Food Allergies – Learn To Live With This Condition

peanut allergy

About 4 – 6% of children and 4% adults are affected by food allergies. Food allergies are reactions that are produced by the immune system of the body once some foods are eaten. The immune system of the body may feel that the food or substance in the food you ate is not friendly, thus producing protective reactions. These reactions can cause mild to severe effects. Although common in children, allergic reactions are also present in adults. It has not been established whether a child can inherit allergic reactions from a parent although there are cases where children inherited the problem from their parents.

Although food allergies can occur as a result of taking any food, there are some specific foods mostly known to cause allergies. These foods include:

· Eggs
· Peanuts
· Milk
· Fish
· Soy
· Wheat
· Tree nuts
· Mustard seeds
· Shellfish

Symptoms of allergies

People suffering from food allergies exhibit some signs. It is good to be noted that different people may experience different allergic reactions. What’s more, the level of reactions can differ from one individual to another. The level of allergic reactions within the individual will, also, differ from time to time. This means that you may experience severe allergic reactions during morning hours but mild one during evening hours after eating the same kind of food. You shouldn’t expect the reactions to be uniform, therefore, by the virtue of taking some foods only.

Here are common symptoms of food allergies:

· Stomach cramps and vomiting
· Breath shortness
· Hives
· Coughing repeatedly
· Trouble in swallowing
· Wheezing
· Blue coloring of the skin
· Pale skin
· Circulatory collapse
· Swelling of the tongue
· Anaphylaxis – this condition can be life-threatening as it impairs breathing and shocks the body. These reactions may affect different parts of the body simultaneously.

It is good to note that most food allergic reactions occur about two hours after eating or immediately. There are some rare cases, though, where allergic reactions may be delayed for four to six hours. The most common cases occur in children that suffer from eczema.

The above symptoms of food allergies are not the definite indicative of someone suffering from food allergic reactions. Some of the above symptoms can manifest even when you don’t have food allergies. You can determine, though, whether you have this problem by visiting your doctor. You can also monitor the problem and see whether it repeats itself when you eat certain types of foods. If the same reactions continue to show, you might have food allergies.

Management and treatment

The primary way of preventing and treating food allergies is by abstaining from eating foods that may trigger allergies. You should try to avoid foods that have consistently caused allergic reactions whenever you ate them. These foods are most likely to cause allergies if you consume them. While you may know these foods and avoid cooking them at home, you may not know the ingredients of commercially cooked foods. It is important to establish the ingredients of each food type you intend to buy before actually buying. Foods that contain ingredients that trigger allergic reactions in your body should be avoided. You should also avoid foods that are labeled might contain ingredients that can trigger allergic reactions. Finally, it is good to avoid eating out in restaurants and events as much as possible. People tasked with cooking at events or restaurants may not know the ingredients and how you may be affected.

Have Really Dry Skin? Here’s How To Fix It

dry skin

Dry skin is one of the most common skin conditions that many of us have to deal at some point in life. Any sign of scaly and rough patches on the skin is a clear indication of dry skin. For some this condition comes as a result of lifestyle changes, environmental elements, and use of wrong products. For others, dry skin is a condition that runs in the family. It is also important to remember that the skin naturally gets dry with age. In all these situations there are numerous remedies that can be used to take care of this condition. Below are the top 5 essential remedies for dry skin.

1. Take shorter warm showers

If you have dry skin you should limit shower time to about 5 minutes. Make sure that the water is warm and not hot as hot water can only make the situation worse. Use just enough cleanser to get rid of dirt without removing the skin’s natural oils. You can also go a step further and get a cleanser that is specifically designed for dry skin.

2. Moisturize when the skin is damp

When you have dry skin, you should never completely dry your skin when toweling off. Instead, blot your skin with using a soft towel to get rid of the water. When the skin is still damp apply a generous coat of moisturizer on it.

In most cases a cream or ointment will do your skin a lot of good. Instead of using lotion on your skin choose creams that contain natural and moisturizing oils such as jojoba, olive, and coconut oils. Shea butter is also great for dry skin. Creams and ointments that contain ingredients such as lanolin, petrolatum, glycerin and lactic acid are also great for dry skin.

3. Stay away from the sun and other skin-damaging weather elements

The sun is your number one enemy if you have dry skin. If you can, avoid staying in the sun for a prolonged period. If you have no way of avoiding the sun, ensure that your skin is protected from the damaging sun rays. Use a high-quality sunscreen to safeguard your skin against sun damage. Cold winds are also damaging, more so when you have dry skin. Generally, avoid extreme weather conditions that are known to dry the skin.

