Sunday, May 26, 2013

What Healthy Really Looks Like

White tongue? Blue fingers? Green pee?

Those seemingly random color changes are actually a mirror reflecting what's going on inside of you, and they can warn you that a problem's brewing. "Even with all of the high-tech equipment we have today, color is still a very valuable diagnostic tool," says Marc I. Leavey, M.D., a primary care physician with Mercy Health Services in Baltimore. "Looking at changes in skin and body fluids helps doctors identify many underlying conditions, just like healers did thousands of years ago."

Eyes - Whites should be bright white if you're fair or off-white to beige if you have dark skin. A yellow shade to the whites of your eyes points to jaundice, a sign your blood's overly saturated with bilirubin. This substance is created as old red blood cells are broken down by the liver, which then helps the bilirubin exit your body via stool. Bilirubin might stick around if your liver's having trouble doing its job (because of diseases like hepatitis) or if a blockage is preventing bile from traveling from the liver to the intestines. See your doctor immediately to figure out what's wrong.

If eyes are bright red in the white part of one eye and it doesn't hurt, and your vision is fine, it's a burst blood vessel. It should go away in a day or so. If it doesn't, see an opthalmologist -- you may have an infection or a rare condition such as glaucoma, a disease that affects the optic nerve and impairs your sight.

Tongue - Your tongue should be a rosy pink. White patches inside your tongue and cheeks means you probably have an oral yeast infection called thrush, which is easily remedied with a prescription medication. But since a white patch could be as harmless as a canker sore or as threatening as a cancerous lesion, you should have a doctor take a look at it if it's been in your mouth longer than two weeks. Black tongue? Bismuth-- the active ingredient in peptobismol, can blacken the tongue. Haven't taken any? Bacteria that pools on the tongue due to poor dental hygiene, diabetes or antibiotic use can darken it as well.

Pale pink to white lips - You could be anemic, meaning that you're low on iron, vitamin B12, or folate. There are many causes of anemia, though-- including heavy periods, fibroids, and even taking too much aspirin or ibuprofen. Check with your doctor to ID any underlying problems before trying to treat them yourself with supplements.

Source: Health Magazine

What Healthy Really Looks Like Pt. 2

Skin - If your skin is a yellow-orange color, it may be a condition called carotenemia, a result of overeating foods rich in the pigment beta-carotene, like sweet potatoes and carrots. If your eyes are yellow too, you're probably jaundiced. Black smudges around your neck, knees, armpits, fingers or toes are a sign you should get your blood sugar checked. These discolorations called acanthosis nigricans can be harmless side effects of oral contraceptives or hormone replacements, but they can also be a sign of pre-diabetes.

Brown splotches is probably melasma, which develops when high levels of estrogen turbocharge the color-making cells called malanocytes. Estrogen-based contraceptives can cause this, as well as pregnancy. Darker skin is more susceptible because its color-producing skin cells are more responsive to light than the ones in fairer skin. Your dermatologist may suggest switching to a contraceptive that doesn't contain estrogen and using sunscreen with a mineral block like zinc oxide or titanium oxide -- unlike many chemical sunscreens, these block the entire light spectrum to prevent further darkening. Lightening creams, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or laser treatments can help lighten any dark patches you've already got.

White patches could be new skin forming after a wound that you've had in those spots. Otherwise, see your dermatologist in case it's vitiligo (autoimmune disorder) or tinea versicolor (overgrowth of a yeast that lives in sebaceous glands). Pinkish-red across the cheeks, nose and chin may be rosacea, a skin condition that dilates blood vessels and especially affects fair-skinned people.

Fingers and Nails - Fingers should be the same color as the rest of the skin on your body. Nails are clear. Brown/black streaks on your nail? If it's a splotch, you probably bruised your finger. But, any mark that starts at the cuticle and runs the length of the nail should be seen by a dermatologist. It could mean melanoma. It's rare for fair-skinned people to get this form of cancer under their nails, but up to 40 percent of melanomas in darker-skinned people can be found there. Bluish-white fingers that later turn red? You may have Raynaud's disease, meaning the blood vessels in your fingers spasm, cutting off circulation in your digits. This usually happens when you're cold or stressed. Once the vessels relax, they turn pink to red as the blood rushes back in. Raynaud's is often connected with injury or autoimmune conditions such as scleroderma and lupus, so see your doc if this is a problem for you.

Source: Health Magazine

Friday, May 17, 2013

Questions Women Ask About Their Body

Q: Are there any exercises to make my A-cup chest bigger?
A: No -- your breasts are fat, not muscle. There is nothing to tone. Try strengthening your back muscles with bent-over dumbbell rows or reverse flies. Working your back will give you amazing posture, so you'll stand up straighter, chest out. Too many push-ups and chest flies can flatten out your breasts.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Russian Cure for Sore Throat

To combat a child's sore throat, Russian mothers bring a cup of milk to a gentle boil and stir in 2 tbsp. honey, then serve the concoction warm. According to The World's Healthiest Foods, honey has proven antimicrobial and antioxidant qualities. Another honey-based folk remedy calls for 3 tsp. of honey with 1 tbsp. each of finely-chopped onion and grated apples. According to Russian Foods, a third Russian folk remedy recommends grating beets and squeezing out the juice until you have 8 oz., then adding 1 tbsp. vinegar. Gargle with the mixture five times a day.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Back Facial

Splurge: the Bacial (a.k.a. Back Facial)
Who wants to wear a backless dress if your back is littered with bacne blemishes? Ensure that hard-to-reach area is always flawless and dress-ready by booking a back facial service, which generally includes a deep cleanse, a mask, exfoliation, extractions and a tranquilizing neck-and-shoulder massage.

Source: Glamour

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Men: Shaving Routine

Now that you have more choices than Barbasol and a Bic, the products and process can be overwhelming. Here's what you need to know.

1. Exfoliate - For thirty seconds. This removes dead skin cells and lifts stubble.

2. Prepare - For thirty seconds. A few drops of preshave oil are essential if you have more than a day's growth. (Anthony logistics pre-shave oil.

3. Lather - For two minutes. A brush is best for lifting whiskers. If you want to go hands-on, just make sure you've really massaged the foam into your beard.

4. Shave - The best razor is one that lets you use a light stroke so you don't push down too hard and risk causing nicks.

5. Repair - Did you nick yourself? Use a naturally medicated stone that contains healing alum and potassium.

6. Moisturize - Leave your face a little damp and massage in a bit of moisturizer or aftershave to seal in the moisture. It'll keep you from looking old prematurely.

7. Restore - Once a week, use a natural clay mask to calm shaving irritation with minerals and oils.

Source: Men's Health

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