Advice on Cold Sore Remedies

If you're looking for fast and effective cold sore remedies, then chances are you're one of the millions of people who suffer from cold sores on a regular basis. Now, with cold and flu season upon us, even more people will experience the pain, discomfort, and embarrassment of cold sores, and they will all be searching for the latest remedies.

Cold sores are caused by a virus, usually caught when a person is very young. They are highly contagious, so treatment should be sought as soon as possible in order to avoid spreading the culprit virus.

Prevention of Cold Sores

While there are many treatments available to treat the presenting symptoms of a fever blister or cold sore the best option is to prevent them from ever surfacing altogether. There are several ways you can do this. Below, you'll find some tips for prevention.

  • Avoid direct sunlight: It is thought that cold sores may be brought on by exposure to the UV rays found in natural sunlight. If you must spend a lot of time in the sun, then be sure you use a waterproof / sweat proof sunscreen.
  • Relax: Many people report a cold sore attack occurs at times of high stress. Try to avoid stressful situations if you can, and take a few minutes each day to yourself, focusing on relaxation. This will not only help keep cold sores at bay, but it will be good for your mind and your entire body, as well.
  • Take a nap: Lack of sleep often triggers a cold sore attack, and if your body is already worn down from lack of proper rest you may not be able to fight it off. Get plenty of sleep, especially during cold and flu season.
  • Use ice: As soon as you start to get that tingling feeling, apply an ice pack to the area. Often, using ice will keep a cold sore from appearing.

If, after doing everything you can to prevent a cold sore, it still surfaces, then it's time to switch your focus away from prevention and onto finding the best treatments for you. Different people respond to different treatments in different ways, so you may need to test a few before finding out what works best for you.

Cold sore remedies should assist in both pain and healing. Using a pain killer or anesthetic is OK, and salty foods and other irritants should be avoided. You can also cover the sore with petroleum to help prevent spreading the virus to other people as well as other areas of your body.

There are numerous over the counter and prescription medications available to those in need of cold sore remedies. In addition to these, there are many natural remedies available, and many people have found success using them. Tea tree oil is an example of one of the many natural cold sore remedies available.

Over The Counter Psoriasis Treatment – Alternatives To Psoriasis Medication

Whether or not you might be taking any prescription medication, the availability of over the counter psoriasis treatment means that it is possible to get relief from the inflamed skin that epitomizes this disease, without necessarily even consulting with a doctor. Although it is generally advisable to seek medical advice with any condition, if only to make a positive diagnosis, psoriasis sufferers often find the best treatments are those which are not prescription only medications.

Before you begin to try and employ any self administered treatment, it is vital that you do get confirmation that what you are dealing with is psoriasis. This is always best sought from a medical professional, and in most cases a diagnosis can be made from just a brief examination of the skin. The signs and symptoms your doctor will be looking for when investigating a possible case of psoriasis will include the scaly red patches of skin that are typical of the disease.

What separates psoriasis from other skin disorders, such as eczema, is this scaly nature of the affected areas. The presence of these scales gives the skin area a silver or whitish appearance, combined with the red or pink coloured rash. These scales are actually dying skin cells which have built up on the surface of the epidermis, and once they die they will eventually flake off. If such scales are present when examining the skin rash, the diagnosis will almost always be psoriasis.

Once you are satisfied that you are in fact dealing with psoriasis, you can begin to look into what over the counter psoriasis treatment is available. This is not to say you should discount the prescription medications that your doctor will suggest, but to ensure you are aware that there are alternatives to the psoriasis medications on offer. The reason many people decide to try home treatments, is that psoriasis is actually an incurable disease. Any medication provided by your doctor will only be effective in treating the symptoms of the condition, not the cause of it.

Most of the psoriasis medications available also come with some unwanted side effects, another reason people turn to over the counter psoriasis treatment instead. Take the often prescribed steroid creams for example. Applied directly onto the affected areas of skin, these topical steroid treatments do actually have a visible effect on most cases of psoriasis. The problem is that they have the side effect of causing the skin to weaken and become fragile, leading to the increased likelihood of suffering from cuts to the skin very easily. For this reason, topical steroid treatment cannot be used long term. Once the use of these creams is suspended for safety reasons, most people find that the psoriasis begins to return almost immediately.

Over the counter psoriasis treatment is not only safer to use than doctor prescribed medication, but it tends to be much cheaper too. If you consider the fact that psoriasis is incurable, you might have to face up to the reality that whatever treatment you choose and that works for you, is going to become something you will have to rely on indefinitely in order to keep psoriasis at bay. However, as with prescription medication for psoriasis, over the counter products are only going to treat the symptoms of your condition, and not completely cure you of it. Here are a few popular choices for over the counter psoriasis relief:

OTC Steroid Creams

Although we have looked at the use of steroid creams as a treatment prescribed by your doctor, there are steroid based topical products available without a prescription. Hydrocortisone cream is a topical over the counter psoriasis treatment which uses the same active ingredient as prescription steroid creams, albeit with a much lower concentration. This makes them generally safer to use, and very useful for cases of psoriasis that only cover small areas of skin. They can be found under various different brand names, and your pharmacist will be able to help you to choose the most suitable one for you. As with any topical steroid product, you should always be careful about the possible side effects of over use and long term reliance on them.

