What Causes Stretch Marks During Pregnancy?
Stretch marks appear in the later stages of pregnancy when the belly is expanding in order to accommodate the growing size of the fetus. The skin has a natural ability which enables it to stretch itself without causing any damage to its tissues. However, during pregnancy, the skin is stretched so much that tears develop on the fibrous tissues that lie in the middle layer of the skin. The healing mechanism of the body can repair these tears but leaves behind scars which we see as stretch marks that refuse to go. Similar marks appear on other parts of the body as the skin of the region gets stretched due to excessive weight gain during pregnancy. The severity of the marks varies from one women to the other and it depends on their skin elasticity. The elastic properties of the skin is largely determined by the genetic makeup of the women. Thus, it can be said that genetics is one of the major factors that decides whether you will get stretch marks while pregnant or not.
How to Prevent Stretch Marks While Pregnant?
The best way to prevent stretch marks while pregnant is by providing adequate support to the skin both internally as well as externally. Here are a few helpful tips:
Eat healthy foods. During pregnancy, it is obvious that you have to eat nutritious foods to provide the right kind of nutrition to you as well as to your unborn baby. However, to improve your skin health, you have to include some specific nutrients like vitamins A, C and D, proteins and zinc. Include fruits, salads, milk, eggs and fish in your daily diet for this purpose. Take some vitamin supplements after talking to your doctor.
Stay hydrated. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water throughout the day. It keeps your skin in moist condition and nourishes it to make the skin more elastic. Moreover, water flushes out all the unwanted toxins from the body and brings about improvement in your overall skin condition.
Control your weight. The main culprit that triggers stretch marks in pregnant women is too much weight gain. 25 to 35 pounds of increase in weight is permissible but if it goes beyond that, then women are prone to stretch marks. Therefore, you have to make persistent efforts to keep your weight under control. In this condition, you have to consume extra calories for proper nourishment of the growing baby but you have to make sure that it comes from healthy nutritious foods. Stay away from unhealthy fats present in fatty foods as they contribute towards weight gain which in turn will aggravate stretch marks. Moreover, do some pregnancy exercises on a regular basis after consulting your gynecologist. This will burn out the extra calories and help you to stay in shape.
Massage the Skin. While taking a shower, gently massage all those areas where stretch marks tend to appear. You can use a loofah or a body brush or a washcloth for this purpose. This kind of massage increases blood circulation in the area so that more nutrients and water will reach there. This will reduce the chances of stretch marks.
Moisturize the skin. You should start using a good quality natural skin moisturizer on the belly and other such parts of the body right from the early stages of pregnancy. Cocoa butter is one of the most well-known remedies for stretch marks and many women have actually benefited from it. Besides, there are other options like shea butter, lanolin, vitamin E oil, wheat germ oil and so on. If you want to purchase creams or body lotions then you must opt for such products that contain one or more of these ingredients. Apply it generously at least two times in a day.
Stay away from sun and harsh weather conditions. The ultraviolet radiation from the sun robs off moisture from the skin and causes extensive damage to the skin. Therefore, you must avoid exposure to the sun. For the same reason, you should avoid using tanning bed during pregnancy. Cold weather conditions also strip off the natural oils from the skin and make it dry. So, try to avoid going outdoors in the sun and in cold weather.
Keep a watch on the skin of the problem areas closely during pregnancy on a regular basis. If you notice any red marks on the skin, then talk to your dermatologist immediately. They may prescribe tretinoin cream whose main ingredient is vitamin A. If you start applying this cream on the light marks, then you can prevent any further aggravation of the problem.
Calamine lotion is commonly used to treat various skin problems. Calamine, which contains a mixture of zinc oxide and iron(III) oxide, makes an effective topical treatment for some skin disorders. It is available as a water-based lotion, oil-based lotion and water-based cream. Calamine lotion is usually pinkish-white in color and has a creamy consistency. Though it is sold under various brand names, it’s primarily a generic drug available over-the-counter in many countries. It is a preparation which belongs to the anti-pruritics class of medicines. Now that you got an overview of what calamine lotion is, let us move on to know about its uses.
Uses of Calamine Lotion
Let me tell you that calamine lotion offers an effective remedy for eczema. Zinc oxide in this lotion has several properties, that makes it a perfect topical treatment for eczema. It is not water-soluble, absorbs moisture, and hence keeps your skin dry, which is why it is an effective cure for eczema. Apart from this, calamine has astringent and antiseptic properties which are particularly good for curing severe eczema.
If you want quick relief from acne, calamine lotion is the thing to opt for. It effectively clears off acne and even the severe form of acne, known as cystic acne. Calamine lotion when applied on acne (best before going to bed), helps soothe irritated and swollen skin. It is also known to be effective in treating blackheads, which is also a form of acne. Calamine lotion uses also include fading blemishes and dark spots.
