Weekly Newsletter

How to battle itchy skin and holiday heart syndrome

Whether referring to an irritated skin condition or a booze-free holiday, we dive into all things dry in our weekly newsletter.
A young white woman wearing a black and red plaid shirt stands in front of a barn holding boughs of evergreens.

Without moisture. Without intrigue. Without alcohol. This week, we dig into the latest health and wellness news surrounding all things dry—from itchy skin to alcohol intake.

Here’s the latest on rumors that germaphobes are over-handwashing, the surprising thing dermatologists suggest to level up your skin hydration + how going dry-ish can lower risk of acute heart issues this season.

Plus, news about abortion rights on the ballot, virus numbers + the future of insect-borne illness. But first, it's time to get your...

  • The Checkup: all the good, warm feels
  • Colder + Wiser: tips that work winters
  • Healthcare: the polls + virus #s + spread

The Checkup

The (college) kids are (al)right

Close-up of two young happy Black women embracing while preparing xmas cookie boxes at home.

According to the Huffington Post, a third of college kids are scrubbing up 11-20 times a day. The New York Post decried the students as germaphobes. But experts say there’s no cause for alarm.

The CDC recommends hand washing before + after meals and after using the bathroom—those alone can create double-digit results. Then, there’s washing your hands after sneezing/coughing, handling garbage, tending pets, etc.

Bacteria thrive on tables, bathrooms, computers + more. So let's all just go about our sudsy way... and maybe stuff those stockings with extra hand cream?

Lighten up! (your skincare routine)

Barefoot young female in glasses wrapping and decorating christmas gift with dried leaves while sitting on floor in cozy room at home.

When it comes to caring for dry skin in the deep winter months, dermatologists warn that less is more.

Our skin barrier protects against stressors like allergens + pollutants. But products with additives and those that activate (think retinoids, vitamin C + lactic acid) can also stress skin, making it drier, redder + blotchier. They can even cause breakouts, rosacea and eczema.

The best way to promote healing + protect your skin includes using only a gentle cleanser, moisturizer + sunscreen. Want to identify specific culprits? Toss any product that makes your skin feel tight or itchy—especially those with alcohol, fragrances or exfoliants. Then choose gentle products that are fragrance free + extra creamy.

To avoid scratching, get more details in the New York Times.

And if you already manage dry, itchy skin, explore Dr. B’s $15 online dermatology treatments.

Holiday heart (attack?!)

Mature Hispanic woman kissing a young male on the cheek during Christmas dinner preparation in a festive kitchen at home.

Many of us drink during the holidays to celebrate + curb stress. But on top of wearing down our immune system, experts warn that drinking more than two drinks in an hour can trigger holiday heart syndrome.

Symptoms include irregular, rapid heartbeats (atrial fibrillation or AFib), low blood pressure, a thready pulse, slow/irregular heart sounds + lower body swelling. Alcohol is a factor in up to 62% of aFib ER visits this time of year.

Young adults + those with no prior heart issues are not immune.

Learn more at the Today Show or scroll back to The Checkup for tips to help you stay hydrated this season.

Healthcare 411

Conservatives move to keep abortion off the 2024 ballot (Politico). Anti-abortion groups are challenging abortion rights coming up for vote in November + republican politicians are undermining initiatives that protect abortion access. They're also blocking the implementation of approved initiatives. Progressives view these tactics as an attempt to undermine the majority belief in abortion access proven in last November's election.

As winter virus activity picks up, CDC warns of 'urgent need' to boost vaccine coverage (NBC). Hospitalizations have increased by 200% for the flu, 51% for Covid-19 + 60% for RSV. Low vaccination rates are a significant factor. Health experts expect to divert care in the coming weeks because of the impending strain on our healthcare system, which could be minimized if more patients get vaccinated ASAP. If you get Covid-19 (or the flu) and are at high risk for severe illness, come to us for same-day prescription treatment online. Our $15 online healthcare is open on holidays, too!

Explore our online Covid-19 care

The US is unprepared for the growing threat of mosquito- and tick-borne viruses (NPR). Medical entomologists at a recent National Academies of Science workshop say global warming will continue to increase cases of dengue, Zika + and other viruses in the US if we “don’t do anything.” Success stories include cleaning up environments where insects breed, teaching children about vector control + alerting communities when local cases are high.

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