4. Treat your skin overnight

Overnight skin treatment does not have to be anything fancy. A warm soak in the bath followed by a layer of moisturizing oils may be all you need to cure your dry skin. With this type of treatment, you are guaranteed that your skin will feel and look much better when you wake up.

5. See a doctor

If the condition persists after making use of several home remedies then it would be advisable to see a doctor. Go to a dermatologist who only specializes in skin conditions and overall skin care. Dry skin can be a warning sign for other underlying issues and getting to the bottom of it is the only way to get a lasting solution for your skin. A dermatologist will offer helpful tips on how to manage dry skin and where necessary prescribe ointments and creams to alleviate the problem. A dermatologist will also help you understand your skin and body better so you will know what remedies will work best for your skin.

Guest article brought to you by our friends at dermatologistorangecounty.net. Visit them for a dry skin consultation as soon as possible and get on your way to healthier skin!

Watch the video below for some creative dry skin home remedies that actually work:

Skin Cancer: What You Need To Know Now

It’s your skin, so take responsibility for ensuring you receive the most appropriate and effective skin cancer treatment. You’ll place yourself in a position that ensures treatment options are tailored to suit your beliefs and personal needs by educating yourself on the following:

1. The three types of skin cancer, namely: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma
2. How and where each type develops;
3 The treatment options available for each type;
4. The success rates achieved for each treatment option;
5. The cosmetic results achieved for each treatment option.

 Step 1 – Find Yourself A Good Skin Specialist

You’ll be in an ideal position to identify a doctor who understands you, your beliefs and your personal requirements once you’ve educated yourself on all the treatment options available. If skin cancers are detected early then the cure rate is extremely high. Going for regular skin checks with a competent specialist is the best way to ensure this occurs.

If you believe that natural treatments have their place, then it is imperative that you find a doctor who understands your beliefs and is familiar with the intricacies of those treatments. At the end of the day, the partnership between you and your doctor is critical to ensuring the ongoing health of your skin!

Step 2 – Incorporate Skin Cancer Fighting Foods Into Your Diet

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates

We all know that healthy skin begins with eight glasses of water a day. Scientific research has also identified foods that have skin cancer fighting properties. Incorporate these into your diet to give your skin the best possible chance.

Step 3 – Implement Your Healthy Skin Routine

Healthy skin starts on the inside with plenty of water and antioxidant foods. But this is only half the solution. Implement a simple daily skin health regime, utilizing chemical-free natural products and your skin will be glowing and in the best possible condition to combat the molecular damage associated with skin cancer. Sensitive skin which appears due to environmental factors, improper diet or even cancer can be treated with some natural products that free of chemicals. This way your more likely to achieve a very healthy skin which is free from active radicals and any other chemical deposits.

Step 4 – Use Your Most Powerful Healing Resource

“The natural healing force within each of us is the greatest force in getting well” – Hippocrates

The most powerful healer accepted by conventional and alternative medicine is available to each and everyone on of us, best of all it is absolutely FREE! Used properly it is your most powerful ally on the road to health, however, used incorrectly it can be your greatest foe on the downward spiral to disease. Be conscious of utilizing your mind correctly everyday for powerful, positive results.
Micrographic surgery treats almost all types of cancer. Therefore, if you see a change in your skin and suspect that something’s not right, consult with your dermatologist immediately. If treatment is necessary, find a trained surgeon to start the treatment immediately. Remember 99% of skin cancer is treatable when discovered early and the right treatment is administered.

All About Cellulitis

Our skins normally play host to countless bacteria without any harmful effects. However,these bacteria may cause infection if they penetrate deep in the skin. Cellulitis refers to a bacterial infection of the deep layer the skin (called the dermis) as well as the fat and tissue layer under the skin (also called the subcutaneous tissues).The infection can also spread to your bloodstream and lymph nodes.

Causes

Even though there are many kinds of bacteria that can cause cellulitis, Streptococcus and Staphylococcus bacteria are mostly responsible for the infection. There are also rare instances where a fungal infection is the cause. If your skin surface becomes damaged, this allows bacteria to attack the skin and underlying tissue. Even a tiny or imperceptible break on the skin can cause the infection.

Skin breaks can be caused by cuts and grazes, bites from insects and other animals, ulcers, skin conditions like athletes foot and atopic eczema(a skin condition makes the skin to be red, dry or even cracked). Cellulitis may also result from contamination of a wound through contact with water that has bacteria.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of Cellulitis include redness, swelling, warmth, fever, red spots, dimpling of the skin and skin tenderness. The infection is normally painful and affects people of all ages, races and genders. However it is most common among elderly or middle-aged people. Fortunately, the infection is not contagious.

