Sunday, October 28, 2012

Health Threats You Can't Ignore!

Usually when you get a nosebleed or a pimple your first instinct is to head to the doctor's office. Most of the time, it's not something to worry about. Sometimes something that seems small is an indication of something bigger going on. These are "third-tier" complaints that just might be trying to warn you about a first-tier problem.

Blister - A blister caused by skin-on-sock friction may be a sign that you need to spring for new shoes, but it's hardly a health threat. However, blisters that pop up between your toes as a result of athlete's foot are, in fact, a medical emergency in the making. Every year, patients end up in the hospital for 5 to 7 days with IV antibiotics because of foot infections that could have been prevented. Intercepting the fungal infection before it reaches the blistering point would be the best way. At the first sign of athlete's foot, do the obvious: Start using an over-the-counter (OTC) cream such as Lamisil 2x a day. Before your evening application, soak your feet in warm water and Epsom salts for 20 minutes. Follow this regiment for two weeks, and if you don't see improvement, ask your doctor about ciclopirox gel, a prescription medication that's been shown in studies to kick both fungal and bacterial butt.

Source: Men's Health

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Feed Your Skin

Carrots - Vitamin A in carrots balances the pH of your skin's surface, to help fend off harmful bacteria. National Cancer Institute researchers found that people with the highest consumption of carotenoids (natural pigments carrots) were six times less likely to develop skin cancer than those with the lower intakes.

Berries - Blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries contain high amounts of healthy antioxidants.

Salmon, Walnuts, Flaxseed - Fatty acids in these foods help block harmful irritants and act as the passageway for nutrients coming into, and waste products passing out of, the cell. Essential fatty acids also help your skin cells hold moisture. Plus, adding 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of flax seed to your diet could save your hair. Taiwanese scientists, found that 50 milligrams a day of lignans (disease-fighting compounds found in flax seed) slowed hair loss in 9 out of 10 participants.

Healthy Oils - Cold pressed, extra virgin, or expeller processed oils keep skin lubricated and looking healthier. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a diet rich in linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid found in nuts, olive oil and eggs) showed age-preventative effects. Korean researchers found that skin treated with eicosapentaenoic acid (an omega-3 in fish oil) had 79 percent fewer collagen-destroying proteins after exposure to UV rays. Drizzle olive oil over cold-water fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines) for a boost of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Remember that even healthy fat is high in calories, so limit yourself to two tablespoons a day.

Whole-Wheat - Along with turkey, tuna and brazil nuts are all rich in selenium. It's a mineral that plays a key role in the health of skin cells. Studies show that even sun-damaged skin may suffer fewer consequences if selenium levels are high.

Green Tea - The skin-health assets in this drink are matchless. It has anti-inflammatory properties, protects the cell membrane, and may even reduce the risk of some cancers. Metabolism is also boosted.

Sunflower Seeds - These seeds pack the most natural vitamin E of any food around. No antioxidant is better at slowing down the aging of skin cells to keep you looking younger longer. (Did you know that?!)

Water - Good hydration is key to healthy-looking skin, and there's nothing better than pure, clean water to quench your thirst. This includes tap water, duh.

Source: Men's Health

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Best Beauty Products

Anti-Ager to Firm - Olay Regenerist Fragrance Free Micro-Sculpting Cream ($25; Peptides in this nicely priced cream firm sagging skin by strengthening its moisture barrier.

Anti-Ager to Lift - Origins Youthtopia Lift ($53; This face cream's most valuable ingredient is natural buckbean extract. It boosts collagen levels for a more lifted appearance.

Whitening Toothpaste - Crest 3D Glamorous White ($4; The unique foaming action helps lift most stubborn stains in less than a week.

Self-Tanner - Jergens Natural Glow & Protect SPF 20 ($9; most stores). A natural-looking self tanner with sun protection. That was enough to win over Health Magazine's dermatologists. It doesn't streak or stink, either.

