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Fungus on Skin

The word fungus conjures up visions of mold and dirty, damp unhygienic surroundings. Many of us may cringe at the thought of developing a fungal infection. But these infections are common and most people suffer from several attacks during the course of a lifetime.
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In babies, small curd-like white patches can form in the mouth. These are difficult to remove. If scraped off, a raw red area is exposed. This is commonly called “thrush” and is caused by a fungal specie called candida. It may occur if the child is bottle fed, uses a pacifier or has recently had a course of antibiotics. It may make the child irritable while feeding.

Oral thrush may occur in adults too if they have ill-fitting dentures, suffer from diabetes, have had a course of antibiotics, consumed steroids, are on anti-cancer drugs, are smokers, or are immuno compromised as a result of medicines or HIV infection.

In adults as well as children, oral thrush can be treated with applications of anti-fungal medication like clotrimazole two or three times a day. Dentures must be cleaned regularly. Feeding bottles and artificial nipples should ideally not be used. If thrush has occurred, they must be rinsed with a solution of equal parts of vinegar and water and air dried prior to sterilisation.

Candida and some bacteria like lactobacillus normally live in perfect harmony in the vagina. The lactobacillus produces acid, which prevents the overgrowth of candida. If this balance is disrupted, candida can overgrow, resulting in infection. Imbalance occurs as a result of diabetes, pregnancy, hormonal tablets, antibiotics, steroids or immuno suppression. Frequent douching or using “feminine hygiene sprays” may also lead to infection. Vaginal fungal infections owing to candida affect almost all women. It causes redness, an uncontrollable itch and an odourless white discharge.
You may click to see :Natural solutions for Candida Albicans: Candida diet
Treatment involves the application of creams or insertion of vaginal tablets for one, three or six days. Sometimes oral medicines have to be taken. The bacteria-fungus balance in the vagina can be restored by eating lactobacillus. This is found in homemade curd. A tablespoon a day usually restores the balance.

Men can develop candida infection on the foreskin, especially if they are diabetic. The skin is itchy and may develop fissures. Topical anti-fungal creams work well.

Men are also prone to developing “jock itch” (or dhobi’s itch), an infection of the groin area where the skin is usually warm and moist. Infection is precipitated by wearing tight undergarments, or not changing sweaty exercise clothes promptly. Treatment involves bathing regularly, wearing loose-fitting clothes and application of anti-fungal creams.

The warm moist areas between the toes may also develop a fungal infection called Tinea pedis or athlete’s foot. It causes itching, burning, cracking and at times blisters. It occurs with wearing damp socks and tight airless shoes, especially of a non-porous material like plastic.

To prevent Tinea pedis, the feet need to be aired and socks changed regularly. Once infection has developed, the feet should be soaked in equal quantities of water and vinegar for 10 minutes a day. After wiping them dry, an anti-fungal cream needs to be applied. The infection may take two to four weeks to clear up.

The warm and moist areas of the inner thighs, genitalia, armpits, under the breasts, and waist may also develop fungal infection and become red, itchy, oozy and sore. This is common in overweight individuals and those with diabetes. Treatment is by bathing regularly and keeping the area dry. Talcum powder aggravates the problem. Instead, the area should be patted dry after a bath and a combination of a “diaper rash” cream containing zinc oxide and an anti-fungal medication must be applied.

Toe nails and fingernails can also get infected by fungus. The nail then hurts, breaks easily and becomes discoloured. This occurs if the nails are constantly exposed to moisture or are immersed in water, if non-absorbent socks or shoes are used, or if the person has diabetes. Treatment is with applications and medications for one and a half to six months. Soaking the feet in a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water for 10 minutes daily and then applying Vicks VapoRub has anecdotally been shown to be effective.

The outer layers of the skin can develop scaly white patches of Tinea versicolor infection. Moist climates, sweating, humidity and hormonal changes have been blamed for this. The infection responds well to Selinium sulphide (Selsun) or Ketoconazole (Nizral) shampoo.

Ringworm causes round, hairless patches on the scalp and skin. They are contagious and spread by contact with infected humans or animals. Medicines have to be taken for six weeks. Topical agents are not effective.

Source : The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Nose Job

To most people a nose is just an organ in the centre of our face. It may be straight and aquiline (enhancing perceptions of classical beauty), snub or button-shaped, flat or crooked. Some of us do not like the way our nose is structured and try to change its appearance. Elderly relatives may pull a baby’s nose several times a day in an attempt to make it grow longer. Others may grab a wallet and head to the nearest plastic surgeon for a “nose job” (rhinoplasy)….…CLICK & SEE

Whatever the shape, the nose warms and humidifies the air that enters our body. It is lined with fine hair that prevents dust from going into the lungs. This acts as a first line of defence against viral and bacterial infections. On contact with an organism or a noxious chemical, it secretes fluid that washes out the offending material (causing a dripping nose).

Sometimes violent sneezing is triggered which expels these substances far away from the body.

Until the age of 18 years, the nose grows and changes in shape and size. As we get older, the nasal cartilage loses its elasticity. This causes the tip of the nose to lengthen and droop. This makes the nose appear larger in older people.

The nose enables us to smell. This helps us identify substances and distinguish between pleasant harmless odours and noxious harmful ones. Like other animals, man once had a keenly developed sense of smell. This helped him identify potentially dangerous animals as well as warring strangers from other regions and tribes. We adults have lost this ability with evolution. However, smell is the best developed of all the five senses in a baby. Infants can distinguish between their mothers, other lactating women and strangers.

