Sunday, September 27, 2009

How To Keep Your Boredom At Bay?

More people today suffer from loneliness although their neighborhood may be teeming with people. When you are lonely then depression soon sets in and you lose interest in life.

Boredom and Your Life
To keep loneliness away from your life, you should go out of your way to make friends with, exchange a smile, pay them a compliment or just engage in ordinary conversation by asking where you can get a good bargain on clothes, vegetables, etc. Soon you will find them in animated conversation with you and this may lead to lasting friendship.

Magazines, Journals and Books can be your greatest friends; they not only enlighten and educate you but also keep your mind occupied gainfully.

Hobbies and Boredom
Even hobbies can make you forget your loneliness. The choice of hobbies depends upon your own choice. Engaging in creative arts like embroidery, knitting, writing, painting, etc. will not only keep you away from boredom, but, at the same time they have wonderful healing qualities according to a recent research.

Have a pleasant cordial relationship with everybody but refrain from getting much emotional with any of them, otherwise, some may even try to take advantage of your good nature. Learning to say no is a very valuable skill, if you show signs of being easily pushed over, rest assured, you will always be pushed over. Don't say yes, just because a no might involve unpleasantness. Learn to soften the blow when you refuse, and the next time around you won't be bothered.

Always keep your cool, under no circumstances blow your head off or burst into tears if someone shouts at you. Always be in control of yourself when dealing with people. When you are in control of yourself, the situation itself will come under control.

Keep Your Boredom At Bay with Gossip
Gossip is great to hear and fun to tell, but it will turn people away from you. Remember, if you bitch about others, others also will bitch about you. Making friends is easy but keeping them is very difficult, therefore, if you want to be away from loneliness and boredom never get too involved with anybody, always keep your personal feelings under control and enjoy yourself.

To keep young and healthy try to pursue something, which keeps you occupied and busy. But, before starting anything, study the opportunities available and see that the particular work gives you satisfaction, both mentally and physically.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Humidifier For Dry Skin

How You should take advantage of a humidifier to help you with dry skin?

One of the biggest problems relating to dry skin is the dry heat during the winter months. When air is heated using a furnace, it can reduce your home's natural humidity level down to as little as 10 percent or even less, whereas having a humidity level of 30 percent to 40 percent is much closer to ideal if you want to keep moisture in your skin.

Why Humidifier For Dry Skin?

For this reason, it is recommended by many skin care experts and dermatologists that you keep a humidifier in your home. You can use it during the dryer winter months, but there is something that you need to keep in mind: Many people simply think that putting in a humidifier in the house is all that needs to be done, but humidifiers operate like air conditioners do meaning that the whole house cannot be done by a single humidifier. Put a smaller unit near your bed, and one on or near your desk for good results.

Home Remedies for Dry Skin

There are a wide variety of natural ways to improve your skin. Dry skin isn't doing you any favors, so make a point to improve your skin sooner rather than later.

Home Remedies for Dry Skin #1
Combine together a teaspoon worth of green clay powder and a teaspoon of raw honey, and then apply this mixture, once it has been well prepared, to your face or any other area where your skin is dry. If you are applying it to your face, make sure to avoid the area around your eyes. Leave this mixture on your skin for between 15 minutes and 20 minutes, and then use lukewarm water to wash it away. This is a really simple and useful home remedy for dealing with dry skin.

Home Remedies for Dry Skin #2
In severe cases of dealing with dry skin, you may want to apply either avocado oil or castor oil for the skin. When it comes to situations when your skin is really dry, home remedy skin care involving the application of natural oils is typically a good way to go.

Home Remedies for Dry Skin #3
Another useful dry skin treatment is actually regular exercise, believe it or not. Exercising regularly is going to improve your body's blood circulation. When blood flow is properly encouraged, then the proper nourishment will be provided to your skin in order to keep it healthy.

Home Remedies for Dry Skin #4
Another good dry skin remedy for you to consider is to apply aloe vera gel to your face and other areas where your skin is dry after bathing. After taking a warm bath, your pores will be open and much more receptive to the healing and moisturizing power of the Aloe Vera.