Coal Tar

Coal tar has gained a reputation for being a particularly effective over the counter psoriasis treatment. It works by slowing down the rapid production of skin cells that results in the scaly red patches of inflamed skin that characterises the condition. This in turn reduces the scaly appearance of the skin as well as the inflammation that comes with it. Coal tar can be found in many products, such as shampoos, soaps and ointments, and the higher the concentration of coal tar a product contains the more effective it will generally be.

A few side effects of using coal tar products do exist, most notably the fact that its use does make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. For this reason you should keep an eye on how much exposure to the sun your skin is getting when using a coal tar product, and consider using sunscreen when outdoors too. A few people also find that coal tar irritates the skin, and if you do experience this you should avoid using it further. Most people find coal tar to be a safe and generally effective over the counter treatment for psoriasis, albeit one that does have a slightly unpleasant odour, and can even stain your clothing and bedding if it comes into contact with them.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is the active ingredient found in many dandruff shampoos and acne soap products. It is effective for these conditions by helping to remove the outer layers of skin. When used as a treatment for psoriasis, salicylic acid works by softening and removing the scales on the outer surface of the skin. Although it is easy to appreciate how this does little to deal with the root cause of the problem of psoriasis, it is a useful over the counter remedy for fairly mild cases.

Whilst these are probably the most common solutions, you will find that there are many more different over the counter psoriasis treatment options on the table. As with any disease for which there is no cure, finding a treatment that works for you will usually involve some trial and error. The main thing is that you should remain positive, especially if your first few attempts at treating your condition fail. Many treatments do take time to start to show results too, and so you should try to be patient when trying out something new.

Toenail Fungus 101

Just like any other kind of fungus, toenail fungus thrives in moist, dark and warm places. You may not notice it but your feet actually sweat a lot especially during warm weather and if you are constantly wearing tight closed shoes. This makes them a very attractive breeding ground for toenail fungus.

To prevent these harmful bacteria from setting up camp in your toenail, you must always keep your feet clean and dry as much as possible. If you absolutely can’t avoid wearing closed footwear, make it a habit to apply a liberal amount of foot powder before putting on your shoes. You can also wear cotton socks which are highly absorbent and can easily soak up the excess perspiration from your feet.

Another way by which toenail fungus enters your nail bed is through minor cuts and wounds near the nail. Make it a point to wash all cuts, wounds and scratches right away, no matter how small they may be, especially if they are located near the nail bed. Apply some antiseptic to keep fungus from entering through the opening in the skin.

Toenail fungus can also be acquired through direct or indirect contact with people who are infected. Because of this, sharing personal things such as shoes, socks, towels, nail clippers or soap is discouraged especially if the person you are sharing with already has fungal infection. Likewise, you should avoid lending things if you have the infection so as to avoid contaminating other people.

You should also carry a hand sanitizer all the time which you should use after being in contact with other people. Toenail fungus can also affect the fingernails so if you shake hands or have direct contact with someone who is infected, you have a good chance of being infected yourself. Wash your hands or use the hand sanitizer after touching strangers. Of course, you should do this discreetly so as not to offend the other person.

Treatment of toenail fungus can be done in a variety of ways. The most common method is by using topical applications such as ointments, lotions or sprays. There are also several oral preparations you can take to eliminate toenail fungus infection. Most people choose natural medications to cure their fungal infections because these treatments produce significantly less side effects than their modern counterparts. Organic treatments are also more affordable.

It usually takes a long time to completely eliminate toenail fungus. Most treatments can last for up to 3 months. The exact duration will depend on several factors such as the seriousness of your condition and the rate of growth of your toenail.

Before selecting a treatment method, it is best to consult with your general practitioner first to determine whether you have allergies to certain chemicals. Your doctor might also be able to recommend a method that will work best for you.

4 Good Reasons Why Having an Egg Allergy is Fun

Fun? With allergies? No … I am not kidding! Having an allergy should not be a burden or an excuse to keep complaining about your condition. Learn how to reverse the disadvantages of having an allergy to be a lot of good reasons of having a wonderful life with allergies.

I take egg allergy here based on my own experiences, because I personally have an egg allergy, besides chicken allergy. But you actually can expand or change the list for any other allergies.

I believe that God has created human being and granted us a great living. So, it is up to us to fill it with negative things (complaining, grumbling), or positive thinking.

Allergy is a disorder of your body reaction. Or in another word: you are 'abnormal'. But, as God is perfect, it is impossible that He created us imperfect. That means He might have given us the allergy so that we can build or create great things from our condition. When I think about this, suddenly I can see my allergy in a different point of view.

