Drug Rashes

Drug rashes could appear as tiny reddish bumps on an itchy patch of skin or red scaly peelings on the entire skin. They can be classified into different types with varying severities. They are generally defined though as a reaction of the skin to certain drugs.

One of the most common causes of drug rashes is an allergic reaction to medication. A person may react to the drug upon first usage while in other instances, it may take multiple exposures before an individual becomes sensitized to the substance. At other times, drug rashes may occur as a side effect of a particular drug. There are also medications which can make the skin hypersensitive to sunlight, a condition known as photosensitivity.

Theoretically, any drug can cause an unwanted reaction depending on the sensitivity and medical condition of a patient. The more common medications though which cause drug rashes are antibiotics like penicillin and sulfa drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, pain killers, anti-convulsants or medications for seizures, diuretics, iodine, medications used in chemotherapy, and drugs for psychiatric disorders.

Rashes caused by steroids and iodine may appear as acne or pimples and red spots mostly on the face, shoulders, and chest. Antibiotic-caused rashes often take the form of exfoliative dermatitis characterized by red scaly skin or a fixed drug eruption which looks like a purple or dark red rash. Reaction to other antibiotics and barbiturates may appear as flat, red rashes and measles-like pimples. Diuretics and blood thinners can cause purple skin eruptions which develop mostly on the legs. Allergic reactions to aspirins and certain drug dyes could lead to the appearance of hives or red bumps on the skin. A more serious skin reaction to barbiturates, sulfa drugs, penicillin, and other antibiotics is the Stevens-Johnson syndrome. This potentially fatal skin disease is characterized by blisters and hive-like rashes on the mucous membranes in the mouth, eyes, and external genitalia.

Pinpointing the particular medication which caused the rashes could be a difficult process since some skin eruptions can occur even when the drug intake has been discontinued for weeks or months. Even over-the-counter drugs such as eye drops, nose drops, and suppositories are possible culprits. The conventional diagnostic process is to stop all medications except for life-sustaining drugs and to take chemically altered substitutes. If no substitute is available, the patient may start taking the suspected drugs again one at a time to determine which one causes the rashes. There is potential danger to this process though especially if the skin reaction is severe or life-threatening. The doctor may also perform a skin biopsy. This involves taking a small piece of the skin and examining the sample under a microscope.

Mild drug rashes may be treated by taking cool showers or applying cool compresses, putting calamine lotion on the affected areas to relieve itching, and taking an antihistamine such as hydroxyzine and diphenhydramine. Corticosteroids may also be used to decrease inflammation and itching. Topical drugs are used when the rashes are limited to a small area while systemic drugs which either injected or taken orally are preferred when the eruptions infect large parts of the skin.

Bed Sores – Prevention and Treatment for Bed Sores

Bed sores are a localized area of tissue injury that develops when soft tissue is compressed between a bony prominence and an external surface for a prolonged period of time. The external surface may be a mattress, a chair or wheelchair, or even other parts of the body. The soft tissues of the body, such as skin and muscle, depend upon blood vessels to carry nutrients to the tissues, and to remove waste products. Bed sores result when prolonged pressure prevents sufficient blood flow to supply the tissues with nutrients. The resulting bed sore represents the death of the involved soft tissues.

A bed sore develops when blood supply to the skin is cut off for more than two to three hours. As the skin dies, the bed sore first starts as a red, painful area, which eventually turns purple. Left untreated, the skin can break open and become infected. A bed sore can become deep, extending into the muscle. Once a bed sore develops, it is often very slow to heal. Bed sores often occur in the buttocks area (on the sacrum or iliac crest), or on the heels of the feet.
Prevention and Treatment for Bed Sores
Use pillows or other similar positional products such as foam wedges to support, keep pressure off an area and to encourage different positions.

Avoid massaging skin over bony areas. Change body position at least every 2 hours- more frequently in a chair. Reduce friction ( rubbing) by lifting rather than dragging. Do not use donut shape cushions. These can increase the risk of getting pressure ulcers by reducing blood flow in the areas of contact with the cushion.

Consider pureed or liquid meals. If swallowing is difficult, emphasize soups, pureed foods or nutritional supplement drinks, which provide protein and calories but require little or no preparation. It may be easier for you to drink rather than to eat something.

Pressures sores need to be kept clean and free from dead tissue. A saline solution can be used and a dressing applied. The dressing should be renewed daily unless it is a specialized dressing product, such as a hydrocolloid dressing, or a film dressing.

Eat a balance diet. Proteins and calories are very important for healthy skin. Healthy skin is less liable to be damaged.

Avoid raising the head of the bed more than 30 degrees. A higher incline makes it more likely that you’ll slide down, putting you at risk of friction and shearing injuries. If the bed needs to be higher when you eat, place pillows or foam wedges at your hips and shoulders to help maintain alignment.

