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Thursday, December 25, 2008

All you need to know: Treating dry skin

Fair-skinned individuals are more likely to have dry skin, especially as they age.
To have healthy skin, a balance of oil and moisture is crucial. Skin glands secrete oil, which lubricates the surface of the skin. Moisture is the water carried to skin cells through the blood stream. The water present in skin cells keeps them youthful-looking and healthy.

Skin cells need sufficient amounts of water along with enough oil to act as a shield and prevent the excess evaporation of moisture from the top layers of the skin.

There are two types of dry skin -- simple dry skin results from a lack of natural oils and is common among women under the age of 35; complex dry skin results from the lack of both oil and moisture and is usually associated with aging.

Characterized by fine lines, brown spots, discolorations, enlarged pores, and sagging skin, complex dry skin may also stem from the damage caused by prolonged sun exposure to skin proteins -- elastin, collagen and keratin.

Dry skin tends to be dull-looking and flaky and readily develops fine lines and wrinkles. Unless some type of moisturizer or skin cream is applied, it usually feels tight and uncomfortable after washing.

Dry skin is most common on areas of the body that are exposed, such as the face and hands. Chapping and cracking especially in winter are signs of extremely dry and dehydrated skin.

Aloe vera has excellent soothing, healing and moisturizing properties.
Poor nutrition, cosmetics, excessive bathing with harsh soaps, and environmental factors -- including exposure to sun, wind and cold -- as well as chemicals can cause or aggravate dry skin. Vitamin A and B deficiencies can also contribute to the condition.

Most skins tend to become thinner and drier with age. Fair-skinned individuals are more likely to have dry skin, especially as they age.

Dry skin can also be the result of hormonal imbalance, underactive thyroid, diabetes, dermatitis, eczema and several hereditary skin conditions.

Diuretics, antispasmodics and antihistamines can also contribute to dry skin.

What to do to avoid having dry skin:

A balanced diet that includes fruits, grains, seeds, nuts, and vegetables --especially yellow and orange vegetables as they are high in beta-carotene a precursor of vitamin A -- can help prevent dry skin.

Coconut oil has skin-softening properties and prevents wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Include cod liver oil -- a good source for vitamins A and D -- in your diet. Vitamin A deficiency can cause the skin on the hands and feet to become scaly.

Sulfur helps keep the skin smooth and youthful; therefore, include in your diet plenty of sulfur-rich foods, such as onions, garlic eggs and asparagus.

To keep the skin hydrated, drink approximately 2 liters of water every day.

Try to avoid indulging in soft drinks, or eating sugar, chocolate, potato chips and other junk foods. Avoid fried foods and animal fats.

Try to avoid alcohol and caffeine as they have a diuretic effect and cause the body to lose fluids and essential minerals.

Avoid smoking and secondh and smoke. Nicotine constricts blood vessels, depriving the skin of the oxygen and nutrients it needs for good health. Smoking also involves the repetition of certain facial expressions which eventually turn into permanent wrinkles around the mouth. Smoking can also result in leathery skin.

By applying a facial mask once a week, dry cells can be removed from the skin surface, resulting in clearer and healthier-looking complexion.
Sun exposure can damage the skin and causes dryness, wrinkles, rashes and blisters. Stay out of the sun as much as possible. Always use a good sunscreen on all areas exposed to the sun.

To reduce the amount of moisture lost from the skin through evaporation, use a humidifier to humidify your environment -- particularly in winter.

Do not use very hot water when bathing or showering.

Remove dead skin cells from the face at least once a week with a loofa sponge and hot water.

To keep your skin from drying out, moisturize it after cleansing. Do not use solid, waxy moisturizing creams.

Remove dry surface skin cells and clarify the skin by using a facial mask once a week.

Fresh borage leaves have enlivening, revitalizing and nourishing properties.
Increase your water and essential fatty acid intake if your skin is dry and chapped. Lubricate and protect chapped areas from the elements.

Herbal tips for healthier skin:

Coco butter is a good skin cream which can help reduce wrinkles.

Coconut oil softens the skin and prevents wrinkles and other signs of aging.

Grapeseed oil has regenerative properties and helps control skin moisture. It is good for severe dry skin and reputedly reduces stretch marks.

RoseHip oil has regenerative properties. It helps prevent premature skin aging. It can be used to treat dry skin as well as for reducing wrinkles, stretch marks and skin discoloration.

Avocado oil is rich in Vitamin A and is beneficial for extremely dry skin.

A loofa sponge and hot water should be used to remove dead skin cells from the face at least once a week.
Castor oil is a traditional skin softener. To treat aggravated dry skin in winter, add ten drops of rosemary or sandalwood essential oil to half a cup of castor oil to make bath oil. Add one teaspoon of this mixture every time you bathe.

Sweet almond oil is rich in vitamins A and B and essential fatty acids. It is an excellent choice for softening the skin and treating eczema and dry skin.

Olive oil is an ideal moisturizing oil used for treating dry and chapped skin.

Topically applied aloe vera has excellent soothing, healing and moisturizing properties.

