Smoking and the Effects It has on Your Skin

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476562141Most people know the common health complications associated with smoking, like lung cancer and heart disease. However, there are also a number of ways that smoking can affect your skin, many of which are quite serious.

Aging Skin

Smoking can cause your skin to age more quickly. You’re more likely to develop wrinkles, crow’s feet and drooping skin at an earlier age. You can also be subject to broken blood vessels and uneven skin coloring, and your skin can become dry and coarse.

Wound Healing

Smoking makes wounds heal more slowly. When you smoke you have a greater risk of graft or flare-up failure, wound infection, blood clot formation and death of tissue. Smoking also contributes to leg ulcers, specifically diabetic foot ulcers and arterial ulcers.

Viral Infections

Smoking makes you more susceptible to viral infections like genital warts. If you smoke and have genital warts, there is a greater chance that you could develop cancers associated with the wart-virus. This includes cervical cancer, vulvar cancer, intraepithelial cancer and penile intraepithelial cancer.

Skin Cancer

Smokers are twice as likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. If you smoke, you also have an increased risk of developing oral leukoplakia (precancer) and oral cancer. Smokers make up 75 percent of the cases of oral cancer.

Psoriasis

Smokers have a higher risk of psoriasis, a scaly skin condition. Psoriasis is often more severe and extensive in those who smoke, especially if they have metabolic syndrome as well. There is a form of localized psoriasis called palmoplantar pustulosis (or palmoplantar pustular psoriasis) that is more common in smokers than in those who don’t smoke. This condition produces painful, pus-filled lesions on the palms and soles.

Vascular Disease

Smoking can increase the risk of many different types of vascular disease, which affect the body’s ability to sustain proper blood flow. Some vascular issues associated with smoking are:

  • Raynaud’s syndrome
  • blood clots
  • Systemic sclerosis
  • ulcers
  • frostbite
  • chilblains
  • Buerger disease

Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus

If you smoke, your risk of developing discoid lupus erythematosus increases tenfold. With this autoimmune skin condition, your face can develop scaly red lesions that scar. This type of lupus also causes hair loss.

This skin conditions can affect more than just the surface of your skin or your appearance. The damage that smoking causes to the body are often things that can’t be repaired. For a healthy life, avoid the dangers of smoking.

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How to Prevent Skin Rashes

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528104389There are several types of skin rashes and a wide variety of potential causes. Here we will take a closer look at each type and provide some tips on how you can avoid them or reduce the likelihood of flare-ups if they’re already a part of your life.

Type #1 Heat Rash

What is it?

Primarily a condition of summer, heat rash is redness and itchiness of the skin caused by clogged sweat pores.

Prevention strategies
  1. Avoid intense aerobic exercise in hot and humid conditions.
  2. Take frequent showers and apply cool wet clothes to areas that still show signs of heat rash afterward.
  3. When it’s hot always wear light-colored, light-weight, loose-fitting clothing.
  4. To promote efficient sweat gland operation drink 16-32 ounces of water every hour when the heat and humidity are high.

Type #2 Skin-against-Skin (Intertrigo)

What is it?

Repetitive movement can cause skin-against-skin friction in a number of areas (in the upper thighs, under the arms, between the toes, etc.). Redness, irritation and extreme itchiness can sometimes result.

Prevention strategies
  1. Keep the folds of the skin as clean and dry as possible (throughout the day, between showers).
  2. Wear loose-fitting clothes and change them whenever they become moist from excessive sweating.
  3. Buy an over-the-counter rash ointment and apply it to vulnerable areas pre-emptively.
  4. If your BMI is above the recommended level, losing weight may reduce some skin-against-skin friction.

Type #3 Eczema

What is it?

Eczema is a chronic condition that creates thick patches of crusted skin that will crack easily and cause painful sores to form.

Prevention strategies
  1. Avoid exposure to cold, dry air, and if it can’t be avoided consider buying a humidifier for your home.
  2. Watch carefully to see if chemical irritants make the condition worse. If they do avoid all direct contact.
  3. Take shorter baths/showers, don’t wash your hands more than necessary and always use non-chemical soaps.
  4. Apply moisturizer on affected or vulnerable areas twice a day, and be sure to ask your doctor about prescription ointments that can be used to fight eczema.

