Health

Daily activities that can prevent spot outbreaks!

outbreaks

  1. Wash your face everyday

    Just like brushing your teeth do this once in the morning and once at night, use your hands or muslin clothes as flannels and sponges can irritate the skin.

  2. Use sunscreen everyday

    The sun and the damage it causes is the main reason for dark spots on the skin, using sunscreen over SPF 30 stops the UVB and UVA rays which damage the skin. I personally find BB Creams do a great job to help protect and moisturise your skin!

  3. Get out more

    Exercising daily improves circulation and your immune system, this can be moderate exercise like walking for fifteen minutes, and remember to wash your face afterwards to prevent dirt and sweat causing more spots.

  4. Try not to touch your face

    Touching your face causes you to transfer bacteria and dirt which leads to more spots. So please resist!

  5. Moisturise

    Find a moisturiser which suits your skin type and apply it in the morning and at night to help combat spots before they happen. Even if you have acne, find an oil free one, don’t think to avoid it, it really helps protect your skin!

  6. Cut down on cosmetics

    Most makeup a contain oils and other ingredients which are harmful to the skin and cause spots therefore you should aim to use it sparingly or find products which benefit the skin. Try organic or having make-up free days… you can sure tell the difference!

  7. Wash your hair frequent and makeup brushes

    Dirty hair can cause a dirty face, transferring oils and bacteria that build up over the day. Make sure to tie back longer hair to keep it off the face and clean your makeup brushes as they trap in dirt… or simply just use your hands! They are much more cleaner and regular cleaned than your brushes!

  8. Take time to relax

    Stress has been liked to spots and is a known cause of breakouts, it’s no use following the advice beforehand if you’re stressed out all the time.

Health

Why do Antibiotics help, but only temporarily?

antibotics

Most people think that getting acne is a normal part of life. But why do some people get acne when others do not? Commercial treatments for acne only focus on keeping the skin clean and clearing clogged pores. This sounds like a good approach but that technique doesn’t necessarily work for everyone!  Some people have to obsessively clean their skin to get rid of acne whereas that method doesn’t work on some!

The real problem with this approach is that acne develops from inside the body, not outside. The skin is an organ, and it is an organ of elimination. We eliminate waste products through our skin, just as we loose minerals when we sweat.  Too many toxins inside the body can lead to inflammation in the skin resulting in clogged pores and acne. In order to treat the cause of the acne we must first remove the toxins.

Acne and other blemished skin conditions are mainly caused by food allergies. Hormone imbalances may also play a role, but are largely over-rated. Fortunately both are treatable.

The inflamed and clogged pores of acne become infected. This is what causes puss. Antibiotics may help treat this infection. Unfortunately, acne comes back when the antibiotics are discontinued because the underlying cause that leads to inflammation and clogged pores, toxins in the body, still exists. So as a result of this, we can’t rely or constantly re use antibiotics because they only work for a short period of time. The best solution is to eliminate foods until you start seeing an improvement (start with removing sugary foods, trans fats and dairy products).

Health

What is Acne and what causes it?

spots

Acne is a skin condition that affects the skin’s oil glands. The small holes in your skin which are called pores, join to the oil glands under the skin. These glands produce an oily substance called sebum. The pores connect to the glands by a canal called a follicle. Inside the follicles, oil carries dead skin cells to the surface of the skin. A thin hair also grows through the follicle and out to the skin. When the follicle of a skin gland clogs up, a pimple grows.

The sebum and skin cells can sometimes clump together into a plug. The bacteria in the plug causes swelling. Then when the plug starts to break down, a pimple grows. There are different type of pimples, the most common are the following:


Whiteheads
– These are pimples that stay under the surface of the skin.

Blackheads – These pimples rise to the skin’s surface and look black. The black colour is not from dirt.

Papules – These are small pink bumps that can be tender.

Pustules – These pimples are red at the bottom and have pus on top.

Nodules – These are large, painful, solid pimples that are deep in the skin.

Cysts – These deep, painful, pus-filled pimples can cause scars.

Health

The 3 different stages of Eczema

There are different stages of eczema which play heavily into treatment. It is important to understand what the different stages are as certain treatments work better during different stages of a rash. The three stages of eczema are the acute stage, the subacute stage and the chronic stage. All three stages respond well to topical steroids and antihistamines like Benadryl and Zyrtec. That is why doctors prescribe you products including these. If the bacteria has invaded the skin during any stage, an oral antibiotic such as cephalexin or dicloxacillin is useful too.

Acute Stage

“Acute” refers to the fact that the rash has just started. Some characteristics of acute eczema include:

  • Blisters
  • Extreme redness
  • Intense itching
  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Heat

An over the counter hydrocortisone cream or antihistamine can be used to suppress the immune system. Antibiotics can be prescribed to reduce inflammation and treat infection. Eczema tends to be very intense during this initial phase, and in some cases, steroids are used.

Subacute Stage

The subacute stage is the transitional phase between the acute stage and chronic stages. The eczema rash evolves and takes on these new characteristics:

  • Flaky, scaly skin
  • Less redness
  • Cracks in the skin
  • Itching, burning and/or stinging

Symptoms are still present during the subacute stage, but they are much less intense than the acute stage. Moisturisers can be used to hydrate dry, flaky skin, coal tar can be used to relieve itching and antihistamines can be used to reduce inflammation.

