What is Brain Fog?

by Anthony Carter on May 23, 2011

brain fogMost of us will have the occasional day when we are not mentally at our best. Brain fog though is an obvious drop in the level of our mental clarity. It is called brain fog because it is like a cloud has entered our minds and we just can no longer see things as clearly as usual. This type of confusion is actually quite common, and it can be due to a number of different factors. When this type of mental difficulty remains for an extended period of time it can lead to depression.  It is important to always investigate such symptoms because they can be so debilitating.

So what is Brain Fog?

Brain fog is not talked about much as a symptom of mental health problems because it is so subjective. There are no real tests available to establish that people are experiencing such a symptom. There is no doubting though that it exists and that it can be extremely debilitating. Some individuals are unlucky enough to suffer from this type of fogginess for most of their lives. It can take a lot of the enjoyment out of life but those who experience might just accept it as normal.

The person experiencing this symptom can feel forgetful and a bit detached from reality. Such an individual may have problems at school or at work. It is also claimed that some people who experience brain fog may be attracted to criminality. They just can’t seem to concentrate on those things that they need to be focusing on. This person might realize that there is something wrong with their thinking but they often just can’t put the problems into words. People can be labeled as lacking in intelligence when the real problem is that they are suffering from this type of condition.

What Causes Brain Fog?

There have been many suggested reasons for why people might experience brain fog. The most common cause is said to be biochemical imbalances and bad nutrition. These imbalances impact the central nervous system. There can also be physical reasons or emotional reasons for why people experience this symptom. For example, if we are very tired it can make it harder to think straight. Those who suffer from a lot of stress or are involved in substance abuse can also begin to experience such difficulties. It has also been claimed that some people may almost choose to enter into such a fog because they just can’t deal with what is going on in their life.

The treatment for brain fog will always depend on the exact cause. In some cases it will just require a change in diet or improved coping strategies for dealing with stress. It can also be that there are deeper emotional reasons for such symptoms so it may be necessary to have some type of counseling sessions. In some cases there can be physical reasons for the problem and these will also need to be investigated. The real difficult is that some individuals may not even realize that they are suffering from the problem.

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What Is Red Light Therapy?

by Anthony Carter on May 20, 2011

red light therapyDifferent types of light therapy are now used for the treatment of various conditions. One of the most popular is red light therapy. There is evidence that using this regularly can help to stimulate the body’s immune system and help reduce the symptoms of various maladies. There is also the claim that this type of therapy can help reduce wrinkles due to aging. This type of treatment is available from a qualified therapist or some people even buy their own light therapy devices.

How Does Red Light Therapy Work?

It might seem odd to those who have never considered it that different color lights would have an impact on our health. Most of us will appreciate that a bit of sunlight is good for health, but light therapy might sound a bit odd. In fact there is a lot of evidence that this type of therapy is effective. In fact, people have been using it since ancient Greece. In modern times there have been some impressive improvements in technology and it has become an accepted part of western medicine. For instance, babies who are born with jaundice will be routinely put under a special lamp because this will resolve the problem.

Red light therapy works by activating adenosine triphospate (ATP) in the muscle tissues. ATP is a unit of energy that the body needs to keep functioning. Red light therapy frees up more of this energy and so the body can put it to good use. This light also has the effect of loosening up blood vessels and other types of tissue. It is usual to point the red light at the part of the body that is experiencing a problem. So if you have a headache the red light will be directed towards your forehead. It is believed that the treatment makes blood move smoother which can help to reduce the stress in the area and thus the headache.

Red light therapy is commonly used for a number of different conditions including:

  • Depression
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Skin problems such as acne
  • Facial ticks
  • Headaches
  • Symptoms of stress
  • Wound healing
  • Wrinkle removal

Red Light Therapy Treatments

Most people who use this type of therapy will attend a clinic. The number of sessions required will very much depend on the nature of the ailment. In most instances the sessions won’t last very long; usually less than 5 minutes. Sometimes there may be multiple sessions with the red light therapy within a single visit to the clinic; there will be a rest period between each period under the light. There are some people who buy their own red light therapy system but caution is a must. Any system should be FDA approved and the instructions followed exactly.

