What Causes Cancer and What You Can Do About It

Up to one-quarter of all Americans will develop cancer in their lifetime, and many will die from it. Indeed, cancer is now the leading cause of death in the United States, recently surpassing heart disease.
We frequently think of cancer as a single disease, but it's actually many different diseases. Almost 200 different forms of cancer are known, and all are characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells. Normal controls on these cells have broken down and a "malignancy" has developed that invades and destroys healthy tissues.
What causes cancer? It's well known that it is initiated by certain carcinogens such as arsenic, asbestos, benzene and beryllium. But environmental factors such as air pollution and our lifestyle - the food we eat, whether we smoke or drink alcohol and so on - can also cause cancer.
How do these things actually cause normal cells to go bad? Cancer is a cellular disease so we have to look in detail at what goes on in the cells of our body. One of the main things is cellular division; cells divide, creating copies of themselves. This division is under the control of DNA - the basic molecule of life - a long molecule composed of two strands wound one around the other.
In human cells, DNA has 46 distinct regions called chromosomes that are arranged in pairs. They, in turn, contain approximately 25,000 genes, or segments of DNA that determine the structure of the protein that is needed for the growth, development and other vital functions of the body. Genes determine a person's characteristics.
DNA is protected most of the time, but it becomes particularly vulnerable when cells divide. When a cell receives a message to divide, many reactions are involved and all of them have to take place correctly for the cell to divide properly. Furthermore, division is initiated only when the cells received the proper signal, and the division stops when it received another (stop) signal. Cancer cells do not obey these signals.
How A Malignancy Forms
Cancer is initiated by a mutation at a specific locations along the DNA that makes up the gene. How mutations affect the DNA depends to a large degree on what are called cancer genes. There are two types of these genes, called tumor suppressor genes and proto-oncogenes. The tumor suppressors are associated with the cell's ability to divide; they stop division when it needs to stop (they also do other things). One of the best known is p53, which seems to be implicated in a large number of tumors. The proto-oncogenes stimulate growth, or cell division. Mutations change proto-oncogenes into oncogenes that allow uncontrolled growth.
From a simple point of view the process is as follows.
  • A carcinogen, or other cancer-causing agent, alters the DNA sequence of the cancer gene.
  • Mutations in tumor suppressor genes cause growth inhibiting protein usually coded by the genes to disappear allowing the cell to divide when it shouldn't.
  • Mutations to the proto-oncogenes cause them to become very active, prompting them to grow when they shouldn't.
  • Excess cellular growth leads to a mutant colony of cells that reproduces rapidly.
  • Eventually a mass, or group of these cells, breaks free and leaks into the bloodstream and moves to another part of the body where they set up a new colony.
The actual process is, of course, much more detailed than this, and scientists still do not understand it completely. What we can see from this, however, is that it takes several different steps to produce a malignancy. Furthermore, although mutations take place continuously, few of them are actually serious, and the reason is that within the cell there are molecules that are continually repairing any mutations that occur. When a defective section of DNA is spotted, it is repaired, or if it is seen to be beyond repair, it is killed and deleted from the strand. So there are safeguards, and cancer has to get around these safeguards. Unfortunately, in many cases, it does. Let's look at the six "superpowers" that cancer cells need (and have) to get around problems such as these.
Six Superpowers that Cancer Cells Have and Need to Cause their Damage
  1. Normal cells require a signal to divide. Cancer cells ignore this signal; they continue to divide when they shouldn't.
  2. When growth is such that it should stop, a stop signal, or command, is sent out. Normal cells obey this signal; cancer cells do not. Such a command may, for example, be sent out by adjacent cells, when they are squeezed.
  3. When a healthy cell has built up several genetic defects it is usually programmed for destruction before it can cause any problems. Cancer cells are able to bypass this destruction.
  4. Like all cells, cancer cells also need oxygen and nutrients to survive. They come via blood vessels, and tumors don't have the appropriate ones. They are able, however, to "steal" them from nearby healthy cells.
  5. Healthy cells normally stop dividing after about 70 divisions. This is controlled by what are called "telomeres." Cancer cells need many more than 70 divisions to do their destruction, and they are able to manipulate the telomeres so that they have an infinite life.
  6. The last of the six superpowers is the one that makes cancer particularly deadly. Normal cells are generally confined to a certain region of the body. Cancer cells somehow disable the cellular mechanism that confines them. Because of this they can metastasize, or move to other parts of the body.
Cancer cells also have another problem to overcome. All humans have two sets of chromosomes, one from their mother and one from their father (with the exception of the X and Y sex chromosomes). So in a sense there is a back-up system in your body. This means that a mutation in one set is generally not enough to initiate cancer. In general it takes 4 to 10 mutations in a particular gene to transform it.
The p53 Cancer Gene
Earlier I mentioned the p53 cancer gene; it is a tumor suppressor gene, and it is very helpful in protecting us from cancer. Its importance is seen when doctors inspect tumors in detail. They have found that 50% of cancer tumors have defects, or mutations, in their p53 genes. To see why this is important we have to look at what p53 does. Basically, it's like an inspector; after cell division it thoroughly checks the new strips of DNA. In particular, it checks for errors and defects, and it makes sure that any that it finds are repaired. Furthermore, if it finds too many, it labels that section of DNA for destruction, and a new section if produced. Generally it does a good job, but it can get out of control occasionally and kill off good cells.
What You Can Do
This list is, of course, incomplete, but it should give you a good idea of what you can do.
  1. Early detection is obviously important - particularly before the cancer metastasizes and moves throughout your body.
  2. Avoid carcinogens as much as possible. Some of the major ones are: cigarette smoke, certain viruses, radiation and radioactive substances, asbestos, arsenic, air pollution, benzene.
  3. Diet. There is some controversy here, but general guidelines can be given. Some of them are: eat vegetables and fruit, avoid red meat, fiber is important, fish is helpful as are good fats such as omega 3 and other antioxidants.
  4. Both obesity and excess alcohol can lead to cancer.
  5. Other things: Vitamin D is important, and take a baby aspirin every day.