What makes having an allergy be a fun?

These are just 4 ideas I can found, but you might come up with more good ideas:

Live healthier with healthy food

As a woman, I love sweet desserts like cakes and ice creams, just like many other women. But having an egg allergies force me to replace those calories-and-fat-rich desserts. My choice fall on fruit puddings, fruit salads or sweet rice cakes (I live in Indonesia, and we have many choices of sweet rice and corn cakes that do not contain eggs, they are delicious and healthier too!). So, at the end having egg allergy force me to have less fat in food, which make my life healthier too.

Help weight loss

Since high calories food usually contain eggs, having egg allergy means you must avoid those foods forever. This will help you in your weight loss or in maintaining your ideal weight. You would not crave for those kind of meals anymore, since you know the danger of having those foods, which is allergy or asthma attack. Maybe it's difficult in the beginning (I've been through it, really, it's tough!), But try to imagine how bad it feels when you got allergy or asthma, every time you are tempted to eat food with eggs. I guarantee that you will lose your appetite!

After few months you will get used to it, and will never crave for the foods anymore. On the contrary, you will be proud of yourself as you can maintain your ideal weight while your friends keep complaining about the hard diets they must take.

No more hard diets

Have a research on foods you can eat (do not contain eggs) and you like. Then make a list of them. Every time you find a new biscuit brand in supermarket, or a recipe from internet or from your friend, add it to your list. Try to always stuck to the list. This way you can still eat what you like (I can have my favorite sweet cookies), without being worried of massive weight gain. However, always eat when you really need it, as excess eating can also cause you weight gain even if it is low fat.

Creating new hobbies and making new friends

This is the most fun part. As my mother share the same egg allergy with me, we like to go to supermarket or deli together. There we can scan snacks, biscuits and breads that we can eat (actually it's more fun to do it than write it! …). It's really exciting when we find new delicious food. We used also to bake our favorite egg-free recipe at home, and eat it together.

If you like to write like me, well … you can publish an article about your experience with your allergy, just like the one you are reading! You can also get new friends, through many forums in the internet, with whom you can share your conditions, and even learn new things from each other.

Are not they all fun?

The most important thing is, always find good things from your 'abnormal' life with allergy. Then they will make you live a normal and happy live like everybody else.

11 Effects of Caffeine on The Body

Caffeine is big business. There are new coffee shops popping up

all over the place. You can’t go far without running into a

Starbucks. “Let’s get together for coffee. Time for a coffee

break. Coffee pot goes off before my feet hit the floor. Travel

mugs for sipping coffee on your way to work. I’ll just have this

chocolate bar to pick me up this afternoon.” Caffeine – It’s

everywhere! It’s everywhere!

Many people have grown so accustomed to having their morning

coffee or soda that they don’t even consider the damaging effects

caffeine has on the body. On the contrary, most will tell you

that they NEED their jolt to get them moving in the morning or to

keep them upright throughout the day. Caffeine is present not

only in coffee, but also tea, soda, chocolates and in certain

pain relievers, such as aspirin or acetaminophen. It is also

sometimes used in combination with an antihistamine to overcome

the drowsiness caused by the antihistamine.

If you don’t think it’s addicting, try going off caffeine, cold

turkey. See if you don’t have a headache for two to nine days.

That’s caffeine withdrawal! You don’t need to be a coffeeholic

to experience negative physical symptoms. Even as little as one

to two cups a day can negatively affect you.

You may be experiencing a number of physical ailments that could

be caused solely from caffeine. The most common side effects of

caffeine include dizziness, headache, irritability, muscle

tension, nausea, nervousness, stuffy nose, unusual tiredness and

jitters.

Too much (overdose) of caffeine can give you all sorts of grief

such as stomach pain agitation, anxiety, restlessness,

confusion, seizures, dehydration, faster breathing rate, fast

heartbeat, fever, frequent urination, increased sensitivity to

touch or pain, irritability, muscle trembling or twitching,

vomiting, sometimes with blood, fibrocystic breast disease,

ringing or other sounds in ears, seeing flashes of “zig-zag”

lights, and trouble in sleeping. If you are diabetic or insulin

resistant, caffeine causes your body to produce more insulin and

you don’t want that. Caffeine makes all aspects of a menstrual

cycle worse. Isn’t that bad enough some months?

The next time you experience any of the above symptoms, try

cutting back on caffeine. That may be all it takes to take care

of the problem. Reduce caffeine intake gradually to prevent any

symptoms of withdrawal. Cut back on your intake or combine a

mixture of caffeinated and decaffeinated beverages until you’re

totally weaned off. People can, and do, survive ridding their

bodies of all caffeine. And they’re feeling much better for

it!

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes

only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any

disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any

health care program.