Type #4 Contact Dermatitis

What is it?

This type of skin rash is a pure allergic reaction, caused by contact with an irritating substance. Common culprits include chemicals in personal care or household products, cosmetics, caustic plants, dust mites and pollen.

Prevention strategies

  1. Wear clothing, boots or gloves that protect the skin if you cannot avoid exposure to irritants.
  2. If direct contact occurs, wash the affected area under a stream of cold water for at least 30 seconds and pat dry with paper towels afterward.
  3. Use a protective moisturizers on areas of the skin that are most vulnerable to contact dematitis.
  4. If you’ve had contact dermatitis but are uncertain of the cause, ask your doctor to perform an allergy test.

Type #5 Psoriasis

What is it?

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes areas of the skin to periodically become scaly, itchy, swollen and red. The reasons for a flare-up of psoriasis are not always clear.

Prevention strategies
  1. Try to detect any possible triggers (common ones include cold and dry weather, emotional stress, some prescription medications and infections that provoke an immune response).
  2. Stop smoking and don’t consume full-calorie beer.
  3. Apply first aid to all bites, scratches or scrapes as soon as they occur (psoriasis is opportunistic).
  4. See your doctor to obtain a prescription for medication that can help protect you from psoriasis outbreaks.

Preventing the Preventable

If you suffer from skin rashes you know they are more painful and difficult to overcome than most people realize.

As has often been said, however, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and if you take steps to stop skin rashes before they develop you can cut down on your suffering dramatically.

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How to Treat a Burn

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stk65402corA burn can be quite serious, depending on its level of severity. If you or someone else has suffered a burn, you’ll first want to determine the level of the burn and then take steps toward treatment.

First and Second Degree Burns

If you have a first degree burn, your skin will appear red and slightly swollen, and you may experience a bit of pain. First degree burns usually occur from sun exposure, briefly touching a hot item or light scalding.

Second degree burns burn through two layers of skin and may include blistering. These burns come from contact with extremely hot items or prolonged sun exposure. If your burns are anywhere other than your face, feet, hands and groin and are less than three inches, you can treat them like you would a minor burn.

To treat minor burns:

  • Run cool water over the affected area.
  • Remove jewelry and tight clothing.
  • Apply a cold compress.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • Clean the burn.
  • Cover the burn with ointment and gauze.
  • Don’t use home remedies like butter, tea, mayo and egg whites.
  • Watch for infection.
  • Use topical creams to alleviate itching.

Third Degree Burns

Third degree burns need immediate medical attention. These burns go through all three layers of skin and may cause damage to muscle, fat and bone. Third degree burns look black or white and leathery. The pain involved with a third degree burn varies, depending on the nerve endings that have been affected.

Low-Temperature Burns

Low-temperature burns occur when your skin is exposed to snow or ice for long periods of time. The skin will be red, white or black, and you’ll experience a strong burning sensation as the skin warms back up. These are serious burns and should be treated medically.

Chemical Burns

These burns happen when the skin is exposed to harmful chemicals. Your skin might form red patches, blisters, or open sores. Try to determine the cause of the burn, and call the poison control center right away.

Treating Major Burns

Seek medical attention for third degree, chemical and low-temperature burns. The following steps can aid the victim before medical help arrives.

  • Call emergency services.
  • Remove victim from heat source.
  • Cover the burn with a moist towel.
  • Remove chemical irritants.
  • Elevate the burn above the heart.
  • Seek immediate assistance for shock.

Once the burn victim has been admitted into the hospital, the medical team will treat the burn and make sure the victim has good vital signs and enough fluids.

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Frostbite: How to Spot, Treat and Prevent It

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87485636Frostbite is a condition in which parts of your body freeze due to cold temperatures. This is a potentially fatal condition and can sometimes happen in less than five minutes. Knowing the warning signs and treatments for frostbite can help you stay safe.

Symptoms

The first warning sign of frostbite is skin that turns red in the cold. This condition is called frostnip. If you notice yourself turning red, look for shelter.

Early Stage—In the early stage of frostbite, your skin turns pale yellow or white. You may feel a “pins and needles” sensation, along with itching, stinging or burning.

