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Protecting Your Skin Against Sun

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protecting your skin against sun

Despite the widely accepted consensus that sunblock creams are the most effective agent in fighting the sun’s harmful UV rays, you must remain extremely cautious when applying these creams, which can be counter-reactive to sunlight when applied on top of perfumes and deodorants, especially those that contain bergamot, lavender or rosemary.

A study by the Washington University Department of Dermatology has revealed that sunblock creams are more effective than sun lotions in protecting your skin against sun exposure. While many prefer creams rather than lotions due to various factors regarding our many different skin types, the widespread consensus is that sunblock creams provide better skin protection and must be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapplied every two hours.

However, many people are unaware that applying these products on the skin after applying perfume or deodorants could cause these sunblock creams to lose their effectiveness. The reason for this is that some perfumes and deodorants contain active ingredients that react on exposure to UV rays. Therefore, it is safe to say that no matter how effective your sunblock cream may be in protecting against sunburn, there are some points to take into consideration before you apply sunblock to your skin.

Citric acid causes skin sensitivity

While citrus fruits are widely known for their antioxidant, immune-boosting properties and vitamin C content, which protects the body against flu and other illnesses that threaten our health during winter, these fruits offer a wide range of additional health benefits in protecting the body against cancer while lowering the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. Fruits such as oranges, lemons, grapefruits and mandarins – all citrus fruits – were first produced in South and Southeastern Asia as well as Australia.

Now, these citrus fruits are grown in greenhouses worldwide (including Turkey) and are highly regarded for their health benefits and delicious taste. One of the most widely produced citrus fruits, the orange, has been the subject of numerous studies that have revealed the fruit is effective in preventing cancer thanks to the flavonoids and phytochemicals it contains. Citrus fruits also have a purifying effect on the skin and the human body and, as we all know, the role that Vitamin C plays in ridding the body of toxins is undeniable.

Consuming Vitamin C is known to provide the body with numerous health benefits. However, you must be careful when consuming Vitamin C during the summer months. Taking Vitamin C just before sun exposure or while you are under the sun, could result in serious burns to the skin, known as “phytophotod hermatitis,” which causes painful rash, irritation, papilloma and even nausea. According to studies conducted at the DC Sinai Hospital, the citric acids found in citrus fruits (especially lemon) can exfoliate and purify the skin.

However, this renewal also makes the skin dermatologically vulnerable to the sun’s UV rays and can lead to severe sunburn and sunspots. The same study revealed that citric acid also causes furanocoumarin disease, which leads to a painful skin rash and causes a dermatological reaction to UV ray exposure. Dermatologists advise you to wash your skin immediately after coming in contact with citrus especially prior to sun exposure.

Be careful while using perfume and deodorants

Sweating is a common problem that can signal the presence of various illnesses. On the other hand, excessive sweating can also be triggered by psychological factors, increasing basal body temperature and extreme heat during the summer months. Regardless of the cause, people are always looking for a solution for the malodor of sweat that comes from years of dealing with bodily perspiration. While doctors offer a range of surgical solutions and medications for the issue, most people prefer to use perfumes and deodorants at home.

However, you must be extremely cautious when using such products in summer, as they contain numerous substances that belie the alluring essences of their scents. These substances both irritate the skin and react to UV ray exposure. Studies conducted at Baylor Science College revealed that perfumes that contain the bergamot plant, lavender or rosemary can actually make the body vulnerable to the sun’s harmful UV rays. Hence, you must be careful while choosing and applying perfume. In addition, apply perfume to your clothing rather than directly to the skin before going outside. If you are going on a vacation or carrying any luggage with you, it will be healthier to apply it on your bag, hat and similar accessories.

Some medicines may leave skin susceptible to burns

Medicine used during summer months also requires attention as some medicine like analgesics, common cold medications, acne toner and skin care products may weaken your skin against the sun. Some medicine also leaves you more exposed to the sun as they contain photosensitization substances. According to a report prepared by the American Skin Cancer Foundation (ASCF), compounds found in some medicines cause your body to absorb the UV rays from the sun and will harm your skin by returning them to your body. After taking or applying such medication, try not to be exposed to sunlight. However, if you have to go out, protect your skin with a sunscreen with SPF 30. Studies show that sunscreens containing an SPF 30 or higher will prevent 97 percent of UV rays, while those with SPF 50 can prevent 98.5 percent of the sun’s rays.

