Health Talk With Adeola

health talk with Adeola

SKIN TALK: IT’S SUMMER TIME, LOTS OF SUN AND LOTS OF FUN

I have heard several times that dark skinned people feel they are protected from skin cancer and as such would not bother to use sun cream or hats or protect their skin in whatever form from the sun. Whilst it is true that the melanin present in abundance in the dark skinned offers some protection against some forms of skin cancer, it is also known is that the most severe form of skin cancer that is likely to spread and therefore more difficult to treat and in essence cure is commoner in the dark skinned population. Therefore I found it imperative to discuss this topic both for the benefit of both fair and dark skinned people and to help dispel the belief that dark skinned individuals do not need extra sun protection for their skin.
I hope you find my discussion on skin cancer below useful.

SKIN CANCER
health talk with Adeola

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. Around 100,000 cases are diagnosed each year. The main cause of all types of skin cancer is ultraviolet (UV) light which comes from the sun or tanning beds. The main types of skin cancer are Melanoma, Basal cell carcinoma (BCC), Squamous cell carcinoma-SCC)
Anyone can develop skin cancer but you’re particularly at risk if you have fair skin, lots of moles or freckles, red or fair hair, pale coloured eyes, used tanning beds, a family history of skin cancer or had skin cancer before, or take medication which affects your immune system. As against popular belief dark skinned people do get skin cancer and the most aggressive type of skin cancer are commoner in dark skinned people.

Get to know your skin

Getting to know your own skin will help you spot changes early and it’s important to know what’s normal. Moles and Freckles are common and most are harmless. Check your skin once a month and report any changes without delay to your doctor.

Moles:

Moles are small, coloured spots on the skin. Most people have them and they are usually nothing to worry about unless they change size, shape or colour.
It is normal for:

  • Babies to be born with moles.
  • New moles to appear: especially in children and teenagers.
  • Moles to fade or disappear as you get older.
  • Moles to get slightly darker during pregnancy.
Normal Moles
Melanoma

Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer with around six people dying every day. Common places to develop melanomas in men are the back and chest, and in women on the legs and arms, but changes can appear anywhere.
Any changes to moles should be checked by a doctor. The ABCDEguide is an easy way to remember some of the most common things to look for.

Other Types of skin cancer : BCC and SCC


These are some of the most common types of cancer in the world. They may first appear as:

  • A new, unexplained skin change which appears suddenly.
  • A spot or sore which continues to itch, hurt, scab, crust or bleed for more than four weeks or does not heal within four weeks.
  • Ulcerated areas or patches where the skin has broken down and does not heal within four weeks.

There are two main types of this cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC). SCC is fast growing while BCC develops slowly. If you notice any of the below changes to your skin you should discuss it with a doctor.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
health talk wiyh Adeola
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
What to do if you notice changes like these

If you notice any changes in your skin like the above, go to your GP as soon as possible. Lots of GPs are now able to send a photo to a specialist dermatologist, which can make diagnosis (and any subsequent treatment) much quicker.

When should I use sun cream?

Check out the Global Solar UV Index. This is a measure of the UV radiation level at the Earth’s surface and indicates the potential for skin damage. The greater the UV index value the greater the harm to skin. You need to protect your skin when the UV index is 3 or more. If you visit the Met Office’s website, they have a UV forecast on their homepage that you can customise to your location.

health talk with Adeola

What does SPF mean?

Sun Protection Factor (SPF) tells us the amount of protection sun creams offer against UVB radiation. It gives an idea of how much longer skin that’s covered with the sun cream takes to redden in response to UV, compared with unprotected skin.

What are UVA and UVB?

Both are types of ultraviolet radiation from the sun. UVB is the main cause of sunburn. UVA affects the elastin in the skin leading to wrinkles, leathery skin and brown pigmentation, and skin cancer.

The UVA seal (a logo with ‘UVA’ inside a circle) shows protection against UVA and meets the EU recommendation for sun creams to offer a UVA protection factor equivalent to at least a third of their SPF.

health talk with Adeola
How much sun cream should I apply?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 35ml for the total body – seven teaspoons (or a shot glass full): one for the face/head and neck, one for each arm and leg, and one each for your front and back. The hand on the left shows the average amount of sunscreen we typically apply in a single full-body application. The two hands is the amount we should be applying.

health talk with Adeola

Look after your skin.

Best Wishes,
Dr Adeola.


Acknowledgements:

Tenovus Cancer Care, Cancer Research UK, Patient.co.uk, www.nhs.uk

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All About Abuse – types, signs and prevention…

All about Abuse

In light of recent events regarding sexual, domestic as well as child abuse, I thought it imperative to write about abuse.

It is important for everyone to understand what abuse is, types and how to detect it.

What is Abuse

Abuse according to Wikipedia is the improper usage or treatment of a thing, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit. It also means the violent treatment of a person or animal. It is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights and in the worst cases can result in death. There are different types of abuse, and abuse in whatever form often leads to devastating outcomes.