Contact dermatitis, a skin condition that occurs when your skin comes in contact with an irritant or if you are allergic to a substance, can be treated with calamine lotion. This allergy causing substance can be just anything, from soaps and detergents to some plants as well. Calamine lotion uses include treatment of skin rash that you might get from poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. Regular application of the same soothes your skin and reduces itching. Apart from this, body rashes caused due to excessive sweating can also be treated with calamine lotion.
Sunburn often leads to itching and redness of skin. Both these problems are caused due to excessive exposure to sunrays. You will be surprised to know that calamine lotion also cures skin damage caused due to the harsh sunrays. Calamine has a cooling effect which makes it an effective treatment for this problem. It absorbs excess heat from the surface of your skin, leaves it cool and soothes itching and redness. Calamine cream absorbs UVA and UVB, and helps protect your skin from sunburn and suntan. Hence, it is a commonly used ingredient in many sunscreen products. Apart from these uses of calamine, it is also applied on minor burns.
These were some prominent uses of calamine lotion. Apart from these, you can use it to cure boils and red spots. It can also be used to soothe rash and irritation caused due to mosquito bites and for treating diaper rash. It is best to consult a doctor before using it on children’s skin, as it might cause allergic reaction on their skin.
For removing stains on teeth, rub them with a cotton ball soaked in apple cider vinegar.
When it comes to age-old remedies, apple cider vinegar tops the list with a myriad of uses. It has been used by humans since time immemorial. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates used to prescribe apple cider vinegar for treating certain medical conditions. Traditionally, apple cider vinegar is made through fermentation of crushed organic apples in wooden barrels. This natural apple cider vinegar is rich in various minerals and trace elements, like calcium, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, sodium, sulfur, copper, iron, and silicon. It is rich in B vitamins, vitamin C, acetic acid, and citric acid.
It is still considered an effective remedy for diabetes, high blood pressure, and gastrointestinal problems. It is also used for weight loss, for boosting the immune system, and for improving digestion. Apple cider vinegar is also good for eliminating body odor and bad breath.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Skincare
Apple cider vinegar is one of the popular remedies for a wide range of skin problems. It is used as a cure for sunburn, age spots, acne, warts, cellulite, insect bites, dandruff, etc. Let us take a look at some of the benefits of apple cider vinegar for skin care.
Get Rid of Acne
The human skin is acidic in nature. When the skin becomes alkaline, it becomes prone to various problems like acne. Being acidic, apple cider vinegar is good for maintaining the pH balance of the skin. It is an effective antiseptic with antibacterial properties. So it keeps away pathogens like bacteria from the skin. Get a bottle of organic apple cider vinegar and dilute it with an equal amount of filtered or distilled water. Apply it on the skin using a cotton ball. Rinse after five to ten minutes. For best results, use apple cider vinegar for at least a month.
Cure Dry/Oily Skin
As apple cider vinegar restores the normal pH balance of the skin, it will neither get too dry or too oily. You may dilute the vinegar and use it as a toner. For this purpose, mix one part vinegar with two parts water. Those with a sensitive skin may use three parts water for one part vinegar. Dab a small amount of this solution, after rinsing your face. This solution can be used on hair for an extra sheen. You can use for final rinsing, after washing the hair.
Eliminate Age Spots
Mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and onion juice, and apply it directly on age spots. Rinse after half an hour. Add half a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to two tablespoons of orange juice. Apply the mixture and rinse after 30 minutes. Another method is to dilute apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of distilled water, and a few drops of honey. This is also good for reducing age spots. Above all, avoid exposure to the sun, and use sunscreen. These remedies have to be used once a day, for at least a month.
Apple cider vinegar is an excellent remedy for sunburn. Soak a clean washcloth in diluted vinegar. For this purpose, mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and cold water. Place this washcloth on the sunburned skin. This will provide relief to the stinging and burning sensations. Let it sit there for a few minutes. As the skin gets dry after removing the cloth, apply a few drops of coconut oil, which is also good for healing sunburn. You may replace coconut oil with an aloe vera moisturizer. Alternatively, pour a cup or two of apple cider vinegar to the bathtub with water. Soak yourself in the water for 20 to 30 minutes, and apply a moisturizer. In between, spray diluted vinegar on the affected part.
