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Sagging skin

Skin sagging is something which is natural in that as we get older our skin begins to sag slowly in time. This is a fact that many people do not like to accept. There are at times though when skin sagging can be drastic and make someone look hideous and older than he or she actually is. When this happens, you are forced to take measures to bring that tightness back to your skin. There are many causes of skin sagging, most are natural while others are promoted by negative human habits. The natural causes are first and foremost the loss of elastin and collagen which are responsible for the tightness and elasticity of the skin. As we get older, the skin looses more and more of the elastin and collagen thus resulting in sagging of the skin. This is a path that everybody has to go through and is unavoidable no matter what. The second reason why our skin sags is because of been affected by ultra violet rays from the sun which lead to the formation of free radicals which destroy the cells responsible for keeping the skin tight. Since keeping away from the sun completely is very hard, one is advised to limit its effects on the skin by doing the following. By one using sunscreen whenever you are out enjoying some sunshine. The type of sunscreen you use all depends on your type of your skin. If you are very fair skinned, you are supposed to use the strongest sunscreen available.  You are supposed to still use sunscreen even if you are dark screened to make sure no ultra violet rays harm your skin, even though sun burning of dark skinned people is very rare. Secondly you can avoid getting burned by the sun by wearing protective clothing which cover your skin well and hats.

Third reason why our skin sags is because of gravity. From the day we are born until we die, gravity is something which is always pushing down on us. It makes sense in the long run if the skin starts to sag after enduring all of the gravity’s never ending weight. Fourth reason for the sagging of our skin is the use of hard substances which are toxic and interfere with the way the skin works. These toxic substances are like drinking of alcohol, smoking, taking of hard drugs like cocaine and heroin, etc. Fifth reason why our skin sags is because of the loss of weight quickly. When we lose weight quickly through exercise or surgery, the skin is not able to shrink quickly enough to the frame of the body thus making a big chunk of it to hang loose.  Reason for this sagging is because of loss of fats which initially was keeping the layers of the skin together and also because of the loss of muscles which are lost quickly in exercise if one is not lifting weights to build more muscle.

There are many things that you can do to make your skin have elasticity and minimize sagging in the long run. They are, use of skin firming creams, scrubbing skin with mineral salt, massaging it to allow blood to flow freely, weight training to add muscle, drinking lots of water, eating raw foods that promote balanced diet, just to mention but a few. If you have any more information concerning skin sagging, kindly contribute below in the comment section.

Effects of radiation on one’s skin

It is mostly people suffering from cancer who most of the times experience radiation these days. They get this radiation when they are receiving treatment through radiotherapy. A while back when nuclear reactors were a new thing, workers used to get exposed to dangerous radiation many times and most of the times they would suffer grueling deaths as a result of this. One such nuclear plant which leaked and affected many people is the Chernobyl nuclear power plant which is located in Ukraine in Eastern Europe. When it reacted in 1986, Ukraine was still part of the Soviet Union. The side effects of this exposure to nuclear radiation were many like the growth of cancerous tumors in people, changing of the skin color of people, and many other things. In this discussion we are going to discuss the effects of radiation on the skin specifically and what you can do to care for it while receiving the treatment.

There are many side effects that people experience on their skin when receiving radiotherapy. The obvious once that immediately show up are like reddening of the area receiving therapy in fair skinned people or darkening of the area receiving treatment in darker skinned people, the skin becoming dryer and itchy, the skin becoming more sensitive to the sun than usual, loss of body hair on the skin or the scalp, thinning of the skin, peeling may also occur, sometimes weeping or formation of moist areas may happen, and even hardening of the skin area. Different types of skin react differently. The skin becomes red or darker after therapy because of the effect radiation has on the melanin which is the organism in our body responsible for the creation of pigmentation. The skin becomes drier because radiation which is meant to kill the cancerous cells also kills good cells which are needed by the body in its normal functioning. It kills these normal cells because radiation is not able to differentiate between good cells and bad cells. It destroys all the cells it comes into contact with. When normal cells are destroyed the skin then starts showing a majority pof the side effects of radiation. These include dryness of the skin, falling off of hair since no hair cells are present to repair the hair follicles, and thinning of the skin since no new layers of new skin are been formed to replace the old skin which naturally falls off to give way to new skin.