While 30 SPF is regarded as the ideal level of protection for adults, the number should be increased a bit for children. Another common harm of sunlight is that it causes early aging. The elastin layer, which contains fibers making the skin more flexible, wears off when it is exposed to sun and causes the skin to sag much earlier than normal. If you do not apply the necessary protective creams, sunlight may leave you with permanent scars and sun spots.

These spots generally arise on the face and neck area and all your beauty efforts may be concluded with irrevocable disappointment. While UVB rays cause skin rash and sunburn, UVA rays may result in skin cancer, sun spots and deep skin damage. To effectively protect your skin against UVA and UVB rays, you need to use a broad-spectrum sunblock cream. While buying sunscreen, you must definitely analyze the product content and be sure that it will protect you from UVA and UVB rays. Those with sensitive skin must definitely see the doctor before choosing a sunblock cream.

Drink enough water

Inflammation and irritation developed due to sun burn may lead to dehydration by distorting the outer layer of your skin. Especially in acute burn cases, dehydration and electrolyte disturbances may arise. When you experience skin inflammation or damage, aches and itching may become a burning sensation over time. All these issues are closely related to water consumption. During skin renewal, dehydration may arise due to evaporation. The skin, which loses its moisture equilibrium, becomes more and more vulnerable to UV rays. Hence, to be able to sustain moisture equilibrium in your skin, you should drink a minimum of eight glasses of water in a day.

Take a warm shower

Enjoying a hot shower and vapor bath can have purifying effects on the skin and rid it of dead cells. However, a warm shower may be harmful to those with heart issues, breathing problems or lung disease. A warm shower, especially taken during summer months, makes the skin more prone to sun and cause skin burns. So, you have to be careful about the warmth of the shower especially during the summer months. It should be also kept in mind that a cold shower decreases stress and help a person to be heartier.

Home remedies for sunburn

Mix a cup of apple vinegar with warm water to soothe the skin.

Place oatmeal in muslin cloth and put it under running water to soften. When it becomes soft, apply it to your sunburn every two hours.

Avoid using harsh soaps on your skin as it causes drying of the skin. And it can increase pain associated with sunburn.

Apply tea bags to the skin. Tea contains tannic acid, which has a soothing effect on painful sunburns.

Mix corn starch with water and apply it to the sunburned area for relief.

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Protect your heart at all costs: How to have a healthy heart

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Protect your heart at all costs: How to have a healthy heart

Studies show that heart attacks are one of the main diseases leading to death for both men and women. In its simplest definition, a heart attack can be explained as plaques formed in the blood vessels for various reasons preventing blood and oxygen from reaching the heart and thus stopping the system. Due to the vital importance of cardiovascular diseases, whose reasons have been investigated numerous times, it is important to know the most important prevention measures and adapt them to our lives in a timely manner. Protect your heart at all costs: How to have a healthy heart.

Sleep 7-8 hours every day

Research points out that regular and adequate sleep is one of the most important steps to protect heart health. A study that included people who sleep less than six hours a day and others who sleep between seven to eight hours revealed the relationship between adequate sleep and heart attacks. Accordingly, those who sleep less than six hours a day are twice as much at risk than those who sleep seven to eight hours a day.

Sleep helps regulate the level of insulin in the blood. When you do not sleep well enough, your cells become resistant to insulin, which causes your blood sugar to rise, weight gain, and you can develop long-term cardiovascular diseases. Regular and adequate sleep, which we do not pay enough attention to, is important enough to cause long-term cardiovascular diseases.

Waist circumference

Your weight is an important clue to your health. The increasing rate of obesity in recent years has led scientists to examine health problems associated with obesity. According to studies, being overweight invites many vital diseases, especially cardiovascular disease. Some of the recent studies stress that your waist circumference is as important as your height-to-weight ratio. The likelihood of developing cardiovascular diseases increases in direct proportion to your waist circumference. According to scientists, a woman’s waist circumference of over 89 centimeters (35 inches) and a man’s waist circumference of over 102 centimeters increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

According to scientifically proven data, losing 5-10 percent of your total weight is enough to significantly reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular disease.

