Archive for the ‘Skin’ Category

There are several forms of skin cancer: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, and the worst form of skin cancer known as Malignant Melanoma. Let’s discuss what to look for, symptoms, and when you should contact your doctor.

Basal Cell Carcinoma
This is a common form of skin cancer usually caused by over-exposure to the sun. This type of skin cancer grows slowly, rarely spreads, and is seldom life-threatening. While it may vary in appearance, it is usually characterized by a small, flat module which gradually may turn into an open sore with raised edges. It appears frequently on the face, usually around the eyes, near the nose or on the nose, as well as on other sun-exposed areas including the back, chest, arms, and legs. For proper diagnosis and treatment of Basal Cell Carcinoma, see your doctor.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma
This is also a common form of skin cancer which is rarely life-threatening. It starts as a small, firm, painless lump or patch, and resembles a wart or an open sore. It is also associated with over-exposure to the sun and can occur anywhere on the body. It is most common on the back of the hands or on the lips. If you have a lump on your skin that does not heal within three weeks, check with your doctor.

Malignant Melanoma
This is the most deadly form of skin cancer. It is sometimes associated with exposure to the sun, but can occur anywhere on the body including parts of the body not exposed to the sun. It most often appears on the face, upper chest or legs, and usually grows from existing moles. Malignant moles may bleed and can resemble sores that do not heal. If you think you have a melanoma, contact your doctor immediately.

Identifying skin cancers can be difficult. However, there are ways in which you can determine if you have any of the above three skin cancers.

Cancerous moles are often asymmetrical, that is, one half of the mole looks different from the other half. The outline of a cancerous mole can be uneven or have poor defined edges and may change over time. Melanomas can be very dark in color and contain shades of tan, brown, white, red, or blue. Moles that grow larger than a half inch across may be a sign of malignant melanomas, although smaller moles can also indicate malignancy as well.


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Ground Oat Body Scrub

2 Tablespoons rolled oats ground
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons aloe vera
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Put rolled oats in blender and blend into a very fine powder. Place oats in small mixing bowl. Add brown sugar and lemon juice. Mix well. Once mixed, add aloe vera and stir into a paste being sure there are no lumps. Dampen the skin you will be applying paste to and massage paste onto skin. Rinse with warm water. Double the recipe to use over entire body.

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Do you have irritated and dry skin? Try this homemade recipe for lotion to soften it up.

1 cup dried chamomile
4 Tablespoons honey
1 cup milk
8 teaspoons wheat germ

Place milk in small sauce pan on low heaat. Add chamomile and allow to simmer on low for a couple of hours. Pour through a strainer to remove any remaining dried chamomile. Place wheat germ and honey to liquid mixing well. Use as a lotion over entire body. Lotion stays fresh in the refrigerator for one week.

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It is well-known that over-exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause skin cancer. It is also a known fact that tanning beds emit more UV rays than the sun, and are more likely to cause skin cancer, as well. In order to avoid developing skin cancer via sunbathing or tanning beds, here are five reasons sunless tanning is better for you.

1. According to the American Cancer Society, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. Ultraviolet rays and tanning beds can all cause skin cancer. In fact, they estimate that five or more sunburns more than doubles your risk of developing skin cancer.

2. According to the Academy of Dermatology, the sun’s rays are more damaging today than in recent years. One doctor related that most people associate bronzed skin with good health. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

3. Sunless tanning can be done in the privacy of your own home. It is important to test the product first. The last thing you want to do is to reveal an “orange” tan. Apply the sunless tanning lotion you’re going to use to a small area on your skin and wait 24 hours to see how it works.

4. Sunless tanners are perfectly safe. Before applying the tanner, use exfoliates to remove dead skin. Experts say it will remove any scaly patches and make the application of the tanning lotion more effective.

5. Sunless tanning can be accomplished over a period of time, no matter what time of year. Don’t go full out for the bronzed look, but a little over time will give you the desired results.

Sunless tanning lotions are in. Whether lotions, gels, foams, creams, sprays, or the many varieties available today, there is no need to risk getting skin cancer anymore.

*Please remember your new bronzed skin is still susceptible to the sun’s rays – always use sunscreen whenever outside and exposed to the sun!

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While we all have different complexions, summer is a time when we have to be extra careful when exposing our skin to the sun.

Here are tips to keep your skin in shape this summer:

  1. Use Sunscreen – This is the most effective way in which to shield your skin from the sun’s rays. Use SPF30 sun block and apply it every 20 minutes.
  2. Seek out Shade – Whether at the beach or sunbathing in your backyard pool, try to stay out of the sun when the heat is most intense, between the hours of 10 am to 4 pm.
  3. Take Cover – Wear brimmed hats and light colored clothing to cover your arms and legs.
  4. Use Mild Soaps – Do not use strong abrasives on your skin. Cleanse your skin with warm water and mild soap.
  5. Use Natural Products – For sensitive skin, try not to use harsh products whose chemicals can cause irritation to your skin.
  6. Use a Moisturizer – You can use baby oil which will not only protect your skin put prevent it from becoming too dry.
  7. Sunscreen the Sensitive Parts – When sunbathing, use the sunscreen particularly on the most sensitive parts of your body such as shoulders, back of your legs, and neck as these areas are most vulnerable.
  8. Protect Your Eyes – Wear sunglasses when exposed to the sun to help protect your eyes.
  9. Be Gentle When Removing Makeup – Gently remove makeup with cotton balls so as to not to irritate the area around your eyes.
  10. Be Gentle When Drying – When bathing or showering, it is important not to completely rid your body of its essential oils. Therefore, don’t vigorously dry your body with a towel, but simply pat it dry and add moisturizer afterwards.
  11. Beware Razor Burns – Before you prepare to shave your legs and underarms, use any of the shaving creams or lotion products available. The last thing you need is to expose your legs to the sun if they have razor burns.

