Often Goes Untreated. As many as 30% of patients with severe psoriasis received no treatment, and many others received only topical therapy.
  2. Breastfeeding Baby May Delay Breast Cancer. Breastfeeding for a longer period of time might have helped protect women from breast cancer, although the effect didn't appear to overcome the higher risk for women who smoked.
  3. Fluoroquinolones ...

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Melanoma refuses to abide the laws of general civilization The man who had been seated in room 2 by the medical assistant had been seen 6 months previously for a small, pigmented lesion behind his left ear, which a punch biopsy subsequently proved to be malignant melanoma in situ. He was sent to the Mohs surgeon in the interim who carefully excised just as much skin as was absolutely necessary and ...

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