Most of the equipment available for the prevention and treatment of pressure sores has not been reliably evaluated, and no `best buy’ can be recommended.

Pressure sore prevalence rates should not be used as a measure of the quality of care; incidence rates may only be used as an indicator of the quality of preventive care if the risk of developing a sore is taken into account.

A light weight, inflatable, readily compactible, inexpensive bed sore treatment and prevention method and apparatus. Two inflatable wedges are held in close approximation to a patient/person by a plurality of straps that each encircle the person and the two wedges to a moderate and readily adjustable degree of snugness. Internal partitions help maintain the shapes of the respective wedges.

The wedges can be used to treat and/or prevent various conditions, such as sleep apnea, snoring, bed sores, etc. The wedges may also be made from foam rubber or the like in which case the inflation is not required.

Psoriasis: Treatment According to Symptoms Types

Psoriasis is a skin disease which severely affects skin and joints. Generally, patient suffering from this disease have red scaly patches over the skin, these patches are known as plaques. Excessive cell production on the psoriasis affected area is the cause of plaque generation and inflammation. Sometime the plaque also acquires slivery-white appearance. Psoriasis can be localized or it can cover whole body according to the severity of disease. Psoriasis has affected the human beings for very long time; though earlier it was believed to be a type of leprosy.

An exact cause for Psoriasis is not known. It is believed that Psoriasis affects the body because of malfunctioning of the immune-system. Several factors can lead to Psoriasis like stress, depression, consumption of alcohol amongst others. Psoriasis is recurring and chronic in nature. This poses great difficultly in invention of a better treatment for Psoriasis.

Psoriasis has various types which include Plaque Psoriasis, Guttate Psoriasis, Nail Psoriasis Erythrodermic Psoriasis and Flexural Psoriasis. But, most common and most frequently affecting psoriasis is Plaque Psoriasis. This affects about 85% people suffering from psoriasis. Diagnosis of psoriasis generally begins with appearance of the skin; sometime biopsy is also needed for its diagnosis.

There is no exact medical remedy for this disease. Many techniques are adopted for psoriasis treatment. Oral medication ointment application and use of ultra violent rays over the affect area are some of the methods adopted by the dermatologist. The methods which are generally applied can be classified into following categories:-

• Topical Treatment

• Phototherapy

• Photo chemotherapy

• Systemic Treatment

• Alternative methods

Under topical treatment psoriasis is generally cured with the help of bath in a solution of moisturizer which preserves psoriasis affected areas from dryness. Ointment and creams containing moisturizing substances are part of this treatment.

Regular contact with moderate sunlight can also produce a healing effect for psoriasis. Sunlight contains ultraviolet rays which have property to heal psoriasis affected cells but excess of sunlight can be dangerous. This method of Psoriasis treatment is known as phototherapy.

The combination of Psoralen (a natural substance used for curing skin diseases) and ultraviolet is also used for curing Psoriasis. Psoralen is given either orally or directly applied on affect spots. This can block rapid growth of psoriasis. The method is known as Photo Chemotherapy.

Systemic treatment of the psoriasis includes all above described methods. Selection of particular technique at a particular moment is depends on doctor’s discretion. Systemic treatment of psoriasis requires great skill of the doctor. Most the people operated by this technique get rid of recurrence of the disease.

Medication in the case of psoriasis should be taken with the great care as many medicines can produce toxic effect. Doctor’s advice for starting treatment psoriasis is compulsory.

There are some alternative ways for the treatment of psoriasis like use of antibiotic, fish therapy, herbal methods but effectiveness of these methods is not completely established.

Onychomycosis – What is Onychomycosis Infection?

Onychomycosis, also known as nail fungus, is one of the more common infections. It is common enough to say that almost anybody had Onychomycosis infection before. The way we use our hands and feet and how we take care of them can mean the difference between having fungal infection or not.

Onychomycosis cannot easily penetrate our nails. Our nails are the ultimate barrier against the infection. Even so, once our nails have been penetrated it won’t be long before infection sets in and eventually spread. Prevention is still the better choice.

The idea of fungal infection being contagious is not too far-fetched. People can pass on the infection by indiscriminate use of contaminated equipment. Not wearing the right size of shoes and overly tight socks can contribute to the growth of fungal infection. Having your fungal infection treated is not a walk in the park. The treatment itself last long and the recovery period for a nail may take over a year.

Preventing re-infection is of utmost importance while nearing the end of the recovery period of a nail. Just because your nail looks normal does not mean that you relax on your treatment. If ever a re-infection appears, you will have to undergo the same treatment again for a longer period than before.

