Why Do Allergies Make You Sneeze?

When it comes to spring and summer and all the pollen that seems to be in the air, most people want to know a bit about allergies, and they specifically ask the question "Why do allergies make you sneeze?" These maladies, it should be remembered, are due to an exaggerated response or overreaction by the body's immune system when the body comes into contact with some substance that can cause such a response.

The list of things that can cause an allergic reaction in people is essentially endless. As pointed out in the precedent paragraph, pollen is a common culprit in warmer months. Cat dander – which is very fine and can enter the nasal passageways quite easily – is another common foe. These two substances, in fact, are the most common causes of sneezing and watery eyes, which are classic allergic reactions in many people.

Currently, estimates are that around 50 million people in the United States suffer from some sort of allergy or another. Sneezing is quite common in a form of the malady known as "allergic rhinitis." The more well-known name for this condition, by the way, is "hay fever," and there probably is not anyone around who has not thought that he or she has suffered from it in the past.

Due to those pollens, which are easily inhaled (just like animal dander indoors), the tissues that line the interior of the nose (called "mucus membranes" or mucus lining) can become inflamed. Remember, this is a reaction to the substance (pollen or dander, for the most part) by the immune system. Sometimes, the ears, the sinuses and the throat can suffer just as badly from the inhaled substance.

Sneezing is a reaction to the insult (the intervention of dusts or pollens or dander) and a way in which the body will try to expel those substances. That's why you might see mucous production, some coughing or post-nasal drip which creates an urge to clear your throat and other autonomous responses which, group together, are called an "allergic reaction."

Symptoms of a Hangover – Causes of Hangover Symptoms – Natural Remedies for a Hangover

Symptoms of a hangover…

The music was great, the dancing was fun, and the drinks were abundant and superb, but what about that next day thumbing hangover?

The symptoms of a hangover include:

* Thirst

* Fatigue

* Shakiness and tremors

* Headaches

* Muscle aches

* Sensitivity to light and noise

* Dizziness or as if the room is spinning

* Nausea and vomiting

* Stomach pain

* Sweating

* Decreased quantity and quality of sleep

* Difficulty concentrating

* Redness of the eyes

* Rapid heartbeat

* Mood disturbances, especially anxiety, irritability, and depression

Side Note: The symptoms of a hangover differ for each individual.

Indeed, most everyone is aware that a hangover is caused by drinking too much alcohol. However, for some people, having one alcoholic drink is enough to trigger a hangover, while others may drink heavily and entirely escape the nasty effects of a hangover. In general, most people who drink to the point of intoxication will experience a hangover the next day.

What causes symptoms of a hangover?

There are various factors that may contribute to hangover severity such as:

Alcohol increases urination. Needless to say, urinating more than usual can lead to dehydration. Dehydration from excessive urination is what causes thirst. In addition, dehydration is often characterized by dizziness and lightheadedness.

Alcohol can irritate the lining of the stomach, increases stomach acid production and delays stomach emptying, which can cause nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

Alcohol can cause a lack of refreshing sleep, which, in turn, may leave you groggy and fatigued.

Alcohol can cause blood sugar regulation disturbance. More specifically, alcohol can cause your blood sugar to fall too low and, as such, you may experience fatigue, weakness, shakiness and mood changes.

Alcohol dilates blood vessels, which can lead to headaches.

Alcoholic beverages contain alcohol by-products called congeners that seem to increase the severity of a hangover. Congeners are toxic impurities that can have a great impact in adding to your woes. Clear liquors such as gin and vodka have fewer congeners, whereas dark liquors, such as brandy and whiskey have larger amounts. Champagne is also a notorious cause of hangovers as well as some sweet wines.

Lastly, acetaldehyde, a chemical created when the body processes alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor that causes hangover symptoms.

In a nutshell, experiencing hangover symptoms is nature’s way of letting you know that as far as your body is concerned, alcohol is a poison.

Cures for a hangover…

The only real cure for a hangover is time. Your body needs time to process the toxins out of your system. But there are several natural remedies that may ease the symptoms of a hangover. However, keep in mind that what works for one person may not for another, so choose your own weapon as your hangover symptoms buster.

Natural remedies for a hangover…

The following may ease symptoms of a hangover:

Water – Drink lots of water throughout the day to rehydrate your body. Hangover discomforts arise partially from dehydration.

Banana milkshake – Replace lost nutrients, such as magnesium and potassium, with a stimulating banana milkshake (made from a half a glass of milk and one large ripe banana) sweetened with honey (two tablespoons). The honey raises blood sugar levels, which is lowered by excessive alcohol intake and the bananas are rich in important electrolytes, magnesium and potassium, which are severely depleted during heavy drinking. Milk soothes the stomach and rehydrates the system.

Fruit Juices – Nutritionists recommend fruit juices diluted with water or seltzer and consumed at two times the volume of the amount of alcohol you have drunk. It is said that fruit juices help the body to burn alcohol.

Vitamins – Several experts recommend taking a B-complex vitamin supplement, which helps to replace the B-vitamins lost while drinking.

Liver Detoxifying Herbs- The herbs dandelion and milk thistle have been used to aid detoxification of the liver and blood.

Nausea Helpers – Crackers and honey may ease nausea. Ginger tea is also used to counter nausea. To make tea use 1 cup of boiling water, add 1 tsp of dried ginger or 2 tsp of grated fresh ginger. Remove from the heat and steep in a covered pan for 10 minutes.

Headache Busters – White willow bark contains a natural form of salicylate, the active ingredient in aspirin and, as such, it may soothe a hangover headache. Drink hot as a tea — made with 1 cup water simmered with 2 tsp bark in a covered pan for 10 minutes — or chew on the bark.

When to seek medical help?

Call your physician if you are concerned that you have developed or are at risk of developing a dependency on alcohol — or you can’t control you’re drinking.

Final note ….

We strongly recommend that if you do drink alcohol, you do so with moderation and caution. In addition, because of alcohol’s effects on driving ability, never drive after drinking.

Consequences of Eating Disorders Anorexia or Bulimia

Eating disorders are very serious problems that continue to afflict millions of people across the world. Typically, a person either suffers from anorexia or bulimia and deprives their body in one of two ways. If anorexia is the chosen method of “dieting,” a person will starve themselves completely. Sometimes eating a carrot stick per day. The second way is through bulimia. This is the “binge and purge” way of staying slim. People that choose this method will eat a lot and then vomit almost immediately after they’ve finished a meal.

