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Paying Attention to Skin Changes

check for skin changes

Our skin is our largest organ. Taking care of it is essential to our general well-being.  Therefore we need to be actively aware of any skin changes that occur.  Some of these changes can indicate or give clues as to what may be happening within our body.  Skin discoloration, a new growth, or even a difference in texture may be a sign of an illness or injury within us.  The following are some skin changes or conditions that may signal something worth looking into with a doctor.

New Growths

Any new mark or raised bump on the surface of our skin should always be seen by a doctor.  We are already aware that any moles we have should be routinely checked, as they could be a sign of skin cancer.  But there are some growths that can signal an internal issue.  Acne can suggest a hormone level problem, especially in women.  In extreme cases, acne along the jawline could indicate having polycystic ovarian syndrome, a condition that can also lead to thinning of the hair and weight changes in women.

Rashes and Other Textures

A rash or raised texture on the skin can signal an allergy to food, medication or the environment you are in.  However, other symptoms that can accompany a rash such as a fever or joint pain, may indicate an internal infection or condition.

For example, a purple tinged rash on the lower legs can be a sign of hepatitis C, or, not as common, a velvety rash could be a warning sign of stomach or liver cancer. Very dry, itchy patches of skin can be a sign of hormonal problems, especially in regards to the thyroid.  Or even eczema, a condition causing itchy, red patches of skin can be a signal of something internal going on, possibly joint issues or sleep problems.

Skin Discoloration

An altering in skin colour can be a symptom of various conditions worth looking into.  A yellowing of the skin, and the whites of the eyes, may signal liver failure.  A darkening of the skin, primarily scars and joints (knees and elbows) could be an indication of hormonal diseases, such as Addison’s disease.

Nail Changes

The shape or colour of our nails can also indicate an internal organ issue.  Dry, brittle nails could indicate a thyroid issue.  Nails that appear concave my indicate heart disease or a liver disorder called hemachromatosis, where the body absorbs too much iron.  Discoloured nails could indicate a plethora of possible health ailments.  Blueish tinged nails could mean low oxygen levels in the blood, whereas white nails may indicate a liver disease like hepatitis.

In short, pay attention to your body and look for skin changes.  Don’t ignore or overlook something new on your skin.  It is always best to consult your doctor if you have any doubt about a rash or a mark that you are unfamiliar with.  It just may be an indication of something bigger going on with you.

We welcome your questions and feedback. You can connect with us via email or telephone.  Don`t forgot to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest trends and special offers!

Til next time,

Phyllis

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Beauty Benefits of Salicylic Acid

beauty benefits of salicylic acid

Suffer from acne? Have difficulty balancing your oily skin? Salicylic acid may help you keep your skin under control.  Salicylic acid is an ingredient used in many skin care products.  Exfoliators, facial masks and creams quite often contain this acid.  It is derived from the bark of the willow tree, and with some chemical magic, the extract is created with the use of antioxidant chemicals that are safe for our skin, provided that they are used correctly.

Did you know that salicylic acid is the main ingredient in aspirin?  It acts as a pain reliever topically and orally!  There are so many ways to use this amazingly beneficial product.  The following are a few of the ways to capture the beauty benefits of salicylic acid.

Beauty Benefits of Salicylic Acid

Anti-Inflammatory

As mentioned before, aspirin contains salicylic acid.  Therefore it makes sense that it can reduce discomfort.  The acid can lessen the swelling and pain caused by rashes and pimples.

Anti-Acne

The acid aids in clearing and de-clogging your pores.  It helps to heal your pimples quickly by increasing blood circulation in the area.  Salicylic acid is in fact gentler on the skin for this purpose, rather than using some other acne treatment that can be harsh on the skin.

Reduces Oily Skin

Salicylic acid breaks down the oil in the pores, therefore tightening the skin and reducing pore size.  This in turn gives the skin a smoother appearance.

Blackheads

The acid acts as an exfoliator and aids in the removal of dry cells to make way for new cells to form.  It removes dirt and grime (i.e. blackheads) from the skin, promoting a clear, glowing surface.  To create a blackhead removal treatment, mash up a few aspirin tablets and mix with warm water.  Massage the paste onto your blackheads and remove after letting it sit after 7 minutes.  You may have to scrape it off with a spoon, so be careful!

Anti- Dandruff

There are many anti-dandruff shampoos that contain salicylic acid due to its anti-fungal, bacteria fighting ability.  It is highly effective in the treatment of psoriasis and other various scalp conditions.

Precautions Towards Salicylic Acid

Although there are a multitude of beauty benefits of salicylic acid, there are some precautions to take with its use.  If used incorrectly, your skin may become unnecessarily dry.  Regular or over use of this acid may discolour or darken your skin, so be sure to use sunscreen.  And above all, if you have any questions or concerns about using salicylic acid, it is always best to consult your doctor.

We welcome your questions and feedback. You can connect with us via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.  Join in the conversation on Facebook too!