Intermediate Stage—Once the frostbite becomes more severe, the skin becomes hard, and it may look shiny or waxy. When your skin thaws after this stage, you’ll see blisters filled with fluid.

Advanced Stage—In this stage, your skin is still hard, and it becomes very cold as well. Your skin will darken quickly and might turn blue and then black.

As the frostbite gets worse, you’ll lose sensation in that part of your body, making the frostbite harder to detect.

Treatment

If you think you have frostbite, apply warm water to the area either through immersion or through a warm washcloth. Avoid soaking in hot water, however, because it’s likely you won’t be able to tell if the water is too hot.

If your skin becomes hard or you notice painful blisters as you start to heal, go to the emergency room. The doctors and nurses will put warm sponges on the affected area, give you pain medication, and may give you an MRI to detect the level of damage. They may also scrape off dead skin. In severe cases, the affected part of your body may need to be surgically removed. This can be necessary if blood flow doesn’t come back to that area, as the frostbite can move to other sections of your body.

Prevention

To prevent frostbite, wear three layers of clothing, but not too tight. The layers should be loose enough that your body heat can move around naturally. Wear a hat that covers your head and ears, and choose mittens and gloves with proper insulation. Be sure to wear socks and shoes that keep you adequately warm and protect you from the elements. If you find yourself sweating, unzip your clothes so they don’t turn moist, as this can increase your chance of frostbite. Frostbite can be scary, but with the proper precautions it can generally be avoided.

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What is Eczema, and How Is It Treated?

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180943715Eczema is a condition in which the skin becomes irritated or inflamed. In the U.S., about 10 to 20 percent of infants have eczema, and about 3 percent of children and adults. Symptoms can either go away in youth or recur throughout a person’s life. Eczema manifests as a dry and scaly rash, which is usually accompanied by itchiness. Common spots for eczema include the back of the knees, hands, wrists, and, feet and face.

Home Remedies for Eczema

Some people with mild eczema are able to relieve symptoms without any type of medication.

Mild soap—Ask your doctor about good brand names for mild soap in your area. In general, you should avoid any soaps that have added perfumes or dyes. Choose options for sensitive skin instead.

Moisturizer—Choose lotions that have a strong level of moisturizer and apply the lotion to the affected areas daily. This will help keep your skin from cracking and drying.

Avoid hot showers—Take warm showers instead of hot ones, as hot water is more likely to dry out your skin.

Humidifiers—Humidifiers add moisture to the air, which can help keep your body from becoming overly dry while you sleep.

Reduce stress—While doctors aren’t sure what causes eczema, stress can exacerbate symptoms. Make sure you get enough sleep and exercise to help keep stress at bay.

Medications and Medical Treatments

If you’ve tried home remedies with no success, these treatments and medications may be the key to managing your symptoms.

Prescription-strength moisturizers—These moisturizers help repair the skin barrier.

Hydrocortisone—For those with mild eczema, over-the-counter hydrocortisone can often relieve symptoms. Those with more severe eczema might need a stronger prescription from a doctor.

Antihistamines—Antihistamines, which are often used for allergy relief, can sometimes help relieve eczema. There are both drowsy and non-drowsy options on the market.

Corticosteroids—This medication is used when over-the-counter options don’t work, and can be prescribed by your doctor.

UV light therapy—Ultraviolet light therapy sometimes helps treat those with severe eczema.

Immunosupressants—These drugs suppress the immune system and can sometimes help alleviate symptoms.

Immunomodulators—These medicated creams control inflammation and reduce immune system reactions.

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How To Remove Plantar Warts

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134819392Fun in the summer sun carries certain risks and the possibility of contracting plantar warts is one of them. These warts appear just under the skin’s surface on the bottom of the feet or toes. While they can occur at any time of the year, they are most likely to crop up during the summer. This happens because the virus that causes them lives in fitness center locker rooms, public showers and on decks near swimming pools, where the environment is moist and warm. Learning how to remove plantar warts eliminates these sometimes, painful spots.

Any local pharmacy carries a variety of nonprescription pads, gels and liquids containing salicylic acid. Most of these products will successfully remove a plantar wart over the course of a few weeks or months. Soaking the area in warm water for a few minutes before application enhances the effects of the salicylic acid. Always follow the directions on the packaging label because using too much can cause severe burns.