Home Remedies for Dry Skin #5
Another truly important remedy for dry skin is for you to avoid the consumption of alcohol as well as caffeine. Both of these things can cause dry skin, or even make it worse if you are not careful. If you consume either of these substances in excess and are dealing with dry skin, try cutting back on them and see what happens.

Natural Remedies for Dry Skin #6
Another excellent home remedy is for you simply to consider eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. This is because fruits and vegetables are often very rich in Vitamin B and Vitamin A, and both of these vitamins are especially helpful in keeping your skin feeling young, healthy and moisturized.

Natural Remedies for Dry Skin #7
You can try mashing up half of an avocado, mixing it together with a couple of drops worth of the juice from a fresh lime. Spread this well mixed paste over your recently cleansed skin. Allow it to remain on your skin for between 15 minutes and 20 minutes. You can wash your skin off alternately using cold water and warm water. This is an effective skin care home remedy for you to consider.

Natural Remedies for Dry Skin #8
Try mixing between 2 tablespoons and 5 tablespoons worth of raw peanuts with milk and mash them together until you have crafted a fine paste. Now add in a teaspoon worth of raw honey into this mix. Apply the paste to your face and other places where your skin is dry and allow it to completely dry. Wash it off using cold water after it has completely dried. This is another excellent way to perk up dry skin.

Natural Remedies for Dry Skin #9
When it comes to washing your face, if you want your face to be young feeling and moisturized, then you should be using mineral water rather than tap water because it puts more healthy minerals in your skin rather than taking minerals out.

Natural Remedies for Dry Skin #10
Having a milk bath once every month is another excellent home remedy for dealing with dry skin that is well worth your consideration. You can try this more often if it seems to be having a positive effect on you.

Natural Remedies for Dry Skin #11
Before you go in for a bath, try adding between 5 drops and 6 drops worth of lavender oil or oat extract to your bath water. When your skin soaks up the water and becomes soft, it will also soak up the extracts or oils in order to improve upon your dry skin.

Natural Remedies for Dry Skin #12
Another dry skin remedy is to prepare a salve mixture with a single egg yolk, a teaspoon worth of orange juice, a teaspoon worth of olive oil, a couple of drops worth of rose water and a couple of drops worth of lime juice. Once this mixture has been put together, mix it well and then apply it to your face first thing in the morning before you take a bath. Wear it on your face for approximately fifteen minutes. This is a simple but effective home remedy for treating dry skin.

Natural Remedies for Dry Skin #13
Another excellent home remedy is to mash up a really ripe banana, applying it to your face and your neck. You can leave it for a period of time, while you relax and read a magazine or something, and then use lukewarm water to wash it off. This is a really good cure for dry skin.

Natural Remedies for Dry Skin #14
Another effective method for dealing with dry skin is to massage the skin using pure grapeseed oil. Adding healthy oils to the body is a great way for you to remedy dry skin inexpensively and easily.

Natural Remedies for Dry Skin #15
You can take advantage of the healing benefits of oatmeal when it comes to treating dry or damaged skin. Oatmeal offers some truly skin soothing effects that were first discovered more than 4,000 years ago. Many people are just beginning to understand these benefits because when you put oatmeal in your bath it is capable of behaving as a soothing agent. You can pour approximately 2 cups woth of colloidal oatmeal such as Aveeno into a bathtub full of lukewarm water. Colloidal means that the oatmeal has been converted into a fine powder that will suspend in the water rather thank sinking into the bottom of the tub.

You can use oatmeal as if it were a soap substitute, for example. Tie a little bit of colloidal oatmeal into a washcloth or handkerchief, then dunk it in the water, squeeze the excess water out and then use it just like you would use a typical washcloth for a nice soothing effect.

All of these dry skin remedies can be extremely useful on your face and other areas of your body where your skin is dry as well. You can combine different treatment options to meet your needs until you find the remedies that will best suit you. If one specific dry skin remedy is not helping your skin become more moisturized, then you should move onto the next one until you find something that is definitely giving you the results that you are looking for.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Basics of pH and Human Body

Most of us haven't given pH another thought since our high school chemistry class. It seemed to be a complex idea which didn't really have a lot of basis in our lives.