Til next time,

Phyllis

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Treating & Preventing Ingrown Toenails

preventing ingrown toenails

Our feet have been hibernating in boots and socks all winter long.  It’s time for them to emerge! Spring and summer mean it’s time for a pedicure to get your feet looking and feeling their best.  And with our feet cooped up for so long, some of us may have acquired the dreaded and painful ingrown toenail.

What is an Ingrown Toenail?

An ingrown toenail is a problem usually occurring in the big toe, where the toenail grows into the skin instead of over it.  It can become painful and swollen.  An infection can occur if left untreated and the nail continues to grow like this.

Preventing Ingrown Toenails is Easy

Let’s discuss a few ways to do so. Here are a few tips to prevent this painful condition:

Shape and Length of Toenails:

Be sure to cut toenails straight across, as well as not too short.  Toenails that are trimmed too short can create pressure from your shoe to direct the nail to grow downward into the skin.  Trimming them straight across and even with the tips of your toes is the best when preventing ingrown toenails

Buy Properly Fitted Footwear:

Shoes that are too narrow or too tight can create pressure on your toes and cause ingrown toenails. The best solution is to shop for shoes later in the day when your feet are at their largest.  This is when you will get a shoe that fits you properly.

Foot Hygiene:

Keep your feet clean and dry to prevent ingrown toenails.  Moist, sweaty feet are a breeding ground for this and other foot conditions.  Keep footwear and socks dry as much as possible to prevent a dirty environment for your feet.

Know Your Feet:

Check your feet daily. This may sound silly but people with conditions such as diabetes or poor blood flow to their feet are more vulnerable in acquiring ingrown toenails. The more you know, the better you can take care of yourself and your feet.

Easing the Pain of Ingrown Toenails

If you think you may have an ingrown toenail here are a few things you can try to help ease the pain.

  • Soak your foot in warm water for about 15 minutes a few times a day with either some Epsom salts or just plain table salt. Salt water aids in the reduction of bacteria growth.
  • If able, dry your foot and gently lift the corner of the nail after soaking and apply an antibiotic cream.  Ask a pharmacist which cream would be best.
  • Bandage your toe to protect it and wear open toed or loose fitting shoes so your toe can have some extra room to heal.

If the pain and pressure lasts longer than 2 or 3 days, it’s probably best to see your doctor.

Our feet carry us everywhere we go – we cannot take them for granted! Taking good care of our feet is of the utmost importance in our overall health.

Hopefully these tips to prevent and treat ingrown toenails will be beneficial to you!

We welcome your questions and feedback. You can connect with us via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.  Join in the conversation on Facebook too!

Here’s to summer ready lips!

Jana

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Simple Tips for Healthy Luscious Lips

healthy luscious lips

healthy luscious lips

Taking care of your lips properly is an important part of oral health. Let’s face it, who doesn’t want beautiful lips? You don’t need expensive products or cosmetics. You just need a few minutes and some good tips on how to take proper care of them. Your lips will thank you.

Here are a few suggestions to try to help in giving you a pretty pucker!

Hydration and Nutrition

Lips are like a sponge. When they are dehydrated, they shrink and dry out, but when they absorb water they will plump up.  Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water daily as it helps to keep your skin and lips hydrated.  A healthy diet rich in foods containing vitamins and minerals (especially vitamin B and D) can also aid in skin and lip renewal.  Foods like fish, yogurt and green vegetables contain loads of these vitamins. So drink and eat up!

No Licking or Picking

Digestive enzymes in your saliva can break down the protective barrier on your lips.  The skin on your lips is thin and contains no oil glands to keep them moist.  So when you lick your lips, they become dry and in some cases very painful and cracked.  So avoid licking and picking your lips.

Exfoliation

Just like with the rest of our skin, our lips need exfoliation too.  Lip exfoliators remove dead skin, similar to ones we would use on our face and help promote new skin cells to form.  Rub the mixture in a circular motion all over your lips and rinse off.  Use a lip exfoliator once weekly.

Moisturize and Protect

Our lips do not contain melanin, the pigment which acts as a shield when exposed to the sun.  This makes them more susceptible to sun damage.  The best thing to apply is a lip moisturizer that contains SPF.  Apply your lip moisturizer when your lips are feeling dry and chapped for some relief whether you are indoors or out. This can also help prevent sun damage.

Combine Your Favourite Lipstick with a Hydrating Lip Moisturizer Underneath

Many of us wear long lasting or matte lipstick.  These types of lipsticks can be excessively drying to our lips.  If your favourite shade is one of these types of lipsticks, you’re best to apply a hydrating lip moisturizer beneath it.  But if you can, opt for a lipstick containing vitamin E or glycerin as they will aid in hydration and keep lips soft.

There is nothing you can do to hide dry, sore looking lips.  You need to take proper care of them and hopefully these tips are helpful.  Healthy lips will help you to smile with confidence!

We welcome your questions and feedback. You can connect with us via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.  Join in the conversation on Facebook too!

Here’s to summer ready lips!

Jana