Risk factors

There are certain factors that may enhance your risk of getting Cellulitis. These include a compromised immune system caused by conditions such as if you have HIV, if you are undergoing chemotherapy cancer treatment , if you are using immune-suppressants(given to recipients of an organ transplant to prevent rejection) or if you have been using corticosteroids for a long time.
Other risk factors include drug use where you use injections, you have diabetes or you have a history of getting cellulitis infections.

Diagnosis

A doctor will easily diagnose cellulitis just by looking out for the typical symptoms like warmth, swelling and redness of your skin. Depending on the seriousness of the infection, the doctor may decide to monitor the affected part for one or two days to determine whether the swelling and redness is spreading. Sometimes the doctor may test your blood or perform a culture of the skin break to check for the presence of the bacteria that cause Cellulitis.

Treatment

Cellulitis responds well to antibiotics. Sometimes a patient may feel as if the infection is worsening, but this will usually reduce after a few days. If you start to vomit or you get a fever after taking the antibiotics for two days, you need to see a doctor immediately.

If you do not have any medical issues or if the infection has not gone into the bloodstream, the doctor will give you oral antibiotics. Otherwise you will be given antibiotics using an injection or intravenously, particularly if you have other medical issues or you are too old or too young or the infection covers a wide area on your body. You will also be injected if the infection has occurred near sensitive areas such as eyes.

In rare cases, doctors may need to operate so as to remove pus and drain an abscess. Dead tissue can also be cut away in order to promote faster healing.

Prevention

Cellulitis can be prevented by observing proper hygiene where you keep your skin clean, not walking barefoot when you are outside and washing any wounds and injured skin with water and soap.

Canker Sores And What To Do About Them

Canker sore

Courtesy of MedicineNet.com

Canker sores are basically ulcers, only they are small, shallow and they appear in the mouth. The most common type of ulcer around, canker sores are normally white or yellow in color. Typically surrounded by red inflamed tissue, people tend to notice them inside the lip or the cheek.

Types of Canker Sores

There are two types of canker sores, namely:
1). Simple – this is the most common type, manifesting three or four times a year. They only last a few days, maybe even a week.
2). Complex – this type is most commonly seen in people that have had canker sores before
Canker sores are not contagious in any way. More importantly, they usually go away on their own, though they can prove irritating, causing a lot of discomfort during eating.

Symptoms

The symptoms of canker sores are difficult to mistake for anything else. They include the following:

1). The most notable symptom of cancer sores is small, oval shaped ulcers. You can find them on the roof of the mouth, inside the cheek or even on the tongue.
2). Along with the ulcers, you can keep an eye out for a burning sensation.
3). In cases where the ulcers are really bad, you might also experience a fever and swollen lymph nodes. Do not be surprised if you find that you simply don’t feel well.

Causes

What causes Canker Sores? This is the question everyone who hates the irritation of canker sores always asks.
No one knows the exact cause of this ailment, though medical experts have associated certain factors with the manifestation of canker sores, these including stress, citrus or acidic foods (including fruits and vegetables), sharp teeth, the use of sharp dental appliances etc.
Certain illnesses and conditions can also offset canker sores, this including a deficiency of nutrients like Vitamin B-12, iron and folic acid to mention but a few.

Diagnosing Canker Sores

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to identify canker sores. A doctor should be able to identify them with a simple look. In some cases, blood tests might prove necessary or even a biopsy, especially when the outbreak in severe.

Sometimes, sores of this kind are a symptom of underlying illnesses like a mineral deficiency or a problem with your immune system.

Some cancers first manifest as sores in the mouth.

Treating Canker Sores

Sores of this kind rarely require treatment to heal. If you live them alone, the pain should begin fading in ten days. In fact, most canker sores go away in the first two or three weeks.

However, where necessary, you can always speed up the healing process. Hygiene is important. Brush your teeth and floss on a regular basis. You do not want to attract bacterial infections.

Additionally, spicy foods will exacerbate your situation so avoid them.

If the pain becomes unbearably severe, your doctor can recommend an antibiotic, corticosteroid ointment or an antimicrobial mouth rinse. If your sores do not heal within the first three weeks, then seek medical attention, especially if you experience additional symptoms such as rashes, headaches, high fever, diarrhea and excruciating pain.

If the ulcers are larger than normal, you are also encouraged to seek immediate medical attention.