Finding a Natural Heartburn Relief

Heartburn is often due to the strong reaction of gastric juices to certain foods during the digestion process. Research has found that approximately 60 million Americans are afflicted by the condition. Ten million of these are adult sufferers who experience the condition regularly. The primary cause of heartburn is acidity and indigestion. In case you are experiencing the condition regularly, you may suffer from fatigue and sleep disturbances as well.
Heartburn Relief
Although heartburn is not considered as a serious condition, the symptoms of the condition can still cause a lot of discomfort, such as the burning feeling on the chest due to acid reflux. Chronic heartburn can also result to hernia, ulcer and other digestive diseases. It can also wake you up for a good sleep, which is why it is necessary to follow some precautions or safety measures to prevent the condition. Some helpful things that should be remembered when dealing with heartburn are the following:
* Avoid drinking aerated drinks and consuming junk foods. Take note that following a nutritious diet is necessary for individuals suffering from heartburn conditions. In case you are suffering from this condition, make sure that you avoid eating spicy foods and junk foods, as well as drinking aerated drinks. These types of products can increase the amount of acid in the stomach, thus leading to a heartburn attack. Instead of these, it would be better to opt for fresh greens and high fiber fruits, as these have lower acid contents.
* Avoid excessive cigarette smoking. Cigarette smoking can cause heartburn that is often characterized by pain in the chest.
* Do some lifestyle changes. In order to relieve heartburn, there are some lifestyle habits that you have to alter. If you are used to sleeping after having a meal, this should be stopped immediately, as sleeping or lying down immediately after eating can trigger a heartburn attack.
* Go for a walk after having lunch or dinner instead of lying down.
* Avoid overeating. Instead of following the traditional way of having three large meals, it would be best to divide your meals to 5 to 6 smaller ones and consume it throughout the day.
* Stay on your left side when sleeping, as this is helpful in enhancing the digestion process.
* Consume your foods slowly and make sure to chew it properly.
* Do regular exercises. There are times when heartburn is due to excessive weight but this can be relieved by doing regular exercises. However, make sure that you do not perform weightlifting exercises, as these can add more pressure to the abdomen.
* Instead of wearing tight clothes, opt for loose ones to reduce the pressure on the abdomen.
* Drink lots of water in case you are suffering from acidity or indigestion problems.
* Keep the head elevated when sleeping.
* Learn how to manage stress and anxiety, as both of these can also cause heartburn attacks. You can manage stress and anxiety by doing meditation exercises, such as yoga.
These are very simple tips that you can easily follow in order to properly deal with heartburn conditions. However, in case the condition is severe, it would be best to consult a physician to diagnose the condition properly and determine the right treatment for your heartburn condition.

Essential Oils - Lip Balm Recipes - Smacking Good For Healthy Lips

The easiest way to make a lip balm with your choice of essential oils, is simply to warm your favorite balm (with all those pure natural ingredients) and add a few drops of the therapeutic grade essential oil. For example, take about a Tablespoonful size of a beeswax type of lip balm, place the container in some warm water until it softens, and then add 2 drops of Melissa, 1 drop Tea Tree and 1 drop of Spearmint essential oils. Stir well with a toothpick. This formula is wonderful salve for healing cold sores. It tastes good, too.
Lip balms make great gifts. You can experiment around with different combinations. Check with your aromatherapist for specific essential oils specific to your special needs.

If you want to make your own, here is a wonderful recipe for cracked, dry or sore lips that I have used with success:
  • 1 tablespoon of beeswax
  • 2 tablespoons of castor oil
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 Vitamin E capsule
  • 2 drops of carrot seed essential oil
  • 2 drops of sandalwood essential oil
  • 2 drops of myrrh essential oil
Melt the beeswax in the top pan of a double boiler over low heat. Stir in the castor oil and honey until you have a thick liquid, then remove from heat. Cut the end off the vitamin E capsule, and add the gel from the capsule to the mixture. When cool, add the therapeutic grade essential oils. Blend well, and then put into small containers for storage. Be sure to make labels that contain the ingredients and directions for use. Directions are to smooth a small amount on lips as needed. Precaution: do not use myrrh during pregnancy. (Just leave it out if this is the case).
For lip balm, the proportions you need are 2:1 solids to liquids. The beeswax is a solid and all of the other ingredients are liquid. I like to use castor oil because if gives a nice gloss to the lips. Honey adds a bit of sweetener, and the vitamin E contains antioxidants and will extend the shelf life of your balm. The essential oils listed are all known for healing properties. In particular, myrrh is renown for mouth care.By

Bronchiectasis - Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Bronchiectasis is an abnormal dilatation of the proximal and medium sized bronchi or airways, resulting in a chronic obstructive pulmonary lung disease manifested by airways that are inflamed and easily collapsible. Breathlessness, impaired clearance of lung secretions often with disabling cough, and hemoptysis, are common symptoms of this condition. Infections, bronchial obstruction, hereditary disorders and auto-immune diseases are usually responsible for causing bronchiectasis.
The Ayurvedic treatment of bronchiectasis focuses on repairing the damage done, and maintaining optimum function of the lungs. Medicines like Pippali (Piper longum), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Behada (Terminalia bellerica), Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Pushkarmool (Inula racemosa), Kantakari (Solanum surattense), Som (Ephedra gerardiana) and Bharangi (Clerodendrum serratum) are used to clear excessive secretions from the lungs.
Pushkarmool, Ras-Sindur and Shrung-Bhasma are used in high doses along with Yashti-Madhuk and Pippali to reduce inflammation and scarring resulting from chronic infections. Medicines like Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) and Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) also help to reduce scarring and inflammation in the lung tissue. Repeated courses of Yashtimadhuk and Pippali in high doses are given to normalize the mucous membrane inside the airways and lungs.
As per the Ayurvedic texts, the lung tissue is predominantly made up of the 'Rakta' dhatu (tissue). Therefore, all medicines acting on the rakta dhatu are also believed to be beneficial in treating lung disease. These include medicines like Kutaj (Holharrhina antidysentrica), Patol (Tricosanthe dioica), Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Patha ( Cissampelos pareira) and Musta (Cyperus rotundus).
Long term courses of Laghu-Malini-Vasant, Madhu-Malini-Vasant and Suvarna-Malini-Vasant, combined with Yashtimadhuk and Pippali are given as tonics to improve the overall condition of the lungs. Other medicines like Chyavanprash can also be used for this purpose.By

Essential Oils - Use With Lotion to Moisturize and Soften Your Skin Naturally

Do you have to wash your hands often? As a nurse, I probably wash my hands at least 20 times a day. Does winter or dry weather leave you with rough, chapped hands? I find that my hands really need special attention in the winter. This article gives ways to use healing essential oils in simple recipes for lotion that will soften the skin and effectively replenish moisture to rough, dry hands. I have found the simplest way to use essential oils with lotion is to add my favorite oils to a quality, non-scented, non-perfumed, natural lotion base.
This recipe is for a great moisturizing lotion for the skin:
· 8 ounces of lotion base
· 15 drops of geranium
· 10 drops of myrrh
· 5 drops of ylang ylang.
Always use only pure therapeutic grade essential oils. Add the essential oils to the lotion base, gently mix the solution, and add a label with the ingredients to the container. Geranium and myrrh are classic essential oils for healing the skin. I add ylang ylang just because I love its aroma. A very important principle of aromatherapy is that the consumer likes the aroma. If they don't like it, they won't use it. There are many combinations that you can use.
For chapped hands, try adding 10 drops each of rosewood, patchouli and geranium to around 8 ounces of a quality unperfumed lotion base. Apply on location as needed.
For dry skin, try adding 10 drops each of rose, Roman chamomile, and sandalwood to 8 ounces of lotion base. Be certain that only pure, therapeutic grade essential oils are used.
If you are interested in making your own lotion to add the essential oils to, this very old recipe will help cool and soften the skin, as well as clean stains from hands:
· 1 ounce of rosewater (floral essential oil water)
· 1 ounce of fresh squeezed lemon juice
· 1 ounce of glycerin
· 10 drops of your choice of therapeutic grade essential oils

Put all of these ingredients together in a clean container and shake gently. Label the bottle with the ingredients and instructions to shake well before using each time and store in the refrigerator. This needs to be used within 2-3 weeks, so it is wise to make small amounts at a time.
Here is another recipe for a winter lotion:
· 1/2 cup of distilled water or rosewater
· 1/2 cup of jojoba carrier oil
· 1 Tablespoon of lecithin
· 1 capsule of Vitamin E
· 10-20 drops of your choice of pure therapeutic grade essential oils
Put the water/rosewater, jojoba and lecithin in a blender and whip until it forms a nice lotion. You can add more water/rosewater if you desire a thinner lotion. Cut open the vitamin E capsule and add the Vitamin E and essential oils at the end. Lecithin is an emulsifier, or mixing agent, that helps oil and water stay together. Mix well. Store in clean container and label with the ingredients.
While a cream is a vegetable oil with water added, it is an ideal moisturizer for dry skin, Lotion contains more water than cream, so it is thinner and less oily. The consistency of lotion makes it ideal for normal to oily skin. It has the quality of spreading easily and doesn't leave an oily coat over the skin. Adding essential oils enhances its therapeutic value.By