Doctors’ advice people to take the following measures whenever they are having radiotherapy treatment. The first one is for you to use mild soap and water to clean the area been treated and avoid at all costs using any deodorant that has metal products in it which can work against the treatment.  Secondly, they advice that you avoid extreme temperatures like hot showers and steams, and direct sunlight. If you are forced to be under the sunlight, they advise you to wear a hat and protecting clothing that covers the vital area or areas been treated. Thirdly, they advise patients to use certain moisturizers to keep the area from swelling or redness. These doctors are usually the ones who provide these creams and moisturizers to their patients to avoid use of wrong moisturizers which may have fragrances which may irritate the area. Fourthly, they advise their patients to be gentle with their skin and use soft washcloths which do not scrub the skin roughly. This is just a tip of the iceberg when it comes to radiation and the skin. If you have any more information to add then kindly contribute by adding your comment in the comment section below.

Dermatitis

Dermatitis which is also interchangeably called eczema in some countries is a type of skin disease that is characterized by itchiness of the skin together with inflammation. The word dermatitis is usually used to refer to the larger group of all dermatitis variants which total more than ten. Some of these dermatitis diseases are common while others are a bit rare to occur. The most common are xerotic eczema, atopic dermatitis, seborrhoeic dermatitis, and contact dermatitis. Others which affect people less often are namely discoid eczema, dermatitis herpetiformis, autoeczematization, dyshidrosis, venous eczema, neurodermatitis, nummular eczema, stasis dermatitis, seborrheic eczema, and lichen simplex chronicus. Xerotic eczema is a type of eczema that is most common with the elderly. It develops when skin dries up so bad that eventually it develops into dermatitis. Many people may at first confuse it with another related disorder called ichthyosis which has more or less same symptons with xerotic eczema. Xerotic eczema becomes severe during dry winter and affects mostly the trunk and limbs. Some doctors claim that its shape on the skin resembles that of cracked dry river bed.

Atopic dermatitis is a type of dermatitis which is perhaps the most common and widely discussed form of dermatitis. It is incurable meaning that it is chronic in nature. Atopic dermatitis may start early when someone is as young as two months old and is often passed down genetically from parent to child. People with this form of dermatitis are also likely to have asthma attacks. Doctors are still trying to figure out why these two tend to go hand in hand. Its characteristics are an itchy rash on the head, scalp, behind buttocks, knees, and inside elbows. According to the United States National Library of Medicine which works in conjunction with NIH which stands for National Institute s of Health, some conditions can make atopic dermatitis worse. These conditions are like cold weather, animal allergies, perfumes or dyes added to skin lotions or soaps, emotional stress, colds and flu’s, contact with rough materials and irritants and chemicals. Contact dermatitis is caused like the name suggests by the skin coming into contact with a substance which is harmful to it. It is of two types. One of them is allergic and the other is irritant. Allergic results from a delayed reaction to an allergen while irritant results from direct reaction to a detergent.

Seborrheic dermatitis is considered to be often harmless and can be easily treated if someone is diagnosed with it. It is closely related to dandruff and in children it can occur if they lack biotin in their system. Stasis dermatitis is caused by poor circulation of blood in the legs. This leads to accumulation of fluids and blood in the legs which then triggers swelling. Once this swelling happens, the skin around the legs become irritated especially around the ankles. The above explanations are just a tip of the iceberg when it comes to dermatitis. Details about the disease can be found in medical libraries belonging to government institutions like centre of disease control (CDC).

Tropical skin diseases

There are many skin diseases found in the tropics that every traveler from America should be aware of before travelling there either for business or pleasure. Tropical weather is usually found in places where the equator passes through. In geography one would define them as the places found between the tropics of cancer and Capricorn. These areas are characterized by hot summers, warm winters, sometimes intense rainfall in the summer, and little rainfall in the winter. These means that all year round the temperatures are very warm and conducive for both plant and animal life. Unlike in other parts of the world where during the winter animals and insects have to hibernate and plant material remain buried deep in the snow. Parts of the world where tropical climate is found are most regions of sub Saharan Africa, almost all of south east Asia like Indonesia and India, the upper parts of Australia, and most parts of south America. The very nature of these regions leads to the abundance of many diseases, skin diseases been amongst them. Some of these diseases result from the combination of all environmental factors while others come as a result of insect bites.