Calendula and comfrey have skin-softening properties. Comfrey can reduce redness and soothe irritated skin.

Avocado oil is rich in Vitamin A and is good for treating extremely dry skin.
Fresh borage leaves are considered to have enlivening, revitalizing and nourishing properties. To prepare borage tea, make an infusion of borage leaves and flowers in boiling water.

Chamomile tea can be used to soothe several skin conditions such as dermatitis and eczema.

Spraying on Lavender water as a body mist throughout the day can help replenish lost moisture. To make lavender water, add a few drops of lavender essential oil to half a cup of distilled water or make an infusion of fresh lavender leaves and flowers.
courtesy : By Hedieh Ghavidel  presstv, Tehran

Saturday, December 20, 2008

1 daripada 4,000 bayi alami penyakit ganjil

Rare Disorders

Rare disorders including those of genetic origin, are life threatening of chronically debilitating diseases which are of such low prevalence that special combined efforts are needed to address them. As a guide, low prevalence is taken as a prevalence of less than 1 per 4000 in the community.


Penyakit ganjil atau "jarang dijumpai" kini melanda satu dalam 4,000 bayi yang dilahirkan di negara ini, kata penasihat penyakit genetik Hospital Universiti Malaya, Dr Juliana Lee.

Terdapat beribu-ribu jenis penyakit ganjil dan ubat untuk merawatnya sukar didapati atau terlalu mahal, tambahnya.

"Antara penyakit jarang jumpa ialah tulang rapuh, distrofi otot Duchenne (DMD), Sindrom Prader-Wille (PWS), dan penyakit metabolik," katanya kepada Bernama hari ini.

Beliau berkata penyakit jarang jumpa merupakan penyakit genetik yang boleh mengakibatkan kematian atau membantutkan pertumbuhan kanak-kanak daripada segi fizikal dan mental.

"Susahnya penyakit ini selalunya tidak dapat dikesan pada awal kelahiran.

"Ada penyakit yang hanya dapat dikesan setelah kanak-kanak itu berumur empat atau lima tahun, contohnya penyakit PWS, apabila kanak-kanak terbabit membesar dan mengalami defek pada otot dan fungsi badan yang lain, sehingga terpaksa menggunakan kerusi roda," Juliana dipetik berkata.

Menurut agensi berita itu lagi, dalam kebanyakan kes, ramai pesakit terutamanya kanak-kanak meninggal dunia akibat kelewatan mengesan penyakit dan mendapatkan rawatan yang sewajarnya.

Persatuan Penyakit Jarang Jumpa Malaysia (Malaysian Rare Disorders Society) berusaha meningkatkan kesedaran ibu bapa dan malah doktor agar lebih peka terhadap sebarang simptom ganjil pada bayi yang baru dilahirkan.

Presidennya Datuk Hatijah Ayob berkata persatuan itu ditubuhkan pada 2004 untuk mengumpulkan ibu bapa yang mengalami masalah menjaga bayi sedemikian yang memerlukan sokongan dan khidmat nasihat.

Orang ramai boleh melayari laman web bagi mendapatkan maklumat lanjut.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Attention & Learning Disorders

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), sometimes called attention deficit disorder (ADD), involves hyperactivity, difficulty paying attention and a tendency to act impulsively. Learning disorders involve problems with writing, math or reading (the best known of which is dyslexia). Oppositional defiant disorder is a related condition in which children oppose authority.
ADHD: Fast Facts

Reviewed By: Steven A. King, M.D.
  • ADHD is an acronym for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

  • ADHD is a set of chronic conditions marked by an inability to pay attention, hyperactivity and a tendency to engage in impulsive acts.

  • Children with ADHD often struggle academically and may have difficulty establishing friendships and other relationships. As a result, they may develop poor self-esteem.

  • There are three different forms of ADHD that affect children: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive/impulsive and combined.

  • Predominantly inattentive ADHD is marked by difficulty paying attention.

  • Predominantly hyperactive/impulsive ADHD is marked by difficulty controlling behavior.

  • Combined ADHD combines symptoms of the other two forms of ADHD.

  • Combined ADHD is the most common form of ADHD.

  • Between 3 and 5 percent of school-aged children - or about 2 million children in the United States - have ADHD, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

  • Boys are significantly more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, but the condition affects girls as well.

  • The exact cause of ADHD remains unknown.

  • Scientists now believe that changes in brain structure are a leading cause of ADHD.

  • Heredity also appears to play a role in the development of ADHD.

  • Poor parenting or disruptions at home or school cannot cause ADHD, although they may exacerbate the condition.

  • Diagnosis of AHD usually involves a variety of tests and interviews with parents, teachers and other adults who can describe the child's behavior.

  • Medications called psychostimulant drugs are the most common treatment for ADHD and appear to be extremely effective.

  • Psychotherapy is also helpful, particularly in children who are diagnosed with other disorders associated with ADHD.

  • Specialized learning techniques can help children with ADHD to perform better in school.

  • Parents can help their children to better deal with ADHD by providing additional structure to the child's life and making expectations clear.

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