Mix three parts of apple cider vinegar with one part massage oil. Apply it over the skin and massage gently. Use this solution once or twice a day. You may also wrap the affected part, after applying the solution, and keep it warm for at least half an hour, before rinsing. Use a moisturizer, after rinsing. For best results, repeat the process for a month or two. You may mix diluted apple cider vinegar with sea salt, for making an anti-cellulite wrap. For this purpose, mix 100 ml each of distilled water and vinegar, along with 1.5 teaspoon of sea salt. Soak a wash cloth in this solution and wrap the affected part with it. Cover with a plastic wrap and keep yourself warm with blankets. After an hour or two, rinse and apply a moisturizer.
Treat Nail Fungus/Dandruff
Apple cider vinegar benefits for skin include its use as a remedy for nail fungus. Dab some vinegar on the affected nails, at least three times a day. Make sure that the vinegar goes into the nail bed. Let it dry on its own, and avoid rinsing. Another method is to soak the affected nails in a solution made with equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and distilled water. Soak for 30 minutes, and dry the nails thoroughly. Repeat it daily, for at least a month. You may also use Epsom salt, along with diluted vinegar. For this purpose, use half a cup each of vinegar and Epsom salt, and mix them in two cups of distilled water. Soak your nails in this solution, for half an hour, daily. In order to get rid of dandruff, mix one part apple cider vinegar with three parts water. Apply the solution on the scalp, and rinse after 30 minutes.
Apple cider vinegar is one of the commonly used home remedies for removing warts. Take a cotton ball, and soak it in the vinegar. Place it on the wart and secure with a band-aid, and keep it overnight. Change the cotton ball every day, and repeat the process for at least a week. The wart will fall off on its own, or else you may scrape it off gently.
Apart from these uses, apple cider vinegar is also beneficial for reducing wrinkles and body odor. For wrinkles, soak a cotton ball in diluted apple cider vinegar and wipe your face with it. Let it dry, before applying a moisturizer. This helps tighten the skin and reduce the wrinkles. For insect bites, soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar, and place it over the affected part. Hold it for a few minutes, and the pain and itching will subside.
In short, apple cider vinegar is a wonder remedy for various skin problems. Though these benefits are not proved scientifically, most of the users vouch for its effectiveness. Apart from topical application, intake of apple cider vinegar is also recommended for fast results. However, you must consult a qualified herbalist for proper guidance and usage. Long-term consumption may lead to certain health problems too. It is advisable to go for a patch test, before using apple cider vinegar topically. Avoid using this vinegar, if you are prone to allergies or have a sensitive skin. So it is always better to seek the opinion of your health care provider before using apple cider vinegar for ingestion. Side effects are very rare, as far as topical application is concerned. However, refrain from using apple cider vinegar, if it causes skin irritation. Avoid going out in the sun, after applying this vinegar on the skin. Mature apple cider vinegar has a rich brown color, and has a web-like foam. It is said that the vinegar with this ‘mother’ foam is rich in minerals and enzymes, and offers several health benefits. Other distilled and refined versions may not be as healthy as the organic version with the mother foam. So natural, organic version is preferred to other types.
The onset of wrinkles on face is a warning sign of aging. However, formation of wrinkles can also be delayed and even avoided by following certain prescribed treatments. There is absolutely no need to go for a cosmetic surgery to avoid or reduce wrinkles as, numerous side effects are associated with surgical procedures. Here are some easy to follow in order to avoid and slow down the process of wrinkling.
Follow a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet can go a long way in delaying the occurrence of wrinkles. Having a proper diet, rich in vitamins and proteins, is essential for a healthy skin. An unhealthy diet often leads to premature wrinkling. Drinking sufficient amount of water prevents drying of skin, which is considered to be the main cause of wrinkles. Water is one factor that can play a very important role to achieve a better skin. It is essential to drink 7-8 glasses of water everyday to maintain the elasticity of the skin. Adequate intake of water brings a charming glow to the skin. Water moisturizes the skin, thus helping to keep the wrinkles at bay.
Stay Away from Smoking
The habit of smoking can indeed have a negative impact on the skin. An easy way to prevent early formation of wrinkles, is to quit smoking. Smoking reduces the oxygen supply to the facial skin which may lead to wrinkling of the skin.
Reduce Exposure to the Sun
Over exposure to the sun makes the skin dry, thereby increasing the risk of premature wrinkling. Exposing the skin to the UV rays without wearing any kind of protection can damage the skin beyond repair. Sunglasses, hats, sunscreen lotions, are some of the products that provide maximum UV blocking and minimize skin exposure. One can also wash the face daily with creams that have nutrients beneficial to the skin.
Weave exercises into your daily routine to avoid wrinkles on face. People who exercise daily have a healthy, glowing skin. Exercising for 20-30 minutes a day is adequate to keep the skin healthy for years to come. Higher stress levels has also been linked to formation of wrinkles. To get relief from stress, one can go for meditation or yoga.