Red light therapy can be a useful treatment that has a proven track record. We have been benefiting from light therapy for thousands of years and we are sure to continue to do so well into the future.

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How to Get Canker Sores

by Anthony Carter on May 17, 2011

If you like the idea of having painful sores on the inside of your mouth then just read on. Canker sores are also known as Aphthous ulcers. About one in five of us will experience this condition at some point during our lives. If these odds don’t seem attractive enough for you then there are things you can do to increase your chances of getting these ulcers. Don’t blame me though if people don’t want to kiss you and it feels like someone has just punched you in the mouth.

The Symptoms and Causes of Canker Sores

There are a number of conditions that could be mistaken as canker sores so we will look a bit closer at the symptoms of this condition. There are actually three types of these sores and they vary in severity. The minor sores are the most common; these can be as small as 1mm in diameter and disappear after about a week. Herpetiform ulcers are made up of a number of minor cankers. Major Canker sores can be 10 times the size of the minor ones and they can take up to four times as long to heal. These ulcers are found on the movable parts of your mouth in most instances.

There is confusion about the exact cause of these Aphthous ulcers. It is believed that there can be a number of different factors involved including environmental and hereditary.  Females are more prone to them than men. Some folk have allergies that make them more susceptible to these sores. There are also those individuals who have a faulty immune system and this can cause the sores to appear. In a lot of cases there will be no obvious reason for why the sores have appeared.

How to Get Canker Sores

As mentioned above the causes of canker sores are not fully understood but there are things you can do to increase your chances of getting them.

  • If you have poor nutrition then this will greatly increase your chances of getting canker sores. In particular if you avoid iron, Vitamin B12, and folic acid you will greatly increase your chances of getting these ulcers. Just be prepared though, because lack of these vitamins can make you feel sick in many different ways.
  • Smoking cigarettes is viewed as increasing your risk of developing these mouth ulcers. When it comes to ill-health it seems that you really can’t do better than cigarettes.
  • If you wear dentures then this too can increase your risk of developing this condition. So if you stop taking care of your teeth there may be a nice pair of dentures in your future and maybe even some nice canker sores to go along with it.
  • If you have a lot of stress in your life then this too can increase your chances of developing these sores. So make sure that you keep your stress levels at maximum levels and don’t do anything to bring them down.

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What is a Sociopath?

by Anthony Carter on May 16, 2011

Although the word ‘sociopath’ is still commonly used in everyday speech, it is no longer really used by those in the medical field. Instead this condition is referred to as antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). It often occurs that the words ‘sociopath’ and ‘psychopath’ are used interchangeably in common speech, but these are two different types of antisocial personality disorder.

So what is a Sociopath?

Antisocial personality disorder refers to a pattern of behavior where there is an almost constant disregard for other people. This type of behavior usually first becomes noticeable in childhood. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) provides the following criteria for ASPD:

  • When the individual hurts another there is a lack of remorse
  • The person does not conform with the expected norms of society
  • They will tend to be very impulsive and not consider the consequences of their actions
  • They are very prone to deception and will have no qualms about lying to others
  • This type of individual is prone to aggression and violence
  • They perform badly at work
  • This person will have no concern about the safety of other people
  • This antisocial behavior will have become noticeable before the age of 15
  • The individual does not have another mental health condition that could be causing the behavior

The person with ASPD will behave very antisocially and this is what gets them noticed. If such behavior can be treated when they are young they can learn to function a lot better in society.

Sociopath Diagnosis

Although the symptoms of ASPD can be quite extreme it can actually be very difficult to diagnose sometimes. This is because some individuals can become very good at disguising their antisocial behavior and might even become very charismatic. On the outside this person might appear as very friendly and even funny, but this is just something that they use to disguise their true thoughts and actions. This individual uses their charisma to get close to people so that they can play out their antisocial impulses more effectively.

Sociopaths tend to be drawn to high risk behaviors such as alcohol or drug abuse. Such an individual will have no qualms about taking illegal drugs as the rules of society do not seem to apply to them. The sociopath will usually suffer from low self-esteem but they can escape these feelings by self-medicating. This person is attracted to any type of risky behavior and so heavy drinking and drug abuse will be highly appealing.