If you follow these tips to keep your skin in shape this summer, you will no doubt avoid any further damage to your skin and be able to enjoy the summer activities you have planned.

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Natural Sunburn Relief

While there are many over the counter topical creams and anti-inflammatory medications you can use to alleviate the pain and soreness associated with sunburn, there are natural sunburn relief products which can relieve the discomfort as well.

Try some of these to get that relief you need:

  • Aloe Vera, which is used in the treatment of burn victims, is quite effective in the treatment of sunburn. Simply apply a thin layer to the affected area and repeat the application every hour. Aloe Vera plants are beautiful and easy to use, just break off a part of one of the leaves and use the soothing ointment inside to rub on your sunburn.
  • Herbal teas can offer a respite from the discomfort of sunburn as well. Non-herbal black tea is one of them. Steep six bags in four cups of hot water, cool, and apply it to the affected area with a cotton cloth. In fact, tea bags have long been known to alleviate puffiness and burns to the eyes as well. Place a cooled teabag on each closed eyelid, lie down, and let the tea do its work.
  • Try an herbal bath using either chamomile or lavender essential oils. This is another effective means by which you can relieve severe sunburn symptoms. You may want to try tea tree oil, which helps heal skin burns and other skin irritations, and products rich with it can be helpful as well.
  • Apply cold compresses by using cool tap water on a cotton towel and apply it to the affected areas. A cool bath is also recommended. Do not shower as the pulsating water on your sunburned skin will cause further pain.
  • An oatmeal bath will not only relieve the itchiness accompanying dried sunburned skin, but sooth and alleviate the burn as well. There is powdered oatmeal available with which you can add to a tub of cool bathwater.

While some people look forward to getting a great summer tan, bathing in the sun too long can have caustic affects. Use SPF 15 or higher sun block, depending on your skin tone, to prevent severe burning. Apply it before you go out into the sun and every 20 minutes thereafter.

The rule of thumb when sunbathing is: 20 minutes in the sun and 20 minutes out of the sun. In this way, you can acquire a tan comfortably and safely.

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There are thousands of products and treatments available to help improve the quality of your skin, but only a small percentage of these are natural. Most beauty products contain harsh, damaging chemicals. Treatments, like chemical peels and botox, can be scary. On top of it all, we really have no idea what most of these treatments and chemicals will do to our skin 20 years down the road. If you want to have great looking skin without dangerous chemicals or procedures, there is a way.

Here are some great tips to keep your skin looking fabulous the natural way:

  • Drink more water. All cells need water to function properly. If your skin cells aren’t properly hydrated, waste products build up in your cells and keep them from working right and looking their best. Also, if you don’t drink enough water, your cells will retain as much as they can and you’ll end up looking puffy and bloated.
  • Change your diet. You’ve probably heard the phrase “you are what you eat” a lot. If you think about it, this old saying is 100 percent true. Your body is made up of what you put into it. If you want it to work properly and look its best, you need to feed yourself the nutrients it needs and avoid foods that may damage it. For beautiful skin, you should try to get more fiber and “good fats” in your diet and avoid foods with a lot of sugar.
  • Improve your circulation. To function properly, our cells need to get plenty of oxygen. If you spend your days sitting at a desk or remaining mostly immobile, your circulation probably isn’t as good as it could be. Increase your circulation by getting more exercise, stretching, or getting regular massages (they don’t need to be professional). You can also use a brush to exfoliate your skin which improves circulation while removing old, dead cells. Not only will this give your skin a better overall look, it can also reduce the appearance of unsightly cellulite.
  • Avoid the sun. A little sun is good for you. It provides vitamin D and can help give you a sunny disposition, but too much sun can do terrible damage. Try to use hats, clothes, or sun block to protect yourself from damaging UV rays.
  • Use certified natural skin products. Traditional beauty products contain all sorts of unnatural chemicals. Most are there as preservatives, or to give the product a certain scent, color or texture. These chemicals not only have no value to your skin, some may cause cancer and other dangerous problems. That’s why it’s beneficial to use natural products if you want to look your best and stay healthy. Just be sure to check labels, many products will claim they’re natural or organic and only contain one natural or organic ingredient. Be wary of ingredients you can’t pronounce and look for certification seals to be sure you’re getting what you pay for. Not only will these help normal skin, they’re also less likely to irritate sensitive skin.

With a little time, patience, and work, you can have fabulous looking skin in no time.

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