Help People With Depression

So the question you have is how to help someone with depression? The first thing you need to understand is the illness itself. Most people realize that depression is a mental illness. But what they don’t realize is that depression affects much more then just their mind. It also affects relationships with loved ones, work as well as their own body. You can probably recognize when someone you are close to isn’t just themselves.

Since depression is very difficult to identify as well as cure, you must understand that only a medical professional can help a person overcome it. There are some basic symptoms to look for. If you see a loved one suffering from more then 3 of the following items for longer then a week, then the person might be depressed.

Read everything that you can about the illness. How can you help someone with depression if you don’t know anything about it. After you read up of everything you can get your hands will be better suited to help. Just remember, you are not a doctor so don’t try to diagnosis anything.

Take all of your new found knowledge and talk to them. Let them know why you think they are depressed. Having them understand what they are going through is a disease could help them in their recovery.

Do not demand that they get help. Try to influence them the best way you can. If you are too pushy, it could cause them to completely shut down. Of course, the first sign of suicide you should take them to an emergency medical expert.

Tell them that you will find a doctor for them. Maybe offer to watch their kids while they go to an appointment. Cook dinner or take them to lunch. Dot lie to them by saying “I know what you are going through” if you don’t. Just tell them you want them to get better.

Social Phobia Disorder and Blushing in Public

Social phobia disorder is also known as social anxiety.  This is a condition in which people have a fear of social interactions and being negatively judged by other people.  Social anxiety usually starts in early childhood but may not be recognized until adolescence.  It can cause a person to start avoiding social situations all together and put major limitations on the sufferer.  Some people with social anxiousness also have problems with blushing in front of others or sweating excessively when nervous. 

If you struggle with social phobia disorder and blushing you know how embarrassing these moments can be.  You fear interacting with other people because you feel as though you may do something you perceive as stupid.  Then when faced with the situation, you light up like a tomato for no apparent reason and your mind races as to how you are going to escape the embarrassing moment.  The truth is, other people who witness you blush often think it’s endearing.  I know this is little help if you are the one blushing…

If you blush excessively and also have social phobia disorder, you should seek help sooner than later.  If you let your anxiety persist and start limiting your actions, you may grow to fear human contact completely and never want to leave your home.  Social anxiety disorder is very curable and there are numerous treatments to help.

A few treatments for blushing and social phobia disorder include: cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, group therapy, self esteem training, and natural methods to relieve anxiety.  Yoga, meditation, progressive relaxation, exercise, and a proper diet all help to get you better in tune with your body so you can have better control over your anxiety and blushing. Social phobia disorder can be cured completely.  You only need to find the solution which works best for you.

7 Strategies to Overcoming Anxiety and Panic Attacks

You Can Overcome panic attacks and anxiety!

That is great news to those who suffer day in and day out, year in and year out. I have and I know that you can too.

THE SYMPTOMS

For me it started with heart palpitations. My thoughts immediately steered to fear. Then my throat would become dry so I could not swallow. Then my body would feel weird. Dizziness and blurred vision. By this time I was convinced that I was about to die. I kept waiting for the symptoms to get worse and they did. I use to suffer from panic attacks so badly that I had to go to the hospital by ambulance. I was so embarrassed when the doctor checked me and told me that there was nothing wrong with me. When I had to go grocery shopping I would get a funny feeling in my stomach before I left the house. Once I got inside the grocery store I felt like I had to run out or else I would become overwhelmed. I dreaded the thought that I might have a panic attack in public. I had to talk to myself and prayed up and down each and every aisle of the store. I knew that if I ran out, my family would not have food and I would have to start all over again. The people in the store had no idea the personal torture I was experiencing. People at church had no idea how hard it was to sit in a large crowd.

AWARENESS

When the symptoms started, I had no idea what was happening to me. One day I was watching TV and some people were on a show talking about the symptoms and the light went on, "That's me! That's what I have been experiencing". That was the beginning of my healing! Knowledge is power. I thank God that He allowed me to turn to the channel and hear those people talking. I also helped me to know that I was not alone. I suppose that those of you who suffer from the effects of anxiety are glad to hear that you are not alone.

Steps to Overcoming

1) READ

Read as much as possible about anxiety and understand what are some of the causes.

2) PROFESSIONAL HELP

Go to a counselor or therapist to get to the bottom of the anxiety. The physical discomforts are trying to get your attention – Pay attention to a greater dis-ease within. Pray for God to send you to the right person. He will.

3) RELAXATION

Listen to a tape or CD for RELAXATION This was one of the things that helped me tremendously. I needed to reprogram my mind with positive and true statements that were life giving and empowering. CD's and cassette tapes can help you overcome anxiety and panic attacks. Breathing correctly is a part of relaxation.

4) EXERCISE

Physical exercise has tremendous value. It releases chemicals that generate good feelings, called pheromones. It's good to feel good!