However, if you stop to think about how you live on a daily basis, you can actually see examples of pH and how it helps you (or hurts you) in your life. For example, when you have too much acid in your stomach, this means the pH is very low. To help make your stomach feel better, you need to add something that's the opposite of acidic – also called something that is basic. This base will then help to bring the pH number up to a more neutral measurement, which leaves you feel better.

The pH system is a system in which one can measure the acidity or the basicity of a substance. But for the pH miracle diet, we can substitute alkalinity in for basicity. The more acidic an item is, the lower the pH value on a system of 0 to 14. Those numbers which are closer to the 14 are going to be less acidic and have more alkaline properties.

Make sense so far?

When something is neutral in terms of acidity or alkalinity, it's around 7 pH. Of course, this is the ideal measurement for neutrality and it is difficult to attain.

Human Body pH - Our Bodies Crave Balance

Pure water will have a pH reading of about 7 pH. And that's what 75% of our bodies are made up of, so that's something that's quite important to the way our bodies function. If our pH is off, that can actually begin to cause troubles in the body. Water is in every part of our bodies, so when that is not at the proper pH level, it can start making basic functions in the body more complicated and difficult.

It might become more difficult for the body to turn food into energy and into nutrients for various organs to use. And when this happens, you aren't getting the nutrition you really need. If your body doesn't get the nutrition it needs, you might begin to crave foods which can help you to fill in the gaps in this nutrition – or you might just begin to grab any food available in order to help with your nutritional stores.

But what you might not realize is that the body isn't quite so simple. In truth, each of the different parts of the body requires a different pH level in order to be healthy. And it's no wonder that many of us have troubles getting to the pH level we need.

Blood, for example, has a pH of about 7.4. This is slightly basic, which means that in order for our blood to be 'happy' and ready to transport nutrients to our organs, it needs to have less acid in it. But the current modern diet doesn't fall in sync with this measurement.

Human Body pH - The Candida Problem

The next trick when it comes to slightly more acidic blood is that things can begin to develop which should be prevented by a 'normal' and healthy diet. Candida, for example, is a fungus which develops when the body begins to have acid waste in the blood stream.

When the body begins to have too much acid, it wants to get rid of it and restore balance. But this excess acid needs to go somewhere. So, it ends up in the blood stream. And if you have an excessive amount of acid, your body is going to have a difficult time of filtering this waste out and creating harmony in your body's chemistry again.

Many scientists are now considering the idea that this buildup of acid in the body may be responsible for the aging process. The body can not function the way it did when it was younger due to the acid waste buildup, thus the body begins to slow down and processes which kept you youthful are now interrupted or stopped completely.

When Candida develops in the body, it begins to effectively poison you and to make your body's systems even less well-functioning. While it's not the fungus itself that is causing the illnesses you might experience or the symptoms you might have, the presence of Candida shows that your body is out of balance. And that's a problem that the society is only perpetuating, it seems.

Human Body pH - The Modern Acidic Times

In fact, our diets today are far more acidic than they should be – for our health and for our weight. For example, drinking soda means you are drinking in acids like phosphoric acid. As a result, you are going to have troubles maintaining the proper pH value in your bloodstream, especially if you drink a lot of soda or other acidic drinks (even orange juice is acidic).

When your body has significant swings in the pH of its tissues and fluids, then even more dramatic things can happen – illness, disease, and even death.

Just as you wouldn't put water into your gas tank, you can't put a lot of acidic or basic foods into your body without expecting something to go wrong. And the more often your body is exposed to too much of one pH, the more troubles you can have.

So, it's easy to see that pH is an important factor to consider when creating a diet. If you're not balancing the acidic foods with alkaline foods, you might have troubles getting nutrition in your body and thus this can lead to weight gain. It's only natural to have cravings for foods when your body isn't getting what it needs. But when your pH is in balance, it can be easier to fight off these cravings and finally begin to gain control of your diet.