Fruit Smoothie Recipe For a Successful Detox Diet Plan

Many people find that detoxifying their body is a wonderful way to jump start a healthy weight loss plan
But chemically induced detoxification programs are not the answer! A detox diet plan can be entirely natural and still very successful without the stress of potentially harmful chemicals. A natural detox diet plan relies on large amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables to be effective and a good way to get the required amount is in smoothies. Fruit and vegetable smoothies can be prepared as a breakfast, lunch or mid day meal with entirely natural ingredients.
Preparing a smoothie that flushes out toxins and promotes energy is actually easy. Smoothies can be made from a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, juices and dairy products that contain exactly the ingredients you need to not only boost your metabolism but are also packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and nutrients needed for good health.
You can actually make a large number of different smoothies without violating your detox diet plan. Smoothies made with a wide variety of berries, carrots or even dark leafy green vegetables like spinach have a great deal of fiber which is vital to digestion. Making smoothies with citrus fruits like oranges, tangerines, lemons or limes will help flush out toxins. And, fruits with a diuretic effect include cranberries, watermelon, pineapple, kiwi, or cantaloupe to name but a few. Detoxification does not have to be harsh and make you feel uncomfortable. With the right combination it can be natural and healthy.
There is also an easy and effective way to add even more vital nutrients to both your diet and your smoothies by adding In fact, be sure to add 1 Tbsp of Chia seed to all of your fruit smoothies.

If you are unfamiliar with Chia, it is a natural food source that is gluten free, sugar-free, high in fiber and protein, and loaded with Omega-3's! In fact Chia has:
8x more Omega-3 than Atlantic farmed or wild salmon
6x more Calcium than milk
3x more Iron than Spinach
2x more Potassium than bananas
15x more Magnesium than broccoli
2x more Fiber than bran flakes
6x more Protein than kidney beans
4x more Selenium than flax seed
9x more Phosphorus than whole milk
More Antioxidants than blueberries
Chia has no taste of its own and will mix well with all of your smoothie recipes without changing the taste or results.
Try this breakfast smoothie tomorrow and you will be pleasantly surprised at the additional energy you have throughout the day.
1 cup of frozen strawberries
1 large orange, peeled, sectioned and seeded (or 2 tangerines)
1 lime, peeled and seeded
1/2 cup light yogurt (plain or vanilla is recommended)
1 Tbsp Chia
Combine all of these ingredients in your blender and mix until smooth. Sometimes a smoothie can be too thick because of the natural state or ripeness of the fruit you use. If the smoothie is too thick, simply add a few ice cubes and blend again until it reaches the best consistency.By Jesse L Moore Platinum Quality Author
Fruit Smoothie Recipe For a Successful Detox Diet Plan

Natural Ways To Treat Chest Wrinkles - Top Treatments You Should Try!

Natural remedies for chest wrinkles are cheaper than cosmetic procedures. They also work well in prolong youthful skin structure. Prolonged use of natural remedies can give you a comparatively younger looking skin.
A woman's chest has been bestowed with very fragile and thin skin layers. You have to go the extra mile in treating your skin:
1. Use lemon juice and honey.
 Lemon juice is usually used for age spots or other skin pigmentation problems. However, this also works well in making skin softer and finer. It is capable of prolonging dermis elasticity. You might want to add a bit of honey to this for a more potent moisturizing effect. Honey has anti-irritant and anti aging properties that can bring back the youthful appearance of your chest.
Rub the mixture on your skin gently. Make sure you take your time in massaging the mixture so your skin can better absorb it. Let it stay there for about an hour before washing it off with lukewarm water.
2. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Many people have experienced benefits in using coconut oil. It is replete with anti aging properties that can slow down the progress of skin aging. You can buy a bottle of this oil in the supermarket. Try applying it on your skin at night. Make sure you apply the product gently.
3. Pineapple rind
According to studies, the rind of pineapple contains nutrients that can slow down skin aging. You might want to try this trick. Place the rind of pineapple in your food processor and blend it. You can also add a bit of dark honey for a moisturizing effect.
There is also a plethora of moisturizers in the market that contains anti aging ingredients. You might want to look for products that contain CynergyTK, Phytessence Wakame and Nano Lipobelle HEQ10.
CynergyTK is found in the wool of sheep. It contains a hefty amount of functional keratin. Your skin needs a reliable supply of functional keratin. This is the complex protein needed by the skin for proper regeneration of collagen and elastin.
Phytessence Wakame is a type of sea kelp commonly found in the coastal parts of Japan. This sea kelp works well in eliminating harmful enzymes. These are the enzymes that break down hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is essential for the production of collagen and elastin.
Nano Lipobelle HEQ10 is the antioxidant that can help protect the skin cells in your body from harmful free radicals. It is made up of smaller molecules. Because of that, it can penetrate deeper into your skin.By Elizabeth Simpson

Best Home Remedies For Hair Growth

You may be yearning for your hair to grow faster for a special event like a wedding or a prom. Fortunately, you can apply special ingredients or undergo special treatments to speed up hair growth. There are tons of products in the marketplace that will help you achieve your goals. The problem is, some of these products may be costly due to the amount of research that has gone into the formula. If you don't have any allergic reactions to ingredients that can be found at home, you may wish to try out some home remedies before hitting the shelves at retail stores.
1) Use fenugreek and soak it in a big pot of water overnight. The next morning, use the solution and rub it into the scalp. Prevent the solution from evaporating by wrapping a towel on the head for a few hours. After that, remove the towel and rinse with clean water. Repeat the process for about 3 to 4 weeks.
2) Before you wash your hair, apply uncooked egg yolk on to your scalp and massage gently. Keep massaging for about 45 minutes to an hour. You will start to feel more relaxed as the tension releases under your soothing hands. Do this for 2 to 3 times each week before your hair wash.
3) Red henna is another popular ingredient that you can use. This is not for oral consumption. Smear the ingredient onto your scalp. Don't worry if you see your hair turn bright red. You can wash it off later. Keep massaging the scalp for about 15 to 20 minutes, then leave the henna on for about an hour before washing it off.
4) Olive oil is probably the most commonly known ingredient. It's available in almost every household. Olive oil has been known to reduce hair loss and improve the condition of the scalp. Rub a few drops of oil onto the scalp after a hair wash. Notice how the hair starts to shine immediately.
5) Some people like to mix several ingredients together to create their home made hair care solution. Such ingredients may include lemon, mustard seeds, olive oil, and egg yolk. The solution is then used on the hair and scalp for about an hour. If you can't seem to find the time during the day, you can always apply the solution at night, before you head for bed. Remove the towel in the morning and give the hair a good clean wash before heading for work.
6) Rosemary leaves are often used to prepare a fragrant hair care solution. Boil the leaves in water, and then drain out the solution so that you can keep it in a bottle. Use the solution in the bottle to wash your hair. You may also keep the solution in a spray bottle, and spray it on your hair every morning before you head out into the streets.
Finally, whatever measure you adopt, be sure to get plenty of rest and drink plenty of plain water! If your overall health is poor, the measures may not be as effective.By
Best Home Remedies For Hair Growth