There are horrible consequences to both of these eating disorders that range from osteoporosis to death. Yet, many children and adults are still starving themselves and subjecting their bodies to harsh treatment so they can have the ideal shape. Ironically, those that are anorexic and/or bulimic don’t ever achieve that perfect body they’ve always dreamt of. Instead, they lose so much weight that they look unhealthy, sick and even scary. Once it has reached this point, the anorexic or bulimic person cannot even see how they truly look- all they can think about is losing more weight.

It’s a vicious cycle that won’t end on its own. Anorexic and bulimic people will think that they are fat no matter how undernourished their body becomes. They can be near death and still refuse to eat. That’s why it’s so crucial anyone dealing with an eating disorder gets help from a professional. A doctor will be able to help them deal with the issues that are making them want to starve themselves and help establish healthy eating habits.

It’s best to try and catch the eating disorder right when it’s beginning because it will be easier to treat but it doesn’t usually happen this way. So, if you or someone you know is suffering from anorexia or bulimia or both, encourage them to seek help immediately. In some cases, you might have to push for it and even get the help for them. They probably won’t understand your intentions at first but once they’ve started thinking clearly again, they’ll thank you. It can be a little intimidating talking to someone about a problem you know they don’t want to discuss- but you just might end up saving their life.

Unleashing the Speaker in You

Having to speak in public might just as well be the experience that you desire as an individual, if you must do it well then you need to understand the rudiments before you get your hands dirty. If you are a newbie in public speaking then you may consider reading through this piece, as you are the reason for writing this article. What exactly is the reason for most people's fear of public speaking? Is it a matter of mere nerves or perhaps it is a case of people not thinking of themselves as being capable enough as far as being articulate is concerned? Whatever it is there is always a guide for whatever it is you set your mind on and public speaking is one of them.

Here are a few points as to what you should look out for when preparing for your first public speaking task. You will do well to take them into consideration thought this list is by no means exhaustive and you are at liberty to adapt the tips to suit your personal style.

Preparation – Mental stimulation must go hand in hand with the actual preparation towards the presentation. In other words, it is not just enough to conduct research, gather materials and find accurate facts, you must prepare yourself mentally and probably visualize yourself making the presentation and receiving a standing ovation in the process. When you take time to prepare yourself mentally, you put yourself in a better state of mind necessary for success.

Memorize versus Outline – If you are not reading off a teleprompter then you have several options but trust me memorizing your presentation might not just be one of them except it is a very short one. The reason is not rocket science, you just might be stuck somewhere in the middle of your presentation and end up not knowing what to say. Your best bet would be to make an outline of your presentation and to practice with it such that just by glancing at it you know exactly what to say.

Calm your nerves – You may have prepared adequately for your speaking task but when the time to make your presentation comes, you may end up as a bundle of nerves. The easy way out would be to try to calm your nerves, this you can do by taking several deep breaths, in truth as many as will make you to be in the best frame of mind to make your presentation. Breathing in and out has a soothing effect on your muscles and body as a whole.

Eye Contact – Some people will advise you to look above the heads of your audience but it is advisable at least from experience to banish that thought and instead focus on friendly faces in the audience if you are not able to look at all of them because because Of their facial expressions. You do not have to concentrate on just one person, as you do not want to pass off as a stalker instead of the presenter that you are.

Overcoming Anxiety When Calling Prospect Leads in Your Adult MLM

Your heart falls to the pit of your stomach and your hands begin to sweat. You think "OMG! Can I really do this? I mean it sounded good when I was listening to it on the other end of the phone so many months ago, but now I do not know."

You are not the first, and certainly not the last one to experience this. Every experienced marketer out there knows this feeling and the only difference between you and them is they made that first call. They were able to pick up the phone and remember that the person on the other end of the line was an average Joe or Jane just like you. The difference now, is that you are the attraction marketer and you have something of value to offer. They would have not put their name and phone number in the provided boxes if they were not interested. Keep in mind that they are probably a lot like you and have families and busy schedules, so you do not want to keep them on the phone all day. Find out a little bit about them. Where are they from? Get to know them and treat them like you would a friend. After all you are building a relationship with them. They will hopefully become part of your down line.

Make sure you know your business inside and out so there will not be any questions that will throw you off guard. A good way to learn this is to look at your up line. Look at your sponsor. To be good at anything in life you have to be able to have someone to look up to. To learn from. It might be more than one person. It might be a group of people. Surround yourself by the type of people you want to become, and it will always rub off. If you come across a question that you do not know the answer to, be honest enough to say that you do not know but you would be more than happy to find out. Follow that up by calling them back on a three way call with someone on your up line that can more than adequately answer it, so making you look good and in turn, make them feel that they were important enough for you to go the extra mile As to bring someone else in. Little things like that pay off big in the long run.

Every marketer needs to keep in mind that every call is not going to be a yes. You may give the best presentation in your life only for someone to tell you no. That is okay. Look at it as a practice run for your next yes. Never, never, never give up. There is more than enough opportunity in this world for those who are willing to work hard for it. And remember, that first phone call is only your first phone call once. It gets easier after that.

Fashion Fusion

How often do you encounter a situation when selection of the right kind of fashion accessory makes you go wild? Some women have such dilemmas once in a while, some once in a week, and some of them go through this daily. The question bugs "Do I look different?", "Do I look attractive enough?"

Sometimes you often wonder, why do some women become the epitome of fashion whereas some pursuit for little appreciation even after wearing an expensive diamond necklace.
Well, I believe that beauty is not the cause. For I have noticed some of the most charming ladies being bugged with similar kinds of hassles. The reason is, most women simply follow the stereotyped fashion trends and do not get noticed among the crowd.
The idea is, that you have to dress differently in order to look different. I guess, jewelry happens to be an important part of fashion. Therefore it is necessary that you make some changes in your jewelry box.

To start with, I must say, that simple elegant jewelries are out. Gone are the days of a simple chain with a diamond pendant. Ladies are no longer totems of sophistication. Just try out something much more dashing. Accumulate at least ten to twelve black colored chains of similar look and size. Jumble them together and flaunt it at your slender neck. They would very well complement each other.

When you try to look different, there is no harm in being a little more adventurous. One of the latest trends among fashion freaks is to try out something Bohemian. And when it comes to Bohemian fashion, there is nothing like a candlenut necklace. The candlenuts, commonly known as Kukui nuts, are strung together in a string or a ribbon and tied in knot. Black happens to be the most popular color. However other colors like green, brown are also in vogue. The Kukui nut jewelries can be worn as necklace and also as bracelets.