Dangerous Conditions: Necrotizing Fasciitis

serious face

What is Necrotizing Fasciitis?

Necrotizing fasciitis is a term that is used to describe a rare and serious disease condition of rapidly spreading infection, typically located in the fascial planes of connective tissue, which result in dead or damaged tissue (also known as necrosis). In other words, the above condition is a type of tissue infection, and it destroys the tissues in the skin, muscles, and even subcutaneous tissues. Inherently, fascial planes are bands of connective body tissues that surround nerves, blood vessels, and muscles. One of the core functions of fascial planes is to bind body structures together and allow them to slide freely over each other. The above disease occurs rarely, but doctors explain that it can happen in almost any part of the body.

Although necrotizing fasciitis is mainly caused by group A Streptococcus (commonly referred to as flesh-eating bacteria’), most of the latest research indicates there are other different bacterial species and genera, called polymicrobial infections, that cause this disease. This disease is relatively rare among healthy people, but it is possible to contract it from even tiny cuts.

Therefore, it is imperative that you need to see your doctor as soon as possible if you have signs and symptoms of the said infection. Indeed, it has to be understood that the condition that results from this infection progresses quickly, which means it is vital to treat it as early as possible.

Common signs and symptoms of Necrotizing Fasciitis

Typically, Necrotizing Fasciitis begin with an existing infection (such as on a wound, sore, or even cellulitis), most frequently in a wound, on an extremity or surgical site. Indeed, as mentioned in the previous section, the initial infection can be from almost any cause. For instance, it can be from cuts on the skin, surgical incisions, puncture wounds, or even from insect bites such as biting flies and spiders. Nevertheless, early signs and symptoms of the above condition may resemble those of cellulitis and include some of the following:

• Fever and chills
• Instead of healing, the affected area shows swelling and redness (commonly referred to as erythema)
• The affected site is extremely sensitive to pain
• Severe skin pain occurs even past the area of erythema
• Fatigue
• Vomiting
• Dizziness
• Nausea
• Infrequent urination
Later or progressive symptoms of Necrotizing Fasciitis include the following:
• Skin discoloration
• Progressive skin changes such as formation of skin bullae and ulceration
• Gas formation in the tissues
• Necrotic scars, which are seen as black scabs
• Septic shock manifested as low blood pressure, bacteremia, mental status altered, and rapid breathing
• Pus and/or fluid draining from the affected site occurs rapidly as the infection progresses

Causes of Necrotizing Fasciitis

As stated in the previous sections, you need to have a particular type of bacteria in your body to develop Necrotizing Fasciitis. Typically, a bacterium enters your body when the skin is broken. Mostly, it enters the body through body cuts, scrapes, or even through surgical wounds. In fact, these injuries do not need to be large for the infectious bacteria to take hold, even a simple needle puncture can be enough.

Nevertheless, several types of bacteria cause the above condition. However, group A Streptococcus is the conventional and well-known bacterial type causing Necrotizing Fasciitis. The rest include the following:

• Clostridium
• Klebsiella
• Staphylococcus aureus
• Escherichia coli
• Aeromonas hydrophilia

Diagnosis of Necrotizing Fasciitis

Apart from carrying out a thorough check on your skin, the doctor performs other several tests to diagnose the above condition. Mostly, a biopsy is one of the procedures where a small sample of the tissue from the affected skin area is taken for examination. Besides that, other vital analyses conducted include CT, blood tests, and MRI scans. Apparently, blood tests are critical if there is a need to know whether the infection has damaged your muscles.

Necrotizing Fasciitis treatment

Once diagnosed and the doctor is sure that the symptoms that you have resemble that of Necrotizing Fasciitis, treatment begins immediately with the administration of strong antibiotics. In most cases, these are administered directly into the veins. Since the above condition causes tissue decay, it means that the administered antibiotics might not reach all the affected body parts. Therefore, it is important that any dead or decay tissue need to be removed immediately by the doctors. To stop the spread of the infection to other parts of the body, sometimes amputation of one or more limbs is necessary.

Prevention of Necrotizing Fasciitis

Although there isn’t sure way to protect or prevent yourself against Necrotizing Fasciitis, you can reduce your risks of getting the infection by observing basic hygiene practices. Indeed, it is highly important that you need to be frequently washing your hands with soap as well as promptly treating any wounds, regardless of how minor they are.

Lastly, you are advised that you need to visit your doctor immediately if you have signs and symptoms of Necrotizing Fasciitis mentioned earlier. Indeed, treating the infection as early as possible is essential.