Teeth Whitening Home Remedies - Effective Teeth Whitening Remedies to Make You Look 10 Years Younger

In our society where people are too busy with work and life, we tend to judge people by the way the look and the first impression. That's why we have cute clothes, sexy make ups, and nicely done hair to make sure the right signals are sent. However, according to the recent study, the first thing that most people see when talking to you is your teeth and beautiful smile can go a long way at a job interview or a date. Here are some great teeth whitening home remedies you can use to improve your confidence when talking to people.
One of the common teeth whitening home remedies is baking soda. It can be an effective way to remove stains from your teeth and keep them bright with very little cost. Simply brush the solution on your teeth using your toothbrush and spit out the excess when you are done. However, this method can not be overused because baking soda is very abrasive and can easily damage the enamel protection layers around your teeth.
Another very effective way to get rid of yellow stains is by using the teeth whitening gels. These gels are more like professional teeth whitening home remedies and can give you much more effective results in a shorter time period. It is also safer than baking soda and can be used twice a day for couple weeks. You can easily buy these products over the counter at the beauty salon or online at discount rates.
You should also understand that smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee, tea, red or white wine can easily discolor and damage your teeth. Try to avoid these kinds of lifestyle, and if possible don't eat dark berries such as blueberries or cranberries. Instead, try to eat more apples, pears, strawberries, or celery because these types of food cleanse the stains and make great teeth whitening home remedies.
While brushing and flossing are very important in keep your mouth healthy, seeking over the counter teeth whitening home remedies is also critical in keeping your smile bright without spending much time or money at the dentist office. You can spend less and still have the same treatment as if you do it at the dentist office using those whitening gels or mouth trays. It is pretty simple to use at home and very convenient on the road to keep you smile and teeth in the best shape and increase your confidence in front of people.
If you want to look 10 years younger, you need to try these teeth whitening home remedies  and feel more comfortable smiling in front of cameras. It is recommended that you use these products twice a day for at lease a week to see results. Most of these products will give you 4 to 5 shades whiter in just a matter of days.By
Teeth Whitening Home Remedies - Effective Teeth Whitening Remedies to Make You Look 10 Years Younger

Living With Celiac Disease - Top 5 Tips To Help Living With Celiac Disease

Our immune system is ever vigilant, ready to mount an attack against invaders. It uses inflammation to contain and destroy microbes and other substances that it recognizes as foreign, or not belonging to the body. Have you ever had a splinter in your finger and not removed it right away? The area around the splinter turned a bit red, swollen, and maybe a little warm to the touch. That was your immune system working, using inflammation to contain any harmful microbes before they could invade your body.
In autoimmune diseases something horrible happens. Your body makes a huge mistake! It identifies part of itself as an enemy and mounts an inflammatory attack against itself. Scientists believe that autoimmune diseases are caused by genes we inherit, and environmental exposures that trigger the genes to express themselves. There are at least eighty autoimmune diseases that have been identified, with more being added to the list. Different autoimmune diseases affect different parts of the body. For example type1 diabetes affects the insulin making cells in the pancreas, psoriasis affects the skin and sometimes joints, autoimmune thyroid disease affects the thyroid, rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of the joints, and celiac disease affects the small intestine.
Although celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that damages part of the digestive tract, not all the signs and symptoms at first appear to be related to digestion. When a person who has celiac disease eats foods containing gluten, as found in wheat, rye, and barley, their immune system responds by attacking the small intestine, the site where most nutrient absorption takes place. Without proper absorption of nutrients, a person can eventually develop many symptoms and disorders including additional autoimmune diseases, anemia, osteoporosis, infertility, or cancer. Delaying diagnosis or consuming any gluten products will increase damaging inflammation. Celiac disease can develop at any age from infancy to adulthood.
Given that celiac disease occurs in genetically predisposed persons, a genetic test can help rule out the possibility of developing the disease. Even if a person does carry the genes that are related to celiac disease, it does not mean that they will develop the disease. Genetic variants that seem to increase the risk of celiac are found in 30 percent of the general population, but only 3 percent of persons with the gene variants develop celiac disease. Scientists believe exposure to something in the environment, and changes in other genes, may trigger the development of celiac disease.
A PubMed study found that a number of autoimmune connective tissue diseases may be associated with exposure to drugs, chemicals and environmental factors.
Living with celiac disease is not easy but can be easily improved by following the 5 following tips:
  • Eliminate all toxic chemicals from your home
  • Supplement your alimentation with probiotics (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis)
  • Make sure your diet has enough Omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation
  • Choose gluten-free personal care products (especially lipstick and lip balm)
  • Take gluten-free fibre supplements to make sure you get enough prebiotics and fibres that are usually deficient in gluten-free diets
We do not have control on weather or not we carry the gene. Or any other gene for that matter. But we do control our environment and exposure to toxic chemicals that can trigger the development of autoimmune diseases like celiac, or many other severe health problems.By

Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Diseases - What is the Link?

Has the link to the leaky gut and autoimmune disease become more clear? I believe it has and researchers from Canada have helped by a nice review on intestinal permeability in the British journal Gut.
Dr. J. B. Medding and his colleagues in Edmonton, Alberta Canada (Arrieta, Gut, 2006) describe how the intestine serves as a barrier when normal but becomes a source of the genesis of autoimmune diseases when it becomes abnormally permeable. That is, when your gut becomes leaky ("the leaky gut syndrome") several autoimmune diseases are known to occur.
Intestinal permeability (how leaky the gut has become) can be evaluated in a manner specific to various sites in the gut. That is, the different areas of the gut, from stomach to large intestine, can be evaluated by specific tests for leakiness and related to damage and disease in those areas. Areas of leaky gut can be observed prior to the onset of disease and appear to be involved in the development of disease, especially autoimmune diseases like Celiac disease, diabetes, Crohn's disease, as well as skin diseases like atopic dermatitis, rheumatologic conditions, and even irritable bowel syndrome.
The authors propose a new paradigm consisting of "three main features...
(1) A genetically susceptible immune system (the mucosal immune system), that allows the host to react abnormally to an environmental antigen.
(2) An environmental product that triggers the disease process.
(3) The ability for the environmental agent to interact with the mucosal immune system. Since the purpose of the epithelial barrier is to keep these two factors separate, and we measure this function of the barrier by permeability, the corollary of this is that an increase in permeability is a requirement for disease expression."
What does this mean in lay terms and in relationship to the concept of the leaky gut syndrome? The gut or intestine is supposed to be a barrier to foreign proteins like foods and bacteria. If your immune system is genetically predisposed to react adversely to a certain food proteins and/or bacteria in your gut (or nerves, skin or joints) you may react with activation of damaging chemicals intended to protect you from foreign invaders that instead damage your gut making it more leaky and more vulnerable as well as your nerves, skin, and joints.
Leaky gut begets leaky gut. What results is more damage to your gut. Food and bacterial proteins can act together to damage the gut and allow toxic protein complexes to get through the gut that is normally supposed to be resistant to such a breach. Once in your blood stream, foreign proteins may initiate abnormal reactions that cause irritation to your brain, nerves, skin and/or joints.
What many of you and I experience then are symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating, gas, diarrhea, headaches, nerve pain, skin rashes and joint aches. The diagnoses that result are Celiac disease, Crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome, multiple sclerosis, migraines, attention deficit, autism, depression, eczema, acne, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, diabetes, chronic fatigue etc. etc.
What really concerns some of us with personal and professional experience with this and who are passionately interested in this area is that there is an explosion of autoimmune diseases occurring right under our nose yet most doctors and lay public are missing the connection. Many people are being diagnosed with multiple conditions without anyone making the connection of the overload of our gut with certain foods that may be causing much of these illnesses. All of the problem foods have specific food proteins or lectins that are difficult to digest and potentially toxic to the gut. In particular if the food has been genetically engineered or modified their lectins may be more toxic to humans. Stay tuned for more on this exciting area, as I continue writing on the relationship of food, gut and disease. As your food doctor, the food doc, I hope to help you find the information you need to eat right to feel right even if your doctors are not making the connection.By
Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Diseases - What is the Link?