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise is a miracle-like wish for those who are lost in a busy working tempo and city life. However, we must not forget that health is acquired through discipline. Studies have shown that doing aerobics three days a week for 30 to 60 minutes regulates cholesterol levels, controls high blood pressure and reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. If you follow a healthy diet program along with regular exercise, you can reach these results much more effectively and quickly.

Laugh

Laughing is the best medicine ever discovered. Studies have shown that laughter is extremely beneficial for vascular health. When you laugh, a serious decrease in the level of cortisol, known as the stress hormone, occurs. Decrease in stress and cortisol levels regulates blood pressure, strengthens our immune system and makes us feel happier. Scientists studying the effects of human psychology on diseases state that stress increases the risk of heart attacks.

Take aspirin

Plaque emerging in the blood vessels for various reasons prevents blood flow, leading to a heart attack. Aspirin naturally distributes blood clots. If you suspect someone is having a heart attack near you, one of the first things you should do is to make them chew aspirin (not swallow). Thanks to this intervention, the clot that is causing congestion in the blood vessels will dissipate in a short time.

Learn about your genetic history

Your chances of getting cardiovascular disease are closely related to your genetic heritage. In particular, if there is history of cardiovascular disease among your close relatives get regular checkups. Early diagnosis is of vital importance in cardiovascular diseases as in many other diseases.

Beware if you snore

Studies show that snoring is an important sign of heart disease. If you are snoring, you may need to contact a specialist. Being overweight causes various diseases in a linked manner. One of them is sleep apnea that stops you from breathing during sleep. Studies have revealed that sleep apnea significantly increases the risk of heart attack.

Cut down on salt intake

Salt’s harms have long been discussed. In particular, the claim that cardiovascular disease is closely related to high salt intake is a subject everyone is aware of. According to studies, cutting down on your daily salt intake even by a single teaspoon is enough to reduce the pressure on your heart.

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Psoriasis: Symptoms and Treatments

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Psoriasis: Symptoms and Treatments

Psoriasis, which is mostly chronic, is a common dermatological disease with different appearances in different people. The disease is not an infectious one and it can occur in people of all ages, even if it is generally seen in people 15 to 30 years old. Although the reason for its emergence is not completely known, it is thought that it occurs as a result of an interaction of the immune system, genetics and environmental factors. Psoriasis: Symptoms and Treatments

A frequently asked question is, “How do you understand whether a skin rash is actually psoriasis or not?” This article examines the description of psoriasis, its types and treatment alternatives.

The disease takes its name from some of the most common symptoms which are white, bright and dry dandruff on a red skin eruption. It can appear with the hardening of the soles of the feet and palms, and cracks in the skin. It can occur with a rash-like appearance in the folding parts of the body, such as the armpits or belly button. In patients with psoriasis, small pits on nails, yellow-red stains like oil drops, hollow and thickening nails, bleeding under nails and disorder on the surface of nails can be observed. The disease can occur on the skin with hair, knees and elbows, sacrum and hips. Sometimes, it can be mistaken for eczema or allergic skin diseases.

Types and symptoms

Plaque psoriasis: Plaque psoriasis, the most common one, is red lesions covered by blotchy, inflammatory, white and nacred flakes. These plaques, which can be itchy and painful, can be seen anywhere in the body. However, the most common areas are the elbows, knees, waist and scalp. Eighty percent of patients with psoriasis have this type.

Guttate Psoriasis: Guttate psoriasis is the second most common disease after plaque psoriasis and mostly appears in childhood or young adulthood. Its frequency among all psoriasis types is 10 percent. It is seen on the skin of the chest, arms, legs and other parts of the body as small, red, separate spots. These spots are generally not as thick as plaque lesions.

Pustular psoriasis: Pustular is a rare type of psoriasis seen mostly in adults. It is usually observed on a small area on the hands and feet as white blisters filled with non-inflammatory liquid but it can spread to other areas.

Inverse Psoriasis: This is seen on the armpits, groin, inframammary fold, backs of the knees, sexual organs and other skinfolds on the hips. This type appears as nacred, smooth, bright and red inflammatory lesions.

Erythrodermic Psoriasis: This is an inflammatory type of psoriasis which is seen frequently. This disease is the most severe as it covers a great part of the body, more than 75 percent, with itching and redness on the skin and painful, exanthematous flaking.