Chronic Stage

Eczema doesn’t spend a certain amount of time in the subacute stage. Each case of eczema transitions from stage to stage differently. The chronic stage refers to eczema flares that last 3 or more months. Chronic eczema is quite different from the other two stages in the following ways:

  • Thickened, leathery-looking skin, or lichenification
  • Accentuated skin lines
  • Cracks in the skin
  • Skin appears dark and dull
  • Larger areas of skin breakdown called excoriations
  • Itching

Symptoms are at their most severe during the chronic stage which affects the course of treatment. If over the counter products cannot ease the symptoms, prescription topical steroids can be used. They are often more effective when covered with a barrier such as plastic wrap. Keep using moisturisers regularly can also very helpful during this stage.

Food & Drink · Health

Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid

triangle

Wondering what healthy foods are best for you? Well, here I have created an Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid to solve that problem! This food pyramid can help you gain useful information as well as helping you to structure a diet! I pretty much live off these foods (with the odd treat here and there) Read below for more information 🙂

Healthy Sweets – Dark chocolate provides polyphenols with antioxidant activity. Choose dark chocolate with at least 70 percent pure cocoa and have an ounce a few times a week. Fruit sorbet is a better option than other frozen desserts.

Red Wine – Red wine has beneficial antioxidant activity. Limit intake to no more than 1-2 servings per day. If you do not drink alcohol, do not start.

Tea – Tea is rich in catechins, antioxidant compounds that reduce inflammation. Purchase high-quality tea and learn how to correctly brew it for maximum taste and health benefits.

Healthy herbs & spices – Use these herbs and spices generously to season foods. Turmeric and ginger are powerful, natural anti-inflammatory agents.

Other sources of protein – In general, try to reduce consumption of animal foods.  If you eat chicken, choose organic, cage-free chicken and remove the skin and associated fat.  Use organic, high-quality dairy products moderately, especially yogurt and natural cheeses such as Emmental (Swiss), Jarlsberg and true Parmesan.  If you eat eggs, choose omega-3 enriched eggs (made by feeding hens a flax-meal-enriched diet), or eggs from free-range chickens.

Cooked Asian mushrooms – These mushrooms contain compounds that enhance immune function. Never eat mushrooms raw, and minimize consumption of common commercial button mushrooms (including crimini and portobello).

Whole soy foods – Soy foods contain isoflavones that have antioxidant activity and are protective against cancer.  Choose whole soy foods over fractionated foods like isolated soy protein powders and imitation meats made with soy isolate.

Fish & seafood – These fish are rich in omega-3 fats, which are strongly anti-inflammatory. If you choose not to eat fish, take a molecularly distilled fish oil supplement, 2-3 grams per day.

Healthy fats – Healthy fats are those rich in either monounsaturated or omega-3 fats.  Extra-virgin olive oil is rich in polyphenols with antioxidant activity and canola oil contains a small fraction of omega-3 fatty acids.

Whole & cracked grains – Whole grains digest slowly, reducing frequency of spikes in blood sugar that promote inflammation. “Whole grains” means grains that are intact or in a few large pieces, not whole wheat bread or other products made from flour.

Whole wheat pasta – Low-glycemic-load carbohydrates should be the bulk of your carbohydrate intake to help minimize spikes in blood glucose levels.

Beans & legumes – Beans are rich in folic acid, magnesium, potassium and soluble fiber.  They are a low-glycemic-load food.  Eat them well-cooked either whole or pureed into spreads like hummus.

Supplements – Supplements help fill any gaps in your diet when you are unable to get your daily requirement of micronutrients.

Vegetables – Vegetables are rich in flavonoids and carotenoids with both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.  Go for a wide range of colors, eat them both raw and cooked, and choose organic when possible.

Fruits – Fruits are rich in flavonoids and carotenoids with both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.  Go for a wide range of colors, choose fruit that is fresh in season or frozen, and buy organic when possible.

Water – Water is vital for overall functioning of the body.

Food & Drink · Health

What not to eat

Studies so far have focused mostly on the foods that make acne worse. Here are the five that come up most often as culprits in increasing breakouts. Avoid these for about a week, and see if you notice a difference.

What were the foods mentioned? Look below…

Sugar: It may be hard to resist desserts, pastries, chocolate bars, sodas, even fruit juices. However, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition warns that processed sugars trigger the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines. Sugar goes by many names so look out for any word ending in “ose,” e.g. fructose or sucrose on ingredient labels.

Saturated Fats: Several studies have shown that saturated fats trigger adipose (fat tissue) inflammation, which is not only an indicator for heart disease but it also worsens arthritis inflammation. Pizza and cheese are the biggest sources of saturated fats in the average American diet, according to the National Cancer Institute. Other culprits include meat products (especially red meat), full-fat dairy products, pasta dishes and grain-based desserts.

Trans Fats: Harvard School of Public Health researchers helped sound the alarm about trans fat in the early 1990s. Known to trigger systemic inflammation, trans fat can be found in fast foods and other fried products, processed snack foods, frozen breakfast products, cookies, donuts, crackers and most stick margarines. Avoid foods with partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredient labels.

Omega 6 Fatty acids: Omega 6 fatty acids are an essential fatty acid that the body needs for normal growth and development. The body needs a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Excess consumption of omega-6s can trigger the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals. These fatty acids are found in oils such corn, safflower, sunflower, grape seed, soy, peanut, and vegetable; mayonnaise; and many salad dressings.

Refined Carbohydrates: White flour products (breads, rolls, crackers) white rice, white potatoes (instant mashed potatoes, or french fries) and many cereals are refined carbohydrates. According to Scientific American, processed carbohydrates may trump fats as the main driver of escalating rates of obesity and other chronic conditions. These high-glycemic index foods fuel the production of advanced glycation end (AGE) products that stimulate inflammation.