You know what, I have always expected fashion conscious ladies since my early teenage. I still remember how my young English teacher at the high school adorned her ears with long wooden danglers. As she moved her head sideways while explaining the lessons, the danglers simply danced around her beautiful ears and caught our attention for an hour hour. Later on, I came to know that such wooden danglers can be easily made at home. All you have to do is cut out two strips of reasonable length from a piece of ply and make it smooth with a sandpaper. Make sure you get the edges rounded. Drill small holes in each of them and attach a jump ring at it and attach it again with a hook. And there you are! That would look elegant as well as dandy!
Now while we discuss about fashion jewelries, how can the beads be left behind? You can make simple beaded earrings at home. Just grab a headpin, and put inside some beads of various colors. But the colors should be well synchronized. Get a round-nose plier and bend the extended portion of the earring at an angle of ninety degree. Bend the end of the headpin and complete the loop. Attach it with a French wire. And you are done with it.

If you are quite innovative, you can try this one too. Boil some eggs and peel off the outer hard layer. Make sure that the thin film inside is also removed. Coat them with two parts of epoxy coupled with a chemical hardener. Get a ceramic tile and coat it with petroleum jelly. Rest the egg shells over it and get them washed. After sometime, cut them out in different shapes and paint it with a nail polish. Once again you may implement some of your innovative skills by painting them with different colors. Drill a small hole and attach a jump ring.

I will be happy if you like my ideas and try them out. But I would be happier if you discard them and try something different that comes to your mind.
After all, fashion is not about following the latest trends of market. Fashion is all about flaunting your own style that would reflect your own personality. Sometimes, the jewelry you wear may not go hand in hand with your personality. But once you are confident about your accessories, you can simply flaunt anything under the sun.
So what are you ladies waiting for? Just get going, full speed ahead!

Bad Breath Related to Stomach Problems

Bad breath caused by stomach problems is not common with the general population, but there have been documented causes when this breath condition comes from the stomach. There are several factors involved in nasty breath caused by stomach problems. Knowing what these factors are can help you identify the underlying issue and what steps you need to take to get rid of bad breath from stomach problems.

The stomach is where all food ends up to be processed into nutrients that the body can use. Along with food, the stomach also contains bacteria that assist in breaking down the food. However, not all bacteria can be classified as “good”. It’s the bad bacteria that can be harmful and produce bad breath from stomach problems.

Some sources of bad breath from stomach bacteria include:

1. Helicobacter Pylori are bacteria that cause the common stomach ulcer. This produces the stench, especially when you belch.
2. Skipping a meal can cause the stomach to send the acids normally used for digestion to the throat, which causes foul breath.
3. Imbalance of bacteria can also cause bad breath from stomach problems. As mentioned earlier, your stomach has a balance of good and bad bacteria. If more bad bacteria is produced or stays in the stomach, this can be a cause of not so nice breath. An easy way to cure this is to take a daily probiotic supplement either in tablet form or through ingestion of yogurt. This is rich in good bacteria to help restore balance in your stomach.

Other causes of bad breath from stomach problems can originate from your digestive system. It can be caused by the following instances:

1. Eating hard to digest food. Food that remain largely undigested go straight to the liver and putrefy there, causing the foul breath due to stomach problems. Sometimes, it also causes an overproduction of stomach acids, which emanate and cause bad breath.
2. Heartburn is normally due to acid in the stomach flowing up into the throat. This is similar to acid reflux and can be triggered by caffeinated soft drinks or coffee. Foul breath from stomach acid is distinctive.
3. Nausea can be caused by bad bacteria in the stomach. It is a sign that your stomach may not like something you’ve recently eaten.A foul breath normally accompanies the nausea and may be a signal that you are about to regurgitate your stomach contents.

These are some common causes of bad breath from stomach acids or bacteria. The best way to avoid these is to watch what you eat to make sure your stomach stays healthy.

4 Types Of Manicures And Pedicures

We also need to take care of our nails as much as we take care of our skin and hair. Every time you feel like pampering yourself, check out your nails if they too need a much-needed manicure or pedicure. Remember that getting a manicure and pedicure does not only mean to make it look prettier. During a manicure or pedicure, your nails are being treated so that lost supplements are replenished. When you get a foot or hand massage after a manicure or pedicure, you also make sure that your hands and feet are rejuvenated. There are 4 types of manicures and pedicures and these are the following:

1. Regular manicure and pedicure – you can call these the basic treatment. It involves soaking your hands and feet in soapy water. This process helps soften dead cells so it can easily be removed. Afterwhich, your nails will be clipped and your feet and sole will be scrubbed. The nail technician will also apply the nail polish that you like. Then, a short hand or foot massage will be performed. If you don’t like to use nail polish, you can go for a more natural look by opting for nail buffing.

2. French manicure or French pedicure – this is the most common and perhaps the most popular type of manicure treatment especially among women. It’s classic, elegant, simple, clean and chic and perhaps this is the reason for its popularity. A French manicure or French pedicure involves application of neutral translucent colored nail polish and then white tips.

You have the freedom to choose the shape of your nails. Oval, square or round, the choice is yours. When the process is done, your hands and feet will be moisturized to maintain its health. Usually, a nice and quick massage will also be included in the treatment.

3. Nail spa – this process is usually longer and more costly compared to other manicure and pedicure treatments. Your fingers and toe nails get special treatments and it’s usually a relaxing process. Depending on the salon, there are special ingredients added to this treatment just to make them more unique and special than the other salons.

Of course, regular mani and pedi treatment is included in this special spa treatment. Aside from these, you may also enjoy a short reflexology massage. Other salons also include a hydrating treatment to maintain and rejuvenate your nails, cuticles and skin.

4. Paraffin – this is a waxy substance that is used to hydrate the skin. It’s an alkaline substance that is wrapped the feet and the hands so that it can thoroughly seep in through the skin. Aside from this treatment, a regular mani and pedi are also included in the treatment.

Frozen Fantasy

Tracy and I celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary at dinner and had a calm quiet evening together. We decided that nothing we could plan would ever replace the memory of our third anniversary. That anniversary was quite an adventure.

I think our third anniversary was really kind of special because your first and second anniversary continue to bear the presence of the "Honey Moon" stage and you still act like you are dating to some degree. In the third year you really begin to start acting like husband and wife.

You know what I mean — we still love each other but but we're just trying to impress each other as much or keep from embarrassing ourselves like you do when you are dating.

So that third anniversary was special to both of us. We decided to go to the St. Louis Petersburg beach for the weekend on Florida's west coast which was only 1 h hours from our house. The beach is nicer, the waters warmer and they have some great hotels.

I was really looking forward to it, a romantic dinner, maybe a walk on the beach and of course a reenactment of our honeymoon night.

