Archive for the ‘Skin Care’ Category

Cradle Cap on Baby’s Scalp

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Dry skin may be something you have lived with for your entire life without really bothering to do anything about it. But if you are like most women, you will likely wish your skin was not quite so dry, and will likely be on the lookout for skin care products that would ease the condition. The good news is, there are ways to get around your dry skin without spending a fortune, and also without risking unnecessary side effects. Many home remedies have been known to ease the problem of dry skin without burning a hole in your pocket—or on your skin.

1. Olive oil – The ancient civilizations may have been onto something when they discovered the value of the olive plant. Crushing the olives in what they called olive presses caused the oils to come out over several stages. The first oil released, known as extra-virgin olive oil, were used primarily as medicine, while the next batch was used for topical treatments and cleansing-related treatments. Indeed, the use of olive oil for the skin has been around ever since the Egyptian civilization. For modern use, olive oil continues to be hailed as an effective moisturizer, as it penetrates deep into your skin. Extra-virgin olive oil is considered the best for skin care; apply it after your shower to keep the moisture locked in. Unfortunately, you might not like smelling like a fried egg throughout the day, so you can actually mix some lemon or other essential oils before you apply the olive oil.

2. Baking soda – Baking soda is another kitchen cupboard item that seems to be effective at treating a myriad of ailments, including dry skin. To apply it to your skin, make a paste with a little baking soda mixed with water, and then apply it on the affected areas. If you want to enjoy overall relief, you can soak in a tub of water mixed with one cup of baking soda. Just remember to apply moisturizer after such a bath or even after applying some baking soda to small skin areas.

3. Oatmeal – Before you excitedly snip off the package of your instant oatmeal sachet hoping for a quick cure for dry skin, listen up: the oatmeal used for skin care are plain oats, not the sugar-laden version that comprises our instant cooking oatmeal. You can use plain oatmeal either as a face mask or as a bath. You can choose to cook the oatmeal or use it raw, as it apparently works both ways, but you will need to find what works best for you. If you choose to use uncooked oatmeal, add egg whites or honey to achieve the sticking consistency you need. If you want, you can actually add olive oil or baking soda to your oatmeal mask for an even higher efficacy in fighting dry skin. When it comes to oatmeal baths, you will need colloidal oats, or oats which have been ground into a fine powder, to make them dissolve in the water. You can actually do this yourself, using a blender, a coffee grounder, or a food processor. Once you have this powder-form of oatmeal, put it in your bath and enjoy. Just be sure to apply moisturizer after your bath.

4. Apple cider vinegar – This is also a well-known product that does well to improve your skin when added to a bath. Of course, this tends to smell even more strongly than the fried-egg smell of olive oil, so you will probably enjoy it more when you add some sweet-smelling oils, like rosemary or lavender. After your bath, remember to moisturize.

5. Coffee grounds – This is probably the least expected product for a home remedy for dry skin. What coffee grounds do, though, is to act as an exfoliating agent. When you shower, just rub the affected areas with coffee grounds. Of course, you can put the coffee grounds inside a muslin bag, as you cannot exactly just hold them in your hands. Use this bag as an exfoliating agent during your shower, helping you remove dead, dry skin cells. Once again, be sure to moisturize after your shower.

Diagnosing Skin Rashes on Toddlers

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Is your toddler visibly uncomfortable with red, oozy bumps on his skin? Have you found him scratching inconsolably? Interestingly, most rashes on a baby or toddler may not bother him, hence not really requiring action on your part, as they typically go away on their own. In such cases, you can just make sure you keep your baby as comfortable as possible while the rashes are still visible, and wait until the skin will come back to its smoothness again. However, when it is visibly annoying him, it may be time to take notice.

The following are good ways to determine the cause of your toddler’s rashes:

1. Does the rash appear on the diaper area? If so, then it is only diaper rash. Your doctor may prescribe you a diaper rash cream, or you may consider the way you change his diapers. Perhaps you have left the diaper on for too long; if that’s the case, you can decide next time to allow shorter intervals between diaper changes. If you know that you are religious at your diaper changing, then you can look into the possibility of changing diaper brands, or possibly putting your toddler on cloth diapers during the day. The good news about this is that your toddler will soon be potty trained, and you just need to keep the diaper area as comfortable as possible until then.

2. Does the rash come with itching and chapping? If it does, then it is likely caused by dry skin. In that case, make sure you moisturize your toddler’s skin regularly, preferably after every bath or shower. Your doctor can recommend a good moisturizer.

3. Does the rash come with a fever for around two to three days, and comes on after the fever disappears and there are no other symptoms? In this case, it is likely caused by roseola, particularly if it happens during the springtime.