Source: Health Magazine

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Control Your Diabetes

When you consider that "glucose-intolerant" is another term for "diabetic," it's easy to see what you shouldn't eat. Namely, glucose-rich foods, such as bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes. But Mary Vernon, M.D., prefers a more positive approach: "I like to emphasize what people can enjoy." So, use the guidelines below to build a prescription diet. One caution: If you're currently taking medication for high blood pressure or high blood sugar, consult your physician first, as this diet will cause both to drop.

The Rules:
Eat until you're satisfied, not stuffed.
Don't skip meals, especially breakfast.
Include protein, such as meat, cheese, and nuts,
with every meal and snack.

The Foods 
Vegetables: Down as many as four servings a day of nonroot vegetables. That means broccoli, asparagus, spinach, and any other leafy green vegetable. One serving is 1 cup raw—about the size of a baseball—or 1/2 cup cooked (half a ball).
Meat and eggs: Eat as much of these foods—which include poultry and fish—as you want (i.e., until you're full).
Cheeses: Have up to 4 ounces of hard and firm cheeses daily—for instance, Parmesan, American, and cheddar. One serving is about the size of two dominoes.
Fruit: Limit yourself to 1 cup of berries or melon a day.
Nuts: One ounce a day.
Condiments: Mustard, horseradish, soy sauce, and Tabasco sauce.
Salad dressings: Oil and vinegar, and full-fat dressings—such as ranch—that contain no more than 2 grams of carbohydrates per serving.
Oils: Olive and canola are best; use only small amounts of other oils.
Beverages: Drink 64 ounces of water a day. Then consume only two servings of diet soda per day and unsweetened tea and coffee as desired (decaf when possible).

Source: Men's Health

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Men: Perfect Your Shaving Technique

Dragging a blade across your face may seem like a daily act of violence, but shaving actually keeps your skin fresh. "Low grade friction from shaving stimulates collagen production and smooths the skin," says Kenneth Beer M.D., a dermatologist based in West Palm Beach, FL. The key qualifier: low-grade friction. Research shows that as little as a quarter of shaving debris can be hair; the remainder is sloughed-off skin cells. A rough cut removes cells that aren't ready for eviction, causing irritation says Dr. Beer. Your job is to ensure a smooth transaction.

Take Your Time - Shave in the shower or right after you step out. A study in the Journal of Materials Science revealed that moistened hairs require 30 percent less blade force to cut than dry ones do. Stubble and the skin beneath it needs at least three to four minutes to absorb moisture. Less pressure can reduce agitation of the hair follicle and create a cleaner cut along the middle of the hair.

Lube up - A preshave oil helps plump up dead skin cells with moisture, pushing them away from the face and leaving them exposed for cutting. Prepping with a hot washcloth on your face can further prepare your skin and hair.

Brush Your Beard - Shaving with a brush is the easiest and fastest way to prepare your skin and facial hair for a close and painless shave says Danielle Malka, founder of the grooming retailer 'eShave'. You make lather instantly as you swirl the brush against your face, lifting beard hair off the skin. Leave the cream on for 30-45 seconds and your beard will come off far easier.

Work the Angles - For an especially close shave, go with the grain, then lather up again and mow gently against or across your whiskers.

Close up Shop - Finish your shaving routine with a hydrating postshave cream to protect pores and nurture the rebuilding process beneath.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Canker Sores

Q: Why do I get canker sores? Are they the same as cold sores?

A: Canker sores are painful, open sores that pop up inside the mouth. Possible triggers include spicy or acidic foods, minor injury to the mouth (like from an overzealous tooth-brushing session) and in some cases, deficiencies in B vitamins, iron, or zinc. Canker sores are also more common in women, possibly because they are linked to hormonal changes. While they are generally harmless, if you get them more than a few times a year, talk to a doctor, since they could indicate you have a disease like celiac or Crohn's. Canker sores are different from cold sores, which are fluid-filled blisters caused by the herpes virus; they tend to appear outside of the mouth, around the lips and chin. Another big difference: Cold sore are contagious, canker sores are not.

Source: Health Magazine

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