Everything started out great ——— We ate in a revolving restaurant at the top of one of the nicer beach resort hotels. The meal was fantastic, the wine was good and Tracy looked fabulous in a clinging black dress with just the right amount of Jewelry. Of course I had visions of how the evening would end from the minute she appeared all dressed up for dinner. After we finished eating, we did take that romantic walk on the beach. It helped with the digestive process after the big dinner but it also worked on another type of appetite.

We returned to our hotel room and to say the least I was kind of in an anticipatory frenzy. Remember at 3 years we were still considered newly weds. Tracy is a romantic and she wanted to extend the romance. Being a certified massage therapist she warmly claimed that I just relax as she was going to give me a massage.

I surprised about this. For a vanishing moment, I thought this was not part of the plan. Tracy always planned ahead but who was I to pass up this kind of special pampering. I was eagerly submissive to the suggestion, encouragement and help in disrobing until I was lying on the bed —- Face down with a bath towel covering me just as if I was in a day spa getting ready for the massage.

This was nice ——- I was really enjoying it. Tracy started the massage using a very soothing cream —– so I thought.

After about twenty minutes Tracy said;

"Ok Sweetie turn over ———- let me do the front now."

This was heaven. She massaged my entire body using that cream from my Nose to my Toes leaving only a minimal amount of my entire body untouched.

I have to admit, it was incredible. Right about the time my feelings started to turn a little amorous-I felt a chill —- then a shiver ——— and before you know it I was freezing to death. I thought I was gonna die. My teeth started actually chattering it was so cold. I had never been this cold in all my life.

"What's going on – Something is wrong-I'm freezing to death"; I screamed.

I jumped up from the bed, wrapped myself in the bedspread by rolling over and over until I looked like the Michelin man.

About this time ———- Tracy finds humor in my actions and begin to laugh. I'm dying and she laughs … I thought I was going into hypothermic shock.

I kept cry out- "This is not funny-I'm really freezing …. This is serious".

I roled off the bed trying to hop to the bathroom and jump in a scaling hot shower. I fell and hit my head on the bed. Fortunately it was on the mattress so I did not hurt myself.

Tracy thought that was even funnier. I started getting mad — I wanted to yell at her but my words quit coming out in a ch ch ch attend!

"Wwwwwwhhhat dddid yyyou pput on me; I asked? She did not answer, she could not because she was laughing so hard.

I finally made it to the shower and jumped under very hot water ——– It felt awesome. But as soon as I got out — I was freezing again. I took three showers and still felt like I was going to freeze to death.

I wrapped up in blankets and made Tracy lay on top of me to provide more body heat.

After about an hour, I warmed up enough to talk and actually look at that tube of cream she put all over my body.

It was called BIOFREEZE for ankle sprains and bruised muscles. The Warning Label on the tube read —– Caution — ONLY TO BE USED IN SMALL AREA's.

Needless to say — the romance of our third anniversary disappeared for that night anyway.

I could have died for crying out loud. She had grabbed the wrong lotion; She thought she was using a simple hand cream.

She still laughs every time we talk about it. I think our third anniversary will probably be the most memorable even when we celebrate our 25th.

Flash Fiction: A U-Turn

Rains lashed onto my bare back as I scooped up her fragile frame and carried her out of the car. Perhaps, she’d passed out, couldn’t endure the pain she suffered.

Perhaps, she just pretended to be asleep. Never wanted to face the reality. Never wanted to see the man who left her alone in the dark of the night.

All alone, I didn’t know how long she waited for me.

Not bothering to look at her exposed thighs hidden scantily under my shirt, I made my way to the front door of the house.

She whined under the fur blanket as I cleaned the scars and bruises with warm water.

Signs of sufferings, a brutal assault. Someone had robbed my soul, assaulted the woman I loved the most.

Shame on me.

I couldn’t protect her.

Monsters hidden underneath human skin ran away when I reached the spot where I left her.

A casual argument.

I didn’t realize when it transformed into a battle of sexes. Rants of feminism and gender equality. She forced me to pull over.

I could have stopped her, could have apologized. But, I did nothing when she got out of the car.

Instead of waiting for her to cool down, I drove away. It was an hour later I realized my mistake and took a U-turn in haste.

She quivered inside the blanket. Her whimpers communicated the trauma she bore on her soul.

“I’m here baby,” I whispered in her ear, caressing the entangled mess of her hair.

She opened her eyes.

Tears slid down the corners of her eyes.

“I lost it. I struggled but I lost it. They were four.” Her words pierced needles in my ears, shredding my skin and exposing the bones underneath.

“Calm down sweetie. You need rest. Shall I get something for you? How about a cup of hot chocolate.”

“I need you. Promise me you’ll never leave me again even when I tell you to go away. Even when I fight with you. Promise me you’ll tackle my tantrums. Hold me in your arms when I’m angry. Kiss me when I cry.”

“I Promise sweetheart. Do I deserve an apology?” I asked my gaze dipping to the carpet.

She held my hands. “Have you informed the cops?”

“Not yet. Do you want to do it now or we can go tomorrow,” I replied meeting her gaze.

“Thanks,” she said, her eyes glistening.

“Thanks for what?”

“I thought you perhaps don’t want to involve the police because of your reputation of a clean guy. It could be hard for you at work. Your social life. Your friends. They will question.”

“Nothing’s more important than you. Life’s all about taking a U-turn and starting afresh. Please allow me to take that turn where I’m just a teenage boy who is deeply madly in love with a girl.”

She looked in my eyes as my grip tightened on her hand.

“I’ll get some hot chocolate for us,” I said holding back my tears.

Men don’t cry, do they?

What’s the Deal With Fluoride?

Like many Americans my age, I grew up with a positive association to fluoride. Toothpaste commercials told me that fluoride helped prevent tooth decay and that I should brush my teeth with fluoride toothpaste, so I used it every day. The dentist gave me fluoride treatments for my teeth. Fluoride was also added to municipal water supplies, so drinking tap water (and anything made with it) gave me a daily dose of fluoride too. Like most other people, I assumed it must be healthy. Otherwise, why would people add it to toothpaste and water?

Many years ago though, I started hearing rumors about fluoride being potentially unhealthy. I realized I’d never looked into fluoride and didn’t really even know what it was and why I should be consuming it. I had to admit that all my knowledge of fluoride ultimately came from the people who were marketing it. People market plenty of other products that aren’t healthy (cigarettes, junk food, etc.), so why should I assume fluoride was healthy just because the marketers said it was?

So way back in 1997, I got curious and started taking a deeper look into fluoride. Today this is very easy to do because there’s plenty of info available online. I’ll share some of that info with you and provide some links so you can look into it further if you so choose. My goal is to help you consciously decide whether you wish to continue using fluoride.