Some of the skin diseases you will likely come across in your tropical ventures are petechiae, ecchymosis,erythematous rash,Dengue fever rash, trypanosomiasis rash, cutaneous lava migrans lesions,leprosy, leishmaniasis, favus, tinea imbricate, dracontiasis, buruli ulcer, chromomycosis, cutaneous ameobiasis, sporotrichosis, cutaneous tuberculosis, dengue,chikungunya, south African tick typhus, rocky mountain spotted fever, myiasis, tungiasis, loaloa, gnathostomiasis, tinea versicolor, tinea corporis, lyme disease, phytophotodermatitis, lymphocutaneous, just to menation but a few. These diseases are very many to the extent that they cannot be stated all of them here. Other diseases are yet to be fully researched on and so are works in progress for researchers. According to the centre for disease control website, skin problems generally fall into one of the following categories. The first category been those associated with fever, usually a rash or secondary bacterial infection. The second category been those not associated with fever. The root cause of many skin diseases in tropical areas is bacterial infection. Other diseases are caused by insect bites and a few by contact with other human beings. Some of these diseases are found in almost all tropical regions in the world. Others are found in specific regions, something which you can tell by just looking at their names. One such disease that easily lets you know where it is mostly found is the South African tick typhus.

According to doctors who’ve treated people coming back from tropical areas with skin diseases, most of the diseases contracted in tropical areas are not very serious and can be treated easily. However, some can be very serious and life threatening if not treated early. Some of these serious diseases are like leprosy. Due to a rise in immigration levels of people all across the world, doctors and researchers are continuing to discover cures to these diseases thus preventing outbreaks when people are travelling from the tropics. Some preventive injections and peels have also been developed making someone immune to some of these diseases whenever they are in the tropics. If you have been to the tropics or actually live there, kindly contribute to this discussion in the comment section and add any information we may not have touched on.

Melanoma

Melanoma is one disease that is serious enough to make people traumatized just by the mention of it. According to the government website cancer.gov, the definition of melanoma is a form of cancer that begins in melanocytes (cells that make the pigment melanin). The website says that melanoma may begin in a mole (skin melanoma) but can also begin in other pigmented tissues. In America alone, close to 80,000 new diagnoses are made every year and around 9,500 people die from it annually. Out of all fatalities caused by skin cancers, melanoma accounts for 75% of the cases. Melanoma can affect different kinds of people and people of all shades and races. But it is most prevalent in people who are very fair skinned with blue and green eyes. This group of people is that mostly found in Anglo Saxon countries in Europe like England and Germany. People with ancestry from these areas are more likely than others from Africa or Asia to get the disease. So serious is the disease among this group of people that in countries like Australian, those of European ancestry have the highest melanoma cases in the world. It is estimated that 1 in every 35 Australians of north western European ancestry will suffer from melanoma in their lifetime.

Melanoma has different stages of growth or cycles. According to National Cancer Institute, the first sign of melanoma is usually the formation of a new mole or a change in the shape, size, feel or color of an existing mole. The moles usually start small the size of a pimple and eventually grow overtime. It is between the epidermis and dermis where the first cancerous cells of melanoma begin to build up. If these cells called melanocytes are not removed in due time early, they then begin to spread to other areas. At the earliest stage of melanoma, surgery can get rid of the disease completely with no major complications. But once the disease spreads to other areas, things then become a bit complicated. The National Cancer Institute says that you can know the symptoms of melanoma by simply learning what is popularly known as the ABCDE’s. These ABCDE’s stand for asymmetry, border, color, diameter and evolving. Asymmetry means that when the mole is pressed down into halves, the one half of it will be bigger or smaller than its other half. Border means that the mole is irregular in shape with edges whose outline are blurred, rugged or notched. When it comes to color, the mole may have different colors like red, brown, grey, pink, blue, black and tan present. Diameter means that the shape of the mole may change in time from been small in size to been very huge and elevated. Evolving is used to refer to moles when they have changed their appearance and look from been small to large melanomas.