Causes and Treatment of Sociopaths

There is still debate about the exact causes of ASPD but it is believed to be a mix of environmental and genetic factors. Those who grow up in homes where there is a parent with ASPD will be more likely to develop it. It is also the case that peer groups can have similar influences. The most usual way to treat the condition is through counseling and group therapy sessions.

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How to Get a Staph Infection

by Anthony Carter on May 10, 2011

Staphylococcus (staph) is a type of bacteria that can cause a lot of problems for humans. It can be the cause of many different diseases and some of them can even be deadly. If you enjoy living on the edge and have no qualms about felling terribly ill then you just might want to get a staph infection. The good news is that this type of infection is very common so you should have no problem picking it up.

What is a Staph Infection?

Before we go into the crazy topic of how to get a staphylococcus infection it might be worthwhile to have a closer look at this fascinating germ. You may be surprised to learn that staph isn’t just one bacterium but instead refers to a whole group of different bacteria which are all capable of creating different types of mischief. The name of staphylococcus comes from the Greek language and means ‘grapes’. This is not because staph taste anything like grapes but they do sort of look like this fruit when examined under the microscope – although you do need a bit of imagination to appreciate the similarity. Staphylococcus tends to be highly contagious and this makes the job of those who want to host this germ a lot easier.

The number of diseases and conditions that are caused by staph infection is impressive. They include:

  • Skin infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Cellulites
  • Food poisoning
  • Sepsis
  • Toxic shock syndrome
  • MRSA
  • Eye infections
  • VRSA
  • Endocarditis
  • Neonatal sepsis
  • Impetigo

The above are just some of the problems cause by staph infections – we could go on all day.

How to Get a Staph Infection

Now that you have been suitably impressed by the damage that this type of bacteria can cause, you will likely want to know how to get it. Here are just a few suggestions:

  • As we have already mentioned staph infections tend to be highly contagious so if you know somebody that has one of these infections you should get close to them. Having a lot of close physical contact with somebody with Staphylococcus diseases is probably the number one thing you can do if you want to become similarly sick.
  • If you stop washing your hands then this can greatly increase your chances of getting staph. This will work particularly well if you are in contact with infected people.
  • If you are a woman you should leave your tampon in as long as possible during menstruation. This will increase your chances of attracting this bacteria and toxic shock syndrome will be highly likely.
  • If you eat the wrong type of food and don’t exercise it will help weaken your immune system. You will then be less able to defend against a staph infection which is good news for you.
  • Move to a country where they overprescribe antibiotics and take as much of this medication as possible. This will lower your resistance and your prize could be MRSA or even the more deadly VRSA.

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How Can I Get Rid Of An Ingrown Toenail?

by Anthony Carter on May 9, 2011

An Ingrown ToenailAn ingrown toenail can be painful. It can make life difficult and it could even lead to a serious infection; this type of problem is becoming more common and it is believed to be due to wearing shoes that are too tight. Luckily if you deal with the problem quickly it can often be handled without the need to visit the professionals. If you let things go on too long though you may need to see a podiatrist and receive appropriate treatment. Although it is possible for any toenail to become ingrown it is most often something that occurs with the big toe.

What Causes an Ingrown Toenail?

An ingrown toenail occurs when a sharp edge of the toenail digs into the skin. This not only leads to a lot of pain but also to inflammation; the area will usually become red and swollen and may feel hot to the touch. The toe may react to this damage by growing extra tissue which can further exacerbate the problem. If the area becomes infected then this can lead to pus coming from the side of the toenail. In some cases it will cause an abscess which may require surgical intervention. In rare cases things get so bad that the bone becomes infected and this is a very serious situation.

As we have already mentioned wearing shoes that fit too tightly can cause an ingrown toenail, but this is not the only reason we get them. Another common cause is that we don’t cut our toenails correctly. We cut them at a curve around the toe when we should be cutting them straight across. It is also a bad idea to cut your toenails too short. It is also possible to get an ingrown toenail if we have injured our toe. A good example of this is when we stub our toe on something.