7 Effective Detox and Cleansing Smoothies

Don't want a harsh, tricky detox plan that requires you to buy all sorts of special herbal ingredients or worse, a water detox? A smoothie packed with natural superfoods in an easy to digest form ticks all those boxes as well as making a detox diet more enjoyable! All these smoothie ingredients are easy to find in your local shops.
I have compiled a list of my favourite 7 detox smoothies that are guaranteed to help to you lose weight, get through the day with energy to spare, promote great skin and generally feel good all over... and more.
By using beautiful fresh produce, organic if possible, and a blender, you can easily whip up these easy peasy detox smoothie recipes in your own kitchen and save $$$$.
1) South Seas Smoothie
Just like regular water, coconut water helps detox your body by flushing out harmful bacteria and keeping you hydrated. Coconut water helps you stay hydrated because it's an excellent source of electrolytes, and one 8.5-ounce serving has fifteen times more potassium than most sports drinks. Potassium is one of the electrolytes that helps your body replace and retain the fluids needed to operate most efficiently.
  • 1 cup mango chunks
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut water
  • Pinch of cayenne powder
2) Orange Double-Berry Smoothie
Citrus Fruits are very acidic and acidic fruits are excellent for helping the body detox. Oranges, while being acidic, are also high in vitamin C and the fiber they provide is necessary for healthy bowel elimination.
  • 1 navel orange
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 cup water
3) Green Dew Mint Smoothie
Cucumbers work as a detox aid, facilitating excretion of wastes through the kidneys, thus avoiding the body's need to purge waste through the skin. In other words, cucumbers are good for your healthy skin too.
  • 1/4 cucumber, peeled
  • 1 cup honeydew melon
  • 1/2 cup pear juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves or to taste
4) Tummy Buddy Smoothie
Ginger helps speed up your circulation, promoting healthy sweating and supporting liver function, therefore helping your body in its efforts to detoxify.
  • 3/4 cup papaya
  • 3/4 cup sliced peaches
  • 1/2 pear
  • 1 teaspoon peeled, grated ginger root
  • 4 mint leaves
  • l cup water
5) Flax to the Max
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like flaxseed and avocado can aid in the detoxification process by lubricating your intestinal walls, absorbing unhealthy toxins, and then helping to remove those toxins from your body.
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup pitted cherries
  • 1/4 avocado, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon wheat germ
  • 2 teaspoons ground flaxseed 14 cup water
6) Glowing Skin Smoothie
Antioxidants found in red berries can help counter free-radical damage, which also helps your skin fight the aging process. Berries also aid in controlling blood sugar and the flax and avocado contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the skin and also help fight inflammation.
  • 2 teaspoons ground flaxseed
  • 2 teaspoons wheat germ
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 7 strawberries
  • 1/2 cup cherries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 4 ice cubes
7) Blue and Red Detox Smoothie
Raw Red Cabbage is full of a cancer-fighting glucosinate, Sinigrin which has been proven effective in the fight against cancer cells. Chia seeds provide valuable fiber, bananas are high in potassium, while the blueberries are packed with antioxidants. This is a powerful and effective detox smoothie. If the cabbage flavor is too strong, add extra blueberries.
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2 cups chopped raw red cabbage
These detox smoothies are nourishing and delicious and depending on your needs, you can choose a smoothie to suit...
In a blended form, smoothies are a quick way for your digestive system to quickly and easily break down the nutrients into an easily digestible form for maximum detox impact.
These recipes are for the most part created from low GI ingredients which is also an important factor as there is a slow-release of nutrients to boost your energy levels for longer period over your day as well as feeling fuller for longer and reducing food cravings.
In our busy lives, we often don't look after our nutritional health as well as we could. Smoothies are packed with energy and make a healthy nourishing snack and remember, children love smoothies! Make your kids a healthy after school smoothie and they will reap the benefits both mentally and physically. You can make lovely cleansing and detox fruit smoothies, green smoothies, vegetable smoothies as well as adding in powder supplements such as maca, greens, ground chia seeds and slippery elm for bowel health.By

Homemade Facial Masks That Give Your Skin A Radiant Glow

Homemade facial masks can be made in a matter of minutes from simple ingredients from avocado to oatmeal or egg whites for example, and offer so many nourishing benefits for normal to dry, dull, discoloured or inflamed skin.
You can use a whole range of ingredients varying from nuts and seeds or oil which are high in plumping moisturizing essential fatty acids to fruits rich in alpha hydroxy acids and/or enzymes that really brighten skin and give it a boost.
Homemade facial mask and serum recipes not only help to clean and moisturize skin, but also renew and regenerate skin slowing the again process leaving your skin looking and feeling radiant!
You can make a homemade facial mask from any of the ingredients listed below in minutes:
Cucumber - refreshing and cooling. Great for dark circles and lightening skin.
Yogurt - good in acne masks, soothing, lactic acid aids exfoliation and has a mild bleaching effect.
Avocado - high in moisturizing fatty acids and vitamins making it anti-aging and an antioxidant helping to protect dry skin from moisture loss. Good homemade facial mask base.
Aloe vera - balancing, good for acne and tightening pores.
Almond meal - grounds almonds are great for scrubs and exfoliating masks. Has mild lightening effects.
Apple - good in acne masks. Contains malic acid which is a mild exfoliant.
Arrowroot - dries oily skin and good in acne masks for drying out spots.
Banana - tightens skin and is moisturizing. A good homemade facial mask base.
Brown sugar - contains glycolic acid for natural exfoliation and the granules are excellent for use in scrubs and efoliators
Molasses - high in glycolic acids so it is excellent for lifting off dull dead skin layers.
Chocolate - moisturizing for skin. Antioxidants to neutralize free radicals.
Coffee - Used granules are good for exfoliating masks and scrubs, coffee is rich in antioxidants so good for slowing aging.
Coconut cream or milk - moisturizing, soothing and softens skin. Also mildly antibacterial especially extra virgin coconut oil. Great homemade facial mask base ingredients and as a facial rinse.
Egg whites - tightens sagging skin like a mini facelift. Helps to lighten skin also.
Eggs - high in sulphur and protein rich so helps to bind ingredients while moisturizing.
Kiwifruit, Papaya, Pawpaw or Pineapple - rich in enzymes that dissolve dead skin. Also high in nourishing vitamins like vitamin C and fruit acids to lift off dead skin cells. Helps to stimulate new cell growth.
Canteloupe - high in Vitamin C, an anti-oxidant which captures free-radicals tightening skin and creating clear radiant skin.
Almond meal or ground seed & nut meals - high in fatty acids which are good for holding in moisture and also for a mild exfoliating effect. Almond meal is slightly lightening as well.
Honey - antimicrobial and antibacterial so great for acne in homemade facial masks and for soothing inflamed skin. A natural humectant which means it draws moisture to the skin helping to hydrate dry skin.
Oatmeal - moisturizing soothing itching skin (oatmeal soaked in cold water then the liquid strained out is excellent for bites and itchy skin complaints). The ground meal is great for exfoliating scrubs and masks.
Citrus fruits (and other fruits to a lesser degree) - rich in alpha hydroxy or malic acids which help to lift off dead skin cells and stimulate new growth.
Essential oils - essential oils are naturally antibacterial so are great to add to masks for acne treatment. Tea tree and lavender are especially useful for soothing and treating acne by targeting the bacteria that causes acne and soothing irritated inflamed skin. Great when combined with honey and yogurt.
Oils (almond, apricot, olive, avocado, wheatgerm etc - many oils are rich in antiaging fatty acids and antioxidants that help to slow the aging process and deeply moisturize skin dwon to the lower layers. Different oils do different things - oils like starflower (borage) oil are like a super antiaging treatment on their own while ois like argan, rosehip and carrot seed are also good for lines, wrinkles, scarring and stretchmarks. Almond oil is excellent fro lightening age spots and as an every day cleanser.
Parsley and neroil oil - perfect for rosacea and red veins when added to masks and serums.
As you can see, there are many ingredients you can use from around your home and local grocery store. When you combine these ingredients together you can create amazing homemade facial masks and serums (even moisturizers) that leave your skin with a radiant healthy glow.
It is fun and easy to make recipes that are "tailor made" to suit your specific skin type and condition. You can enjoy the numerous benefits of homemade facial masks and skin care recipes - many that offer the same results or better than store bought products without the cost or time taken to find and buy them.
Try mixing some of these ingredients together or you can try some more specific recipes by this author to see the improvements and results in your complexion.By