Maybe your chemistry class was more useful than it seemed to be at the time.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Help to Keep Your Skin Clear by Using Herbal Compress

Applying a herbal compress to troubled areas of your skin is an easy and efficient way of treating blemishes and spots with a generous quantity of herbal infusion.

Herbal Compress for Skin - What You Need?

2 teaspoons dried lemon balm
2 teaspoons dried chamomile
2 teaspoons dried marigold petals

Herbal Compress for Skin - How to Prepare?
Put all the ingredients in a large ceramic bowl and add 600 ml (2 ½ cups) of boiling water. Cover the bowl and steep overnight, then strain through fine muslin. Keep in an airtight bottle in the refrigerator for 7 days.

Herbal Compress for Skin - How to Use?
Before use, heat on the stove until lukewarm. To make the compress, dip sterile gauze or cotton wool into the warm infusion. Hold it against the affected area of skin for 15 minutes.

Herbal Compress - Safety Tips
Do not use it near your eyes, or on very reddened skin. This compress can be diluted with boiled water if necessary.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Acne Dissected: The Causes

Despite extensive research into the causes of acne and why certain people consistently suffer, while others never experience a single bout of acne, it has never been scientifically proven as to the exact cause of acne.

There are however, contributing factors often associated with those who have acne and those who don’t, including:

Acne Causes - Puberty
Teenagers and zits, they always seem to go hand in hand, and it’s a time in our life that even those of us who have never suffered from acne before (or after) experienced the symptoms of breakouts. In fact, studies have revealed that over 94% of the entire population between the ages of 12 and 24 have suffered from acne at one time or another.The reason why acne is so common amongst teenagers is based around the hormone, androgens, which begin to work overtime as we approach puberty.

Androgens can cause our hair follicles and skin pores to become enlarged and extremely oily and when the oil mixes with our skin cells, it can cause our pores to become blocked, resulting in temporary acne breakouts.

Acne Causes - Your Hormones
Hormones seem to play a major role in causing acne, and has been consistently linked to causing severe acne in both teenagers and adults.

Acne Causes - It’s a Family Thing - Hereditary
It’s been said that while acne is not directly hereditary, if your parents suffered from severe acne, you are far more prone to acne yourself. Scientists are still studying the links between children with acne and parents and no concrete evidence of a direct connection is available at this time.

Acne Causes - Your Prescriptions
Depending on the type of medication you are on, specific prescription drugs are known to cause acne to flare up, especially anti depressant and anti anxiety medications, as well as specific types of steroids, barbiturates and lithium. If you are on any medication and you believe that it is causing your acne to flare up, contact your doctor and discuss alternative prescription based options that you can take to avoid causing your acne to get worse.DO NOT stop taking your medication until you consult with your family doctor.

Acne Causes - Our Environment
If you’ve been exposed to chemicals at your workplace, or even at home with household cleaners, air fresheners or scented detergents, you might find that your existing acne may become temporarily irritated.

There have also been case studies performed where people who had no former history of acne began to experience extreme breakouts after being subjected to ongoing chemical cleaners, especially when cleaning without protecting their hands with gloves.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Homemade Elderflower Skin Toning Lotion

This Elderflower skin toning lotion is suitable for all skin types and is both healing and soothing to the skin.

3 tablespoons dried elderflowers
1 ¼ cups (300 ml) cider vinegar
1 ¼ cups (300 ml) distilled water

How to Prepare Elderflower Skin Toning Lotion:
Put the herbs in a wide-mouthed glass jar. Mix together the cider vinegar and distilled water and heat to just below boiling point. Pour the liquid over the herbs, cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave to steep for 12 hours. Strain and dilute with a further 2/3 cup (150 ml) of distilled water and bottle for future use.

How to Use this Elderflower Skin Toning Lotion:
To use the toning lotion, pour a small amount on to slightly damp cotton-wool, and gently apply to face and neck using an outward and upward movement.

How Sunscreen Works?