How to Deal with an Ingrown Toenail

So long as the ingrown toenail has not been ignored for too long it should be possible to treat it at home, but if there are any signs of infection though, this might not be possible. If you are unsure the best advice is to just go and see a podiatrist.

If you are confident that your ingrown toenail is not too bad then you could try the following. Soak your foot in warm salted water two times a day; if you have time you can make this more often. By doing this you will reduce the swelling and soften the toenail. After you have soaked the area and for a few minutes you can lightly pat of the area to dry. Then you should apply some antiseptic cream as this will hopefully prevent any type of infection from developing. You should then get some cotton wool and place it under the toenail where it is growing into the skin. If you do this every day then eventually the nail should grow away from the skin.

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What is Gamma Globulin?

by Anthony Carter on May 6, 2011

Gamma globulin is found in the blood. It is also called immunoglobulin and it is a type of protein. It is also a type of antibody that helps the body fight disease. Gamma globulin can even be taken from one individual and given to another in order to help them boost their own immune system. This can then be used to prevent disease or combat a disease already present in the body. Immunoglobulin is not only to be found in humans; it is also present in most mammals.

How Gamma Globulin Works

This type of antibody is usually administered by injection. It is effective in those situations where the individual’s immune system does not have the necessary antibodies to combat a disease. When we get a disease the body will develop antibodies to fight against it. This means that should the same disease attack in the future the body will have resistance in the form of these proteins. Of course if the individual has not had the disease then they will not have the resistance. Gamma globulin offers temporary resistance because it contains the proteins to fight the disease.

The way it all works can be better understood with the aid of an example. If an individual has had measles their body will have produced gamma globulin which will provide resistance if they come in further contact with the disease. This protein could be passed onto another individual by way of injection and this would temporarily pass on immunity to them. Nowadays we have a lot more vaccines than in the past so there is less need to use other people’s antibodies to fight individual diseases. Instead gamma globulin is mostly used to help people who have problems with their immune system.

Another way that this antibody is used is to treat immunological diseases. Sometimes the immune system can malfunction and this leads to a situation where it is attacking itself. A good example of this is Thrombocytopenic purpura. Here the immune system can attack platelets and this is dangerous because these are needed for blood clotting. By using immunoglobulin though, this immune system attack on the body is stopped.

Dangers of Gamma Globulin

If the body has too much immunoglobulin then this can also be problematic. It is often the sigh of damaged immune system. This could be caused by a disease such as HIV or cancer. When gamma globulin is too high in the body it is referred to as hypergammaglobulinemia. Another possible danger with these injections is that it could possible lead to heart problems. This is why those who are undergoing this treatment will be monitored and told to inform the doctor of any strange reactions right away. Most of those who have these injections won’t have to deal with any adverse reactions.

Gamma globulin is an important part of our immune defenses. Sometimes our own immunity is not enough to fight off disease but luckily we can benefit from the immunoglobulin of other people.

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How to Get Sleep Apnea

by Anthony Carter on May 3, 2011

If you like the idea of frightening your sleeping partner each night then one way to achieve this is sleep apnea. This condition means that breathing while sleeping changes so much that anyone listening might think you have just passed over to the other side. It is usual for people with this condition to have their breathing to stop for more than 10 seconds at a time; sometimes a lot more. This will keep your partner on edge as they wait to hear if you are ever going to start breathing again. In this article we will examine ways to develop sleep apnea but first we will have a closer look at what it actually is.

What is Sleep Apnea?

In its most basic terms sleep apnea refers to a condition that interferes with the airflow of breathing during sleep. The word ‘apnea’ means no breath and it refers to those times when the individual appears to have stopped breathing. Sometime sleep apnea can be diagnosed even though the breathing hasn’t stopped completely for long periods, but instead just become so shallow that oxygen levels within the blood stream fall to alarming rates. While sleep apnea does not generally lead to death it does lead to increase the risk of other conditions such as heart failure, insulin resistance, and high blood pressure. Some people with this condition are required to wear a special mask at night to keep the airflow moving smoothly.