Relieve Your Stomach Ulcer Symptoms Naturally

Stomach ulcer symptoms are characterized by a burning sensation in the stomach, sometimes mistaken for heartburn. These symptoms can last anywhere from one half hour to several hours and may happen at any time. Although once thought to be caused mainly by stress, recent research shows that some stomach ulcers
may be caused by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria which can be passed from person to person through kissing and contaminated foods.
There are two types of ulcers that people think of as stomach or peptic ulcers, the gastric ulcer which is actually formed in the stomach and the duodenal ulcer which forms beyond the stomach and the first foot of the small intestine. Stomach ulcers affect millions of people each year.
To relieve stomach ulcer symptoms naturally, your best bet is to change your eating habits. Certain foods can irritate ulcers and should be avoided which include spicy and fried foods, fatty foods and acidic foods. Although many people think that milk is a good way to relieve ulcer symptoms it should be taken in small amounts as the milk proteins can cause more gastric acids to be made which can irritate your ulcer. You should also avoid aspirin, tea, coffee, ibuprofen, alcohol and cigarettes.
Another natural way to relieve symptoms of a stomach ulcer is to make sure your diet is rich in soluble fiber. Some say that cabbage can help heal an ulcer as it contains glutamine which has been shown to heal ulcers and is also very high in fiber.
Other lifestyle changes such as de-stressing, meditating and yoga can help with stress-induced ulcers and no matter what kind of ulcer you have they certainly can't hurt!
While finding natural ways to relieve your stomach ulcer symptoms is a good idea you also want to be sure that you visit your doctor to be sure that an ulcer is actually what you have and to find out about any treatments that might be better for your particular ulcer. You can also be tested for the Helicobacter pylori bacterium and if this is present, your doctor may recommend a regimen of antibiotics to kill off the bacteria and possibly cure your ulcer for good.
No matter which treatments you're using to relieve your symptoms or possibly cure your ulcer altogether you need to give them time to work. You might see relief in a few days but you want to give it at least six weeks before you give up on the treatment.
While stomach ulcers are common they are nothing to take lightly. More than 4 million Americans will develop an ulcer each year and 40,000 of them will have surgery due to stomach ulcer symptoms. While ulcers are not usually fatal about 6000 Americans die from complications related to ulcers every year.By

How to Reduce Uric Acid Levels in the Body Naturally With Diet

Why do you need to reduce uric acid levels in your body? The key reason is that high uric acid levels -- a condition known as hyperuricemia -- leads to the formation of uric acid crystals in and around your joints. These cause the symptoms of gout; redness, swelling, stiffness, heat, inflammation and horrible pain. Here, you'll discover how to naturally lower uric acid levels in the body through your diet.
Once having been diagnosed with gout, your doctor will normally prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs to combat the existing gout attack symptoms, and, drugs to reduce your uric acid levels over time to help prevent future attacks. And you really need to prevent recurring gout because this can lead to some serious long term issues such as kidney stones, other kidney problems and permanent joint damage.
Now, these acid reducing drugs -- such as Allopurinol -- can work well as long as you are taking them. When you come off them there really isn't anything to prevent your uric acid rising again causing more gout attacks.
So, in order to reduce and maintain your levels in the long term you need to keep taking these drugs over the long term. Apart from the cost implications there are some nasty side effects like diarrhea, nausea, allergies, etc. Which is why gout sufferers are increasingly looking to natural remedies for gout...
There are a whole plethora of natural home remedies for gout out there. But, at the heart of any natural approach to reducing your acid levels, is your diet. In fact, this is a very important issue even if you go along the drug-based route. And the reason is simple: natural chemical compounds in your body and foods -- called purines -- are the producers of uric acid. We don't need to go into how this happens here, it's enough to know that they just do.
But the equation is clear: more purines = more uric acid. So, as a gout sufferer who needs to reduce uric acid levels in the body, you need to reduce the amount being produced by purines. And a critical factor is your diet, because purines exist in our foods, as well as our bodies.
You have to reduce your intake of high purine foods and replace with relatively low-level purine foods...
Generally speaking, high purine foods to be avoided are, fish, shellfish, fatty red meats, offal, poultry, yeast and yeast extracts. Foods like sardines, anchovies, herring, mackerel, mussels, scallops, heart, liver, kidneys, brains, gravies, partridge, and goose are particularly bad.
And alcohol is known to be a key trigger for gout attacks. So you must avoid all alcohol, but particularly beer, because of it's association with yeast.
Now foods that make up a good gout diet are, low fat dairy products, complex carbohydrate foods (cereals, rice, pasta, etc.), high vitamin c foods (fruits, red cabbage, red bell peppers, etc.), essential fatty acids (tuna, salmon, seeds, nuts, etc.), vegetables (parsley, cabbage, kale and other green leafy vegetables etc.), and fruits (especially cherries, strawberries, blueberries and grapes).
Of course, you shouldn't make any significant dietary changes without first consulting your doctor. But diet isn't the end of the story. Other things like your weight, lifestyle issues, family history, medications, etc., can have an impact on your ability to get rid of your gout for good.By

Can Tattoo Inks Cause Skin Cancer?