Sunscreen is one of the most important ways to maintain a youthful appearance. The earlier in life you start using a daily sunscreen, or moisturizer that has a sunscreen in it, the less wrinkled and healthier your skin will look when you are older. Like your daily vitamins, sunscreen is preventative medicine to keep you healthy because it prevents the sun's harmful rays from damaging your skin.

The chemicals in sunscreen agents either interact with skin to prevent the sun from burning it, or physically block the sun, much the way a glove protects your hand from the sun. Blocking agents are less common than chemical sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens contain ingre­dients that are quickly absorbed by the skin, so you don't even know they are working. They can also be waterproof as well as sweatproof. There are two different types: those with ultraviolet B ray protection only, and those that additionally provide protection against ultraviolet A rays. (Ultraviolet B rays are the burning rays of the sun, but both Ultraviolet B and A rays contribute to skin cancer, wrinkles, and other indicators of sun damage.) The higher the SPF number is on the sunscreen label, the more pro­tection you have against the burning ultraviolet B 'rays of the sun. In general, the best protection is found in a waterproof chemical sunscreen that is labeled with an SPF greater than 30 and also indicates that it offers protection against ultraviolet A rays.

Physical-blocking sunscreens, like body armor, protect the skin by blocking the sun's rays from ever reaching the skin's surface. Originally, sun-blocking agents, made from zinc oxide, were white pastes that were visible on your skin. Remember a lifeguard with a white paste on his nose? During the last ten years, advances in microtechnology have allowed these zinc oxide preparations and their counter­parts, titanium dioxide creams, to be rubbed into the skin. These high-tech physical blocking sunscreens can also be quite water resistant, but not as waterproof and sweatproof as chemical sunscreens can be. Because of their function as an armor, physical sunscreens block all of the sun's rays, whether they are ultraviolet A or B. Physical blocking sun­screens are most effective when the ingredient silicone is added to them.

Any sunscreen should be applied for at least thirty min­utes before you go out in the sun, and reapplied every few hours while you are outside. Use sunscreen liberally on your skin, or it won't provide sufficient protection. For example, you need between one-half and one teaspoon to cover your face, one teaspoon on each limb, and up to two teaspoons each on the front and back of your trunk.

How To Get Rid Of Sun Freckles?

Also called "liver spots," sun freckles are the brown, irregular stains that occur on the parts of the body exposed to the sun, such as the face, arms, and hands. They are not usually considered dangerous, but on very rare occasions can become cancerous. There are several approaches to removing sun freckles, including freezing with a very cold spray, using kogic acid, lasers, or bleaching creams. The anti-wrinkle cream Renova may also help reduce sun freckles. None of these methods guarantee complete removal of the freckles, and each method occasionally leaves the spot either darker or too white. Your dermatologist can help you determine which treatment method is best for you.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Is Laughter The Best Medicine for Your Beauty?

Laughter is the best medicine, because, when we laugh, we draw air in and out of our lungs more than during normal breathing. Therefore, laughter pushes more oxygen into the blood stream increasing the circulation and our heart rate. When we laugh, we become mentally sharper and our nerves and muscles also relax giving us a feeling of well-being. Humor is a vital way of dealing with our daily problems and it also helps us to maintain a good health, and we have fewer emotional problems. Laughter is also very much vital for our mental health; a good mental health helps you combat disease and also helps in stopping deterioration in your condition if you are sick. It is said, "Mirth is the principal engine for battering the walls of melancholy and it is a sufficient cure in itself".

It was discovered in World War II that people with a good sense of humor survived the concentration camps than people who never laughed.

Scientists in USA have found that laughter is a prime stress reliever. It can cure headaches, fights infection and also helps to reduce blood pressure.