The sense of smell contributes to the taste of our food. People suffering from anosmia, or loss of the sense of smell, do not find food palatable. This causes them to lose weight. Anosmia may be a temporary phenomenon when the nose is blocked as a result of a cold. It may occur when the “smell centre” in the brain is damaged, or if the person has Parkinson’s disease. Attempts to relieve a blocked nose with repeated use of nasal sprays can damage the lining of the nose sufficiently to cause a permanent loss of smell.

Some people tend to pick their using their fingers. This is an unsavoury, socially unacceptable habit. It may also resul noses t in damage to the lining of the nose and bleeding. Constant trauma to the nostrils can cause infection of the hair follicles in the nose. This can result in fever, swelling and pus formation.

A pierced nose is perceived to enhance the beauty of a woman. It is a common practice in India from ancient times and was believed to ease the pains of childbirth. The area that should be pierced is just below the cartilage. If the nose cartilage is accidentally pierced instead, serious complications like bleeding, infection and permanent deformity can occur. Even otherwise, infection, redness, swelling and scar formation may occur.

The jewellery used may cause problems. It may come loose and be accidentally swallowed. The back of the stud can become embedded in the skin, or nose rings can get caught in clothing and violently pulled out. Also, once you have pierced your nose, even if you change your mind and decide against jewellery, there will always be a little hole.

About 60 per cent of people experience nose bleed (epistaxis) at some time in their lives. It occurs most often under the age of 10 and over the age of 60 years. This is usually due to a local problem in the nose like a cold, nose picking, a foreign body, irritants like cigarette smoke, or an injury. Less often it may be due to a systemic disease like high blood pressure or clotting disorders like haemophilia. It can also occur owing to blood thinning medicines such as aspirin, clopidogrel, heparin or warfarin. The patient may have purchased medicines over the counter, or may be taking non-allopathic drugs and may be unaware of their side effects.

Most nosebleeds can be tackled at home:

*Make the person sit up. This prevents blood from filling up in the throat and choking the person

*Pinch the nostrils firmly and maintain steady pressure for 10 minutes

*Instill a decongestant nasal spray containing oxymetazoline (Nasivion or Otrivin).

Most nosebleeds are harmless. Very rarely, they can be fatal. You need to seek medical help if the bleeding has lasted for more than 20 minutes, or if it followed a fall, a blow to the head or an accident.

Epistaxis

Epistaxis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recurrent nosebleeds with no identifiable or correctable cause need to be tackled by an ENT surgeon.

Source : The Telegraph ( kolkata, India)

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Controversial New Breakthrough Can Boost Your Child’s Health

There were once doubts that strength training held any benefits for children.  But a new research review confirms that children and teenagers can increase their muscle strength with regular workouts.
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The findings support recent recommendations from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) that kids strength-train two to three times a week under professional supervision.

Studies have shown that children’ICK & SEEs risk of injury from strength training is no greater than that from other types of exercise or sports, and the potential benefits of such training, such as increased bone density and decreased body fat, generally outweigh any risks.

Reuters reports:
“Overall … the training was effective at boosting kids’ strength, with gains being greater among older kids versus prepubertal children (typically about age 10 or younger) … The average strength gain varied widely among the studies, but in the majority the kids improved their strength by 20 percent to 40 percent of their starting levels.”

Resources :
Reuters October 28, 2010
Pediatrics November 2010; 126(5):e1199-210

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Bile Acid May Slow The Aging Process

 

Bile acid, or lithocholic acid (LCA), may be linked to cell longevity, according to findings published in the journal Aging. This is because exposure of the acid to free-living yeast can lead to improved health.

Prior research has resulted in this compound improving liver and pancreatic health in mice. For this study, a team of researchers analyzed more than 19,000 molecules, including the bile acid, to determine the anti-aging effects of LCA.

The investigators discovered that regardless of one’s daily caloric intake, the yeast longevity was improved by the bile acid. Furthermore, the results showed that during caloric restriction and stressor protein activity, the life-extending process continued to function properly.

“This leads us to believe that bile acids have potential as pharmaceutical agents for the treatment of diabetes, obesity and various metabolic disorders, all of which are age-related,” said Alexander Titorenko, lead author of the study. He added that “they may indeed offer hope for a healthy aging life.”

In addition to the longevity benefits of bile acid, taking natural supplements containing resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant, can help slow the signs of aging.

Source : BETTER Health Research :

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Mild Memory Loss is Not a Part of Normal Aging

Getting older, in and of itself, is not the cause of so-called “senior moments”. A new study found that even these mild memory lapses are caused by the same brain lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.


Researchers found that in the last four to five years of life, people’s memory showed a very rapid decline. Pathologic lesions were found to be related to this rapid decline. The preceding years showed a much more gradual decline that was the actual result of normal aging.

According to Newswise:
“… [R]ecognizing that the earliest changes in memory are related to Alzheimer’s pathology can lead to early diagnosis and will be critical information if a treatment is developed that can alter the pathologic course of the disease.”

Resources:
Newswise September 15, 2010
Neurology September 21, 2010; 75(12):1070-8. Epub 2010 Sep 15

Posted By Dr. Mercola | October 07 2010 | 43,083 views