5) HEALING IN GOD'S WORD

Meditate on scriptures that enhance your trust in God. One scripture that helps me when I really let it sink in is: Matthew 5: 25-34. Am I not more than a bird to God? You better believe it and so are you! Birds do not work or store up food yet God takes care of them. Wow! The next time you see a bird think about that!

6) MAP YOUR JOURNEY

Create a time line by drawing on a sheet of paper when your first signs of discomfort started. Write down what major events happened at that same time. Note the year / date. Go back as far as you can. This process helps you to take a bird's-eye view of your life. When I did this exercise, I found that the first time I experienced a full panic attack was in 1984 and I had just made a major move from someone very dear to me. I also discovered that there agoraphobia before any panic attack ever appeared. Doing this will help you understand what's been going on and what triggers extreme anxiety. (You may need to use than one piece of paper).

7) God's Power to Heal

Remember, God still heals. We must let go of all the disappointments of the past, and betrayals. God is not like any human being with whom we have had a relationship. God faithful and just. Jesus walked this earth so you can talk to Him about yours trials. Pray as the early disciples did, "Lord, increase my faith". FAITH is the opposite of anxiety. Faith not only pleases God but keeps us trusting in God's fatherly care. I am a witness !! Praise God!

If just one person is helped by this article, I will have accomplished what God set me out to do help someone along our earthly journey.

Pray for me. I will pray for you.

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Diet

Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue are non-life threatening illnesses, but nevertheless, they can destroy the quality of life that was once enjoyed by those who suffer from it. There are no medical cures for the illnesses, but following a proper diet can help to alleviate the symptoms, and in many cases even cure the illnesses altogether. Here are some foods that will help with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.

Energizing Foods

Both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue rob the patients of their energy. Therefore it is important to consume foods that will naturally help to raise the energy levels. These are foods that are high in fiber such as fruits and vegetables as well as nuts, seeds and herbs. Simple carbs or sugary foods and drinks should be avoided as they only provide a temporary rush of energy, which then causes the body's energy levels to crash.

Coconuts, including the water, flesh and oil can help to increase energy levels tremendously. They are loaded with essential fatty acids that help to boost the metabolism and thereby increase energy.

Other foods to add in are pineapples, avocados, nuts and seeds, dark green vegetables as well as freshly pressed fruit juices and nut milks.

Not only do the above foods increase energy levels, but they also contain powerful antioxidants that help to flush out the toxins from the body. They are also high in essential nutrients to restore the nutritional deficiencies that are associated with fibromyalgia.

Nutritional Deficiencies Include:

Serotonin. Serotonin is a brain chemical that helps the body to relax and fall into a deep sleep at night. Thus it helps to fight fatigue, and reduces the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Serotonin is naturally produced in the body from foods such as raw cacao, bananas, kiwi fruit, pineapples, tomatoes, avocados, broccoli, spinach, walnuts, hazelnuts, hickory and peanuts.

Minerals. Two of the most common mineral deficiencies are magnesium and calcium. They help with muscle contractions, which is a major problem with fibromyalgia sufferers.

These minerals are found in foods such as avocados, blueberries, cherries, dates, grapefruit, mango, artichokes, asparagus, beet root, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, almonds, amaranth, hazelnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts and chestnuts.

Vitamin D. Vitamin helps to battle the symptoms of depression, and is also crucial for helping to absorb calcium. It is not easily obtained from the diet, but rather it is naturally produced from sunlight. A light-skinned person only needs about 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight exposure per day, but a darker skinned person may need an hour or two.

Plenty of Fluids

Fluids are essential for keeping the body hydrated . They help to increase energy, as well as flush out harmful toxins that are lodged deep within muscle tissues. Two of the best fluids to consume on a daily basis are water and herbal teas.

Toenail Fungus Treatment and Why Proper Cutting of Your Nails Matters

Toenail fungus treatment options vary from unproven home remedies to somewhat dangerous prescription drugs.  However, some sufferers will see dramatic changes with basic and better care of their nails. 

In addition to the proper washing and drying of your feet on a daily basis, keeping your nails trimmed properly is crucial in fighting against nail fungus. 

Dangers of Not Keeping Your Toenails Cut

One of the ways that some people get toe nail fungus is from trauma or damage to the toe nail.  A gap or split in the nail may give an easy entry point to fungi looking for a new place to live. 

If your nails are too long, they may bang or rub against the inside of your shoe and cause an opening.  In addition, excessively long nails will often begin to curve and not grow straight.  This can lead to possible ingrown toenails which also lead to openings for fungi. 

Benefits of Keeping Nails Trimmed

1.  Less likely to get ingrown toenails which can lead to fungus invasion.

2.  Reduces the chance of nail trauma and expensive toenail fungus treatment. 

3.  Eliminates nail debris caused by fungi and may reduce foot smell. 

4.  May help to stimulate new and faster nail growth. 

Tips on Cutting Nails

It’s important that your nails are cut straight across the top and not rounded on the sides.  This could lead to ingrown nails.  Try cutting nails after they are softened from a shower, bath, or foot soak.  Use a file to smooth rough edges.  There are some electric devices that may make this task easier. 