3 Types of Onychomycosis Infection

There are 3 types of Onychomycosis infection depending on its appearance. One is the “Distal Subungual Onychomycosis”, the second is “Proximal Subungual Onychomycosis” and the third is the “White Superficial Onychomycosis”. The most common nail fungal infection is the first one. It is based on the point where the nail separates from the skin. The second one is based on the area where the nail is closer to the body of the person. The second type usually appears in people with weak immune systems. The third one is based on the upper part of the nail specifically the surface.

People with discolored nails may not be as showy with them as compared to normal ones. People have this idea that fungal infections are contagious and are a result of bad fingernail and toenail care.

3 Kinds of Fungi That Cause Onychomycosis

There are 3 kinds of fungi that cause Onychomycosis. These are dermatophytes, yeasts, and non-dermatophytes. Any of these 3 kinds can already be on your nails without any indication of pain or discoloration. The foul smell, by the way, comes from the debris that may collect under the nail. Talk about not clipping your nails. When you clip your nails, be sure to clean it also. You will be amazed at how neat your toenails or fingernails will look, if you clean it properly.

Since Onychomycosis is hard to cure, you might as well control it. There are medications solely for the control of this infection. Proper nutrition also plays a vital part in good nail health. A sufficient intake of proteins and minerals, avoiding sugar, alcohol, and caffeine will contribute to the well-being of your nails. There are herbal remedies for Onychomycosis. It is used to relieve, and not cure, some of the symptoms. Whatever medication you take, be it chemical creams or herbal, use it properly for it to be effective.

The Allergist vs. The Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor

Before coming to our Knoxville, Tennessee office some patients wonder if they should be seeing an allergist or an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor. The ENT seems like a sensible choice to many. They deal with the areas most often affected by allergy symptoms. Some tend to believe that the allergist should only be consulted during allergy season and the ENT is for the rest of the year. This is not necessarily best for patients.

The ENT are surgeons who focus mainly on the structural problems of the ear, nose, and throat. They tend to be focused on those complexities and concerns that can be corrected via surgery. The ENT’s training will typically have them focus on looking for a structural cause for a patient’s concerns. The will often look for bone and cartilage defects, which can be corrected through surgery, first. Patients should see an ENT specialist when they are having difficulties with nasal breathing, are experiencing a sore throat or raspy voice, and/or when they have difficulties with hearing clearly. Most of these problems, however, may not be due to structural problems the ENT can fix with surgery and may in fact be caused by allergies. In fact, more than 50% of sinus difficulties are caused by allergies, with the majority of the remaining percentage caused by a combination of allergy and non-allergy related symptoms. 

Because allergies are very likely to be the cause of symptoms many ENT specialist offer allergy testing. However, ENTs typically have received less than two weeks of allergy training, which has to cover a wide variety of potential allergens, reactions, tests, test interpretations, and treatment options. In contrast an allergist receives two years of training in the diagnosis, management and treatment of allergic diseases. An allergists primary focus is on allergies. It’s their specialization and they are best qualified to test for allergies and evaluate those tests.

Considering the prevalence of allergies as a potential cause of symptoms in the ear, nose, and throat an allergist shouldn’t be relegated to simply allergy season visits. The allergist is best qualified to determine if a patient is experiencing an allergic reaction, to what they are allergic to, and what course of action should be taken, and, if allergies may not be the cause, they can refer patients to an ENT specialist to investigate potential structural problems.

For more information about allergies and allergy testing visit the Allergy, Asthma & Sinus Center.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency – 5 Warning Signs

Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is an essential building block of DNA and is key to the maintenance of our body’s genes. In this role, it is an important element in ensuring the proper function of the nervous system and maintaining a healthy hematological profile.

A proper diet and good nutrition is almost always sufficient to prevent B12 deficiency. The vitamin is naturally found in high protein foods such as meat, eggs, fish and dairy. In addition, those who regularly take a multivitamin are not likely to need extra vitamin B12 supplementation. However, ensuring enough B12 is ingested is important given that the body does not easily store the vitamin.

There is a high incidence of B12 deficiency in a few select groups. First, vegetarians or vegans who completely avoid animal based foods are at risk. Children who follow strict vegetarian diets absent of dairy products are particularly susceptible to low levels of the vitamin. Also, it is estimated that a high percentage of the elderly have some level of B12 deficiency. This is because as we age, our ability to extract and absorb B12 from food-based protein sources diminishes. Also, seniors are more likely to have digestive problems, a degraded stomach lining, or have gone through some form of gastro-intestinal surgery. This contributes to the possibility of deficiency among this population. Finally, large amounts of alcohol and caffeine have been shown to decrease the ability of the body to absorb the vitamin.

It is important to recognize the 5 warning signs of B12 deficiency.