Vitamin E Oil
Vitamin E oil is very effective to remove deep wrinkles on the face. A bottle of vitamin E oil available at various drugstores is inexpensive and when applied protects the skin from further damage. In fact, application of vitamin E oil can even prevent occurrence of wrinkles. Vitamin E oil is also protective against free radical damage of the skin. To smooth deep wrinkles, use of vitamin E oil is the best option. Put a small amount of this oil on deep wrinkles before going to bed. One can also extract this oil from vitamin E capsules and use it on the affected part of the skin.
Papaya fruit that is full of antioxidants may also help to reduce the visibility of face wrinkles. An enzyme, papain present in papaya is found to be effective in correcting wrinkles. As we all know, elastin and collagen are the two proteins present in the skin tissues that provide tightness and flexibility to the skin. Loss of these proteins with age leads to the development of wrinkles. External application of pulp of papaya helps to regenerate this elastin to decrease the appearance of papaya. Papaya also has vitamin C, which plays a crucial role in the production of collagen. Take a ripe papaya, remove its pulp and then gently rub it on the facial area and let it remain for about 30 minutes. Follow this natural skin care routine daily and you will soon notice improvement in wrinkles. It is an easy home remedy to make the skin look younger and healthy.
Use of almond oil is yet another way to combat wrinkle formation effectively. A facial massage with almond oil daily is a powerful remedy to diminish the appearance of wrinkles. Age-related skin problems such as dry, flaky skin can also be successfully treated with almond oil. The moisturizing properties of almond oil leaves the skin soft and supple. Its external application can definitely help to increase the firmness of the skin. Once applied, allow it to dry. Better option is to keep it overnight and then rinse it off in the morning. It is high in vitamin E and so using it regularly can improve firmness, decrease wrinkles and provide a charming glow to the skin.
Honey, known for its antibacterial activity is yet another way to make the wrinkles less noticeable. Honey acts as an excellent exfoliator and so its application works to remove the superficial layer of the skin. With honey, wrinkle formation that is confined to uppermost layer of the skin is corrected, whereas deep wrinkles that also affect the inner skin layers become less noticeable. However, for best results you need to use honey that is free from synthetic chemicals. Natural honey sold under different brands such as ‘Manuka Honey’ is often recommended to treat wrinkles. Massage your facial area with this natural honey and let it remain for approximately half an hour. Now, rinse the face with warm water. Follow this skin care routine for about a month and you will definitely notice skin becoming tighter and more elastic.
Anti Wrinkle Cream
There are a number of skin care products that claim to get rid of wrinkles but only a few live up to their expectations. Hence, choosing the right skin cream is very necessary to reduce wrinkles. Firstly, you need to check the product labels that gives a list of ingredients in it. Reports suggest that wrinkles that contain a good amount of Retinol and Tretinoin (vitamin A derivatives) are useful in minimizing the appearance of wrinkles.
Use of aloe vera dates back to early Egyptian civilization. Egyptian history refers aloe vera as the “plant of immortality”, which was extensively used for various skin conditions during that period. Aloe Vera has also been useful for the treatment of deep wrinkles. It promotes skin health and is a proven skin healer. It can also heal damaged skin caused due to exposure from harmful UV rays. Known for its anti-aging benefits, aloe vera gel is effective to make the skin free from wrinkles. As soon as the gel is applied, it is absorbed by the skin within no time.
The high nutrient content of olive oil leaves the skin smoother than ever before. Today, olive oil is an active ingredient of various skin care products. Application of olive oil cleanses and moisturizes the skin. Daily use of olive oil changes the appearance of skin, making it wrinkle free. Extra-virgin oil is the least processed and more effective for removing wrinkles.
Certain lifestyle modifications, a healthy diet and use of natural treatments is the best and the most inexpensive solution to avoid as well as erase wrinkles on face. So, if you crave for that wrinkle free skin and want to keep youthful, healthy texture of your skin intact years down the line then make sure to incorporate the aforementioned ‘skin friendly’ tips to boost skin health.
Illness, exertion, improper diet, stress, and pollution can cause premature aging of skin, leading to facial wrinkles. Instead of multiplying your stress by worrying about them, why not work on ways to prevent them. Start with a facial exercise routine to prevent and reduce this problem and have a wrinkle-free skin. This will restore elasticity of the skin and also prevent sagging.
Exercises for Facial Wrinkles
Exercises for Forehead
Lie on the bed, flat on your back. Your head must hang over its edge. Then, open your eyes and lift your eyebrows as much as possible; hold this position for 5 seconds. Relax and repeat. Here is an exercise you can try to reduce frown lines. Sit upright, facing a mirror. Relax your eyebrows and bring them together, like you would do when you frown. At the same time, flare your nostrils and wrinkle up your nose as well. Hold the position for 5 seconds; relax and repeat.