Melanoma is caused mainly by two things, genetics and ultra violet. Genetics plays a role in that the disease is passed down from parents to children. Studies have shown that those people with blood family members suffering from melanoma have a 50% chance of contracting the disease. The sun on the other hand leads to formation of melanoma when ultra violet rays burn the sun leading to formation of free radicals. These free radicals then lead to genetic mutation causing the cancerous cells. When detected early in stage 1, someone with melanoma has a 89 to 95 survival rate. In stage 2 the percentage reduces to between 45 and 79% survival. In stage 3 it reduces further down to between 24 and 70% survival. In the last stage which is stage 4, the survival rate drops to between 7 and 19% survival. There is a lot of information concerning melanoma out there; too much to the extent that it cannot be stated here all of it. If you feel the need to add it all, then kindly insert your comment in the comment section below.

Foods that are bad for the skin

As many of us already know, not every food you eat is good for your skin. Some foods are so bad for your skin that after immediately consuming them, you will begin to notice their effects on your skin immediately. Here we are going to look at these foods which should be avoided at all costs by anyone who has skin problems like acne or sensitive skin. The number one food that should be avoided is sugar. For many people who are addicted to sugary foods and drinks, this may be one of the hardest things to do since sugar is almost found in every product on our shelves. What sugar does to our bodies is it adds excess insulin in our system. This excess insulin is produced in our bodies as the body tries to turn all the excess sugars in our body into nutrients. Excess insulin in our bodies favors inflammation and leads to acceleration of the aging process. According to yahoo medical authors, when sugar enters the blood stream, it attaches to proteins and forms molecules called advanced glycation end products which are popularly written and known simply as AGES. These AGES damage collagen and elastin and also deactivate protective antioxidants found in the skin.

clearskindiet

Another food that is eaten almost on a daily basis and is found in our foods is salt. What salt does is increase inflammation of our organs both inside and outside. The reason for this effect of salt on our bodies is because salt is packed with sodium which favors inflammation. Somebody who eats a lot of salt directly and indirectly through foods like popcorns and crips is likely to have advanced forms of inflammation on their skin like pimples. Another food that should be avoided at all costs is fat. To be specific, not all fat is bad for your health. The type of fat that should be discouraged is from things like corn and sunflower which when heated and is taken into the body clogs blood vessels. When blood vessels are clogged,the skin is not able to get all the necessary nutrients it needs to stay healthy. These fats are mostly taken indirectly through fried foods like French fries. The type of fat that is good for the body is omega 3 and omega 6 fats. These types of fats are found in oily fish like salmon.

Another type of food that does not favor good skin is alcohol. What alcohol does is dehydrate the body. And since the skin is the largest organ in our body, it is affected the most. If it is a must for you to drink alcohol, then you should drink a lot of water at the same time. For every one glass of alcohol you drink, you should drink two glasses of water. The presumption already made here is that you’ve already drunk the recommended minimum of eight glasses of water as it is supposed to be every day. And speaking of drinks, caffeine is another food product that has the same dehydrating effect as alcohol. The dehydrating effect of caffeine on the skin though is very limited when compared with alcohol. This explains why so many people are able to drink coffee several times a day without feeling thirsty.

Body piercings and their effects on one’s skin

Body piercing is something which has been practiced for many years since time immemorial. The practice of body piercing or art as some like to call it is so old that in the Egyptian pyramids, earrings and other jewellery were found in the graves of the mummies. This just goes to show how old the practice of body piercing is. Body piercing can be defined as the act of making an incision in someone’s skin to allow ornaments and jewellery to be put into the newly created hole in that skin. Everywhere you travel around the world, people have been piercing their bodies for various reasons. In most Asian countries like India, china and Japan, body piercing was and is still to this day done for religious reasons, as a rites of passage ritual, as well as cosmetic value. In Japan when a samurai graduated from his sword training, it is said that they pierced their ears to show to the society that indeed they were now fully fledged warriors. In china, when a younger martial arts student attained the rank of a kung fu fighter, he got piercings to show his achievement. In India, body piercings are done mostly for religious reasons. It is common to find people of Punjabi region and tribe with all types of body piercings as a symbol of a certain religious code and god. Some of the Hindu priests have these piercings as a symbol of their religious devoutness. In America, body piercing was practiced by the Native Americans as well as its new inhabitants who continue to live in the present day country that we call the United States of America.