What is fluoride?

The substance fluoride is technically a fluorine ion. Fluorine is a gas, and in nature it will be found bonded with other substances, forming compounds such as calcium fluoride.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring substance found abundantly in the earth’s crust. Consequently, it is found in natural water supplies, usually in very low levels (well below 1 part per million). Plants naturally absorb fluoride from the soil, so small amounts of fluoride compounds are present in all our food. Fluoride is also commonly used in pesticides, so plant foods grown with pesticides will have a higher concentration of fluoride.

The highest dietary concentration of fluoride occurs in animal foods and in processed foods, especially fish. Fluoride builds up in the tissues of animals. And whenever fluoridated water is used in food production, fluoride will be concentrated in the final product. The same goes for cooking with fluoridated water.

Although it is a natural substance, fluoride is highly toxic to human beings, even more so than lead. If you were to injest a mere 2-5 grams of sodium fluoride (a common ingredient in toothpaste), you would probably die. The amount of fluoride in a typical tube of fluoride toothpaste is sufficient to kill a small child if it were consumed all at once. Fluoride toothpaste contains a much higher concentration of fluoride than what is found in nature.

In the USA the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates fluoride usage.

Is fluoride necessary for health?

Not remotely. Unlike calcium or magnesium, fluoride is not an essential nutrient for your body. If you were to consume zero fluoride your entire life, you wouldn’t suffer for it. There’s no such thing as fluoride deficiency.

What is fluoride’s purported role in tooth decay?

Fluoride acts as an enzyme inhibitor. For this reason it is believed to help prevent cavities by literally poisoning the bacteria in your mouth. Unfortunately, because fluoride is so toxic, you’re taking a big risk by using it to try to prevent cavities. You not only poison the bacteria in your mouth but your other cells as well.

“Fluoride inhibits enzymes that breed acid-producing oral bacteria whose acid eats away tooth enamel. This observation is valid, but some scientists now believe that the harmful impact of fluoride on other useful enzymes far outweighs the beneficial effect on caries prevention.”

– UNICEF, Dec 1999

Fluoride only works topically. If you swallow fluoride, it won’t help your teeth at all except to the extent it touches them. So fluoride supplements are utterly worthless.

What are the risks of fluoride consumption?

Aside from the risk of death, fluoride can cause serious problems even at low levels of injestion that come from using toothpaste or mouthwash or drinking fluoridated water.

One risk is a condition known as fluorosis, caused by excessive exposure to fluoride. This comes in two kinds: dental fluorosis and skeletal fluorosis. Dental fluorosis occurs at a young age, and the main symptom is discolored and/or pitted teeth, but the outward signs on the teeth are believed to be linked with a deeper neurological impairment.

Skeletal fluorosis is an arthritic disease caused by a build-up of fluoride in the bones that can cause the bones to become brittle. Studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association noted that hip fractures are more common in communities that fluoridate their water supply.

Drinking fluoridated water is linked with reduced cognitive ability in children. There are also over 30 animal studies showing that fluoride is a neurotoxin which reduces learning and memory. Essentially, fluoride makes you a bit less intelligent.

If you wish to look into this further, you can find a lengthy list of health problems associated with fluoride and links to some of the research here:

Fluoride Health Effects Database

There are many more health problems than the few I’ve listed above, including kidney damage and cancer. Fluoride problems are an active area of research. A lot of new information has come out in just the past decade.

Why did people start adding fluoride to toothpaste and water?

You don’t want to know. Really you don’t.

But if you do, you can start by reading these articles:

Industry and Fluoridation

Fluoride, Teeth, and the Atomic Bomb

And if you really want to hurt yourself, you can read all about the fluoride fraud here:

Suppression of Scientific Dissent on Fluoride’s Risks and Benefits

If you don’t want to read the above, the bottom line is that fluoride is an industrial pollutant which became a serious problem several decades ago, and this problem was essentially solved by devising ways to feed the stuff to humans. Today it’s become a difficult issue that involves big business, large sums of money, the ADA, the FDA, and somewhere near the bottom of the political food chain… health.

What about water fluoridation?

Water fluoridation is common practice in the USA. About 60% of the U.S. water supply is now fluoridated. My city of Las Vegas started fluoridating its water supply a few years ago (in what was apparently something of a political fiasco).

The last time I checked, water fluoridation was banned in Japan, China, India, and most European countries. What’s interesting though is that in Europe the levels of tooth decay are no worse than in the USA. In both the U.S. and Europe, the levels of tooth decay have been falling at about the same rate for decades. Fortunately for non-U.S. residents, the politics of fluoride which have infected the U.S. have not similarly infected the rest of world.

The theoretical reason for water fluoridation is that it supposedly helps prevent tooth decay. The problem, however, is that the theory just doesn’t hold true. There’s no evidence that water fluoridation helps prevent tooth decay at all. The evidence in fact shows that fluoridation has no effect whatsoever on tooth decay, but fluoridation does cause other health problems such as fluorosis.

“All of the recent large-scale studies on fluoridation and tooth decay show that fluoridation does not reduce tooth decay. Studies from New Zealand, Canada, Europe, and the US have confirmed no difference in decay rates for permanent teeth of residents of fluoridated vs. non-fluoridated communities.” (source)

“In summary, we hold that fluoridation is an unreasonable risk. That is, the toxicity of fluoride is so great and the purported benefits associated with it are so small – if there are any at all – that requiring every man, woman and child in America to ingest it borders on criminal behavior on the part of governments.”

– Dr. J. William Hirzy, Senior Vice-President, Headquarters Union, US Environmental Protection Agency, March 26, 2001

“I am quite convinced that water fluoridation, in a not-too-distant future, will be consigned to medical history.”

– Dr. Arvid Carlsson, Winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize for Medicine

So what are the health reasons for water fluoridation? There aren’t any. The real reason for fluoridation is a combination of business and politics. The health claims are largely used to draw attention away from the real reason. In the USA it isn’t so hard to get fluoridation policies passed in new cities simply by leveraging the previous marketing work that has been done in favor of fluoride. Communities will vote in favor of fluoridation because most of the people doing the voting don’t know any better. People will emotionally defend something as true which deep down they never understood.

What about bottled water?

It depends on the source. Most water from natural springs will have on the order of 0.1 ppm fluoride, which is about 10% of the level found in fluoridated municipal water supplies. So with bottled water your exposure to this toxin is greatly reduced.