How to Get Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can be a dangerous condition and if you want to develop it you really should get your head examined. There is surely better ways to annoy and worry people who sleep with you. On the other hand I’m not here to judge so what follows is some instructions for how to get sleep apnea. If you don’t have a screw loose then you could just do the opposite of what is recommended here and reduce your risk of developing it.

  • Obesity is commonly associated with sleep apnea. All that extra fat puts more pressure on the respiratory tract when you are asleep and could make it more likely that the airflow is obstructed. So if you want to develop this condition just keep on piling on the pounds.
  • Some people will develop brief periods of this condition due to the common cold or flu. This type of infection tends to be opportunistic but if we don’t take care of our body’s then it makes our immune system weak and so we are more likely to pick this type of thing up. So make sure you eat poorly and avoid exercise and that way you increase your chances of apnea while you snooze.
  • It is believed that glaucoma can sometimes lead to sleep apnea; although it is quite rare. Still, if you develop diabetes through poor diet and an generally unhealthy lifestyle this can increase your chances of developing glaucoma which in turn might lead to sleep apnea.

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What is a Lobotomy?

by Anthony Carter on May 2, 2011

The brain is the most complex part of our anatomy and for a long time it was a complete mystery. Since the 1950s though, we have learned a lot more about this part of the body and we have more options to deal with problems originating from it. The most well known type of brain surgery is the lobotomy. This involves removing or damaging a part of the brain known as the frontal cortex.  During the forties and fifties there were almost 20,000 lobotomies performed. Hardly any are performed these days.

Although we tend to associate the lobotomy with the middle part of the 20th century it was actually performed back in the 19th century. It is believed to have been first attempted in Switzerland back in 1892. The results of this early attempt at this surgery failed to impress but within fifty years the technique was refined.

Reasons for a Lobotomy

These days the lobotomy is not such a popular procedure. It can take away an individual’s whole personality and there are usually better options for most problems. It was once common to use this procedure to deal with behavioral issues such as depression and schizophrenia. The aim was to cut out the part of the brain where the problem was occurring from. As well as removing the problem though, this procedure also destroyed a lot more in the process.

Although these days we can view the lobotomy as cruel and unnecessary it is possible to understand why they were once attractive as a treatment option. This surgery could have great results in dealing with unwanted behavior and at the time there didn’t seem to be a better option. We have learned a lot more since then though and this type of solution will hardly ever be considered, no matter how bad the behavioral problem.

The Importance of the Frontal Cortex

A lobotomy is performed on the prefrontal cortex and this is a very important part of the brain. This area of the brain is associated with behavior and personality. It is also the home of decision making and it is from here that the individual is able to make choices in regards to the most appropriate social behavior. Therefore any damage to the frontal cortex will have a profound impact on the individual and who they are.

Some Final Thoughts on the Lobotomy

Although people will tend to look back at the lobotomy as a barbaric treatment it was still an important development. It is unlikely that we would understand so much about the brain and how it affects our behavior without such surgery. Although we no longer perform a lobotomy surgeons may still destroy parts of the brain in order to help fix problems. This is known as psychosurgery and it is much more precise than just removing chunks of the brain. This new technique has helped many people without damaging their personality. Of course with all types of brain surgery there is always the risk that things will go wrong.

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What are Neutrophils?

by Anthony Carter on April 29, 2011

Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell. They are produced by bone marrow and are the most common of all white blood cells (also known as leukocytes).  They can be found in the blood stream and like other types of leukocytes they are part of the immune system. This means that they help humans battle against any type of infection. If our body is ever attacked by bacteria or other unwanted guest it will be the neutrophils that act as the first line of defense. For that reason they are very important cells.

How Neutrophils Defend the Body

Neutrophils are a type of phagocytic cell and this means that they are able to eat other cells. This destruction of other cells by ingesting them kills the neutrophils but this is why our bone marrow produces so many of them. If an intruder invades our body, these white blood cells will arrive on the scene within an hour. The neutrophils don’t actually stay alive that long; in fact if we don’t use them within 10 hours they will just self-destruct.