Body piercings can have a profound effect on the skin, most of which is not good. Some of the things that can happen to the skin after piercing it are make it susceptible to infection, lead to the formation of scars in the pierced area, damage the underlying blood vessels that support the skin, make the skin stretch abnormally, and lead to the spread of diseases which are transmitted through open wounds or openings. The skin becomes susceptible to infections because the opening done gives way to flesh which is sensitive to bacteria. Many people may take for granted piercing their skin when in fact it is a very serious situation which can eventually come down to between life and death. This is especially true for piercings which are done particularly in the navel area which is very sensitive and can as long as two years to heal. Any infection that goes through this area can affect intestines and lead to a systemic infection. Scars form in pierced area when the wound done heals. These scars may be unsightly especially when the piercings done are huge with complications such as healing problems which lead to open wounds.

Piercings can cause the blood vessels that support the dermis and epidermis layers of the skin to be damaged. When this happens, the skin may die off leading to it hardening up and becoming scaly. Another effect of the skin hardening is loss of feeling that come with the skin because the skin receptors are no longer working. Body piercings can also make the skin elastic that normal thus making it stretch. This is documented very well by observing those who wear certain jewellery for a very long time. A good example of these phenomena is observed by observing those who wear certain earrings which stretch the skin of the ear leading to it becoming permanently deformed. Once this skin is stretched, the whole process that it goes through cannot be reversed thus forcing you to leave with it as it is. Piercing is also dangerous in that it can lead to the spread of many diseases which are transmitted through blood. This happens if the tools used to make incisions are not sterilized well and are then shared between people. This means that if one of the people who have used the tool is infected with a disease like AIDS, then others who’ve used it also are likely to get infected from the disease. If you have any information about body piercing in general, kindly leave your comment in the section below.

Tuberous sclerosis complex disease

Tuberous sclerosis complex which is abbreviated as TSC is a disease which has a no cure and causes formation of non malignant tumors in many organs of our body. The organs which are commonly affected by it are the skin, heart, kidneys, brain, lungs and eyes. The fact that it affects serious body organs like the heart, kidneys and brain means that it can be fatal if left unchecked in a patient. The disease is genetic meaning it can be passed from parent to child. In fact the chances of a child contracting the disease are 50% if one of the parents has the disease. In United States alone, it is estimated that close to 50,000 people are suffering from the disease and 1 out of every 6000 children born has the disease. Some of the health issues caused by the disease are autism, intellectual disability whereby the ill person has trouble learning like a normal human being, seizures, and developmental delay. Even though these health issues might affect the quality or standard of life of the ill person, many people with the disease still manage to lead normal lives. And they are able to hold normal careers like those of doctors, engineers, and educators. The average life expectancy of someone with tuberous sclerosis complex is the same as that of a normal person. That is if the person with the disease is attended to by doctors to keep some of its serious conditions from getting out of control.

TSC

Doctors can tell if someone has the disease by using a couple of methods. One of them involves observing the skin. According to the website called tsalliance.org which is run by doctors who deal with treating and researching on TSC, TSC manifests itself in someone’s skin through appearance of light colored spots called hypomelanotic macules, and bumps on the skin of several different types. These bumps are like angiofibromas,cephalic fibrous plaques,shagreen patches,and ungual fibromas. Doctors use a combination of these features to diagnose the disease in mostly young patients. It’s only in TSC will these diseases appear together thus making it easier for doctors to make diagnosis. We are going to look at each of the TSC diseases above to see what they are and how they affect a TSC patient. Hypomelanotic macules is one disease that definitely stands out because of its ash leaf spots that appear on the skin. These spots have less than normal skin pigmentation which resemble the leaf of the European mountain ash tree. These less than normal skin pigmentation means that a TSC patient should use sunscreen to protect himself from sun damage whenever outside.