Abuse can happen to anybody – young, old, male, female, animals even objects can be abused. Abuse is always wrong and can be difficult to talk about. This can be because of fear of stigmatisation, shame, guilt and confusion.

all about abuse

Abuse is often about power and the person who abuses uses that power to get an individual to do things they don’t want to do. It is hurtful either mentally or physically.

Abuse isn’t always carried out by a stranger, it can be by a familiar person, which can make it hard to speak out. The danger is, family or others who don’t know about the abuse will think it is safe to leave the victim with this person. This is why it is important to be aware of any abuse as soon as possible

Abuse is always wrong and if you tell someone, they can help to make it stop.

There are many different types of abuse and they all result in behaviour towards a person that deliberately or intentionally cause harm.

  1. Physical Abuse: This is when someone hurts another on purpose. It is the most common type of abuse and certainly the easiest form of abuse to spot as it is non-accidental harm to the body. It can range from physical injuries such as hitting, pushing, wounding etc. to things such as misuse of medication, inappropriate use of restraint and dehydration/malnourishment.
  2. Sexual Abuse: This is when an individual is touched where they shouldn’t be or forced, tricked, or pressured to take part in a sexual activity. Sexual abuse includes being touched, kissed or forced to have sex without consent and often by an older person.
  3. Psychological Abuse: also known as Verbal or Emotional Abuse is when an individual’s self-esteem and emotional well being is being damaged. It is deliberately causing emotional and mental pain. Verbal abuse is when an individual is being constantly shouted at and told horrible and demeaning things. While emotional abuse involves deliberately trying to scare, humiliate, isolate or ignore an individual. Emotional abuse can be part of other abuse and it can also happen on its own.
  4. Neglect: This is when a person – usually an elderly, young or dependent person is not being looked after or kept healthy.
  5. Modern Slavery: Modern Slavery is an international crime. Slave Masters and Traffickers will deceive, coerce and force adults into a life of abuse, callous treatment and slavery. It includes human trafficking, forced labour, domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, such as escort work, prostitution and pornography. Debt bondage – being forced to work to pay off debts that realistically they never will be able to pay etc is another form of modern slavery.
  6. Domestic Abuse: this could be a kind of ‘physical, sexual, psychological or financial violence, it, however, takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and forms a pattern of cohesive and controlling behaviour’. People should be aware that domestic violence is not always physical and also includes forced marriage and so-called ‘honour crimes’.
  7. Child Abuse: Child abuse is more common than we like to think and could happen to any child anywhere. Statistics show that every year thousands of children are abused physically by a parent or someone known. Child abuse is characterised by any actions of a carer that could potentially harm a child’s mental or physical health. Research shows that many aggressors were abused themselves as children. Child abuse, unfortunately, could take the form of any of the abuse types on this list including child labour and exploitation.
Abuse

Abuse is usually about power, it involves someone using their power to get another person to do what they do not want to do. Abusive behaviour can have a significant impact on our mental health and well-being – not only at the time of the abuse, but there can be lasting effects throughout a person’s life.

Abuse

Signs of Abuse

Child Abuse
  • unexplained changes in behaviour or personality
  • becoming withdrawn and isolated
  • seeming anxious
  • becoming uncharacteristically aggressive
  • lacks social skills and has few friends, if any
  • poor bond or relationship with a parent
  • knowledge of adult issues inappropriate for their age
  • running away or going missing
  • always choosing to wear clothes which cover their body.
  • Expressions of anger, frustration, fear or anxiety
  • An air of silence when a particular person is present
  • Insomnia
Abuse
Sexual Abuse
  • Low self-esteem
  • Uncooperative and aggressive behaviour
  • A change of appetite
  • weight loss/gain
  • Signs of distress: tearfulness, anger
  • Bruising, particularly to the thighs, buttocks and upper arms and marks on the neck
  • Torn, stained or bloody underclothing
  • Bleeding, pain or itching in the genital area
  • Unusual difficulty in walking or sitting
  • Foreign bodies in genital or rectal openings
  • Infections, unexplained genital discharge, or sexually transmitted diseases
  • Pregnancy in a woman who is unable to consent to sexual intercourse
  • The uncharacteristic use of explicit sexual language or significant changes in sexual behaviour or attitude
  • Incontinence not related to any medical diagnosis
  • Self-harming
  • Poor concentration, withdrawal, sleep disturbance
  • Excessive fear/apprehension of, or withdrawal from, relationships
  • Fear of receiving help with personal care
  • Reluctance to be alone with a particular person
Physical Abuse
  • Physical evidence of violence such as bruising, cuts, broken bones
  • Verbal abuse and humiliation in front of others
  • Fear of outside intervention
  • Damage to home or property
  • Isolation – not seeing friends and family
    Limited access to money
  • No explanation for injuries or inconsistency with the account of what happened
  • Injuries are inconsistent with the person’s lifestyle
  • Bruising, cuts, welts, burns and/or marks on the body or loss of hair in clumps
  • Frequent injuries
  • Unexplained falls
  • Subdued or changed behaviour in the presence of a particular person
  • Signs of malnutrition
  • Failure to seek medical help.
  • Low self-esteem
Abuse
Men and boys can also be victims of abuse
Signs of Psychological Abuse
  • Fear
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Loss of sleep
  • Unexpected or unexplained change in behaviour
Signs of Neglect
  • Malnutrition
  • Untreated medical problems
  • Bed sores
  • Confusion
  • Over-sedation
  • Deprivation of meals may constitute “wilful neglect”

Conclusion

Abuse is never good and we all should do everything possible to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone around us. Let’s all be aware of the signs so that we can look out for it not just with our children, but with their friends, neighbours, employees, colleagues etc. You may help save a life by being observant.