1. Stomach pain or digestive issues
2. Fatigue and weakness
3. Loss of sensation or tingling in lower extremities
4. Impaired cognitive function or dementia
5. Depression, irritability or moodiness

Stomach pain may be a symptom of pernicious anaemia, a condition where the immune system hinders the process by which the digestive system is able to absorb B12. This results in the premature death of red blood cells. The fatigue and weakness that often accompanies low levels of the vitamin are also caused by anaemia.

Given the importance of B12 to neurological function, a deficiency may result in several brain function issues such as the last three warning signs mentioned above. Given a predisposition to B12 deficiency in those over 50, the loss of cognitive function, moodiness and irritability is often blamed on age as opposed to not getting enough of the vitamin. This is compounded by the fact that impaired mental function and dementia are often symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, something as simple as a dietary gap is often overlooked as a cause of mental degradation. This is where supplementation with B12 can result in significant improvements.

Also, it is important to note that the effects of B6 and Folic Acid in coordination with B12 are collectively more powerful than just B12 alone. This is because the systems dependent on B12 also rely on these other substances for proper function. B12, along with Folic Acid and B6 are necessary to keep homocysteine in the blood down to healthy levels. Several studies have shown that increased levels of homocysteine are associated with greater incidence of heart disease and stroke. These vitamins can reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues in that they convert homocysteine to methionine, an amino acid that is used in a productive manner by cells. In two other studies, vitamin B12 and folic acid were also shown to have a role in reducing the number of abnormal, pre-cancerous bronchial cells in heavy smokers.

The primary form of B12 used as a nutritional supplement is cyanocobalamin. However, it is important to note that the absorption of B12 is much higher when the source is food based as opposed to via supplementation. While for extreme cases of deficiency, vitamin B12 is available via prescription as an injection or nasal gel, most supplementation is as part of a multivitamin, delivered as a pill, sublingual tablet, or lozenge. The Recommended Daily Intake of B12 is 6 micrograms (mcg), even though supplements will often deliver as much as 30 mcg. Despite the wide range of dosage options, most healthy adults only need 3 mcg each day. Additionally, B12 taken orally is well tolerated by most and there have been no documented cases of overdose or toxicity associated with the supplement. While occurring infrequently, the side effects of B12 include rash, hives and itching. Those who take any of the following medications may be at risk for B12 deficiency in that they have been shown to hinder absorption: Antibiotics, Proton Pump Inhibitors Cholestyramine, H2 blockers, Metformin, and Potassium Chloride. Calcium supplementation may also assist the body in its ability to absorb B12.

If you feel that you may be at risk of vitamin b12 deficiency, or are exhibiting any warning signs, go see your doctor immediately for more information. Aside from those with extreme medical conditions, the rest of us can easily ensure that we are getting enough of the nutrients essential to health by taking a well-formulated multivitamin.

What is Clinical Depression?

Have questions about Clinical Depression? Clinical Depression is a serious disease. The way you feel, act, and even think can all be impacted by this illness. It doesn’t mean you’re a loser. It does mean there’s a medical problem that requires treatment. You may find it very difficult to function like you used to. What used to entertain you might now bore you, or seem a useless pursuit. Clinical Depression results in long term hopelessness and feelings of remorse. This illness does not simply come and go. It’s not like losing a loved one, the sadness eventually lessening. Clinical Depression is long term.

Clinical Depression can and will touch almost every element of your day to day life. Your thought patterns might change. You might become confused. Your will is no longer your own as this condition affects your very behaviors and moods. You can also experience eating and sleeping disorders that will turn your life upside down. Where you once may have been able to do your work or study for school without any hesitation you may quickly lose the ability to do so. Clinical Depression will target the way you deal with people. You will find that you often do not feel like yourself.

Clinical Depression is not a personal problem like always being late or being lazy. Wishing won’t make it disappear. There are no quick fixes like the power of positive thinking. It requires a medical treatment that can go on for weeks, months or years. People have been known to attempt suicide if this condition isn’t treated. The reasons for the depression may seem known to you. However many different factors might contribute to this illness. Typically, it is a group of factors that lead to Clinical Depression. It can be psychological, perhaps genetic and even associated with the environment in which you live.

Clinical Depression can also be a result of biological conditions like chemical imbalances that work on the brain. It’s also known that one of the leading causes is stress. Your psychological condition can be affected greatly by stress at school or at work . Worries like managing a family budget can be disastrous. Clinical Depression can even result from abuse of alcohol or drugs. Don’t hesitate to consult a medical professional if you or anyone you know shows signs of this disease.

Some Phobias in the Past

Back in the heydays of philosophy when medicine was not a very organized curative discipline, people were often detected with such fretting disorders. It lay upon the philosophers to unwind the complications and to unearth the exact causes behind.

One among the earliest interpretations (the Pythagorean interpretation) was that the phobias were ‘reminiscences’ from former lives (and was essentially believed to have a religious association).