If you would rather visit a doctor for help removing a plantar wart, there are two treatments that can make the warts go away quickly.  Cryotherapy involves applying cold liquid nitrogen and freezing the wart off. If your wart has grown into the deeper layers of skin and is causing you extreme pain while walking, the doctor may administer a local anesthetic and cut the wart out.

As strange as it may sound, using duct tape is a popular and effective way to get rid of warts. Apply a small piece of duct tape directly over the wart and wait for six days. Remove the tape and let the area breathe for approximately 12 hours before applying more tape for six more days. Repeat the cycle until the wart disappears. This home remedy may take up to several weeks to make the wart disappear.

Even if you are successful in getting rid of a plantar wart, you should know that they often return and are known to spread. No matter what remedy you choose, you should never try to cut a wart off because it can cause scarring, infection and pain. In some cases, it may even require a visit to the emergency room for stitches.

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How To Treat Back Acne

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528742177Contrary to what most people believe, the face is not the only part of the body where acne can appear. The truth is, acne can affect any part of your body that has follicles or oil secreting glands, including your chest, back, and shoulders. While acne in other areas of the body can easily be controlled, back acne or “bacne” can be troublesome.

Having a chest or back acne is a sign that your acne problem may be severe. Like your face, your back has myriad sebaceous glands that secrete an oily substance known as sebum. Along with your body dead skin cells and bacteria, sebum can build up in your back’s hair follicles and clog them. Eventually, the clogged follicle breaks down and results into an acne lesion.

Treating Back Acne

Here are some tips on how to treat back acne:

• Over-The-Counter Treatment: Over-the-counter drugs can be used to control mild back acne and contain ingredients such as salicylic acid, resorcinol, benzoyl peroxide, and sulfur.

• Maintaining Good Skin Care: It is very significant to properly take care of your skin when you have back acne. Endeavor to regularly wash your skin with gentle cleanser, keep your hair clean, take shower after exercise, avoid excessive sub exposure, and squeezing back acne lesions.

• Avoid Certain Medications: Some drugs such as lithium and androgens can increase your chances of developing acne. In case you are taking some of these medications, you can ask your doctor to give you alternative treatments.

• Limit The Use Of Oil-Based Skin Products: Avoid moisturizers, sunscreens, cosmetics and other oily beauty products on your back as they can easily lead to back acne flare-ups.

• Eliminate Excess Pressure On Your Back: Prolonged pressure or friction can trigger a type of acne known as acne mechanica. Accordingly, avoid objects that put pressure on your back.

In case these measures are not giving you results, you can visit a dermatologist. Skin experts are better placed to evaluate your back acne problem and prescribe appropriate medication to help control it.

Dermatologist Garden is a very informative blog that provides information, secrets, and versatile tips on beauty.

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What You Should Know About Laser Tattoo Removal

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466164534A tattoo is supposed to be permanent. That does not mean that at some point you may regret your decision to get one and wish you had just said, “No.” If you find yourself in that position, you should know that laser tattoo removal is the most effective way to eliminate your ink.

A tattoo is created by injecting ink into the bottom layer of skin, called the dermis. When the dermis receives damage, it can repair itself but not without leaving a scar. Despite what you may see in advertisements, it is impossible to eliminate a tattoo with ointments or creams without scarring. Acids or chemical solutions will always leave a scar, similar to that caused by a third degree burn. Bleaching the pigment in the dermis will always damage the surface skin.

Lasers are different. With lasers, a qualified dermatologist can target the pigment without damaging the skin cells. When the ink is destroyed, the immune system targets the area and carries the ink away. The dermatologist must use different lasers to eliminate different ink colors. Red and black are the easiest colors to remove. The more intricate the tattoo and the more colors of ink it has, the more treatments you will need to remove it. If you do decide to have a tattoo removed, make sure you see a properly certified dermatologist with experience in this area.

This procedure is expensive and takes a long time. A single treatment can cost several hundred dollars and in most cases, you will need to have several treatments

Removing a tattoo completely is extremely difficult because modern tattoo artists use high quality inks in large quantities to create the images. One thing you should realize and accept is that laser tattoo removal can leave a faint shadow of the tattoo even after extensive treatment.

