July 27, 2010

7 Mosquito Bite Remedies

It’s that time of year again – its mosquito season!  Get out your “Off” bug spray and calamine lotion out to prepare for those annoying, itchy, and swollen mosquito bites.

All people experience different reactions to mosquito bites.   A bite can swell up to an alarming size or remain as a small bump.   The reason for this is simple; when a female mosquito (males do not bite) lands on you and inserts her proboscis into your skin, some of her saliva enters your skin as well.  The saliva contains proteins that stop your blood from clotting which allows her to drink.  After she has bitten you, the saliva remains in the wound and provokes an immune response from your body.   The swelling can go away quickly but the itching will remain until your immune system has fully broken down the saliva protein left in your skin.

Mosquitoes tend to bite children more often than adults so make sure you give your child the proper bug protection to ward away pests.   If you or your child is suffering from itchy or painful mosquito bites, here are some ways that can ease the itch!

1. Clean the Area- Wash the infected area with soap and water to wash away any bacteria left on the skin

2. Stop Scratching! –  Avoid scratching the area – it seems that as soon as we start scratching it becomes more and more itchy.   Not to mention this can cause bleeding and scarring.

3.  Stop the Itch –  Apply anti-itching medications like calamine lotion and cortisone creams on the bite before you even touch it. This will prevent itching before it becomes unbearable.

4.  The Itch Won’t stop! –  If the itch is too much to handle, rub a topical anesthetic containing pramoxine on the bite right away. Medications like PrameGel and Caladryl work wonders.

5.  Sooth and Cool – Apply an ice pack to the area for temporary relief and to prevent you from scratching

6. Use a Homemade Remedy – Try a rubbing on a homemade remedy like a paste made of baking soda and water, or put a dab of toothpaste on the bite for soothing relief.  A freshly cut onion can also help.

7.  If You’re Allergic – If you tend to experience allergic reactions to mosquito bites, use an anti-inflammatory medication like Advil, Motrin, or Alleve to reduce pain, redness, itching, and swelling.

July 21, 2010

The Truth About Cholesterol

LDL cholesterol, high cholesterol, low cholesterolCholesterol is a type of fat that is found in the blood that your body uses on a regular basis to make cell membranes, vitamin D and hormones. There are two forms of cholesterol – low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). LDL cholesterol is often regarded as the bad form of cholesterol because it can build up plaque along the arterial walls. However, while high levels of cholesterol are not normal, they are not necessarily the prime indicator for the risk of heart-attack that they are perceived to be. In fact, there are several studies that have shown that low levels of cholesterol can lead to many other serious conditions as well.

Cholesterol plays numerous roles in the biochemistry of our bodies. It aids body repairs, and is often found in scar tissue. Cholesterol helps the body to digest food and additionally waterproof the cells within our bodies. Much of our bodily functions can be attributed to cholesterol in some way. Some researchers suspect that a healthy level of cholesterol may reduce the risk of cancers. When the body is not able to produce enough cholesterol, whether it’s because of cholesterol-lowering drugs or other reasons, the natural balance of the body is interrupted; leading to an array of problems including blood sugar problems, edema, infertility, reduced libido, allergies, chronic inflammation and difficulty healing.

It’s true that high cholesterol can contribute to the risk of heart attack, stroke and heart disease; however, it’s also extremely important to remember that low cholesterol isn’t necessarily a good thing either. The best way to control your cholesterol so that it remains at a healthy level is through diet and exercise. If it’s not possible or effective for you to manage your cholesterol in this way, and you plan to use a cholesterol-lowering medication, you may wish to talk to your doctor about taking a CoQ10 supplement, which will ensure that your cellular energy production remains normal.

July 15, 2010

Eight Hair Loss Myths

Filed under: baldness,hair loss — Tags: , , — @ 5:19 pm

balding, receding hairlineFor men and women alike, hair loss is one topic that most people choose to avoid. Losing your hair just isn’t the easiest thing to adjust to, and can be a sore topic for many men and women with receding hairlines. There are many myths surrounding the mystery of hair loss, stemmed from the beginning of embarrassment linking to hair recession.

Eight Hair Loss Myths:

  1. Hats – Just because you never took off that baseball cap when you were young doesn’t mean that you will experience hair loss. The only way that wearing a hat could cause hair loss will occur is if the hat were so tight that it cut off the circulation of the hair follicles.
  2. Hair Dryers – No hair dryer that is recommended for safe usage is able to blow off hair. If you use your hair dryer at the recommended distance, it’s extremely unlikely that your hair dryer will make a significant difference in your hair loss.
  3. Standing on your head – As the myth goes, standing on your head will increase the blood flow to your head, and in doing so provide better circulation for your scalp. The truth of the matter is that your follicles need much more than blood flow to induce growth.
  4. Haircuts Improve Hair Thickness – Sometimes it seems that when you get a haircut your hair grows back thicker and fuller, and to a point, this is true. The “thickest” part of the hair is at the base, which makes it appear that your hair is thicker and fuller at first. As the hair cycle continues, your individual hairs will grow to be the exact same diameter as they were before you cut your hair.
  5. More Sex = More Hair – There is no evidence to confirm that you will grow more hair as a result of increased sexual activities. Likewise, there is no evidence to confirm that you’ll lose more hair if your sexual activities subside.
  6. It’s Your Mother’s Fault – Many people think that the male pattern baldness gene can only be transferred from your mother’s side. This isn’t true, as hair loss is a hereditary trait and can be inherited from both mom and dad’s side of the family.
  7. Curry and Alcohol Rubs – Bathing your scalp in any substance, whether it’s curry or alcohol isn’t going to do anything to improve the growth of your hair follicles, and they’re more likely to make your head smell funny than anything else.
  8. There is No Way to Treat or Prevent Hair Loss – This is completely untrue. With the recent advances in the medical community, hair loss has become a treatable and preventable condition. If you’re concerned that you may be experiencing excessive hair loss, talk to your doctor about a treatment plan that is right for you, whether it involves taking a hair loss medication, taking a mineral supplement or receiving a follicle transplant, there are many options available to help you fight that receding hair line.

July 12, 2010

Depression and Suicide Awareness

The third leading cause of death in the United States is suicide. Depression is the second most common illness. Depression and suicide are related the majority of the time. There are cases where depressed people aren’t suicidal, and suicidal people aren’t depressed. Suicide comes with various warning signs, some of which are severe symptoms of depression.

Neglecting appearance is a sign that the person no longer cares. This may show in untidy hair, clothing that is mix matched, or looks like it’s been worn for days and there will be other noticeable signs.

Loss in interest is another sign. When it seems the person doesn’t care about the usual things this may be a sign of extreme depression.

Talking about suicide is a cry for help. For every suicide there are 30 to 50 attempts. If someone you love is talking about suicide speak with a professional and take a step in the right direction.

If it looks like things are coming to an end. For example, setting up a will, giving away possessions, and visiting people he/she cares about are possibly signs pointing to a potential suicide.

A decrease in school achievement may be noticeable in adolescents and children. In older people a decrease in work performance may be noticeable. There may be a noticeable lack of interest in general, as well as a lack of interest in his/her usual favorite things.

Alcohol and drug use that doesn’t seem to have a specific reason or onset can be a warning of suicide. Other behavioral problems include changes in friendships, sexual promiscuity, changes in eating and sleeping habits, withdrawal from family and former friends, skipping school, and running away from home.

Since 1970 the suicide rate in teens has tripled. With appropriate healthcare and diagnosis of depression and your help getting the victims the appropriate help they cannot find themselves, out of fear, or other reasons, hopefully we can reduce the number of suicides happening.