Psoriatic arthritis: Along with typical psoriasis symptoms on the skin, there can be rheumatic problems. Swelling, pain, redness and mobility restriction can be seen among its symptoms that affect the joints. In many patients, effects such as heel spur, elbow pain, waist and back pain, can also be observed. In some cases, psoriasis negatively affects the fingernails and toenails. Nails generally thicken and the disease causes some effects such as dents on the nails and nail separation from their bed.

As psoriasis can be mistaken for other skin diseases, consulting your doctor can help with getting a proper diagnosis and the best treatment plan for you.

Treating psoriasis

The treatment of psoriasis should be planned, considering the general health, age and lifestyle of the patient and the type of psoriasis. The first thing that should be done while struggling against the illness is to prefer soaps that do not dry the skin, and moisturizing creams and lotions should be applied in order to clear up the dryness and to stop the flaking. The itch should be taken under control in this way as well.

Psoriasis is treated with various methods, such as steroid medicines, light therapy and edible medicine.

Topical medicines that are among the treatment methods that are applied to the skin directly, i.e., creams and sprays. Some of them contain a steroid, some have an analog of vitamin D, some have both a steroid and vitamin D and some contain retinoid.

More naturally, honey is applied to the skin and is accepted as a treatment option.

If topical medicines don’t provide adequate relief, your dermatologist can prescribe oral medicines that you take two times a week or a day. One of the recommended medicines that is generally prescribed is Apremilast. For some people, Acitretin, which is a derivative of vitamin A, is also recommended as an alternative, but you should inform your doctor about any medicine, like vitamins, food supplements and et cetera, which you use. You should also let him/her know about any allergies, health problems that you have or had, like pregnancy and surgery, before using this medicine.

If you use another medicine, the effects of Acitretin can change. This situation can both increase side effect risks and also prevent the medicine from working the way it should. Acitretin cannot be taken with some chemotherapy medicines, like Methotrexate and Tetracyclines. As a result, serious side effects can be observed. The treatment can be practiced by natural (solar) rays and artificial UV rays. In this practice, treatment can be done together with other medicines.

UVB phototherapy: UVB phototherapy can increase the symptoms of light and moderate psoriasis while it can treat spots, common psoriasis and problems that are resistant against the topical treatments. Its side effects can be itching, redness and skin dehydration.

Psoralen plus UVA: UVA rays can penetrate into deeper regions than UVB rays. Its short-term side effects are nausea, headache, burning and itching while long-term effects can be dry skin, increased sun sensitivity and skin cancer risk.

Atomic laser: This is used for light and moderate illnesses and applied to only the problematic skin area.

Injections: You can bid farewell to psoriasis with biological treatment – the success rate of which is between 80 and 90 percent – which is a much safer alternative that has fewer side effects. Injections are given every other week or once every three months to treat the illness.

However, medicines are expensive so be sure to consult with your doctor before deciding on a treatment plan.

If you’re suffering from this disease, you should definitely see a dermatologist instead of thinking that there is no cure.

Triggering factors for psoriasis

Mechanic trauma, such as sunburn, bath-glove or wax, that cause skin injury

Smoking and alcohol

Vitamin D deficiency

Dry skin

Stress, emotional trauma

Strong painkillers, some heart and malaria medicines

Infection and hormonal changes like pregnancy and menopause

Irregular nutrition

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How to Protect Children From Diseases

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How to Protect Children From Diseases

Schools are undoubtedly ideal teaching spaces for children’s education. However, schoolchildren face the risk of catching diseases in schools as there are many children using shared spaces. Especially during mid-seasons, the immune system tends to weaken, which makes schoolchildren vulnerable to various diseases. As I stated in my previous articles, diseases spread faster in indoor areas whereas the lack of personal hygiene is the root of many diseases. So, parents are required to pay more attention to children’s hygiene as crowded places play an active role in the spread of diseases. Showing care in personal hygiene is important for the health of your child and their schoolmates. You cannot prevent your child’s exposure to infections and germs in school, but you can reduce the child’s risk of catching diseases by teaching them personal hygiene habits. How to Protect Children From Diseases

Why hygiene matters?

After your child catches an illness, germs can spread quickly to the rest of your family. Diseases such as colds and enteric infections, which are frequently seen in children, can be transmitted to families. Therefore, helping your children understand the importance of hygiene will enable them and the rest of your family to stay healthy.