4. Does the rash come on after your toddler eats a new food? Does it come with a swollen face or possibly, trouble breathing? If so, the rash is likely caused by a food allergy. Take note of which new food you offered him, and avoid giving it again for the next few weeks or months. Sometimes you can try offering it again, but typically, doctors would recommend you to put off offering the food trigger until maybe when the child reaches preschool age.

5. Does the rash come with a sore throat or strep throat that your paediatrician diagnoses? Then it may be caused by scarlet fever. Be sure to consult with your doctor in this case.

6. Does the rash appear all over your toddler’s body, on his feet, hands, and around his mouth? Does it last for two to three days and come with a fever? This is likely caused by a virus, and will disappear when the virus has run its course. You can ask your doctor for possible treatment of the rash and the fever, but it will generally go away after the virus has run its course.

7. Does the rash come with a fever and ulcers in your toddler’s mouth? Do the red bumps turn into blisters and crust over, while new bumps continue appearing? Did the rash begin on the back and head? This is possibly chicken pox. Be sure to head over to your paediatrician.

8. Does the rash come with itching around the affected area? It may simply be hives, sunburn, an insect bite, or a reaction to poison ivy.

9. Is the rash red and circular and comes with a center colored like skin? Is it itchy and scaly? This may possibly be caused by ringworm, particularly if the rash appears on your toddler’s scalp.

10. Does the rash come with a runny nose, cough, fever, pinkeye, and has your toddler recently travelled outside the country or spent time with someone who has? If the rash appeared a few days following the appearance of the other symptoms, it may be caused by measles, a tropical country disease.

11. Is the rash shaped like a bull’s eye, and came on between three days to one month of having been bitten by deer tick? If so, it may possibly be Lyme disease.

As you can see, skin rashes in toddlers can be brought about by a myriad of causes. The best thing for you to do, when something seems amiss, is to consult your paediatrician, as he will be the best person to give you the correct diagnosis.

Global Hand Washing Day

Monday, June 6th, 2011

In 2008, The UN General Assembly had designated 2008 as the International Year of Sanitation. For that purpose, October 15, 2008 was considered the first-ever global handwashing day. The primary practice aim was mobilize people and transform handwashing from being just an abstract idea to an automatic behavioural practice followed in homes, schools and communities across the globe.

What is hand hygiene?

Hand hygiene or hand washing means cleansing hands of pathogens including bacteria or viruses and chemicals which could lead to health conditions.

Why wash hands?
The easiest way to spread infectious diseases is through hands.
Handwashing with soap or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can help to prevent pneumonia and diarrhoea which together form a lethal combination and are responsible for majority of child deaths.
More hand washing can reduce the number of deaths due to acute respiratory infections by one-quarter.
Religiously follow hand hygiene in order not to reduce spread germs and infections.

Washing hands with warm or cold water?

Contrary to popular belief, washing hands with hot water does not remove germs better than cold water. In a report published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, a scientist pointed out that various temperatures at with subjects were asked to wash hands in had no effect on bacterial reduction. The use of lukewarm water instead offered more benefits.

Hand Drying

One of the most essential steps to maintain hand hygiene is drying of hands. There is a debate, however, on what form of hand drying is the most effective one. Research suggests that paper towels are much more hygienic than hand dryer which is used by many.

Key findings of a study conducted by University of Westminster, London are –

Bacteria count after drying hands with hand dryer increased on finger pads by an alarming 194% and on palms by 254%.
Bacteria count reduced to a 76% on finger pads and 77% on palms after drying with paper towel.
Further, the scientists carried out some more tests to explain the potential for cross contamination of washroom users and washroom environment. They found out that paper towels do not lead to spread of microorganisms.

Word of caution
Do not use medicated soaps unless prescribed by a doctor. Intended use can cause allergies because every skin type is different.
Rinse off the traces of soap from the skin.
Use a moisturizer if your hands are dry after washing.
Do not use extremely hot water as it might lead to burns.
Since you cannot carry a microscope to see the germs in hands, wash them even when your hands are not visibly dirty. So, wash your hands and eliminate the risk of cross contamination of germs to your healthy neighbours and kids around.

Spread the word and not germs!

Pre School Hand Hygiene

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Children are very notorious and they can literally give a deaf ear to their parents when the latter ask them to wash hands. No, it’s not because of the weather or their moods; it’s because they are kids and that’s how kids are supposed to behave – by being stubborn.

Why is pre school hand hygiene important?