Exercise for Eyes
Wrinkles under and around eyes, is a common problem. Some women face this problem right from the time when they are in their early twenties. So, here is a facial exercise for wrinkles under eyes. Press your temples by two fingers. Now, slightly pull your temples back and at the same time flutter your eyes by opening and closing them apace. This exercise is beneficial in toning up the muscles around your eyes.
Exercise for Cheeks
Try this facial exercise for cheeks to keep them toned and wrinkle-free. Fill air in your mouth, hold for 5 seconds and then, release it very slowly. This is one of the best facial exercises for wrinkles, which is also very easy to perform.
Exercise for Mouth and Lips
Say aloud an “EE”, “OO” and “AH”, to stretch your lips as much as possible. Relax and repeat. Remember, the movement of your mouth and lips should be exaggerated. This exercise will reduce existing wrinkles and also prevent further formation of wrinkles around lips and mouth.
Facial Exercise for Chin and Neck
Sit upright, keep your back and neck straight. Pull your chin down with your three center fingers and simultaneously, curl the lower lip over the bottom teeth. Hold the position for about 5 seconds, and then relax. Sit in the same position and tilt your head backwards to look up. Then move your lower lip over your upper lip as far as you can. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then relax. This exercise will give your neck and chin muscles a good stretch. Repeat these around 10 times.
Right Time to Perform Facial Exercises
Wondering what is the right time to do facial muscle exercises? Well, any time is perfect for performing these. You can do them while watching television, while traveling, while taking a walk or while taking a few minutes break from your work. Some of these facial exercises will also help in relaxing your neck muscles. Remember that performing them everyday is essential to get the results and keep your face wrinkle-free.
Apart from performing the above-mentioned facial exercises for wrinkles, keep yourself stress-free, drink lots of water, eat a healthy diet, consume fruits and salads, perform yoga and meditation to have a young and glowing wrinkle-free face. Always keep smiling; it helps relieve stress and is one of the easiest facial exercises for toning the skin. Though, there are various cosmetic procedures like laser treatment, facelift surgery, etc., facial exercises offer the safest option for the same. Moreover, all cosmetic procedures need follow-ups and are quite expensive. So, start doing facial muscle exercises and have a wrinkle-free face.
Coveted young days. When youth was upon us. The hair so bright; the teeth all shiny; energy soaring and the skin so smooth. Fast forward the years to about 5 decades and what have we got? The hair graying and thinning; teeth all but gone, only to be replaced by dentures; and sagging skin. That probably hits one the most―the skin elasticity lost. Leaving folds of skin loosely etched across the body. Being able to pull at the stretches of skin for long, without experiencing the slightest pain. And one is forced to think of one’s youth when the skin had tautness. A tightness, a shine that seemed like it would always stay.
Losing skin elasticity is natural and cannot be avoided. Here’s the deal though, one might also argue about the fact that there are so many individuals who look so much younger than their real age. How? They manage to have a skin as taut as a stretched balloon. All of which has to do with skin elasticity. The skin has been able to retain its elasticity so that the skin does not look loose and sagging. And believe it or not, there are ways of improving the elasticity of the skin. How? Read, read.
Ways to Improve Skin Elasticity
As we’ve said before, aging is the most common factor that leads to the loss of elasticity of skin. The other is the environmental factors (sun, pollution) that can cause one to lose skin elasticity. This might even cause premature skin elasticity loss. Along with that, a third major reason is excessive and sudden weight loss that leaves loose folds of skin in its wake.
There are certain ways in which one can combat the effects of the environment and aging, and retain skin elasticity. Here are some of them:
Avoid Sun Exposure
It is time to understand that exposure to sun’s rays can cause untold damage to your skin. Which is in many cases, irreparable. The sun’s harmful UB and UBV rays drain all the water from the skin, increase the melanin levels and thereby give the skin a very leathery and stretched out look. Continuous exposure leads to loss of skin elasticity. Not only does one face danger when they are out in the sun, but the sun’s rays can cause havoc, even when one is indoors. Therefore, it is necessary to use sun protection in the form of sun screen for the skin (SPF 30 or more). Also make sure that you cover all parts of your body when in direct contact with the sun’s rays and avoid stepping out during hours when the sun’s rays can inflict the most damage (11 am – 4 pm).
Doing some form of exercise is such an important factor to prevent the loss of skin elasticity, that there can be volumes written on it. But for now, a brief overview.