The second half of the nineteenth century, however, saw a massive change in this sphere. Roundabout this time psychiatry began to flourish as a fully developed medical discipline.

These psychiatry professionals uncovered the real causes behind these spectacular mental disorders, putting aside all misconceptions and delusions associated with phobias.

This phase of the history of phobias is not only interesting but also exceptionally significant. It is in this phase that having identified the causal factors behind the different phobias, the psychiatrists for the first time attempted cures for them.

The year 1966 happens to be an important year in the history of phobias. It was in this year that the first phobia organization in the world, ‘The Open Door’, was founded. Now the organization has been re-named PAX – a Latin word, which means peace. PAX stands for panic attacks & anxiety disorders and ensures the peace of mind for all.

The Greek physician Hippocrates was alive over 300 years before the birth of Jesus and described a man who, ‘…through bashfulness, suspicion and timorousness, will not be seen abroad…he thinks every man observes him.’ This description of social phobia is nearly two and a half centuries old!

There are famous phobics, who can be found throughout history:

Augustus Caesar…Fear of Cats. King James I…Fear of Unsheathed Swords. King Henry III of France…Fear of Cats. Feydeau (French Playwright)…Morbid Fear of Daylight Sigmund Freud…..Anxiety Symptoms, Fear of Travel.

And right up until the present day:

Aretha Franklin (Singer)…Agoraphobia. Joanna Lumley (Actress)…Fear of Water Ainsley Harriot (TV Chef)…Fear of Snakes Ian Wright (TV Presenter)…Fear of Enclosed Spaces Wendy Richard (Actress)…Fear of Spiders – Arachnophobia Robson Green (Actor)…Fear of Wasps Kim Basinger (Actress)…Agoraphobia Phil Jupitus (TV/Radio Presenter/Comedian)…Fear of Spiders.

So what happens to the person who has a phobia when that fear is triggered?

Anxiety Symptoms in Women: A List of Common Symptoms

Anxiety is normal. All women experience it to varying degrees and frequencies. While moderate levels of anxiety prepare us mentally and physically to face a perceived threat, when it becomes so overpowering that is causes us to be on a perpetual high-alert mode, it becomes a very real and extremely debilitating problem. Anxiety symptoms in women can be varied, and if you know the signs, you can prepare yourself for the onset of an anxiety attack, or be in a better position to cope with your anxiety disorder.

In many cases, an anxiety attack feels like an intense fear, brought on by some aspect of a particular situation or location. Some may feel this fear in an airport, whereas for others, it may be a classroom, an elevator, a mall, a park or even a friend’s house. Most anxiety symptoms in women reach their peak within 10 to 20 minutes, but some symptoms may continue for an hour or more before they subside.

Although an attack may feel dangerous, like precursors to death, anxiety attacks are largely harmless-at least to your physical well-being. You will not faint during an attack. Fainting is caused by a drop in blood pressure, whereas an anxiety attack causes a rise in blood pressure. And you won’t run out of air during an anxiety attack, even if you hyperventilate. You may feel short of breath, but you’ll still be able to breathe. The sensation of losing control is also a false alarm. You won’t lose control even if you feel like you are. And if you feel like you’re going to die, just try thinking about how many times you’ve felt like that in the past. And yet you’re here now, reading this. Very much alive. These are just the brain’s false alarms.

What makes anxiety particularly hard for doctors to diagnose is the fact that anxiety symptoms in women differ so much. If you can learn to recognize some of the more common signs of the onset of an anxiety attack, you can use the knowledge to help yourself or a loved one. Once you know the symptoms, you’ll be better equipped to overcome them.

If you can identify at least four of the following symptoms, your episode was a classic anxiety attack:

You felt an irrational fear, as if you were going crazy, losing control, or on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

You had a feeling of dread and impending doom.

You experienced feelings of detachment, unreality and depersonalization, or felt as if you were not ‘there,’ that it wasn’t your body panicking, or that you were simply watching things beyond your control.

Your hands, feet or face tingled or you felt the sensation of pins and needles in the extremities or all over the body.

You felt dizzy, lightheaded, nauseous, or had an upset stomach.

You had difficulty breathing, gotten a dry mouth, or felt as if you couldn’t get enough air. You hyperventilated, drew short and shallow breaths that heightened your panic.

You experienced palpitations, a pounding heart, chest pain or discomfort. These symptoms are why panic attacks are often mistaken for heart attacks.

You felt physical discomfort and uneasiness due to trembling, shaking, sweating, chills or hot flashes.

This is not a comprehensive list by any means. Anxiety symptoms in women can manifest in many different ways.

It is important to note that some of the symptoms listed above can also indicate hyperthyroidism. If you are about to start a medical or self-help regimen, make sure you can rule out this condition.

Treatment for Sleep Insomnia – Insomnia Relief

Treatment for Sleep Insomnia- Insomnia, do you really have it?

