Health and Disease, Uncategorized

HWA-WHAT IS COVID 19 LOCKDOWN DOING TO OUR MENTAL HEALTH

What Is the COVID-19 Lockdown Doing to Our Mental Health?

 

In the time of COVID-19, things move fast—and that goes for research, too. In fact, researchers out of the University of Sydney and the University of Adelaide in Australia have already conducted and published a study about the wellbeing of adults going through lockdown due to the virus.

sad lockdown

Researchers wanted to know: How does all this time cooped up under such stressful circumstances affect people’s health? Well, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected people mentally, as well as physically, says a study published in Psychiatry Research. Sure, it may seem like a no-brainer. But now we have evidence to prove it.

The main findings of the preliminary study include:

  • Adults in locations more affected by the virus experienced distress, lower physical and mental health, and reduced life satisfaction.
  • Adults who had existing chronic health conditions were at increased risk of lowered mental and physical health during lockdown.
  • Adults who had stopped working during lockdown were also at higher risk of harm to their mental and physical health.

To gather this data, researchers spoke to 369 adults living in 64 Chinese cities after they have been living in isolation due to measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 for one full month (in February of 2020).

 

The public's top concerns about coronavirus and mental health

“As many parts of the world are only just beginning to go into lockdown, we examined the impact of the one-month long lockdown on people’s health, distress and life satisfaction,” said study author Stephen Zhang, Ph.D., associate professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Adelaide, in a news release. He says the study may act like a “crystal ball” for what’s ahead for people in other countries where lockdown measures are approaching that one-month mark, like Australia and the United States.

The study suggests that adults with chronic medical issues reported lower life satisfaction during the outbreak—notable, considering the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that those certain chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart disease are at an increased risk of severe complications should they get ill with COVID-19.

Employment situations played a major role, too: Of those surveyed, more than one-fourth continued to go to work in an office setting. Thirty-eight percent worked from home, and 25 percent stopped work completely during the outbreak.

“We weren’t surprised that adults who stopped working reported worse mental and physical health conditions as well as distress,” study co-author Andreas Rauch, a professor at the University of Sydney, said in the news release. “Work can provide people with a sense of purpose and routine, which is particularly important during this global pandemic.”

Petition · Robert Bell: Increase mental health screening for newly ...

Another interesting finding in this study? Those who exercised more than 2.5 hours per day during lockdown reported lower life satisfaction, and those who exercised for half an hour or less reported positive life satisfaction. The study authors found these results surprising.

“It’s possible adults who exercised less could better justify or rationalize their inactive lifestyles in more severely affected cities,” said Dr. Zhang. “More research is needed but these early findings suggest we need to pay attention to more physically active individuals, who might be more frustrated by the restrictions.” While physical health is a major concern during this time, don’t let your mental health fall by the wayside. The CDC reports that it’s normal to feel extra stressed, anxious, or afraid during the COVID-19 pandemic—so it’s all the more important to take proactive steps to support your mental health during these unprecedented times. That may mean seeking the support of a therapist via telehealth, practicing self-care and relaxation techniques, and focusing on what you can control, experts say.

Other ways to cope with stress during this time include the following, per the CDC:

  • Listen to your body’s needs. During this stressful time, making your body a priority can be helpful. That may look like taking deep breaths, eating healthy meals, getting enough sleep, and staying active.
  • Take breaks from the news. When you turn on the TV or scroll through social media, it’s all pandemic talk, all the time. Taking a time-out from consuming news on the virus can be good for your mental health.
  • Make time for connection. We may be social distancing right now, but there are still ways to connect with others. Schedule video calls with friends and family to stay in touch and find support.

 

We are in this Together!

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

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WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Health and Disease, Uncategorized

HWA-LICHEN PLANUS AND LICHEN SCLEROSIS

 

 

Lichen Planus and Lichen Sclerosis: These Conditions May Mimic Yeast Infection or Herpes

Lichen Planus Clinical Presentation: History, Physical Examination ...