During my research on abuse, I came upon a type of abuse which may not seem so common but is apparently very common now in our society.

Religious/Spiritual Abuse

“For from the least to the greatest of them,
everyone is greedy for unjust gain;
and from prophet to priest,everyone deals falsely.
They have healed the wound of my people lightly,saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.

Jeremiah 6:13-14

Spiritual abuse revolves around a person’s spirituality or religion. This type of abuse includes attacking another’s belief system, denying access to a house of worship or forced participation in a cult and exploitation

Spiritual abuse’ covers a wide variety of behaviours, but can be summarised as the use of spiritual authority or spiritual means in order to demean, manipulate, control or exploit someone. It involves Psychological manipulation and could be intentional or innocent. Sadly spiritual abuse could take the form of financial exploitation as well as sexual abuse and parents should be observant of their children and relationships with spiritual/religious leaders as well as religious brothers and sisters.

My major concern is on child abuse. It’s hard to believe the stories coming out recently about sexual (child abuse) that has been going on over the years. It gladdens my heart that victims are now finding their voices and talking about their experience thereby finding healing as well as helping people know what to look out for.

Victim Blaming

If you’re one of the people who blame victims, please desist from this. You were not present and have no idea what victims have endured over the years. Some successfully block such encounters but not all can do this. Whilst I’m aware that some ladies lie about it, most of the cases are true and the victims should be supported not victimised.

Predators

Predators are people who ruthlessly exploit others. A common trend in sexual abuse stories is the predators are usually known to the victim. Predators are usually people children are familiar with and have access to the children. We’ve seen sad cases of fathers, uncles, cousins, brothers and sisters as well as domestic help molesting children. The best a parent can do for their child is to be present. If you can’t be present most of the time please be observant and ask questions. If you can, put CCTV around the house and any other security measure you can.

Please be aware that female employees also abuse, don’t let your guards down because you have a female maid, female maids have also been known to abuse both male and female children sexually, emotionally as well as physically.

Keypoints

  • Be accessible, let your child(ren) know they can tell you anything
  • Tell them about their body, let them know what part of the body is private and should never be touched by anyone.
  • Assure your children that there is nothing at all they do that can ever be too bad to tell you, let them know you’ll love them no matter what.
  • Teach your children to respect other peoples privacy and body.
  • Let your children know anyone who tells them to keep a secret should be reported.
  • Let them know they should scream if they find themselves in a situation they’re not comfortable with.
  • Do not leave your child(ren) alone with drivers, lesson teachers etc.

They’re so many things to look out for as we live in a wicked dark world, the best we can do is be vigilant. Ask questions, more questions and even more questions and don’t make any topic a taboo.
Please beware of grooming.

Grooming is when someone builds a relationship, trust and emotional connection with a child or young person so they can manipulate, exploit and abuse them. Children and young people can be groomed online, in person or both – by a stranger or someone they know. This could be a family member, a friend or someone who has targeted them – like a teacher, faith group leader or sports coach.

It can be difficult to tell if a child is being groomed – the signs aren’t always obvious and may be hidden. Older children might behave in a way that seems to be “normal” teenage behaviour, masking underlying problems.

Signs of grooming include:
  • being very secretive about how they’re spending their time, including when online
  • having an older boyfriend or girlfriend
  • having money or new things like clothes and mobile phones that they can’t or won’t explain
  • underage drinking or drug taking
  • spending more or less time online or on their devices
  • being upset, withdrawn or distressed
  • sexualised behaviour language or an understanding of sex that’s not appropriate for their age
  • spending more time away from home or going missing for periods of time.

A child is unlikely to know they’ve been groomed. They might be worried or confused and less likely to speak to an adult they trust. If a teacher is taking interest in your child and showing them favour be very careful and report to school authorities if it’s getting out of hand. Let your child know to inform you if any teacher is giving them preferential treatment.

The world is innately evil, abuse didn’t start today and unfortunately won’t end anytime soon. The best we can do is empower our children by giving them information so they know what to do if they find themselves in such situations. Please be a present parent and an ever-ready listening ear to your children, that’s the best service you can offer them.

Good luck to us all.

Recommended books for children

Aunty Lulu

Recommended reads on safety

https://www.myauntylulu.com/emergency-101-how-informed-should-children-be/

https://www.myauntylulu.com/drug-addiction/

CREDITS

https://www.tameside.gov.uk/AdultServices/Safeguarding-Adults-Signs-and-Symptoms-of-Abuse

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/

https://www.scie.org.uk/safeguarding/adults/introduction/types-and-indicators-of-abuse

https://www.personnelchecks.co.uk/info-centre/safeguarding-hub/types-of-abuse/

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