What is insomnia?  Insomnia is a common condition in which you have trouble falling or staying asleep.  It can range from mild to severe.

it can be one of three forms of insomnia

Transient Insomnia-  This is usually due to to situational changes such as travel and stressful events in life  (Such as job loss, death of a loved one, moving, etc)

Short Term Insomnia- Usually caused by ongoing stressgul events, medication, side effects, medical conditions

Chronic Insomnia- usually caused from depression or anxiety.  It can also be to a certain point hereditary and can run in families

Using melatonin 3 to 4 hours typically before you fall asleep.  Why melatonin??

There is significant evidence that links the hormone melatonin to circadian sleep cycles in humans. It has been suggested that in situations where the body’s melatonin concentration is reduced (advancing age) or the normal circadian cycle is disrupted (jet lag, shift work, blind patients), melatonin supplementation may improve both sleep duration and quality.

I think the most diagnosed insomnia is

Psychophysiologic Insomnia

In many cases, it is unclear if chronic insomnia is a symptom of some physical or psychological condition or if it is a primary disorder of its own. In most instances, a mix of psychological and physical conditions causes the insomnia.

Psychophysiologic insomnia occurs when:

  • Transient insomnia disrupts the person’s circadian rhythm.
  • The patient begins to associate the bed not with rest and relaxation but with a struggle to sleep. A pattern of sleep failure emerges.
  • Over time, this event repeats, and bedtime becomes a source of anxiety. Once in bed, the patient broods over the inability to sleep, the consequences of sleep loss, and the lack of mental control. All attempts to sleep fail.
  • Eventually excessive worry about sleep loss becomes persistent and provides an automatic nightly trigger for anxiety and arousal. Unsuccessful attempts to control thoughts, images, and emotions only worsen the situation. After such a cycle is established, insomnia becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that can persist indefinitely.

Visit my blog to take the free insomnia sleep quiz


Mom’s Four Warnings About Ingrown Toenails Exposed

Mothers seem to have a knack for waving a flag for a personal cause that she interprets to be the end of days. One of those “doom and gloom” topics in many households is toenail trimming. Mom recounts the many plagues that will befall us if we don’t trim our nails properly, if we don’t trim them often enough, or if we trim them too much.

An ingrown toenail occurs when the sides or corners of the nail embed themselves into the surrounding skin. This causes them to become red, inflamed, and painful when there is pressure applied. The toenail can become infected if left untreated. Treating ingrown toenails is best handled by your podiatrist. The pain relief is dramatic and immediate!

I have assembled the four most common motherly warnings. No offense to mom, but they’re not as bad as they seem. Let’s see what mom has to say.

1. “If you don’t cut your nails, you’ll get ingrown toenails.” Sorry mom, but long toenails usually don’t cause them to become ingrown. Most ingrown nails occur when the nail plate is too wide for the nail bed, so it is not the length, but the width that we’re most concerned with. Inflammation is caused by the pressure of tight shoes. I will say that some people’s toenails do grow with a downward curve. In those cases, growing nails long can cause them to be embedded into the end of the toe.

2. “If you don’t cut your nails correctly, you’ll get ingrown toenails.” We try to blame nail cutting for causing ingrown toenails. The poor pedicurists who get thrown under the bus! It can be true, however, that cutting nails improperly can exacerbate ingrown nails. Conventional wisdom is to cut the nails straight across. When people slant the sides of the nails back, they can help an ingrown nail form. It is not one size fits all, though. If someone’s nail is especially curved, not rounding the corners of the nail can cause them to dig into the toe and cause pain. Chalk one up for mom!

3. “Cutting a ‘V’ into the nail will prevent ingrown toenails.” This is my favorite of mom-isms when it comes to ingrown toenails. I continue to be amazed that kids today are still told this. The theory is that the groove in the nail will let the center compress and relieve the pressure on the toe. Think in terms of a pressure grate on a bridge or road. The grate protects the pavement from cracking when the temperature changes, causing expansion and contraction. It just doesn’t translate to a toenail, however.

4. “Picking your toenails can cause ingrown toenails.” Well mom has this one right! When it comes time for toenail trimming, a clipper is the way to go. It is easier just to tear at the nails – we’ve all done it at one time or another – but the toenail will often go too low on the sides which can cause trauma resulting in an ingrown toenail. Keep those clippers handy and do not pick.

So, based on my findings, mom is batting .500…not so shabby! When all else fails, all you need is some simple common sense. And, of course, if you feel any pain or see any redness, bleeding, or pus, be sure to visit your podiatrist right away.

Nail Fungus Cures – Home Remedy Tips

Experts say that nail fungus can be hard to cure, but really this is not true. The main reason many people have a hard time finding nail fungus cures is because they continue to be re-infected by the same fungus. Nail fungus will continue to be re introduced to the nail as long as the fungus remains where the nail is. By eliminating the cause of the fungus and using the right nail fungus cures you can have beautiful nails once again.