If you look at pus the bulk of what you are looking at will be neutrophils; it is these that give the pus its white color. They might not look very attractive but he job they do keeps us alive. They know when to defend the body because they are alerted by chemical signals within the body.  Not only can the combat infections inside the cell but also outside them and on our skin. They manage to do this by producing a net of fibers called the neutrophil extracellular trap (NET). As they kill invaders the neutrophils produce a toxic chemical that can also kill other undesirables.

What Happens If We Don’t Have Enough Neutrophils?

Some people don’t have enough neutrophils and this can make life difficult.  It means that their immune system is compromised and so unable to do its job properly. This situation is referred to as neutropenia. Some people may be born with this type of problem or it can also be something that is acquired by a disease process such as leukemia or anemia. Those who are undergoing chemotherapy are at increased risk of neutropenia. The fact that these people have a weak immune system means that they are more susceptible to any opportunistic infection.

As well as not having enough neutrophils it can also occur that people have such cells that aren’t working properly. If this is the case then it could lead to the situation where these white blood cells actually start to attack the body. The immune system can overreact and cause damage to itself in the process.

Some Final Thoughts on Neutrophils

Neutrophils are a vital element of our immune system. Without them we would be open to every passing infection and would struggle to stay alive. The next time you see some pus escaping a wound you may want to be grateful that these cells have being doing such a superb job.

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How to Get Pink Eye

by Anthony Carter on April 26, 2011

pink eyeIf you want to stand out in a crowd then pink eye would certainly be a way to achieve this. This bloodshot eye look can vary in severity. You might look like you have just got back from on all night drinking session or it might appear as if you have just gone 10 rounds with a boxing champion. If you like the idea of people gasping in horror when they see your face then pink eye will certainly be a great asset.

What is Pink Eye?

Those who have attended a fancy medical school will usually refer to pink eye as Conjunctivitis. This is because it is an inflammation of a membrane on the eye called the conjunctiva. This is the membrane that goes over the white part of your eye as well as inside the eyelids. When this tissue is irritated in any way it responds by becoming inflamed and leads to the pink eye effect that we are trying to create here. Although it is called pink eye it can often be a ghastly bright red. The symptoms will also usually include eye pain, swelling, and possibly even a green discharge – yuck.

How to Get Pink Eye

There are some who would question the sanity of anyone who deliberately wants to get pink eye. It takes all sorts though so here is the information you need to achieve your goal. Of course if you are part of the majority of people who would not like to have to deal with this symptom you can still benefit from the information here; just the opposite of what is recommended. Here are just a few tips for how to get pink eye:

  • If you have any type of flu or chest infection you should try to introduce this to the eye. You could achieve this by frequently touching your face and not washing your hands when you cough into them. When it comes to pink eye viral or bacterial infection will do; although you might want to try for viral as this can be harder to treat.
  • If you suffer from allergies then you have an advantage when it comes to pink eye. Make sure that you get close to your favourite allergens and they will soon have your eyeball itching like crazy. Just be warned though that this can be one of the most uncomfortable forms of pink eye and you may develop the urge to scratch your eye right out.
  • If you get certain chemicals in your eye it will lead to irritation and cause the inflammatory response known as pink eye. There are many types of chemicals that can do this including household cleaners and sprays. You can also achieve the same results by dancing in the smog or other industrial pollutants.

Once you get red eye you may find that it is not as fun as you expected. If this is the case then you will be best seeking medical treatment.

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What Is the Best Keloid Scar Treatment?

by Anthony Carter on April 25, 2011

Keloid ScarKeloid scars can be difficult to deal with. This type of scaring will usually occur because the skin has been cut open due to some type of trauma. Some of these scars are easier to manage than others, and there are a number of different treatment options available. The best type of treatment to choose will always depend on the extent of the scaring.

What is a Keloid Scar?

When the skin is injured the body will attempt to itself by using a type of tissue called collagen to cover the wound. Using this scar tissue just covers the wound and will tend to become less noticeable over time. Sometimes though, the collagen can continue to grow so that it starts to affect surrounding tissue. This is referred to as a Keloid scar and they can lead to a noticeable skin overgrowth that is larger than the original wound. Sometimes these scars can be very noticeable and they may start to interfere with a person’s ability to enjoy life. This type of scaring tends to look quite shiny and no hair will be able to grow on it.

