Health Scan: Dermatoscope can help women avoid breastfeeding pain

The dermatoscope is a hand-held tool currently widely used to characterize skin lesions. It helps to visualize and accurately diagnose by enlarging very small clinical details.

Doctor and patient (illustrative). (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Doctor and patient (illustrative).
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Although most new mothers want to breastfeed their babies after giving birth, many abandon the idea because of nipple pain. Despite wide recognition of the advantages of nursing, for mothers in their most vulnerable condition, withstanding further suffering is just not tolerable. The nipple is the site of an array of conditions, and if intervention is delayed or improper recommendations are given, it will eventually lead to soreness and severe pain.
In an article just published in Breastfeeding Medicine, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev researchers Dr. Sody Naimer and Prof. Zeev Silverman show how a dermatoscope can easily reveal the underlying condition.
The dermatoscope is a hand-held tool currently widely used to characterize skin lesions. It helps to visualize and accurately diagnose by enlarging very small clinical details.
The article presents vivid color photographs of the broad range of appearances of the normal enlarged nipple alongside examples of bacterial infections, fungal infections, friction sores and delayed abrasion healing. The authors hope that wide utilization of this technique will enable clear-cut diagnoses leading to focused accurate therapy, which would prevent superfluous medication, shorten suffering and allow women to continue nursing.
With growing interest in the Israeli healthcare system among doctors, health policy analysts and public health workers in developing countries are spending time here.
One was Divya Malhotra, a researcher with the Center for West Asian studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University. She was in Tel Aviv this past February for her master of philosophy degree field work on “Accessibility and Availability of Hospital Care in Israel,” with a focus on the involvement of patients in decision-making to improve patient compliance with medical advice and the ease of communication in a hospital based on language, gender, ethnicity and religion.
During her stay, she visited major Israeli medical centers and interacted with students, professors and experts.
She found that most respondents preferred doctors who understand their native language; those who got other doctors were given interpreter services. Language communications was a big issue when many new immigrants who did not know English or other languages besides Amharic arrived from Ethiopia in the 1990s.
For a country like India with 22 official languages and more than 150 spoken languages, Israel can teach how to provide quality care to a diverse multilingual and multicultural population, Malhotra said.
While Hindi continues to be the dominant language in northern India, there are many Indians in medically-deprived rural areas and cities in southern, western and eastern India who lack proficiency in Hindi or English.
When people from this population segment visit bigger cities like Delhi for medical consultation and treatment, language discordance becomes a serious concern, she continued. In addition to the language, expression and interpretation of information are affected by one’s culture.
In fact, cultural differences between patient and medical staffers also interfere with communication.
Malhotra said her trip to Israel was an eye-opener and that she is currently cultivating cooperative efforts with Israeli researchers to launch joint efforts in health policy analysis.
Smoking is associated with thicker heart walls and reduction in the heart’s pumping ability – two factors associated with increased risk of heart failure, according to research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging.
The study, conducted with participants with an average age of almost 76 and no obvious signs of cardiovascular disease, also found that higher rates of cumulative cigarette exposure (a measure of how much and how long people have smoked during their lifetime) were associated with greater heart damage. Studies have long established that smoking leads to heart attacks and is associated with heart failure even in people without cardiovascular disease, but no one has found a clear mechanism by which tobacco may increase the risk of heart failure.
“These data suggest that smoking can independently lead to thickening of the heart and worsening of heart function, which may lead to a higher risk for heart failure, even in people who don’t have heart attacks,” said Dr. Wilson Nadruz Jr., the study’s lead author and research fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
“In addition, the more people smoke, the greater the damage to the heart’s structure and function, which reinforces the recommendations stating that smoking is dangerous and should be stopped.”
“The good news is that former smokers had similar heart structure and function compared with never smokers,” said Dr.
Scott Solomon at Harvard Medical School.
“This suggests that the potential effects of tobacco on the myocardium migh