Exercising helps flush out all the toxins from your body, improve blood circulation (extremely important for skin care), supply more oxygen and nutrients to the body, and regulate the hormones. Hormonal imbalance can wreak havoc in your body and the direct result will be seen on your skin. The skin will look paler and loose. Exercising will also improve muscle mass, which is an important factor in restoring and maintaining skin elasticity. One other major advantages is that it will lead to the metabolism of vitamin D and therefore lead to improved skin health.
If you don’t smoke, then there’s one thing that is taken care of. But for those who do, try to give up smoking and it will show results. You might not feel any loss of skin elasticity while you are in your youth, but smoking will cause the aging and damaging of the skin to hit you faster. Smoking causes the blood vessels to constrict, thereby preventing proper intake of oxygen and other nutrients essential for the body to maintain elasticity of skin.
Intake of Healthy Diet
There are certain foods for skin elasticity restoration and improvement that can be included in your diet. These contain essential minerals and vitamins like vitamin E and C. Here are some of them:
Flaxseed (Omega fatty 3 acids)
Dark green leafy vegetables
The general advantage of including these foods in your diet is that they will provide you with the essential antioxidants to fight free radicals, along with providing for amino acids, vitamin E, vitamin C and folic acid, and will supplement you with a bounty of collagen (which is responsible for skin elasticity).
Studies have shown that adding a spoonful of virgin coconut oil in your cooking can lead to improved skin elasticity.
Creams and External Treatments
There are several products and treatments that have become available in the market these days. Availing of these products will help restore skin elasticity and delay the skin aging process by improving collagen levels in the body. Some of these treatments include―Injectable fillers, botulinum toxin, radio-frequency, dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, chemical peeling, and microdermabrasion. The application of several beauty products like anti-aging creams and other anti-aging skin products helps one to maintain youthful looking skin and delay the loss of skin elasticity as well.
These are some of the ways in which one can improve and restore skin elasticity. Now that you know what is required to be done, you can start taking better care of your skin regularly. And may you always be blessed with glowing, healthy skin.
Unpleasant changes like sagging skin and wrinkles are the first signs of aging. Skin is the largest organ of the body. It protects the internal body from environmental changes and controls the body temperature. Any significant change in this organ is easily visible. The aging process of the skin is very obvious, considering the amount of wear and tear it has to undergo. This can become a predominant issue when it is untimely.
The skin can be divided into three parts: inner layer, middle layer and outer layer. There are a lot of factors that harm the skin and cause aging. These factors can be divided into two groups: intrinsic aging and extrinsic aging. Let us focus on these problems individually.
This process refers to the skin’s natural aging process. It begins when a person is in his/her mid 20s. After a certain age, several obvious processes of the skin like, shedding of the dead skin, collagen production, and production of new cells start to slow down. These signs could take decades to become noticeable. Some of the signs of this process are fine wrinkles, thinning of skin, loss of underlying fat cells of skin which leave behind hollowed cheeks, loss of firmness of skin, itchy dry skin, sagging skin, lack of sweating, hair loss, graying of hair, unwanted hair, ridges on nails, and brittle nails.
This premature aging of the skin is caused by some harmful external factors. Repetitive facial expressions, gravity, smoking, wrong sleeping positions, over exposure to the sun, lack of anti-aging vitamins in food, lack of proper skin care, and pollution. Prevention and care needs to be taken before it reaches a much severe form.
How to Slow Down the Process
There is no better treatment than prevention of the problem. There are many precautions that can be taken to keep the skin healthy, and prolong the aging process. The market is flooded with numerous anti-aging skin care products, you can pick the one which suits your skin type. You should avoid prolonged sun exposure, use suitable sunscreen lotion every time you go out in the sun, avoid sun tanning, and always wear clothing that can protect the body from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. Along with these precautions, try to include certain food products in your diet that help prolong the process of skin aging as much as possible. There are several artificial anti-aging supplements which can be of great help as well.
No matter how much effort one takes, aging is a natural process which cannot be avoided fully, and will eventually be visible. There is no need to worry, as these skin problems can be cured by several available cosmetic solutions. Injectable fillers are one of the significant cosmetic solutions. Botulinum toxin is also a highly opted method to prevent the onset of the visible signs of aging. Both these options are available for people who have a really busy lifestyle and have no time to relax or take proper skin care. Face-lift, chemical peeling, laser resurfacing, microdermabrasion or microderm, are some more procedures that treat skin aging problem.
If you are concerned with visible aging of your skin, it is best to visit a dermatologist. Science and technology is a rapidly developing field and there is always scope for the betterment of the skin and solving your personal skin aging issue.
An allergy can be termed as a disorder associated with the immune system. Sometimes, the immune system can become hypersensitive to certain substances. These substances are usually considered harmless, as the immune system of a non-allergic individual does not react to them.