Angiofibromas is characterized by small bumps which appear mostly on the cheeks, nose, chin, and at times forehead of someone. People over 5 years old are the ones who suffer from this ailment. And as one gets older, the disease tends to reduce its severity and can ultimately disappear altogether in time. Cephalic fibrous plaque is sort of similar to angiofibroma. The difference between the two is the elevated enlarged skin that occurs in cephalic fibrous plaque which sometimes may need surgery to be removed. What is depressing for most TSC patients with this condition is the fact that this elevated skin occurs mostly on someone’s forehead and after surgery to remove it; a big scar may be present where it was. Shagreen patches appear mostly on people’s back and come as a result of excess amounts of fibrous tissue. They are elevated thickened pebbly skin and can be removed through surgery if one wishes. Ungual fibromas are located under the fingernails and can cause a lot of discomfort and bleeding whenever they push nails upwards. Even after treatment, these ungula fibromas disease can recur. If nyou have more information about TSC and specifically its effects on the skin, kindly add to this discussion what you know in the comments section below.

What Can You Do About Hair Loss?

Hair Loss Prevention

Did you know that most people shed anywhere from 50 to 100 hairs every day? Since we have over 100,000 hairs on our heads, this isn’t a big deal. It’s when we lose more than that or our hair stops growing back that it can become a problem and hair loss leading to thinning or balding can affect males and females.

Preventing hair loss really depends on the cause of the hair loss in the first place. Hair gradually thins as we get older, but there are other things that can cause us to lose hair, including hormonal issues, scalp and skin infections and disorders, and a medical condition called alopecia areata which is the result of the immune system attacking the hair follicles. Some medications used to treat depression, cancer, and other health conditions are also known to cause hair loss.

You may be surprised to know that medications and medical conditions aren’t the only causes of hair loss. Physical and emotional shock, like a death of a loved one or drastic weight loss can also cause hair loss. There is also a mental illness called hair-pulling disorder that causes the person the urge to pull out their hair. And, just like your grandmother may have warned you—hairstyles that pull the hair too tight can also lead to hair loss.

What You Can Do

While there are options to treat hair loss, like medications and hair transplants; prevention of hair loss in the first place is what we should strive for. Fortunately there are things that you can do to prevent hair loss depending on your situation:

Eat a balanced diet. Malnutrition can wreak havoc on your immune system and the skin on your scalp. Eat a diet that is rich in antioxidants. Beta-carotene in particular helps the hair’s sebaceous glands create sebum, which is an oily substance that conditions the hair and scalp. Your best sources for beta-carotene are fruits and vegetables, mainly those that are orange in color. The American Academy of Dermatology also recommends getting more protein since the body will shut down hair growth to conserve protein when it’s not getting enough.

Avoid tight hairstyles. You want to avoid or at least limit doing anything to your hair that causes traction. These can include ponytails, buns, and braids. Cornrows are particularly rough on the hair and known to cause breakage and hair loss. Weaves that use tight braids or adhesive to secure the artificial hair to your real hair should also be avoided.

Avoid using harsh products on your hair. Products containing harsh chemicals, such as hair dyes and bleaches, and gels and hairsprays high levels of alcohol can cause breakage as well as dry out the scalp. Limit the use of these products or look for natural options that don’t contain chemicals. You want to choose products that moisturize and replenish the hair and scalp and work to keep the hair strong rather than break it down. Look for products that are organic when possible and free of alcohol. Those containing natural oils or vitamins may also be beneficial in terms of keeping your hair and scalp healthy.

Keep stress levels down. Though it’s generally severe shock or stress like those mentioned above that can cause hair loss, stress has been found to impact the body’s immune health and make a person unhealthy. Stress management and relaxation techniques can help, as can getting professional help or support to deal with traumatic events. You can also limit the amount of hair loss from physical stress, such as that from extreme weight loss by adding supplements to your diet to be sure you’re getting adequate nutrition while losing weight.

Adrienne is a freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and beauty for more than a decade. When she’s not holed-up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddle board. You can connect with Adrienne on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/writeradrienne.

 

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