Adrenalin and endorphins are natural hormones of the body, which gives us a feeling of happiness and these rise with laughter. Our muscles in the abdomen and chest get a good exercise since laughter causes us to take deep breaths; we also inhale a large quantity of oxygen which revitalizes the body. So, laughter not only helps by releasing stored up tensions which make us feel stressed, but also helps us to live longer.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Natural Growth of Nose Hair

Let us come to nose now. Natural growth of hair in the nose is a protector from the diseases of throat, tonsils and lungs. Children who suffer from enlarged tonsils should be trained by the mothers to see that they sleep with their mouths closed. Children sleeping with their mouth open during day or night should be got examined at the earliest and cure of rhinitis or polyps etc., if existing. As a matter of fact, such situations should be taken note of, right from the infancy. We gave no reason to say that hair growth in the nose have no part to play to remove dust particles entering the lungs. If the nasal hair is for the protection of lungs, why not to consider that hair on face also do protection of face and its underneath construction like gums and teeth?

Monday, March 30, 2009

How To Prevent Wrinkles?

Sensitive and dry skin is more prone to wrinkles, therefore, women with sensitive skin should not use soap, they should always clean their face with cleansing milk. Hot or chilled water should never be used on these types of skin. Pat a rich cream on the face every night before going to bed.

Do not massage it in as this will further stretch the skin. To make this cream, in a small bottle of cold cream, add 1drop of lanolin, 2 drops of almond oil and 4 drops each of vitamins A & 0, mix well, and use it. Since winter further dries up the skin and gives rise to more wrinkles, you should take very good care of your skin, during this season. A good wrinkle chaser is egg white beaten with a few drops of honey and lime juice. Allow it to dry before rinsing off. Mashed banana mixed with a little honey and applied as a pack on the face, helps in avoiding skin tautness, which leads to wrinkling. Protein deficiency also leads to wrinkling also.

A lack of proteins in the body can lead to early wrinkling of the skin, therefore, always eat protein rich foods. Poor vision can be the cause of gathering lines around the outer eye areas known as crow's feet. To remove these, apply daily egg white mixed with honey and a little cream found on top of boiled and cooled milk. Wrinkles around the mouth can be an unconscious expression of concentration or disapproval. To remove these lines, dampen a piece of cloth with warm water and apply it to the face to open the pores, pat in some oil, apply the warm cloth again for 2 minutes and then again pat in some more oil. By spreading the line gently with your fingers as you apply oil around the mouth you will make them appear less noticeable apply them horizontally and do not use force, do this for several months to achieve results. Tiny groovy lines on the upper lips are associated with poorly fitting dentures. Also, prolonged use of Vitamin B 12 may also cause them.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Care for Dry Skin

Dry skin is a loose, unscientific term used to describe rough, scaly, and flaky skin-most often on areas below the neck-that is dry to the touch and less flexible or elastic than normal skin. And lest you think otherwise, let me set the record straight: dry skin does not cause wrinkles.

Dryness of the skin usually develops as winter approaches. When the temperature drops and the relative humidity decreases, the upper layers of your skin lose a large amount of water. This leads to dry skin with its scaling and occasional itching.

This lowered humidity is further aggravated by artificial heating which, in addition to warming the air, dries it. The dry, heated air expands like a sponge, sucking up moisture from objects in the area, such as plants (which begin to wither), furniture (which begins to crack), and our skin. We usually notice the drop in relative humidity when we get those unexpected shocks from a build-up of static electricity.

Dry skin has a tendency to improve automatically during the summer months because perspiration keeps the skin moist as it reaches the skin surface. When there is high relative humidity, there's less evaporation of moisture from our skin.

Dermatologists used to think that dry skin was caused' entirely by a lack of oily film on the surface of the skin. We now know that it's due to water loss from the skin's outer layers and to the inability of moisture to move from the deeper layers to the surface. While the natural oils on the skin surface protect the water from evaporating from the lower layers, these oils really can't prevent dry skin if there isn't enough moisture in the cells to begin with.

Several factors influence dry skin. It is more common in the elderly where, despite adequate water content of the skin, there are diminished oily secretions. Using harsh, alkaline soaps and soak­ing too long and too often in very hot baths can do it. Overheated homes with low humidity, as well as air-conditioning (which also lowers the relative humidity), likewise contribute to dry skin. Other factors include too much , overexposure to wind and cold, fuzzy and woolen clothing, towels and sheets that you may have laundered in harsh detergents but not rinsed well enough, and nutritional problems resulting from poor diet.