The mistake that many people make and doctors do not treat is the place where the nails are infected. Fungus thrives in an environment that is damp and warm. Once you have a nail fungus infection you must take measures to not only cure the infection but also prevent re-infection. You should eliminate the shoes that are worn which cause your feet to sweat. Sneaker are the main cause of a nail fungus infection. Nail fungus cures only work when the nails are protected from being re-infected. By replacing or treating the shoes, socks and even nail tools that you use you can not only cure the infection but prevent it’s return.

Nail fungus infections are usually found on the toe nails but can also be found in the finger nail beds as well. The infections in finger nail beds may be linked to the use of artificial nails and the tools used to perform manicures. These tools should be disinfected after each use. Finger nail fungus cures should also include the elimination of artificial nails. Artificial nails hold moisture in and do not allow the finger nails to breathe.

There are several nail fungus cures that you can preform at home without a doctors prescription. They have been found to be just as effective as a doctors prescription. The best nail fungus cures are those which use vinegar baths. Soaking the infected nails in a solution of vinegar and warm water will fill the fungus leaving the nails free of the spores that cause the discoloration, odor and hardening of the nails. This treatment should be continued long after the symptoms of the fungus has cleared up to insure that there will not be a flare up of the infection. The vinegar acts as an antiseptic which kills the fungus spores. Once the fungus spores have been killed it will take time for the affected nail to grow out. Once the nail has grown out you will be left with beautiful nails once again.

Oils have also been found to be effective nail fungus cures. The use of tea tree oil or oregano oils can also kill the fungus under the nails. These oils have anti fungal properties. They kill the fungus to leave the nail beautiful again. This treatment is more do able for many people who just don’t have the time to soak their nails for 30-60 minutes twice a day. You simple place a few drops of the oils onto the infected area of the nail. This treatment will also have to be continued long after the symptoms of the infection have left. This is also a treatment that takes longer for the fungus to be killed.

No matter what nail fungus cures you use it is vital to prevent the re-infection of the nails by eliminating the infection source. You should consider wearing open toe shoes when ever possible or go bare foot when possible to allow the nails to breathe. This will keep the nails clean and dry. By keeping the nails clean and dry the fungus is no longer in it’s preferred environment.

Back Strain And Back Sprain

Lumbar sprains and muscle strains of the lower back are common causes of back pain. When the muscle fibers are abnormally stretched or torn in the lower back, the result is a strained low back muscle, called a lumbar strain. When the tough bands of tissue, the ligaments, that hold bones together, are stretched or torn from their attachments, the painful result is a lumbar sprain. Both injuries have similar symptoms so the two types of injuries are often grouped together by physicians under the term, musculoligamentous injuries of the lumbar spine.

The ligaments in your back, which can be injured, are similar to those in your ankle, which can be damaged by a sprain. Surprisingly, despite the discomfort from a sprained back, people are much more likely to continue walking around than they are with a sprained ankle. This is mainly due to the difficulty encountered in trying to support injured back ligaments with a firm binding as can be done with an ankle. This is important as the danger of damage to the ligament is much greater in the back than in any other part of the body.

Causes Of Lumbar Sprains And Strains
Improper lifting or bending
• Work situations are often responsible when poor techniques in lifting, bending, twisting activities are used. Serious back conditions can be the result.

Sports injury
• Backs are particularly subject to strain with any kind of racquet sports or activities that require exaggerated movement of the spine.

Poor muscle conditioning
• Toned muscles that are in good condition are stronger and less prone to injury. Strong body core muscles help prevent back injury and support the spine.

• Every extra pound that is carried around adds to the strain placed on the back. Abdominal weight can cause a sway back posture, making the body unbalanced and the back more prone to injury.

Poor Posture
• Standing slumped over or slouched causes the entire weight of the body to pull against the ligaments of the pelvis and lower back.. Years of this can cause these ligaments to become stretched and weakened so they can not properly control the joints. Years of poor posture can lead to back discomfort from the simple act of trying to stand erect!

Standing Incorrectly
• When forced to stand for long periods of time, most people unconsciously shift their weight to one side and usually favor standing on a certain side. This simple act causes spinal distortion and postural misalignment which can eventually result in a serious, sudden, back injury.

• Experts have proven that nicotine blocks the distribution of oxygen and nutrients to the cells, including those of the muscles. Waste products build up in muscle tissue and a fatigued muscle, depleted of oxygen, is much more prone to injury.

Most back injuries are due to injuries of the muscles or ligaments and are the second most common cause of missed work days, only following the common cold. Most will heal within a month or so but any persistent back pain should be evaluated by a physician.