It appears that there may be a hereditary element to developing keloid scaring. It also seems to occur most often to non-Caucasians. Females are more likely to get the condition than males. It is most often for this type of scaring to appear on the earlobe.

What Is the Best Keloid Scar Treatment?

There are a number of different keloid scar treatment options available. The first option that your doctor is likely to try is a steroid injection to the area. This can be effective but it may require a number of different treatments spread over a year. Those patients who have darker skin can also find that the steroid treatment noticeably changes their skin color in the area of the scar. These injections will not work for everyone and other options will need to be examined.

Sometimes the best option will be to just surgically remove the scar. It involves an incision into the skin to remove the keloid growth. In some cases this will not prove successful as further growth can occur after surgery. This is why it is usual for doctors to try other alternatives instead. This is because the operation will involve causing more trauma and thus lead to more scar formation.  In order to prevent this it will sometimes be necessary to combine excision of the keloid with radiation therapy. This option will only be used in those cases where there really does not seem to be any other option.

Choosing the Best Keloid Scar Treatment

A doctor will be able to advice you as to your best options in regards to this type of treatment. A lot of people will need minimal intervention and a few steroid injections may be all that is required. Hopefully more research into the condition will mean new treatments and knowledge about how to prevent these scars occurring in the first place.

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What is Myalgia?

by Anthony Carter on April 22, 2011

Myalgia is a symptom that can be caused by a number of diseases and conditions. It refers to muscle pain and it is something that almost all of us will get to experience at some time or other. It can occur in any of the muscle groups and in most instances it won’t be the sign of anything too serious. Myalgia can sometimes be a sign of something more sinister and this is why it is important to get medical advice if we seem to be getting this symptom frequently or if it doesn’t seem to go away.

What Causes Myalgia?

In a lot of cases this symptom will be caused by overusing or straining a muscle. It often happens when people start a new exercise routine or they work out too hard; you usually isn’t anything too serious but it may be a sign that we need to slow down.  There are also a number of other possible causes for this symptom including:

  • An infection can cause this type of muscle pain. Anyone who has had a bad flu may have experienced this but it could also occur with more serious infections.
  • Lyme disease occurs following a bite from a tick. It leads to inflammation in the body and one of the symptoms is usually Myalgia.
  • Lupus is a disease that interferes with the body’s immune system. It can cause lots of problems in the body including muscle pain.
  • Stress has been associated with the development of this type of symptom. Those of us who take on too much or feel that life is getting on top of us can start to experience pains like this in the body.
  • Cocaine abuse has been associated with causing this symptom.
  • If we have poor nutrition then we might experience this muscle discomfort; especially if we are lacking the potassium or calcium.
  • Malaria and dengue fever are both caused by mosquito bites and these conditions can lead to Myalgia.
  • If the muscle is injured in any way then this too could cause the symptom.

How to Treat Myalgia

The way to deal with this type of muscle pain will always depend on the underlying cause. If we have overused the muscle, or stretched it too far, then the treatment can involve rest and the use of hot or cold packs. We can also get relief from taking anti-inflammatory drugs.  We can also sometimes find that massage will help ease the discomfort. If the symptom is due to an infection then it will usually be cleared by prescribed antibiotics.

Sometimes Myalgia can be a sign that something serious is wrong. If we have muscle pain that lasts for longer than 3 days then we should always seek medical attention. If we have muscle pain around the neck area and this is accompanied by fever then we need to seek treatment right away. It is particularly important that any child complaining of this type of symptom should be taking to see their doctor because it could indicate meningitis.

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How to Make Sure You Snore Every Night?

by Anthony Carter on April 19, 2011

snoreIf you like the idea of making a lot of noise in bed then you will probably feel proud of your snoring abilities. This type of symptom can be a bit distressing for those who have to live with, but we will often be able to sleep right through it. Of course, if you manage to become a really accomplished snorer then you may even wake yourself up with the noise. There is a lot you can do to make sure that you snore every night, but first it might help if we look a bit closer at what snoring actually is.