Here are some general guidelines for avoiding dry skin:

* Increase the relative humidity in your home to at least 40 percent by properly adjusting the heating or air-conditioning systems. If this is not practicable, buy a good, commercial room humidifier.

* When you bathe or shower, don't use extremely hot water or harsh soaps.

* Avoid excessive-sunbathing, cold temperatures, and strong winds.

* Don't wear heavy, woolen, fuzzy clothing.

* Keep healthy, make sure you eat a well-balanced diet, and drink plenty of water.

If you suffer from dry skin, try switching to mild gentle soaps and use soothing bath oils and water-attracting creams and lotions that keep in your skin's natural moisture and leave it smooth, soft, and supple.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Common Myths And Misconceptions about ACNE

Myth #1: Acne is a disease of adolescence.
While it is true that acne usually appears during puberty, this is not always the case. Many people, particularly women, don't develop acne until their twenties or thirties, and it can afflict both men and women well into their forties.

Myth #2: Acne is more common in girls.
Young women are more likely to see a dermatologist about their acne problems because, as a rule, they are more conscious of their appearance. However, acne affects both sexes equally. As a matter of fact, the severe cystic form of acne of the back is more common in men.

Myth #3: Acne is due to improper hygiene.
In reality, acne patients generally are more fastidious and conscientious about cleanliness than other teenagers. Blackheads, the primary hallmark of acne, do not result from dirt but from pigment (melanin) in the oil glands.

Myth #4: Masturbation causes or aggravates acne.
The only link between masturbation and acne is that both are often associated with adolescence. Moralists of the 19th century blamed many diseases on such "sinful" practices. The guilt sur­rounding masturbation in the minds of many teenagers probably perpetuates this timeworn myth.

Myth #5: Sexual intercourse will cure acne.
While this form of therapy sounds appealing, there is no evidence to document that it works. This belief probably stems from an old European myth that marriage cures acne. People often got married in their early twenties, about the same time that acne usually burns itself out.

Monday, February 16, 2009

All About Acne

Acne, the scourge of adolescence, is more than skin deep. There are few skin ailments that cause as much physical and psycholog­ical anguish as this complex chemical mystery.

And there are no quick, magical cures for it.

By far the most common teenage skin disorder, acne usually begins at puberty, at a time when oil glands in the skin enlarge and increase the production of skin oil (sebum). Ranging from simple pimples to angry boils, these unsightly blemishes that fall under the general heading of acne, will plague nine out of ten pubertal youngsters; an age when physical attractiveness becomes .so im­portant. And no one wants to be Number One on the "zit parade."

Acne appears most frequently in the mid-teens but can appear as early as the ninth year. It usually continues into the twenties. It may appear transiently in the newborn and is often seen in women in their mid-thirties. The condition appears earlier in girls but is more frequent and more severe in boys. Overall, blacks and Asians tend to have fewer and less severe acne prob­lems.

There is a great deal of controversy concerning the causes of acne, but most dermatologists agree that the basic problem is an overproduction of the skin oil by enlarged oil glands. This condi­tion is characteristic of the internal chemical changes that occur at puberty when the skin is adjusting to a greatly increased output of hormones.

These hormonal factors play a significant role in the onset of acne, and since oil gland activity and sebum production are under the control of androgens (male-type hormones), the role of these hormones is crucial. In men the testes are the primary source of androgenic hormones, whereas in women they are produced both by the ovaries and the adrenal glands. Acne seems to be the result of the oil gland's sensitivity to these androgens or their derivatives.

Acne also can be hereditary. Parents who had severe acne during their teenage years often have children who develop severe acne.

Acne occurs on areas of the body where oil glands are the largest, most numerous, and most active: the face, chest, and back. Simply stated, these enlarged and overactive oil glands become clogged with oil and sticky skin cells, thus forming blackheads and whiteheads. (When a skin pore is closed and oil can't escape, the swelling is called a whitehead; when the skin pore isn't closed but is simply plugged up with dead cells and oil, it's called a black­head. The dark color of the blackhead is not due to dirt: it is a result of pigment cells- melanin-in the upper layers of the skin.) The glands continue to manufacture oil which is unable to escape.

