HEALTH NOTES: Sticky tape eczema test for newborns gives medics an early warning about the painful skin disease
Scientists have developed a simple test using sticky tape that can predict whether newborns will go on to develop childhood eczema.
Italian researchers used the tape to collect skin cells from babies’ hands at two months, and then again two years later.
They found that newborns with higher levels of the compound thymus and activation-regulated chemokine were more than twice as likely to have then developed eczema.
Scientists have developed a simple test using sticky tape that can predict whether newborns will go on to develop childhood eczema
Eczema affects up to one in five children, causing cracked and itchy skin which can become infected.
Study author Dr Anne-Sofie Halling, from Copenhagen University Hospital, said that discovering eczema risk early on would help doctors treat and prevent the skin problem.
Asthmatics’ lungs helped by a ‘kettle’
Inhaling steam from a high-tech type of kettle could help to strengthen asthma sufferers’ lungs.
In a trial, Finnish patients with the lung condition used a WellO2 breathing training device for 15 minutes a day.
The breathing exercise involves gently inhaling the steam and then blowing it back into the device. A valve inside the spout partly blocks the airflow, so muscles in the chest and neck must work harder to force the warm air through.
It was found to strengthen lung volume by up to 20 per cent in just four weeks.
Inhaling steam from a high-tech type of kettle could help to strengthen asthma sufferers’ lungs
Athletes have long sworn by ice baths to aid recovery after intense training, but the practice may actually hinder muscle growth and decrease strength, according to new research.
Scientists from Norway, New Zealand and Australia studying the physiological effects of ice baths concluded that those using them should ‘reconsider’. Other studies suggest ice baths can ease muscle soreness after exercise, but extremely low temperatures may hinder the production of cells and proteins that aid muscle repair. Alternative recovery techniques include massage and warm baths.