Make sure not to use unclean clippers whether at home or in a salon.  Toenail fungus is very contagious and can be easily transferred to you from the use of contaminated nail clippers. 

If you are struggling to get clear nails again, there are several treatments for toenail fungus that use powerful antifungal ingredients like thymol, tea tree oil, and undecylenic acid to halt the growth of fungus safely and naturally. 

What are Your Nail Fungus Treatment Options?

If you’ve got a fungal nail infection, you’ll no doubt be searching for a nail fungus treatment. Among your options, you will find prescription drugs, over the counter medications, and various natural or home remedies. Whatever you choose, resign yourself to a long period of treatment – some of these remedies take quite a long time to work, if they work at all.

Before you buy, however, make sure that you really need a nail fungus treatment: abnormal nails can have other causes, such as bruising, bacterial growth, or psoriasis. A nail that is infected with fungus is typically thickened, and becomes yellow or brown. It may be crumbly, and it may lift away from the nail bed (the soft tender tissue under the nail). A proper diagnosis is important and can save you money, so see your physician.

Fungal infections usually appear in the toenails first, but can spread to the fingernails later, so unless you have been putting off treatment for a while, it’s likely to be a toenail fungus treatment that you need. First, you should learn how to make conditions inhospitable for the fungus, to hasten its departure and discourage it from returning after the treatment is finished. Fungi flourish on dead tissue – dead skin cells and the keratin in nails – and will settle in and cause fungal nail infections when conditions are moist. So keep your feet clean and dry. Towel your feet carefully after bathing, making sure you dry between your toes. You can even use a hair dryer to make sure your feet are completely dry.

Next, you must choose between prescription drugs, over-the-counter treatments, and home remedies for nail fungus. The most commonly prescribed antifungal drugs for toe nail fungus treatment are terbinafine (Lamisil), itraconazole (Sporanox), and fluconazole (Diflucan). These oral medications are the most effective drugs because they attack the fungus from within, but they are expensive and all of them come with the possibility of side effects. There is a topical nail fungus treatment, a nail lacquer called ciclopirox (Penlac), which can only be used if the infection is not too advanced.

Over the counter nail fungus treatment usually consists of oils, creams or lotions that are applied topically to the infected nail. Because nails are very thick and resistant to the penetration of these substances, these treatments do not tend to work very well, especially as toenail fungus treatment – they simply do not reach the fungus where it is growing under the nail.

Home remedies for toenail fungus treatment tend to have the same disadvantages as the over the counter treatments but some people swear by them. Topical home remedies will probably work best if the nail is thin and soft, or if the nail has been soaked to soften it, and possibly filed down. Popular home remedies include vinegar, Vicks Vaporub, Tee Tree Oil, DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide), PineSol, and oregano oil. There is even an exotic acidophilius beer soak toenail fungus treatment in which acidophilus bacteria are added to a mixture of dark beer and vinegar, and the feet are soaked for 30 minutes daily for at least a month. Some people also recommend a natural remedy imported from the Czech Republic: Saprox Natural Antifungal Treatment.

One of the most promising new nail fungus treatments is a product called Leucatin, which is an internal and topical solution that can effectively destroy nail fungus and prevent it from reoccurring by naturally boosting your body’s anti-inflammatory and anti-infection abilities.

Although people will see different results from different toenail fungus treatments, you are bound to find one that works for you. Talk to your doctor to see what he or she recommends. And if nothing works, you may have to choose the most extreme nail fungus treatment of all – surgical removal of the nail and infected tissue. Ouch.

What Is A Shoulder Sprain?

We think of our shoulder as one joint but it is really one of the most complex joints in the body, made up of four bones, the shoulder blade, the head of the upper arm (humerus), the clavicle (collar bone) and the sternum (breast bone).

All of these bones and the joints that connect them play a part in shoulder movement. It is this that gives us the large range of movement and flexibility that we enjoy in our shoulders and it is also why shoulders are subject to such a variety of shoulder injuries.

The humerus connects to a small socket on the outside edge of the shoulder blade. This is the joint that we tend to see as our shoulder. The collar bone attaches to the sternum at one end and to the acromion at the other. The acromion is a bony protuberance towards the top of the scapula.

Ligaments help to connect the joints, effectively holding them together and a shoulder sprain happens when the ligaments within one of these joints become torn or damaged.

Depending on the severity of the injury you may have shoulder sprain symptoms ranging from slight swelling and discomfort through to severe pain, loss of movement and an obvious deformity of the shoulder joint.

Two of the joints that make up the shoulder tend to suffer strains. These are the joints situated at the different ends of the collar bone. An acromioclavicular or AC shoulder sprain is at the joint between the clavicle and the acromion, a sternoclavicular sprain is where the sternum and clavicle meet.