Some remedies for bruises and sunburns

There is little you can do to stop a bruise or sunburn once it goes into motion. The only thing that you can do is to lessen the severity of that bruise or sunburn, or to lessen the amount of time they stick around.

One of the most effective methods to reduce the presence of a bruise being formed is through a cold compress. A bag of ice or a package of frozen vegetables will do the trick. It is best to wrap this ice or package in a towel or something similar, as it is not a good idea to stick either of these directly onto your skin for any length of time.

Hold that compress on the forming bruise for about 30 minutes. This helps your body start to repair the damage and will minimize any swelling that might happen.

If the bruise is evident on your foot or leg, elevating the impacted leg for up to 24 hours after the injury helps a lot. This will also allow your body to decrease the severity of the bruise. You will also find that it will decrease the length of time you have the bruise.

Taking some ibuprofen or acetaminophen might help with the pain accompanying the accident.

Unfortunately, getting sunburned is much more common that it has to be. In a recent survey The Skin Cancer Foundation learned that 42 percent of people get a sunburn at least once a year.

If it happens to you, first off, stay out of the sun from now on. Burned skin is damaged skin, so it just needs time to recover.  Keep it soaked in aloe gel and gently exfoliate the dead peeling skin. There is no cure for tanlines, but you can use a gentle gradual self-tanner to blend the lines until they fade.

Don’t forget these tips:

Seek the shade, especially between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M.

Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.

Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.

Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours.

Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.

Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.

See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.

Now there is the witch hazel. Healing damaged skin is one of witch hazel’s specialties. But as sunburn is also a type of skin inflammation, witch hazel is ideal for treating this too. Treating sunburn with witch hazel will lessen healing time. Where to get witch hazel? Most drug stores and online pharmacies carry witch hazel in one form or another.

Better yet, use natural skin care products like the Natique Skin Care System. This 4-step program works in complete harmony with nature to clean, condition, nourish and protect your skin.

Find Out More. Click Here For More Information and Reviews Natique Skin Care System

Austin Orthopedic Surgery: Your Options

In Austin, orthopedic surgery is the best option for severe bone- and joint-related problems. With technological advancements in the medical field, orthopedic doctors can carry out effective surgical procedures to help you get rid of discomfort permanently. In Austin, orthopedic surgery uses a number of procedures to treat your condition, whether you are suffering from hand and wrist ailments, back and neck ailments or hip and knee problems.

Austin Orthopedic Surgery: Dealing with Upper Body Ailments

Here are some of the common upper body orthopedic ailments and surgery procedures for their treatment.

Hand, Wrist and Elbow: Orthopedic surgical procedures can help treat a number of hand and wrist conditions, such as flexor tendon injuries, finger conditions like trigger finger, swan neck and bouttoniere, hand dislocations, ganglion cysts, wrist fracture, carpal tunnel syndrome and radial tunnel syndrome. Elbow conditions, such as cubital tunnel syndrome, pitcher’s elbow and tennis elbow, can also be effectively treated through orthopedic surgery. Some of the common surgical procedures for hand, wrist and elbow conditions include arthroscopy, open release carpal tunnel surgery, endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery and joint replacement.

Neck and Back: Neck and back ailments include degenerative joint disease, coccydynia or tail bone pain, herniated discs, pinched nerves, sciatica, scoliosis, spinal stenosis, stress fracture, slipped vertebrae and facet joint syndrome. Some of the non operative procedures for neck and back pain treatment include epidural injections, lumbar radio frequency neurotomy and costovertebral block, while some of the surgical procedures include spinal lumbar fusion, lumbar disectomy, laminectomy and anterior cervical disectomy and fusion (ACDF).

Shoulder: Conditions of the shoulder, such as bicep tendon tear, rotator cuff tear, shoulder dislocation, shoulder separation, shoulder impingement syndrome, frozen shoulder and SLAP tear, can be effectively treated in Austin with orthopedic surgery procedures. Some of the treatment procedures are rotator cuff tear repair, arthroscopy, shoulder impingement syndrome repair, reverse shoulder replacement and total shoulder replacement.

Austin Orthopedic Surgery: Lower Body Ailments and Treatment

Here are some of the orthopedic surgery procedures for lower body orthopedic problems.

Hip and Knee: Austin orthopedic surgery procedures can help treat conditions of the hip and knee, such as hip fracture, meniscus tear, knee ligament tear, patellofemoral syndrome, hamstring muscle injuries and snapping hip. Effective treatment procedures include direct anterior hip surgery, minimally invasive hip replacement, hip fracture open reduction internal fixation and total hip replacement.

Ankle and Foot: Conditions of the foot and ankle, such as Achilles tendon tear, bunionette, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, LisFranc dislocation, and a number of other conditions can be successfully treated with surgical procedures, such as arthroscopy and joint replacement procedures.