It seems today most people obtaining tattoos are more concerned about the quality of the tattoo and the effect of aging altering the tattoo, than any potential long term health risks. The health dangers associated with being injected by hundreds of needles into the dermis or the inner layer of the skin are widely publicised and most tattoo artists take these issues very seriously. We have all heard about Aids and Hep C, but are you aware of the current debate on the possible skin cancer risks associated with tattoo inks?
Recent years have seen an increase in stories associated with the potential of getting skin cancer from tattoo inks. Limited studies taken to date have not confirmed a direct link between cancer and tattoo inks..
Phthalates and other chemical ingredients used in tattoo inks have raised questions about the long term risks on our health such as skin cancer.It has been reported that some forms of phthalates are believed to have the potential to disrupt testosterone or mimic estrogen. Phthalate exposure has been identified to possible sperm defects and altered thyroid hormones. The phthalates in tattoo inks are believed to be cleared from the body within hours unlike many other forms of phthalate exposure. A study reported that Phthalates applied to the skin in a lotion were absorbed and metabolised and the same thing is likely to happen with the phthalates in tattoo inks. It would be well advised for pregnant and nursing women to avoid any exposure to phthalates.
Injecting tattoo inks, containing exogenous pigments, into the dermis creates a unique situation, due to the large amount of metallic salts and organic dyes remain in the skin for a lifetime. The potential carcinogenic risks of tattoo inks remain debatable. Several studies have identified the presence of potential carcinogenic or procarcinogenic products in tattoo inks.One chemical commonly used in black tattoo ink called benzo(a)pyrene is known to be a potent carcinogen that causes skin cancer in animal tests. As tattooing injects inks such asbenzo(a)pyrene directly into the dermis damaging the skin. You could conclude it may contribute to skin cancer.
Scientists and health professionals continue to debate the possible link between tattoo inks and cancer. In the last forty years there have only been 50 documented cases of squamous cell carcinoma, malignant skin melanoma or basal cell carcinoma with possible connections to tattoos, compared to the millions of tattoos obtained. Epidemiological studies on the effects of tattoo ink could be taken, although they would not be easy. A large number of tattooed people would have to be monitored over a long period of time to see whether they developed problems such as skin cancer near their tattoos. The low number of reported skin cancers arising in tattoos could be considered coincidental.
Further in depth studies will need to be carried out to give more conclusive evidence on the effects of tattoo ink and the cancer risks associated. The FDA is growing more concerned about the ingredients in tattoo ink. In the early 2000's, the FDA received a large number of complaints associated with giving and receiving tattoos. Since then the FDA has commenced more research into the chemical components of tattoo inks. The FDA is investigating how the body breaks down the tattoo ink as it fades over time. Is the body absorbing the ink or is it fading from sun exposure? A common pigment in yellow tattoo inks, Pigment Yellow 74, is believed to be a risk of being broken down by the body.
When skin cells containing tattoo inks are killed by sunlight or laser light, the tattoo inks break down and could possibly spread throughout the body. It is believed that tattoo inks could spread into lymph nodes whether this has unknown health concerns or not is still unknown. Our lymph nodes filtering out disease-causing organisms any interference in that process could have devastating effects on our health.
It is recommended not to have a tattoo placed too close to a mole. Changes occurring in a mole such as asymmetry, border, color, size, shape, texture are all warning signs of a possible melanoma or another skin cancer. Ensure all moles are left completely visible to prevent possible delays in detecting any changes. When a melanoma is discovered early it is usually curable where as more advanced melanomas are far harder to cure. A tattoo covering a mole could delay detection and be extremely dangerous even life threatening. If you get a tattoo, make sure it is placed a good distance from any mole. This is especially important for people who have multiple moles or dysplastic nevus (atypical mole) syndrome, due to the increased risk of developing melanoma, potentially within one of their moles.
It's imperative to be extremely diligent in caring for our skin correctly after a tattoo and monitor any changes that may occur to the skin. Our skin is the largest organ of the body and has many important functions. It protective us against injury and disease, regulates our temperature and maintains our bodies hydration. There are three layers to our skin the first layers is the epidermis the outer layer of the skin. The second layer is the dermis or the inner layer and the third layer is the subcutaneous fat layer.
Cancer is a disease of the body's cells. Normally the body's cells grow and divide in an orderly fashion. Some cells may grow and divide abnormally growing into a lump, a tumour. Tumours can be non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). Benign tumours do not spread to other parts of the body. Cancer cells in a malignant tumour have the ability to spread to over areas in the body, if left untreated. These cells can destroy surrounding tissue and break away from the original cancer, affecting other organs in the body. These cells can then form another tumour referred to as a secondary cancer.
Skin cancer begins in the basal layer of the epidermis. There are three main types of skin cancer basal cell carcinoma; squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Melanomas start in the pigment cells while basal and squamous cell carcinomas develop from the epidermal cells. Basal cell carcinomas are the most common but least dangerous type of skin cancer. They grow slowly but if left untreated, a deep ulcer can occur. Fortunately they very rarely spread to other parts of the body. Basal cell carcinomas are most commonly found on the face, neck and upper trunk. They appear as a lump or scaly area and are pale, pearly or red in colour. Squamous cell carcinomas are less common but more dangerous. They typically grow over a period of weeks to months. These cancers may spread to other parts of the body if not treated immediately. Squamous cell carcinomas appear on areas of skin most often exposed to the sun. They have scaling, red areas which may bleed easily and ulcerate, looking like an unhealing sore. The major cause of these skin cancers is sun exposure for years. Melanoma is the rarest but most dangerous skin cancer. It is often a fast growing cancer which if left untreated can spread quickly to other parts of the body to form secondary cancers. Melanomas can appear anywhere on the body. The first sign of a melanoma is usually a change in a freckle or mole, or the appearance of a new spot. Changes in size, shape or colour are normally seen over a period of several weeks to months. Melanoma typically appears from adolescence onwards, most commonly seen between 30 and 50 years of age.
Any sign of a crusty, non-healing sore, a small lump which is red, pale or pearly in colour, or a new spot, freckle or mole changing in colour, thickness or shape over a period of several weeks to months. Any spots that range from dark brown to black, red or blue-black should be checked by a doctor immediately. A very high per cent of basal and squamous cell carcinomas that are found and treated early are cured.
If you have any concerns regarding the health of your skin or tattoo seek professional medical advice immediately, it's better to be safe than sorry.By

3 Tips For Choosing a Facial Cleanser for Oily Skin

When it comes to caring for oily skin, cleansing is the most important step. While there are a number of facial cleansers that claim to have the ability to put oily skin under control, get rid of oily skin and many other ridiculous claims, studies show that oil production can only be triggered by hormones and therefore no product can get rid of oily skin unless it is addressing the hormonal issue. That said, it is important for people with oily skin to be aware of such fallacies when going out to shop for a cleanser that works. This article discusses three things you need to know before you buy a cleanser for your oily skin:
  1. A good cleanser for oily skin should be water soluble. A water soluble cleanser can be washed off easily leaving the skin clean. It is therefore advisable to avoid using bar soap and thick liquid cleansers on your face as this causes clogged pores. Clogged pores are a major cause of pimples which is another issue that many people with oily skin deal with.

  2. Avoid cleansers with irritants. Irritants include menthol,and some plant extracts like mint,citrus juices,cinnamon and lavender. While these extracts are added to cleansers to give that tingling feeling, they are not good for people with oily skin as they may trigger excess oil production and cause pimples.Before selecting a cleanser, scan through the ingredients used to produce that cleanser. Most people will only read the product description and buy a product based on the description, forgetting that the product description is only used for marketing purposes and that what is in the product is essentially what matters most. Avoid any cleanser with the above mentioned irritants as well as products with alcohol and sulfur which lead to excess oil production.