If you have an acromioclavicular shoulder sprain you will have damaged one of the two ligaments that connect this joint, the coracoclavicular ligament or the acromioclavicular ligament.

Shoulder sprains are graded depending on the severity of the injury. Ranging from grade one where only one of the ligaments is partially damaged and the joint is still stable through to grade three where the ligaments are completely torn and the joint has become separated ..

Shoulder sprain is diagnosed by comparing your shoulders and by moving the shoulder to test the mobility of the joint. There is usually external trauma, abrasions or bruising and the joint or shoulder may be deformed depending on the severity of the injury. Bruising and swelling at the site of the sprain can usually be seen.

An MRI Scan or X-ray may be ordered to check for damage. There are a variety of blood vessels and nerves which can be compromised if the joint is dislocated and the shoulder is out of its normal shape.

If your injury is a grade one then your symptoms should ease up within a couple of weeks and you should be back to normal fairly quickly, able to move without any discomfort.

A grade two injury will begin to improve within a couple of weeks but it could be anything up to two months before you are able to start normal activities and start playing sports again.

A grade three injury can result in a month or so off work and it could be several months before you can take up any sporting activity.

Rest and ice and NSAIDs are the normal treatment for a shoulder sprain with your arm being immobilized in a sling for anything from one to six weeks depending on the type and grade of injury.

If you suffer a grade three shoulder sprain the collar bone will need to be put back in place (reduced) by a doctor before your arm is immobilized in a sling to let it heal.

The prognosis for a sprained shoulder is good with the majority of people recovering fully. A small percentage of people will experience some symptoms remaining such as a clicking in their shoulder when it is under strain. With sternoclavicular sprains around 20 percent of patients will have occasional pain when an activity requires heavy lifting or resistance.

Surfing For Non-Surfers: A Beginner’s Tips To Fellow Beginners

Some say surfing is an “extreme sport” and that label alone is enough to give anyone who wants to give it a try enough reason to doubt whether they can do it or not.

But then, you have to remember, not all kinds of surfing is “extreme”. How about just trying it out long enough to know how liberating it feels gliding through the water. Never mind if they’re not 6 feet waves just yet. Those 3 footer ones will give you a sweet ride too.

So, for those who want to give surfing a try, here’s a few pointers to keep in mind:

1. Safety First.

On your first try, it would be best to have someone out there with you. A licensed instructor would be even better. And he/she has to have the same mindset about it. It’s no use giving surfing a try if after your first lesson you end up badly bruised and traumatized by the experience.

2. Bruises Are To Be Expected.

Let’s face it. Surfing is not your run-of-the-mill sport. You’ll get tossed around. You’ll wipe out several times. A lot of times. You’ll fall face first into the water and even if it’s just water, it will hurt. You’ll slip on your board if you don’t pay attention. Or if you’re like me, you wouldn’t know yet how to turn and hit the rocks (twice in my case) and get all these cuts and bruises on your knees and legs. You’ll get rashes on your legs and tummy, maybe even your arms.

Expect to get bruised up a bit. It’s part of the learning process. And if by the end of your lesson, you’re already standing up and giving folks the hang ten sign, then those cuts and bruises are your true badges of honor.

3. The Goal Is To Be Able To Stand Up… Not Look Cool.

Here’s the thing. You’ll see professional (or at least people who’ve been surfing for some time) looking all cool on their surfboard, doing all those tricks, and smiling while they’re at it.

But let’s be realistic, you’re goal, at least on your first try, is to be able to stand up. All the way to the shore if that’s possible. Being able to stand up may come easily to others though and you’ll just have to see for yourself when you’re out there if you need more time finding your sea legs or not.

It came easily for me. I stood up on my first try and that much I’m proud to say. But then again, I’ve been pole dancing for more than a year now and that means I’ve been able to develop my core, arms, and leg muscles, not to mention sense of balance. So it’s not just about being brawny or having bulging arms muscles – I’m a tiny barely 5″1 woman who doesn’t weigh more than 95 pounds. You need to have developed the right set of muscles to be able to catch and ride that wave.

If after a couple of wipe outs you find yourself standing up long enough not to fall, or at least fall gracefully (like you meant to), make sure you do the hang ten sign and give a big smile to whoever may be watching – because someone always will be. You’re having fun. Now that’s cool.

4. Respect The Wave.

Remember, it’s not just water. It’s mother nature. It’s the rhythm of the moon. It’s a force to contend with so learn to respect the wave. Don’t take it for granted just because you think you’re a pretty OK swimmer. Listen to it, feel it. Feel the swell under your board and let it take you where it wants to.

OK. I’m waxing romantic here but only because there’s nothing quite like the feeling of standing up and feeling the water’s power under your surfboard.

It’s such a natural high. And you’ve got to respect the wave to be able to feel that.