Bacteria, which are always on the skin in "friendly" and harmless numbers, set up housekeeping and begin to thrive in these trapped secretions. They then become "unfriendly" and harmful, causing infected pimples, or zits. These zits may lead to cysts (little sacs filled with fluid or cheesy material), which then break down to form scars.

Many external factors can aggravate acne. Anything that prevents the oily secretions from flowing freely out of the oversized oil gland, such as infrequent washing, long hair (particularly bangs), hairspray, mousses and greasy hair dressing, and moistur­izers. Other cosmetics containing lanolin can further plug up the already clogged oil gland opening to produce new lesions. Young­sters working at gas stations or fast food restaurants, who are constantly exposed to greases and oils, are especially prone to acne flare-ups.

Another type of acne-acne mechanica-is an aftermath of physical irritation to specific areas of the body, either resulting in or aggravating prior acne. A common example of this process is the development of acne over the forehead, chin and back in teenage football players as a result of wearing football helmets, chin straps, and shoulder pads. These sources of friction, combined with heavy perspiration, may cause acne lesions over the affected pressure areas. "

Other factors that can aggravate acne include hormonal dis­orders and taking drugs such as cortisone, iodides, lithium, vita­min B12, and anti-epilepsy medications. Young men who are taking anabolic steroids for body-building are prone to the severe cystic type of acne that doesn't respond to conventional anti-acne medications. Young women often experience acne eruptions just before their menstrual periods. The "low-dose" birth control pills also are responsible for acne in women who never had the problem as adolescents. Many women note a worsening-even an onset--of acne after stopping their oral contraceptive. This phenomenon can last as long as two years.

There also is some indication that acne around the mouth is aggravated by fluoridated toothpastes. Persistent localized acne over the temples and forehead may be caused by excessive brush­ing with a hair brush or hair dryer attachment.

Acne usually lasts for several years and abates in the early twenties. The conflicts and tensions that may arise along the way can lead to feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy, which undermine self-confidence. After acne has burned itself out, it may leave permanent scars on the psyche as well as on the skin. Both subside with time, but if the skin scars are severe, they may benefit from further treatment in the form of dermabrasion, chemical peel, punch grafting, or collagen injections.

While there is no easy cure for acne, you can control it to lessen its severity and to prevent the pitting and scarring that arise from neglect and self-medication.

The key to acne therapy is to control the overactivity of the oil glands, shrink them if possible, and destroy the bacteria that are responsible for the infection. And the earlier you treat your acne, the better.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Age and Your Skin

We're all getting older every day, but our skin ages differently, depending on heredity, general health, and how you have taken care of your skin. There are, however, some general stages in our skin's life.

Young people's skins are more delicate and thinner than those of adults. Infants with diaper rash and young children who are covered with scrapes, scratches, and bruises have less protection from the outside world than the adult whose skin has become toughened to handle the nicks and bumps of everyday living. The teenager whose oil-producing glands are increasing their activity will develop oily skin, oily hair, and acne.

When you get old, your skin becomes very thin and fragile, just as it as when you were a baby. Bumping your skin even a little bit can cause large bruises and blemishes. As your skin ages, it becomes saggy. Changes in hormones cut down the skin's oil supply and the skin becomes rough and dry, and "age spots" develop.

Heredity and Your Skin

Heredity plays a big part in what your skin is and what it will be. If you are black, your skin is stronger than that of your white friends. Black skin is thicker and tougher, has greater protection from the sun's dangerous rays, and wrinkles much less-and much later-than fair skin.

Black people, even when they're seventy or eighty years old, usually have fewer wrinkles than white people who are in their fifties. And, if a black person hasn't been in the sun a lot during his or her lifetime, you may never see a wrinkle.

If you are blue-eyed, blonde, and fair-skinned with Scandina­vian or Irish relatives, your skin will usually be thin and delicate. This type of skin can't take exposure to the sun, wind, cold, or other harsh weather. It also develops wrinkles sooner than darker skin does.
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