Be aware that some bottled water delivery companies do fluoridate their water. I called two of them to ask: Sparkletts and Arrowhead. Sparkletts told me they do fluoridate their water. Of course I let them know that I would never be a customer of theirs as long as they do so. Arrowhead told me they do NOT deliver fluoridated water unless the customer specifically requests it. Consquently, I have been an Arrowhead customer for many years. If I find out that they’ve started fluoridating their water, they will lose my family as a customer.

If you want to know whether or not your water contains fluoride, call the company and ask them how much fluoride is in their water and whether or not they add fluoride to it. They will be able to tell you how many parts per million of fluoride their water contains.

One fluoride-related web site suggested specifically avoiding Trinity Springs water because it contains a very high concentration of fluoride, on the order of 4 ppm. That’s about 4x the level you’ll get from fluoridated tap water.

You can also use a water filter to reduce fluoride from tap water. In this case you will need a reverse-osmosis filter, which will remove 90%+ of the fluoride. Distillation will also remove fluoride from water.

Is there such a thing as non-fluoride toothpaste?

Yes, absolutely.

Fluoride is not the ingredient in toothpaste that cleans your teeth. It is the abrasive calcium carbonate that does most of the cleaning. Fluoride’s only role is to poison the bacteria (and of course the rest of you gets poisoned in the process). Additionally, commercial toothpastes often contain sweeteners that can actually promote tooth decay.

I can recommend a couple brands of fluoride-free toothpaste which I’ve been using for years: Nature’s Gate and Tom’s of Maine. You should be able to find these at any health food store. I buy them at Whole Foods and Wild Oats.

My personal favorite is Nature’s Gate Herbal Creme de Peppermint. My wife prefers Tom’s of Maine. Tom’s of Maine also has children’s fluoride-free toothpaste available, which our 5-year old daughter uses. Both of these companies are cruelty-free as well, meaning they don’t test any of their products on animals.

These toothpastes are made from all-natural ingredients, and they don’t contain extra sweeteners. One thing I like about Tom’s of Maine is that they list all the ingredients on the box along with a description of what each thing is and why it’s there.

My wife also wrote a short review of Nature’s Gate toothpaste on her web site many years ago. One thing she noted was that because of the lack of sugar, it took us a few days to get used to these toothpastes. But after that we never looked back.

What about dentists?

I challenge you to ask your own dentist for detailed information on fluoride. Test his/her knowledge of this subject, and see if the answers you get make you more confident or more doubtful.

Ask your dentist to tell you exactly what fluoride is and what the lethal dosage is. Ask your dentist where the fluoride in their toothpaste and fluoride treatments originally comes from (trust me — you really don’t want to know). Ask your dentist how s/he came to believe that fluoride helps prevent tooth decay. Ask your dentist to tell you about the dangers of fluoride exposure. Ask your dentist to tell you where you can obtain the proof that fluoride usage is safe and effective.

Wouldn’t you expect your dentist to know this information?

Personally I have never met a dentist who knew even the most basic facts about fluoride. Dentists apparently learn about fluoride from the same people that market it to consumers. Most likely your dentist doesn’t know much more about fluoride than you do aside from the information that’s been provided to them by marketers. In fact, simply by reading this article, you probably know a lot more about fluoride than your dentist does, unless your dentist happens to be exceptional.

What should you do?

I think you should look into this for yourself and make your own conscious decision.

Look beyond the fluoride marketing hype and decide if fluoride is something you want to put into your body on a regular basis. Common sense suggests that you shouldn’t ingest such a toxic substance unless you fully understand what you’re doing. Remember that you have no dietary need for fluoride, so if you have any doubt, leave it out. In my opinion that’s the safest bet.

Fluoride is not addictive, so I think you’ll find it easy to do without. You may even notice some health benefits in doing so. Who knows? Maybe your IQ will even go up a few points — that effect is certainly conceivable given that fluoride is a neurotoxin and has been linked to reduced IQ in children.

At the very least, doctors recommend not using fluoridated water to make infant formula. Don’t give young children any fluoridated water if you can avoid it. Fluoride’s toxicity is relative to body mass. So the smaller the person, the more toxic a particular dose will be. Consider nature’s example — the level of fluoride found in human breast milk is about 100 times lower than in fluoridated water (i.e. 0.01 ppm vs. 1.0 ppm).

My viewpoint is that if you want to convince me to injest a toxic substance on a regular basis, the burden of proof is all yours. By default I’m not going to take poison, so if you can’t provide rock-solid evidence that your substance is worth consuming, you won’t convince me. And fluoride is a substance where the mountain of evidence has convinced me I’m better off without it.

You don’t need to poison yourself just to try to prevent cavities. I hope you can begin to see the insanity in that approach. If you have excessive bacteria eating away your tooth enamel, realize that it’s a sign of a greater imbalance in your body. Don’t try to correct the imbalance by poisoning the symptoms (i.e. the bacterial growth). Address the root cause. By reducing the acidity of your diet, you can safely prevent your teeth from dissolving. Especially cut out refined sugar and coffee if you can, and eat more raw fruits and vegetables.

If you aren’t going to change your diet, at least acknowledge that tooth decay is not the worst health problem in the world. Even if you do get cavities, it’s a fixable problem, and in my opinion, it’s not worth taking poison to try to prevent one problem and cause yourself far greater grief in the long run. You might miss your teeth, but I think you’ll miss your brain, bones, and kidneys even more.

I want to look into this further. Hook me up.

First, you can start with a simple Google search on fluoride or on such terms as “fluoride toxic poison” (without the quotes), and you’ll find plenty of sites to look through.

Here are a couple of my favorite fluoride sites with loads of articles, information, and research references:

The Fluoride Debate

Fluoride Action Network

At the very least, I recommend you read the home page of The Fluoride Debate site to give yourself a nice overview. But you will certainly learn a lot by diving deeply into both of these sites.

There are also some books on the subject (you can find both at Amazon):

The Fluoride Deception by Christopher Bryson and Theo Colborn

Fluoride: Drinking Ourselves to Death by Barry Groves

I just can’t believe any of this. It’s too unbelievable.

I’m sorry to be the one to shatter your blissful fluoride fantasy. Really, I am. I know you’ll probably curse me the next time you pick up your toothpaste and see a tube of IQ-lowering poison instead of sugary cavity-fighting bliss.

I’m just the messenger though. I didn’t invent any of this information. And my goal isn’t to convince you not to use fluoride. My goal is far more insidious — it is to encourage you to think for yourself and make decisions more consciously, whether you agree with me or not.

Understanding Omeprazole Side Effects

A few years ago, people suffering from conditions were gastric acids are excessively secreted in the stomach seem to be limited by antacids and other medications, but due to the invention of new types of drugs. These people have experienced more options for their comfort, and one of these novel drugs would be Omeprazole.