According to studies performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of infections and illnesses in children reduces by at least 50% if they washed hands frequently with soap and water. So, it might be a difficult task for you as a parent to make your child wash hands but not impossible. Understand the gravity of situation and work promptly on it.

Why is spread of germs in children far quicker?

In a small child, the immune system is still not developed. Therefore, dirty hands that are a site of pathogens and chemicals can lead to illnesses in children. So, a child with a runny nose can easily spread the germs to another child because of lack of hand hygiene awareness. So, teach them the importance of hand washing.

When should you ask your child to wash hands?

To keep your children from getting sick every second day, teach them the importance of washing hands as often as possible, especially –

after they’ve come back from outdoor activities.
after using washrooms.
after blowing nose.
after and before eating and drinking.
after handling garbage.
after handling or touching pets and other animals.
after they play with toys.

Why is hand hygiene essential at pre-school?
At school kids forget the presence of germs around them. Whether it is the playground, classroom tables and chairs, green board and chalk dust, they undermine the importance of maintaining proper hand hygiene.
As a parent make sure that your child gets adequate accessibility to use soap and water at school to evade any possibility of contracting any illness through cross contamination of germs.
With winters follows cold and flu and respiratory infections, so maintain the discipline in your child to follow healthy hand washing.

How to encourage your child to wash hands?
Explain them that germs spread through touch and most importantly hands.
Use positive reinforcement and reward them each time you see them washing hands when required.
If you think your child won’t wash hands at school then give them anti-bacterial hand wipes.
At home keep hand soap by the sink.
Tell them germs are present everywhere even if they can’t see.

How to become a role model?
Go out and play with your kid.
Dirty your hands and your child’s too.
Go back home straight to the washroom.
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 40-60 seconds.
Dry your hands with a towel or paper towel.

Next time or may be the time after that, you will notice that your child is aping you. Isn’t that a good deal?

So, for the health sake of your kid, teach them the do’s and dont’s of hand washing on time.

Personality Type Diet Plan

Monday, June 6th, 2011

The Personality Type Diet has been crafted by Robert Kushner. He is a known expert on nutrition and obesity. This weight-loss program considers the effect of your personality and lifestyle on your eating habits. The diet is recognized as an effective plan for weight loss by many experts and is even approved by the Mayo Clinic.

According to some experts the Personality Type Diet is not only a kind of diet but an integrated, personalized system or concept that can aid you to shed excess weight and maintain your target weight after you have achieved it.

How Does the Personality Type Diet Work?

The Personality Type Diet considers that all of us are different and fall into distinct personality types—hence we have different perception and ways to deal with exercise and dieting. Like by your diet personality type you can be a –“Mindless Muncher” or a “Nighttime Nibbler.”

Dr. Kushner’s online questionnaire can assist you to determine your personality type. After determining your personality type—your individualized diet for weight-loss is made considering your individual needs. This will help you to change your habits and behaviors. If you want —your individualized diet can be made for a fee-based membership.

The diet does not exclude food items right away, and has a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The aim is to achieve weight loss while eating healthy and nutritious foods and doing exercise. The diet encourages eating whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, dried beans, lentils, poultry, lean meats, and soy products.
Sample menu and sample recipes are also given with your diet plan. The sample menu includes three meals and two snacks which provide about 1,365 calories.

The Personality Type Diet: Pros

The biggest advantage of this diet is that it recognizes that all of us are different and there can not be a master plan that will suit everyone. As of all us have a different kind of personality— the individualized approach is best for weight-loss.
Another good point of the diet is that it does not exclude food items but emphasizes on developing healthy eating habits and taking responsibility for our own nutrition.
As the plan stresses on exercise with limitation of calories and fats, it will eventually result in weight loss. You will have to follow the plan after target weight is achieved to maintain your gain.
The diet plan is acclaimed by several nutrition experts and even Mayo clinic.
The social networking on weight-loss encouraged by the Personality Diet allows you find “dieting buddies” with the same personality type and can help to keep you motivated.
The Personality Type Diet: Cons

Some experts say that this diet has hardly any flaws or negative element. It will be hard for people who are looking for a quick fix solution for weight, who are not ready to shop and prepare their meals, or who are not ready to take efforts to change their behavior and lifestyle.

The Personality Type Diet: Short and Long-Term Effects

The diet is not for you if you are not ready to take efforts to change your long term unconstructive and negative eating habits and behavior. The diet plan expects us to change our habits and behavior to stay slim and healthy. You will need a lot of self-monitoring, self discipline and at times professional help. If you are ready to adopt healthy eating habits and lifestyle and want a weight-loss program for a lifetime, this diet is right for you.