Generally, our body produces an immune response, when we encounter some harmful and infectious agents like bacteria, virus, or fungi. In such a situation, the immune system produces antibodies and chemicals like histamines to destroy them. But sometimes, the immune system can produce antibodies and chemicals against some foreign but non-infectious substances like pollen or a specific protein found in certain food. The result is an exaggerated immune response that produces an allergic reaction.
Allergies still seem a mystery to mankind. Though a number of factors can be held responsible for triggering an allergic reaction, what exactly causes the immune system to produce such a reaction to some seemingly harmless substances is not known. Genetics is supposed to play a very important role in the development of allergies, as this condition is often observed to run in families.
An allergy is basically considered an exaggerated immune response, which can be stimulated by a number of substances, which are termed as allergens. Such allergens include dust, mites, pollen, animal dander, mold, latex, and some specific food. An allergic reaction produced by the ingestion of a specific food is called food allergy. Babies usually develop an allergic reaction to food like cow’s milk, egg, wheat, soy, peanut, fish, cashews, and walnuts.
Signs and Symptoms
If your baby is allergic to environmental allergens like dust, mites, or pollen, you can observe some mild symptoms like skin rash, itchy and watery eyes, and sneezing, whenever he or she comes in contact with the specific allergen.
Sometimes, the child can also develop symptoms like a runny nose, cough, and congestion. However, these symptoms are usually mild, and they can be easily alleviated with the help of decongestants and antihistamine medications. But if the child experiences shortness of breath, then it is better to seek medical attention immediately.
If your baby is allergic to a particular food, then its ingestion can cause swelling, hives, eczema, and gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting. Eggs, milk, and wheat are some common food to which your child can become allergic. The symptoms of egg allergy can include, an upset stomach, urticaria (a skin condition characterized by skin eruptions), and vomiting. Such symptoms can develop immediately or within 24 hours after eating eggs. Anaphylaxis or a severe allergic reaction is quite rare in the case of egg allergy.
On the other hand, the common symptoms of wheat allergy are urticaria, eczema, allergic rhinitis, asthma, and gastrointestinal problems, which your baby can develop after ingesting wheat and wheat products, and even after inhaling wheat flour. A child with cow’s milk protein allergy can experience symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, hives, and wheezing, within a few moments after ingesting cow’s milk.
However, every child may not develop an allergic reaction immediately after ingesting cow’s milk. Many times, it has been observed that the symptoms develop slowly. A child can develop symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, skin rash, hives, abdominal cramps, a runny nose, and cough even 10 days after his or her initial exposure to cow’s milk. Rarely, milk allergy can lead to a life-threatening condition, known as anaphylaxis, which is characterized by shortness of breath, swelling, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and confusion. If the condition is not treated immediately, it can prove fatal.
Treatment and Management
Decongestants and antihistamine medications are the most common drugs used for allergy relief. Sometimes, epinephrine injections can be required for treating food allergy. However, the best treatment option is to identify and avoid the specific allergens, which are different for different individuals.
It has been observed that breast-fed babies are less likely to develop milk allergy. Therefore, many physicians recommend exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life, either to prevent or delay food allergies in babies. At the same time, it is equally important to identify the specific allergen and the symptoms of an allergic reaction, in order to prevent the life-threatening complications associated with this condition.
Allergy is a type of hypersensitivity caused due to overreactions of the immune system. When the body encounters a specific allergen, the antibody Immunoglobulin E (IgE) regulates the hyperactivity of white blood cells (WBCs). This results in various allergic reactions or inflammatory responses. Inflammatory responses include hives, hay fever, asthma, eczema, and reactions to food ingredients and insect stings.
Allergic reactions are observed even after an exposure to harmless environmental agents or allergens. It is estimated that about 20% of Americans are affected by this condition.
Allergies can be caused due to many factors such as foods, medicines, insect bites, pet dander, and other seasonal allergens. Majority of people are susceptible to seasonal allergens like pollens, grasses, weeds, molds, yeasts, and smoke. A major biochemical change which occurs during an allergic reaction is the release of histamines in the bloodstream. These histamines act on the eyes, nose, skin, throat, and gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Some of the common noticeable symptoms are hives, rash, runny nose, wheezing, sneezing, and itchy eyes.
Allergies are diagnosed based on the symptoms, physical examination, and certain laboratory tests like skin sensitivity to allergens, and blood tests to determine the elevated levels of IgE. You should immediately opt for the treatment because an untreated allergic reaction can lead to a severe condition called anaphylaxis. In such a condition, the person may experience difficulty in swallowing, shortness of breath, dizziness, and inflammation in the lips, tongue, throat, and gastrointestinal tract. At times, anaphylaxis may cause loss of consciousness or even death.