5. Have Fun With It.

In the off chance, you find, that your balance sucks. Or your muscles are not yet well suited for surfing. Or you get bruised up really bad… there’s really only one thing to do. Just have fun with it.

Hey. At least you tried. Who knows, maybe you’ll do better at wind-surfing instead. Now that’s another sport I’ve tried and enjoyed enough to want to try again.

As for you, fellow beginner, I say, kudos to you for trying.

The Dangers of Bleeding Ulcer

More and more people are suffering from digestive disorders these days. Due to poor diets, unhealthy lifestyles and the abuse of caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol, most people develop different forms of ulcer. There are multiple types of ulcer and some of them are considered to be life-threatening. Even milder forms of ulcer may endanger a person’s life if the disorder is not appropriately treated.

Ulcer involves irritation, sores or lesions at different levels of the gastrointestinal tract. The main cause of ulcer is considered to be the infection with the bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, which can be acquired through the ingestion of contaminated food or water. Another cause of ulcer is the excessive production of hydrochloric acid and pepsin. When in excess, gastric acid may damage the protective walls of the stomach or other particular internal organs, enabling the bacteria to cause greater damage. Although the bacteria Helicobacter pylori and excessive gastric secretions are mainly responsible for the development of ulcer, there are also other factors that may contribute to the process: smoking, alcohol consumption, caffeine, etc.

When hydrochloric acid and pepsin are also involved in the development of the ulcer, the disorder is referred to as peptic ulcer. If the ulcer occurs at the level of the duodenum, the disorder is called duodenal ulcer. If the ulcer develops in the stomach, the disorder is called stomach or gastric ulcer. Gastric ulcer is considered to be a serious form of digestive disorder, as it may lead to complications and even cancer. The most severe complications of peptic ulcer are bleeding ulcer and perforate ulcer.

Bleeding ulcer is very dangerous and in some cases it can cause the death of the affected person. Bleeding ulcer requires immediate medical attention and in most cases it can only be corrected through surgery. Operations performed in order to treat bleeding ulcers are mostly done through the means of a gastroscope. General anesthesia is not always required in performing such operations. Fortunately, not all patients who suffer from bleeding ulcer need surgery. Latest experimental medicines have decreased the mortality rate of patients who develop such complications and maybe in the future oral treatment will become a substitute for today’s surgery.

The most common symptoms of bleeding ulcer are: vomiting blood, presence of blood in the feces, black stools, nausea and dehydration. Bleeding ulcer can also lead to anemia; due to excessive blood loss, fewer red blood cells remain within the body, failing to provide sufficient oxygen to internal organs. It is vital to try to prevent bleeding ulcers from appearing, as in some cases they may be fatal. The best thing to do when confronted with the symptoms of ulcer is to immediately inform your physician of your problems, in order to receive an appropriate medical treatment, thus avoiding further complications of the disorder.

Symptoms of The Menstruation Cycle

Many women experience different symptoms of the menstruation cycle that can affect their everyday life. Some of these symptoms can be excruciating while others are more or less annoying. The more severe symptoms might require a visit to your doctor to see what kind of medications you can take to ease them. The more annoying symptoms might require you to take some over the counter medications that will help ease them back into a more appropriate level that you can manage on your own. Whichever ones you experience, just know that there are things you can do to help make it through them.

Some of the most common symptoms of the menstruation cycle will be bloating and cramping. The bloating is caused by your body retaining water to help in the evacuation and recycling of your endometrial tissue. It also helps bring oxygen into your uterus to help blood flow and the creating of new tissues. The cramping is caused by your body trying to push the tissue out so that it can be replaced. These two are some of the more annoying symptoms, although the cramping can be quite severe for some women during their periods.

Other symptoms of the menstruation cycle can occur before you start your period. These symptoms can include an excessive amount of acne suddenly appearing. This is due to the hormones in your body starting to kick into overdrive to prepare your system for your period. It is also a sign that your period is about to start at any moment and you should be prepared. You might find that you become a bit more irritable during the days preceding your period as well, and this is also another huge sign that your period is about to begin so that you can take the steps to make it through.

Some symptoms of the menstruation cycle can be pretty bad for many women. The hormonal imbalance that you experience can cause some women to fall into a deep depression or have manic episodes that can be scary at times. This is actually a normal reaction during this time of the month and you shouldn’t be too worried about it. Of course, there are medications and herbal remedies that you can use in order to help you make it through this time and keep your mood in a manageable area if it gets too bad for you to handle.

If you do experience any symptoms of the menstruation cycle that become too over whelming for you to handle, you can always talk to your doctor about different things you can try. There are medications that are available these days that can actually stop you from having a period, or at least cut them down to only a couple a year. This will reduce any chances of you getting pregnant as well so you should be sure that you do not want to have children while using these medications or treatments. In addition, some might have some pretty bad side effects that occur.