Omeprazole is more popular with its trade names Zegerid or Prilosec, and belongs to a class of drugs called proton-pump inhibitor. The stomach wall in lined by specialized structure that releases enzymes to produce acid in the area, these structures release ions or protons which are blocked by this drug. This medication has proven effectiveness and relief among those with hyperacidity, gastroesophageal reflux disease and other hypersecretory states in the stomach. However, despite these benefits, Omeprazole side effects must also be understood by the individual.

The common Omeprazole side effects observed in an individual who is taking the drug would include changes in bowel movement. Some people complain of having an increased frequency of defecation or diarrhea, and others experience periods of not being able to pass feces for days or constipation – it depends on the response on the body. Nausea and vomiting may also be experienced by the individual depending on how the body is able to cope with the blockage of ion in the gastric area.

Other common Omeprazole side effects are the collection of gas in the stomach, and belching or passing of flatus, which is the way of the body to excrete and remove these gases from the stomach to avoid abdominal pain. This side effect results from the interaction of the chemicals and ions in the stomach, thus, a relief for this problem would be to reduce the intake of gas forming foods such as spicy foods and sodas.

One of the most bothersome and serious Omeprazole side effects would be hypomagnesemia or the low concentration of magnesium in the body. This happens because magnesium plays a role in controlling and maintaining the acid base balance in the body. The initial and mild manifestations of this problem would be easy fatigability, dizziness, increased reactivity and sensitivity of muscles, numbness and cramping. But if the decreased magnesium levels are not corrected promptly, the individual may suffer life threatening complications from severe spasms of the muscles, seizures to abnormal heart rhythm that may impair blood flow throughout the body.

The Omeprazole side effects which are serious but rarely seen among people taking the medication include severe allergic reaction manifested by itchiness, shortness and difficulty of breathing, rashes, swelling of different body parts, sudden and unusual hoarseness of voice; and chest tightness. Sudden, intense pain in the upper abdomen may point out to an untoward reaction of stomach acids, while presence of fever, chills, sudden weight gain, changes in vision and yellowing of the skin are indicative of other metabolic problems in the body.

Most Omeprazole side effects are very manageable and do not pose a serious threat to the individual. However, consulting the health care provider and complying with the prescribed regimen is advised to prevent these untoward effects.

Iron Functions and Deficiency

Functions on the Body: Iron is generally absorbed from the whole of the gastro intestinal tract but most of it comes from the upper part of the small intestine primarily the duodenum. Dietary Iron is absorbed through the mucosal cells in ferrous form. Iron in diet is present in ferric state which is reduced to ferrous during absorption, with the help of Vitamin C, glutathione and amino acid -SH groups. After entering the mucosal cell in ferrous form, the iron molecules are soon reconverted into ferric state, which combine with a protein, apoferritin of the mucosal cells to form ferritin. Such ferritin is one of the storage forms of iron in the tissues, which passes into the blood. This ferritn iron gets reduced into ferrous from with the help of Vitamin C and enters the blood stream. After entering the blood stream this ferrous iron is re-oxidized into ferric from unde the chemical action of copper-binding protein ceruloplasmin, and combines with iron binding globulin transferrin or iderophilin of the plasma. Thus the Transferrin iron complex is the transport form of iron of the plasma and is transported to the different tissues of the body. The protein-bound iron in the plasma per 100 ml is about 120-140 mcg in males, and 90-120 mcg in females. The total iron-binding capacity is about 300-360 mcg per 100 ml in both sexes.

The absorption of iron depends upon

1) Iron requirement of the individual eg increased during growth, anaemias, menstruation pregnancy, haemorrhage, etc.

2) Form of iron compound eg the inorganic form of ferric available in food is to be converted into organic ferrous form for best absorption.

3) Reaction of the gastro intestinal tract eg, the acidity of gastric juice helps liberalization of iron from organic compounds of diet, and reduction from ferric to ferrous form of iron. Thus absorption is retarded by low gastric acidity, excess mucus, administration of alkalies.

4) Vitamin C and Calcium eg, Vitamin C helps in lowering the ferric to ferrous state for absorption of iron form food. Small amount of Calcium decreases the formation of insoluble iron phosphates and thus promote absorption, but large amounts of calcium inhibit assimilation.

5) Pigments ie, Chlorophyll and bile pigments increase the absorption of iron.

The rate of absorption of iron depends on the iron requirement for haemoglobin synthesis. After a single dose of iron, serum iron rises in 30 mts reaching to maximum in 3-5 hrs (0.35 mg%) compared to normal 0.10 mg%), returning to normal in 12 hours, and completing the maximum absorption in 18 hrs. Haemoglobin in the blood falls when iron loss thats of iorn absorption and anemia developments.

The functions of Iorn consist of

1) Formation of haemoglobin (Hb) by synthesis which is its primary function.

2) Development of red cells by their formation and maturation.

3) Carrying of Oxygen in blood in the form of Hb; 1 gm of Hb carries about 1.34 ml of oxygen.

4) Tissue oxidation as cytochrome and indophenol oxidase is iron-containing compounds concerned with the oxidation of metabolites in the cells.

5) Supply of Oxygen to the muscle, as the myoglobin of muscle is an iron-containing chromoprotein like haeemoglomin, which compounds will oxygen and acts as an oxygen store for muscle.

6) Cell nucleus function, the chromatin of the nucleus contains iron which takes an active part (may be oxidative) in the functions of nuclei,

7) Oxidation in nerve cells, as nissl granules in the cytoplasm of the nerve cells contain organically combined iron, which serves an essential role in oxidation. Their granules disappear during activity of the nerve cells, and reappear during rest.

8) Prevents fatigue and aids growth. Iron increases resistance to stress and disease.

Deficiency Indicators: Nutrients like iron, folic acid, and vitamin B-12 are required to avoid nutritional anemia. About 80% of the total anaemic cases are due to lack of iron. Iron deficiency anemia is a neglected tragedy. Also, unlike other nutrition deficiencies, anemia is not visible. Iron deficiency causes secondary anemia (hypochromic), as the haemoglobin content of the red cells is lowered. The size and volume of the red cells get reduced. Milk anemia does not even send out warning signals.