Ink manufacturers have recently started producing inks that react better to laser removal techniques. Tattoos done with these inks are possible to remove without leaving any color behind. A professional tattoo artist should be able to tell you exactly what type of ink he or she is using.

If you are having buyer’s remorse about a tattoo, laser tattoo removal is the safest and most effective way to erase your mistake.

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Items Making Your Acne Worse

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173771158Acnes are always unwelcome whenever they appear. Sometimes they seem to pop out of blue and could get worse despite our best efforts. If you feel like you are doing everything and yet breakouts still happen, then perhaps you are missing something crucial. It’s time to explore other possible causes so that you can prevent acne from getting worse.

Stress

It doesn’t matter where this comes from. Whether it is due to work issues, family problems, or relationship difficulties, the effect is the same. We can’t stop thinking about it and may even lose sleep for prolonged periods. What may seem like an emotional or psychological difficulty may have physical effects that include acne breakouts. It is a side effect of the release of stress hormones in the body.

Dairy

Consuming dairy is a non-issue for some and a touchy subject for others. There are individuals who are lactose-intolerant causing them to have stomach pain, gas build-up, and other forms of GI distress after drinking milk. For a few, the effect is an unfortunate emergence of acne. The most sensitive may develop one after consuming as little as a cup of cow’s milk. Switching to non-dairy options like almond milk is recommend when undergoing an elimination diet. Two months should be sufficient to see significant improvements.

Excessive Sunlight

Another thing to avoid is excessive exposure to sunlight. This causes continuous perspiration and increase oil production in the skin. The pores could get clogged leading to the development of acne underneath. This does not mean a person should hide from the sun at all times. Experts simply recommend moderation and the use of sunscreen when going out. A spray-on variant is more desirable as the alcohol base evaporates unlike oil-based products which could clog the pores.

Lack of Omega-3

Mix in a good amount of Omega-3 fatty acid into your diet to reduce inflammation and control acne. Examples of food rich in Omega-3 are fishes like anchovies and sardines. Have them or similar items on your regular meal rotation.

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Natural Soaps On The Market You Can Order

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478394013When it comes to food, we are extra careful on the ingredients to acquire. However, when it comes to our skin, we are not that careful. You may end up purchasing products that may affect you negatively. You may then develop rashes or acne, dry skin or other conditions. However, there are natural products that can be used to ensure your skin glows naturally. The following are all natural soaps that you can use.

Pure Castile Soap

Pure Castile Soap is a purely organic soap that is available in a number of scents. The soap is purely made of vegetables and is also biodegradable. Some of the ingredients used include virgin coconut, hemp oils and jojoba. The soap is available both in bars and in the liquid form. Some of the scents available include almond, peppermint, lavender, tea tree or the scentless soap. The unscented soap can be used by people who prefer to have no scent at all or it can be used by babies and people with allergies to the scents mentioned.

Hugo Natural Soaps

If you are looking for gluten-free, organic soap or bath liquid that is not harsh on your skin, then Hugo Natural Soaps would be a great idea. The differently scented soaps are vegetable based and have such ingredients as coconut, castor as well as safflower oils to ensure your skin is moisturized naturally. The soaps can be used by people with different skin types without worrying about damaging the skin with harsh chemicals or products.

Plantlife

Plantlife is another company that makes all natural soaps for your use. The soaps are made from pure essential oils as well as organic botanical. Nothing artificial is used in these soaps since the fragrances are also enhanced by the use of natural products. The products made are gluten-free and have vegan. The variety of fragrances available includes the sandalwood, rosemary tea tree and coconut vanilla.

Tom’s of Maine Products

You can also use Tom’s of Maine Products that are purely made from natural ingredients mostly sourced from plants. The soaps are available in multiple scents to suit different needs. the products made are also suitable for people with very sensitive skin as they are not adversely affected by the use of these soaps.

The way you carefully choose what to eat is the same you should choose your soaps and other beauty products to ensure all round health. Therefore, the use of all natural soaps should be your goal since you not only take care of your skin but also the environments since these products are biodegradable.

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