  3. Be cautious when selecting a cleanser that has a facial scrub. Facial scrub is necessary for getting rid of dead skin and opening clogged pores due to the excess oil being produced by your glands. However, be very cautious when buying an all in one cleanser, because excessive scrubbing of your face is another form of skin irritation which as discussed above, may cause production of excess oil and pimples. Using a clean wash cloth with a gentle water soluble cleanser can accomplish the goal of cleansing your face thoroughly without causing irritation. Scrubbing should be done once or twice a week to avoid irritating your skin daily and disrupting the ability of your skin to heal.
Choosing the right facial cleanser for your oily skin should not be a hard task when you already know what to avoid. If you ensure that your facial cleanser is water soluble, does not contain irritants and does not disrupt the normal healing process of the skin on your face, you can easily eliminate half of the products on the cosmetic shelve and remain with a selection of few good facial cleansers that can be good for your skin. With the few cleansers left to choose from, it becomes a matter of preference, bearing in mind that expensive does not always mean good quality.By

How To Manage Stretch Marks

1.External applications:
Topical creams and moisturizers, skin firming agents and skin hydrators are available in different trade names but they give fewer results in long standing cases; however the following topical agents are widely used with varying results.
Topical agents are supposed to promote collagen synthesis when applied on the affected skin.
  • Topical retinoid therapy (retin A treatment)
Examples: - Retinaldehyde, tretinoin, Isotretinoin, adapalene etc are used. Tretinoin should not be used during pregnancy and lactation.
  • Glycolic acid creams are used to remove the outer layers of the skin.
  • Silicon dioxide is used with some benefits.
  • Elastin cream can promote formation of elastin.
  • Hydroxyproline containing creams are useful.
  • Alpha hydroxyl acids (8 to 10%) are used with good results.
  • Glycerol is used as a moisturizer.
  • Topical vitamins (E, A & K).
  • Vitamin E oil is commonly used.
  • Creams containing marine tissue extract are useful externally.
  • Antioxidants (they act as scavengers of free radicals).
  • Vaseline is routinely applied on the skin.
  • Biopeptide CL containing creams are useful.
  • Topical sunless tanning products are also useful.
Some naturally available substances are also used with good results, which are mentioned under a separate heading.

2. Masking methods: 
 Here the stretch marks are not removed, but kept covered by appropriate dressing and other methods like tattoo or ornaments etc.
3. Dermabrasion: 
  Here the superficial layer of the skin is removed by a procedure called micro dermabrasion, which will increase collagen production resulting in the formation of normal healthy skin. This method is recommended for those who do not prefer painful and expensive surgical techniques. This is the cheapest and harmless method among all types of skin resurfacing techniques. Here no chemicals or medicines are required. Micro dermabrasion involves the use of a pen like instrument that sandblasts the skin with tiny crystals to remove the cells in the superficial layer of the skin. On an average 10 to 12 sittings are needed for a better result.
4. Skin remodeling:  
Here needles or lasers are used. Needle pricks can induce collagen production in the affected area.
5. Chemical peeling: 
Here some chemicals in cream base are applied on the affected area. These creams can remove the epidermis of the skin. The dermis can produce more collagen and gradually normal skin is formed.
However this method is painful and may even cause skin injury due to some reactions.
Glycolic acid and Jessner's peels are commonly used. For medium depth peeling Trichloracetic acid is used. Here the skin becomes red & swollen for a few days and gradually becomes normal.
6. Laser treatment:
This is the most commonly used method, which gives better result than any other method. Statistics show that about 70% of cases treated with a laser have given good results. However, laser cant give good results in all cases as it works on certain skin types.
Different types of lasers are used on the basis of the color of skin. Here a narrow beam of laser is transmitted through the affected skin that can stimulate the production of collagen. Laser can stimulate the division of fibroblasts of the skin, thereby promotes tissue repair. It is true that laser cant remove stretch marks, but improves their appearance. Dual laser treatment is effective after a few sittings. Pulse dye laser therapy is also used with sizeable results and is a better choice among different laser treatments. However laser therapy is expensive and also causes pain during the procedure. More over five to six sittings are needed to make some noticeable improvement. Laser therapy gives better results in red raised scars and pinkish stretch marks. However, modern laser therapy is very expensive.
7. Cosmetic Surgery:
Here surgical methods like skin grafting, skin reduction, liposuction etc are done. In case of horrible abdominal stretch marks with folded skin due to fat deposition that does not respond to normal methods can be managed by abdominoplasty. However this method is very expensive and may cause scars on the operated site.
8. Endermologie:
This mode of treatment was invented in France. Here, a special machine is used to massage the affected site with the help of rollers and a suctioning action of the machine. This method is supposed to improve the blood circulation and removal of toxic substances from the skin. It can also strengthen the connective tissues of the skin. Series of endermologie procedures have given marked improvement in the appearance of stretch marks.
10. Anti depressive medicines:
Those who are over anxious about stretch marks need mild doses of antidepressants and psychotherapy.By
How To Manage Stretch Marks

6 Tips for Smoothening Hand Wrinkles

As women approach 40, the effects of the sun, a diminishing supply of estrogen, diet, and nutrition cause skin to dry and wrinkle. Crow's feet, smile lines, and forehead furrows slowly begin to appear on their faces. Unfortunately, the wrinkling doesn't stop at the face. Their hands begin to dry and wrinkle too. While chemical peels, Dermabrasion, Botox or plastic surgery may be the answer to turning back the clock on facial lines, how do mature women smoothen the wrinkles on their hands? Here are 6 tips for smoother, younger hands.
1. Moisturize and replenish your hands after washing The typical woman washes her hands several times a day. When we are not washing our hands, we may use hand sanitizers. Both soap and sanitizers can have drying effects on the hands that can lead to wrinkles. Next time you clean your hands, think of it as a two-step process: wash, then moisturize.
2. Keep pocket-size hand lotions in your purse Pocket-size hand lotions and cremes come in handy when you are away from home and need dry hand relief. You can purchase trial or travel-size lotions at the drugstore or collect them from your hotel room during your next vacation.
3. Use facial scrubs Next time you break out your favorite facial scrub use it on your hands, rather than your face. Facial scrubs used to exfoliate dead skin cells from your face, are also excellent remedies for smoothening hands. They can be purchased inexpensively at the drugstore or made at home using kitchen ingredients like baking soda, rolled oats, or sugar.
4. Eat some carrots Foods rich in beta-carotene, like carrots, are full of antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect the skin from the harmful drying effects of the sun and help minimize wrinkles.
5. Drink water Water is a magical beauty elixir! It is nature's moisturizer and truly the fountain of youth. Staying hydrated improves the overall condition of the skin all over your body.
6. Wear gloves Before you wash your next sink of dishes, scrub your bathroom, or tend to your gardening duties, put on a pair of gloves. Chemicals used in dishwashing liquids and household cleaners can damage the skin on your hands. Similarly, exposing your hands to the elements of sun, wind, and water while performing outdoor activities like gardening, can result in dry skin. Wearing gloves while performing these activities not only protects the hands, it can help them lock in their natural moisture.By