There are several gynecologic conditions that share similar symptoms. Vaginal itching, irritation, burning, and lesions or sores are most commonly associated with yeast infections or genital herpes. But when those two are ruled out, there are even more possibilities. For example, two vulvar skin conditions, called lichen planus and lichen sclerosus, can cause similar symptoms.

Lichen Planus: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Risks

 

What Is Lichen Planus?

Genital lichen planus is a dermatological (skin) condition that affects the vulva (outer genital area), vagina, and anus. In women, the condition can lead to scarring and chronic inflammation of the vulva, which may cause sexual dysfunction, according to Drexel Medicine.  Men can also get genital lichen planus, which shows up as pink, shiny, flat-topped papules in the genital area, according to a 2015 report.

This skin condition can also develop on other areas of the body, such as the inside of the mouth, the wrist, the ankles, and the lower back, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. While the cause of lichen planus remains unclear, it is considered to be a chronic autoimmune skin disorder with periods of flare-ups and remission. It may be contagious, with different variables, so it is always good to be cautious.

Lichen planus - Stock Image - C040/2238 - Science Photo Library

What Are the Symptoms of Vulvar Lichen Planus?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the following are possible symptoms of lichen planus:

  • Bumps and patches on the skin that itch
  • Soreness, burning, and tenderness
  • Blisters and open sores that may make urination and sexual intercourse painful
  • Pale appearance or white lacy pattern on the vulva
  • Yellowish discharge
  • Fragile and thin vaginal skin, which sometimes causes cracking and bleeding
  • If left untreated, this skin condition can erode the vaginal skin tissues, especially the labia minora (inner vaginal folds).

It is not difficult to understand how some women may mistake these symptoms for genital herpes (the presence of painful lesions) or some other sort of infection (itching, burning, and soreness).

What Is Lichen Sclerosus?

Lichen sclerosus is another chronic, auto-immune-inflammatory skin disease affecting the genital region that can mimic the symptoms of an infection such as a yeast infection or genital herpes. Lichen sclerosus can occur alongside lichen planus or can develop from erosive lichen planus (where the labia minora shrink and fuse to the labia majora).

Science Source - Lichen Sclerosus

What Are the Symptoms of Lichen Sclerosus?

The main symptoms are itching and soreness, according to the NIH. There may be white, shiny patches on the vaginal skin. Some people may have blisters and bleeding in the vaginal area and may notice that their skin tears and bruises easily. Lichen sclerosus can be extremely painful, making sexual intercourse a source of physical distress.

Non-infectious inflammatory genital lesions - ScienceDirect

What Are the Risk Factors for Lichen Sclerosus?

As with lichen planus, the cause of lichen sclerosus is unclear, but it may be related to an overactive immune system or hormones, according to the NIH. One study completed in 2008 found that women who have psoriasis may be more susceptible to being diagnosed with lichen sclerosus. It is more common in postmenopausal women as well, according to a report by the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

However, because of the similarities to other conditions, such as genital herpes, vaginitis, or yeast infections, some women may not realize they have lichen sclerosus or mistake it for other gynecological problems.

If left untreated, lichen sclerosus can progress and cause serious effects. In rare cases, it’s associated with an increased chance of vulvar cancer. About 4 percent of women with lichen sclerosus develop vulvar cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

a) Lichen sclerosus with dry, atrophic skin, vanishing of the ...

How to Get Treatment for These Symptoms

If you are experiencing itching, burning, soreness, bleeding, fissures, thick white patches of skin, or ulcers or blisters in the vulvar area, you should see your gynecologist. Most doctors will be able to diagnose these conditions by doing a vulvar skin biopsy.

Don’t try to guess at what these symptoms mean or try to self-diagnose. Many women suffer needlessly from lichen planus and lichen sclerosus because they think it is some sort of recurring yeast infection. Although both of these genital skin conditions can be chronic and without a definitive cure, there is treatment that is extremely effective. An early diagnosis and treatment can prevent pain, scarring, and damage to the vulvar skin and tissues.

While these conditions can’t be cured, they can be treated and managed. Cortisone creams have been found to be effective in reducing symptoms. Some people find that over-the-counter antihistamine creams help reduce pain and itching.

 

We are in this Together!

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

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