What is Snoring?

Put simply, snoring is the movement of air passing through our nose and throat. This air is turbulent and it causes vibration in the tissues as it passes and it is this that makes the snoring sound. Snoring is extremely common and it is believed that up to 50% of men snore regularly and 30% of women. Even those who don’t usually snore will tend to do so if they have any type of viral infection or if they drink too much alcohol.

How to Make Sure You Snore Every Night

Even though a lot of us have no difficulty snoring there will be some who feel left out. Here are just a few tips to make sure that you snore every time you drift off to dreamland. Incidentally, if you don’t want to punish that person sharing your bed you could try doing the opposite of what is suggested here.

  • As we have already mentioned, it is common for people who drink too much to snore. So if you were to become a habitual drunk then you would greatly increase your chances of snoring every night. Of course all that alcohol is also going to have a devastating toll on your physical and mental health, but if your priority is to snore then you might be willing to put up with this.
  • Smoking cigarettes is also likely to increase your chances of snoring at night. This is because the habit leads to nasal congestion and throat swelling which will usually lead to snoring.
  • Obesity and lack of exercise are a winning combination for those who want to snore their heads off. This works because it leads to fat building up around the throat area and thus providing plenty of tissue to vibrate. More fat around the neck also means poor muscle tone in that area and this will further increase the chances that you are going to snore he hose down.
  • A simple way to increase your chances of snoring is to sleep on your back. There is a lot of research that shows that sleeping on your side means you are less likely to snore. So if you want to make a bit of noise spread yourself flat on your back and wait for that beautiful sound to begin.
  • Sleep medication is also good for enthusiastic snorers; as well as relaxing your body it also relaxes the muscle tone in the throat.

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What Is Blood Thinner?

by Anthony Carter on April 18, 2011

Platelets and clots formationClots forming in the blood stream can be dangerous. They may block blood vessels and this can lead to a heart attack, or a cardiovascular accident (stroke). These clots appear in the blood stream due to too many platelets. Some people are more susceptible to blood clot formation and this is why they may require blood thinner medication.

Why Too Many Platelets Lead to Blood Clots

Platelets are needed for our survival. In fact if they fall too low we could bleed to death from even a small cut. The ability of platelets to form clots allows the body to repair broken tissue, but this ability is also potentially harmful if platelets build up and cause clots inside the body that can block blood vessels. It is vital that humans are able to have platelets at the right levels within the body because having them too high or too low can be dangerous.

What is Blood Thinner Medication?

This type of medication is also referred to as an anti-coagulant. There are many different examples of this type of drug but the most famous of all is Aspirin. It works by reducing the number of platelets in the blood stream and thus making it less likely for clots to occur. For a lot of people with coagulation problems the only medication they will ever require is half a tablet of Aspirin.

Aspirin is not going to be the most suitable anti-coagulant for everyone. In some cases it won’t be strong enough to do the work that is required. There can also be unwanted side effects with using this medication, and there are particular concerns when it is given regularly to children. Aspirin can cause Reye’s syndrome; a potentially fatal condition where different organs within the body are damaged.

There are many possible alternatives to Aspirin and probably the most famous of these is a drug called Wafarin. With this medication it is possible to constantly monitor the blood levels and adjust the Wafarin dosage in response to this. It is usual for the patient to be put on a regular dosage once the right combination is found. Those who take Wafarin are required to carry around a card that states that they are on this medication. If surgery or dental treatment is ever required it must be known that the individual is on this type of blood thinner. As well as Wafarin there are also a number of other new drugs available such as Plavix.

Safe Use of Blood Thinner Medication

It is important that anyone who uses blood thinner medication follows any instructions provided by their doctor. This drug could potentially cause problems if it is not used correctly. You should never make any changes to your anti coagulant therapy before first consulting your doctor. It is also not a good idea to start taking daily Aspirin unless you have been advised to do so by your health care professional. If you take this medication as prescribed though, it can greatly reduce your risk of clot related emergencies.

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