However when it gets worse you may feel fatigued, lethargic, vulnerable to infections and irritable. The deficiency of iron results in lowered resistance to disease, general run out, pale complexion, shortness of breath on exertion, loss of interest in sex, mental depression, and irritability. The iron status can be evaluated by measurement of serum ferritin. The normal value of haemoglobin levels is 12 gm / dl for women and 13 gm / dl for men. (1 dl = 100ml)

Iron deficiency is commonly seen along growing children, menstruating and pregnant women, and anyone suffering from parasitic diseases such as hookworms, and malaria. Excessive physical activity or exercise can also make a person anaemic as the body uses up more iron. With iron deficiency you might feel colder than others and take time to warm up, as in this condition your body may produce low thyroid hormone (which is one of its heat regulators). Know more about Iron- Functions and its deficiency

What is This PCOS and is it Why Are You Not Getting Pregnant?

PCOS stands for Polycistic Ovarian Syndrome and is more common than you might think in childbearing women. It is actually a significant problem in infertility cases, affecting 1 in 15 women, and as high as 10% of females in some studies. PCOS and infertility have been a major focus for sometime now in the medical arena, to better determine how best to address symptoms and develop treatments.

To achieve reproduction, the hormonal balance must be correct in the woman's body and produce equally for ovulation. PCOS results from the imbalance of hormones that in turn affect other hormones in an ingoing cycle. A number of consequences result from this occurrence. For example, cysts form on the surface of now enlarged ovaries. This can create further hormonal production issues, but otherwise may not be harmful. It should be noted that PCOS is commonly handed down from either side of the family.

In addition, the body exclusively produces high levels of the male hormone, androgen, and this process can also lead to insulin resistance. Neither of these is positive. A female with androgen excess can develop excess hair growth on face and body, as well as acne. In normal menstruation, the egg holding follicles develop within the ovaries and at the proper time, release eggs, causing ovulation. Excess androgen can restrict this process.

Unfortunately, diabetes can result when blood sugar increases, due to the body not using the insulin well. So, as is evident here, PCOS causes the hormone imbalance, resulting in excess androgen, which can result extremely in diabetes, as well as infertility. Not a good thing, and as you can see a complicated process.

So how do you know if PCOS is causing your infertility? First realize that many women may be experiencing PCOS and not even know. The symptoms can vary in each case and usually develop slowly overtime. It may start at puberty after menstrual cycles begin. First signs may be the excess hair, but also unusual gain, high blood pressure, pelvic pain, poor sleep and even depression are common. Secondly, if you have been diagnosed with PCOS, it is almost a given that is the cause of your infertility and treatments will be designed accordingly.

Typically, with PCOS, the key concern is infertility, however all of the symptoms are generally treated according to appropriate procedures, addressing acne, hair growth, insulin levels and obesity. Although the exact cause of PCOS and the hormone problem is unknown, diagnosis is straightforward and treatment of the symptoms is usually successful.

Since there is no known cure for PCOS, the treatments have to be focused on the symptoms, which typically adjusts the hormones and alleviates most concerns. The hormone issue is addressed through drugs such as Metformin, which improves insulin absorption and helps adjust menstrual cycle and even restore fertility. Of course, focusing on normal health concerns such as smoking, eating healthy, exercise and weightl oss will help. In fact, sometimes weight control alone can improve hormonal balance and alleviate infertility.

To assist the process, fertility treatments are usually required and may include IVF, IVM, surgery and drugs. Maybe you will only require drugs such as Clomid, which are commonly administrated to enhance levels of estrogen and promote ovulation. Between 30-40% of PCOS women will conceive from such drug therapy. If not, in vitro fertilization (IVF) will probably be tried next, in which the mature eggs are harvested, fertilized and placed in the uterus. Another common procedure, is IVM, or in vitro maturation, where the harvested eggs are matured in the lab, then fertilized and implanted in the uterus. Surgery to remove the actual cysts on the ovaries may be used if these other treatments are unresponsive.

So yes, there is no question PCOS may be the key cause of your infertility. The important thing is to know it is easily diagnosed and highly treatable, as has been proven by literally thousands of couples. You too can join their ranks.

Folliculitis – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Folliculitis is the name given to a group of skin conditions. Folliculitis is defined histologically as the presence of inflammatory cells. Folliculitis is the infection of hair follicles. This can occur anywhere on the skin or scalp. It may be superficial or deep, and it causes the formation of a pustule or inflammatory nodule surrounding the hair. The inflammation can be either limited to the superficial aspect of the follicle with primary involvement of the infundibulum or the inflammation can affect both the superficial and deep aspects. Severe cases may cause permanent hair loss and scarring, and even mild folliculitis can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Folliculitis may arise as hairs regrow after shaving, waxing, electrolysis or plucking. Swabs taken from the pustules are sterile i.e. there is no growth of bacteria or other organisms.

It is usually caused by bacteria. Common superficial form of infectious folliculitis is known as impetigo of Bockhart or barbers itch and is caused by Staphylococcus aureus. It can also be caused by yeast and another type of fungus. Folliculitis caused by a fungus is most often seen in people who have trouble fighting infections because they have an impaired immune system. There are also forms of folliculitis which are non-infectious such as those caused by tars, oils and greases that come into contact with the skin. The lesions are seen in the bearded area, often on the upper lip near the nose, as erythematous follicular-based papules or pustules that may rupture and leave a yellow crust. The pustule is often pierced by a hair that is easily extracted from the follicle. This form of folliculitis may occur more commonly in staphylococcal nasal carriers.

Causes of Folliculitis

1. Friction from shaving.

2. Follicular trauma.

3. Excessive perspiration.

4. Occlusion.

5. Inflammatory skin conditions.

Symptoms of Folliculitis

1. Pain.

2. Erythema (inflammation and redness of the skin).

3. Edema.

4. Yellow pus-filled lesions.

5. Small pimples.

Treatment of Folliculitis

Hot tub folliculitis rarely requires treatment, although your doctor may prescribe an oral or topical medication to help relieve itching (anti-pruritic). If the patient is immunocompromised or the lesions are persistent oral ciprofloxacin may be given. Topical antibiotics, such as bacitracin with polymyxin B, may be administered. Fusidic acid is available both as a cream and as an ointment. You should apply it thinly on to the infected area 3-4 times daily.Mupirocin is available both as a cream and an ointment. You should apply it thinly on the affected area 3 times a day for up to 10 days. It may be used on all ages except for in the USA where the Bactroban nasal ointment is not recommended for children under the age of 12. Eosinophilic folliculitis therapies are effective against eosinophilic folliculitis, but topical corticosteroids are often the treatment of choice. Applying moist heat compresses to the local area helps promote vasodilation (dilation of the blood vessels) and drainage from the lesions. Keeping skin clean, dry, and free from abrasions or irritation can help prevent folliculitis. More severe cases may require treatment with isotretinoin (Accutane) for several months.