The treatment options include antihistamines, steroids, other medications, and target therapy. In addition to these therapeutic approaches, there are various effective natural remedies for relief from allergies. It is important to identify the cause of the condition and avoid further exposure to the allergen. For example, people with allergies of certain foods like milk and peanuts, should stop consuming them.
Honey consists of pollen allergens and other effective ingredients. Locally produced honey is more preferable as it contains plant pollens that counteract the allergic reactions by stimulating the immune system.
The extracts of this herb prevent the action of histamine and other inflammatory responses. Dietary supplements prepared from butterbur are available in the market as tablets. The crude plant extract is not recommended as it contains toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
Quercetin is an antioxidant found in foods like apples, berries, onions, and black tea. It helps to block the synthesis of histamines, and thereby alleviates the symptoms. Nutritional supplements of quercetin in various doses are available in the market.
Vitamin C is a naturally occurring antihistamine. Therefore, including vitamin C rich foods in the diet helps treat allergies. Over-the-counter antihistamines may be used to prevent further release of histamines in the bloodstream.
Fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of antioxidants. Some of the recommended fruits and vegetables used to treat this condition include grape seed extract, banana, apple, tomatoes, carrots and onion.
The most effective natural remedy for throat swelling caused by postnasal drip is to gargle with warm saline water solution. In addition, saline nasal sprays help in washing the pollen and/or other allergens present in the nose.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids help lower the synthesis of inflammatory chemicals that are responsible for causing allergic reactions. Food sources of omega-3 fatty acids are walnuts, flaxseed oil, and fish oils.
Following the aforementioned treatment options may help control the allergic symptoms. However, it is advisable to consult a qualified physician before opting for any remedy, especially if you are taking higher doses for a prolonged duration. In addition, children, pregnant women, and nursing women should take medical supervision prior to taking any natural remedies.
Pomegranate is rightly called the ‘miracle fruit’, due to its immense health benefits. Recently, its benefits for skin have also been discovered.
The use of pomegranate in medicine can be traced back to 1552 BC. The ancient Egyptian papyrus holds record of pomegranate being used for healing purposes. Apparently, Greek healers used pomegranate to cure variety of diseases. These include arthritis, circulatory disorders, digestive problems and infections. Although, pomegranate was also a part of some ancient beauty concoctions, its use for manufacturing cosmetic products began only after its benefits for skin were rediscovered.
Benefits for Acne
Acne is mostly a result of digestive problems or hormonal imbalance. Pomegranate helps in acne prevention by destroying the root cause itself. It corrects the digestive issues and promotes healthy blood circulation. If you already have an acne outbreak, then applying pomegranate juice on the affected area might help. It heals the acne and also prevents the scar formation by regenerating tissues in the affected area.
Pomegranate juice for skin is a great remedy for skin that is damaged due to sun exposure or aging. It repairs this damage so that you get smooth and youthful skin. Pomegranate extends the life of fibroblasts, the cells that are responsible for the production of collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin pump up the skin and render it elasticity. This in turn, keeps the skin youthful for years and minimizes the visibility of wrinkles.
Healing Cuts and Scrapes
Pomegranate seeds contain excellent healing properties. It promotes rapid healing of the wound and also fights infection. Besides, it does not leave a scar or mark on the skin after healing.
Pomegranate Components and Properties
Pomegranate is rich in ingredients such as vitamins B5 and C, potassium, polyphenols etc., that enhance the beauty and life of skin. It is a good source of ellagic acid and antioxidants, which are helpful in destroying free radicals. Pomegranate seed oil for skin can be considered as an ‘elixir of youth’ as it contains punicic acid, an omega 5 conjugated fatty acid, which is effective in cell regeneration and proliferation. This considerably delays the process of aging. Moreover, it is also rich in compounds such as phytoestrogen and a rare plant-based source of CLA.
Pomegranate Skin Creams
There are two methods of availing pomegranate skin benefits, you can either opt for cosmetic formulations or use it in its most natural form. Cosmetic creams use an extract of pomegranate seeds and combine it with an array of other chemical ingredients. As a result, most of the properties are lost due to over-processing. Moreover, these products are often very expensive and do not produce desired results. The best solution to overcome this problem is by applying homemade pomegranate juice on your skin. Put a handful of pomegranate seeds in a blender to make juice. Strain it and apply it directly on your skin or any affected area. Since, no processing or artificial ingredients are involved, the properties remain intact. Thus, natural pomegranate juice is the best way to get maximum benefits.
Pomegranate benefits for skin are myriad, however, you need to use it for a prolonged period of time to actually notice the results. In the meanwhile, you can also get rid of any health problems concerned with digestion or circulation.