1. Make sure they acquire the habit of hand washing

Disinfecting your hands frequently is indispensable for personal hygiene. Especially in places with many shared spaces like schools, doorknobs, tables, desks, boards, chalks and toilets pose a serious infection risk. Consequently, washing hands is the most effective way to prevent infections that can be transmitted in school. At this point, you are responsible for teaching your children how often and how they should wash their hands. Start with telling them about shared spaces and items. And explain that they should wash their hands for an average of 20 seconds by rubbing their hands together and that they should wash their hands in the following cases:

After using the bathroom

Before eating

After playing outdoors

After touching a dirty item

After coughing, sneezing or touching their noses

After petting animals

If their hands look dirty

2. Don’t skip breakfast, make sure they eat healthy

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Keep in mind that by letting your children sleep 5 minutes more, you cause them to skip breakfast. The variety in a child’s diet must be ensured as children grow in height; thus, they must often consume starchy carbs and fiber-rich foods and get sufficient levels of vitamins and minerals, while consuming fat and sugar must be limited. Schoolchildren are in a process of slow yet constant growth. To grow up healthily, they must consume the foods they need. Do not fret over what I write; you do not need to make a special diet plan for these needs. It is enough to make sure that your child eats six meals a day, three main meals and three side meals and cook the meals at home. A child grows in height the fastest between the ages of 7 and 14. This age group needs more calcium compared to the others. So, foods like milk, yoghurt, cheese and ayran must be included in their daily diet.

3. Cafeterias and canteens are important

I am sure you have other criteria you prioritize while choosing a school for your child, but you must also pay heed to the meal alternatives provided in schools for your child’s success. In most private schools, a fixed menu is served. In these cases, you must certainly check up on where the meals come from and in which conditions they are prepared. The situation is more dangerous in schools that do not serve meals. If your child is obliged to eat in the school canteen, which only has fast-food menus, you have to prepare a lunch box for them. Do not forget that children do what they see rather than what they hear.

4. Encourage drinking more water

Teach your child that he/she should not wait to get thirsty to drink water. It is no exaggeration to say that water is the most vital component of the human body and ecological balance. I am sure you have already heard that 3/4 of the human body consists of water. The human body undergoes dehydration during the day to exercise vital functions. The body needs 2-6 liters of water on a daily basis to function properly. Also, water protects the immune system against diseases.

5. Follow your child’s vaccination chart

Schoolchildren are generally exposed to infections and flu viruses that could cause diarrhea. Such infections can spread quickly if your child touches dirty surfaces. Also, your child’s contact with other children might transmit the infection to others. Pay attention that infection is not transferred through touching. Sneezing and coughing can also transmit infections.

As of the first month your child is born, a vaccination chart is formed against possible infections. Following the Hepatitis A vaccination during the first month after the birth, the child must get other vaccinations, including measles, chickenpox, diphtheria and tetanus. Other vaccinations are made during the first and eighth years in elementary school. Most of these vaccines do not provide life-long protection. Consequently, additional vaccine doses are needed at certain time periods. The vaccinations for your child must be completed before starting school. Do not forget that your school-age child can infect your baby. Also, children having active infections should not go to school until fully recovering since they can transmit infections to others.

6. Make a menu according to allergic diseases

Allergic diseases can also cause a disruption in education. Allergic diseases can affect both adults and children. Therefore, before your child starts school, you should take her/him to a doctor’s office and get information about his/her allergies. Also, if the school is away from your house, take a look at the hospitals in the vicinity of the school in case of possible allergic reactions.

If your child is allergic to certain foods, you can prepare a menu before leaving home. This menu should include snacks, fruits and other foods that the child is not allergic to. And make sure that the child’s medications are with her/him in case of possible allergic reactions.

7. Pay attention to hand and foot hygiene

Nails are a breeding ground for bacteria. Germs living under children’s nails can easily infect their eyes, noses or mouths. Therefore, their nails must be clipped once a week, and hands must be disinfected thoroughly after clipping the nails. Foot hygiene is also important for schoolchildren. Foot perspiration can cause fungal infections. To allow their feet to breathe, children must wear cotton socks instead of synthetic ones and wear leather or canvas shoes.

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