How well do you know your nails?

How well do you know your nails? Believe it or not, your nails say a lot about your general state of health. They can tell when you are affected by disease or when you are malnourished. They signal you when you are having health problems or not taking care of them properly. Question is: Are you paying attention???

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, nail problems make 10 percent of all dermatological conditions. So, it is wise to closely evaluate the following when attending to your nails.

Appearance: Do well to always observe the color of your nails. Healthy nails should have consistent coloring and appear smooth. They shouldn’t be split or cracked especially in younger people. The skin around the edge shouldn’t appear puffy or swollen.

Texture: If you are not suffering from psoriasis and/or eczema, your nails should not be pitted. And unless you have been infected by fungi or bacteria, your nails should not be thickened with colors ranging from white, yellow, green to even black.

Do you have healthy nails?

With regards to topical applications, your nails may be the first to indicate the quality of products you may be using. Sometimes, just for fun, I observe peoples’ nail color and texture and later, I ask questions. 85 percent of the time, they are using unreliable products; Half of that time, they are not aware of the active ingredients in their body and/or hand creams, thereby causing damage to the skin and nails and the other half of the time, they trust unprofessional nail technicians who use nail polish, nail glue and nail polish removers made of really harsh chemicals OR are quite over-zealous with their manicure techniques.

The importance of nail care in relation to great health cannot be over emphasized. For some of us, beauty is all about what the eyes can see, which pushes a lot of women to cover up their un-healthy nails with polish or artificial nails. But in reality, beauty goes way deeper than that.

I like to believe that being beautiful is first, being healthy.

 

Have I left out a key point to knowing your nails better? Leave your ideas in the comment section below.

 

 

 

Skin Conditions 3

Psoriasis is a skin condition that so many people (1 in every 50 persons) are not aware they suffer from, especially dark-skinned persons.

Skin cells on the surface of the body usually get replaced about every 28 days by underlying cells. In people suffering from psoriasis, what would have taken 28 days happens in 4-6 days thereby, piling skin cells on the surface of the body. These skin cell piles cause thick red and purple patches in light and dark-skinned persons respectively. These patches which can be found on the scalp, face, elbows, knees, palms of the hand, soles of the feet and other parts of the leg, can get itchy and sore, sometimes they become scaly, swollen and painful.

Just like eczema, psoriasis has a genetic link to it, in other words, it can be hereditary. It can also be aggravated by stress, smoking, infection (misdirected immune intervention) and changes in the weather which may dry up the skin.

Psoriasis has no known cure but it can be managed quite well. It is not contagious!! It is not sexually transmitted and it is not as a result of poor personal hygiene!!

To properly manage this skin condition, the following should be considered;

  • Stop smoking!!! That is if you do smoke, of course. 😊
  • Supplement diet with vitamins A and D as these may be deficient in psoriatics. One can also consider sunshine or UV exposure. In moderation of course.
  • Essential fatty acids especially omega3 is vital.
  • It is important to regulate cells, repair the skins barrier and retain water, so using topical treatments with plant derivatives should prove effective. Aloe Vera, Curcumin (derived from turmeric) and Marigold extracts work well. Using moisturizers with these extracts as often as possible is a step in the right direction.
  • Work towards being stress-free.

It is wise to basically avoid any situation or environment that could trigger a psoriatic flare. If such measures have been taken yet reactions still persist, do well to consult a dermatologist for detailed examination.

Do you or anyone you know suffer from this skin condition? How do you (they) manage it?

 

Your skin and pregnancy

During the course of pregnancy, several things happen. Such happenings include psychological, hormonal, emotional and most especially physical changes. It’s quite easy to overlook what is going on on the inside but one way or the other, it translates to what is seen on the outside.

As relates to the skin, being pregnant can take its toll, most times due to the increased nutritional demands. A mother-to-be can experience one or all of the following.

  • Varicose veins: This occurs as a result of increased blood circulation, which relaxes the walls of the valves in the vein. In some cases, they may become swollen, itchy and painful especially towards the last weeks of pregnancy. Try not to stand for so long and while sitting, always elevate your feet, avoid crossing them.
  • Chloasma: This is also known as melasma or mask of pregnancy. Increase in estrogen triggers excessive melanin production which in turn creates pigmented patches on the face and body. One day you have soft, glowing and radiant skin, then the next day, you look toasted! Staying out of the sun and using sunscreen will keep one from getting more patches. Chloasma fades within 3 months of childbirth.
  • Stretch marks: These usually start appearing during the second trimester. As the name implies, the marks appear around the tummy, breasts and thighs as a result of the skin (collagen and Elastin) being stretched excessively. This condition can be controlled by massaging oils rich in vitaminE over the marks.
  • Oedema: Swollen legs and ankles are as a result of fluid gathering in the lower extremities. Elevating the feet while sitting and gently massaging in an upward motion towards the heart helps a lot.
  • Other allergies: Because of increase in several hormones, certain allergies may (re) surface. Allergies may include eczema, acne, psoriasis. Apart from the recommended skin care during pregnancy, nothing more can be done in most cases. The skin usually clears a few weeks after childbirth or breast-feeding.

For the face, do well not to skip applying a night crème as this helps to balance the skin. Avocado, argan and aloe-Vera based products work really well. Also try to get a facials treatment often to release facial tension.

For the body, avoid using soaps that may dry out the skin and always massage rich oils over stretched parts. Having a pedicure/foot massage from time to time also helps prevent oedema and varicose veins.

What other skin condition did you experience while pregnant? Let me know in the comments section below.

Skin conditions 1

Few days after my daughter was born, I noticed some rash-like appearances on her face. Before I could do anything about it, it had spread to her scalp and was ‘chewing’ off her hair. We sought medical assistance and used some prescribed topical medication to no avail, for months my daughters’ skin looked like a rag dolls’.

Much later, another pediatrician advised that we retrace our steps, she inquired our daily patterns of caring for our daughter and recommended some changes.

Until then, I didn’t know eczema was hereditary. I always viewed it as a ‘dirty disease’. It never occurred to me that certain conditions could be responsible for flares-up and above all, I didn’t know it doesn’t have a cure.

Eczema is a form of dermatitis (inflammation of the upper part of the skin aka dermis). Most times it occurs as a form of allergy, it’s your skins way of telling you that it doesn’t like whatever you’ve been exposing it to. In my daughters’ case, it was the heat. Being born mid-February, I would still cover her up in thick overalls, mittens and a cap and of course, her bath water had to be a certain temperature because that’s what ‘everybody’ advised. I didn’t realize her skin wasn’t getting enough ventilation.

Like I mentioned previously, eczema is hereditary but it requires ‘unfavorable’ conditions to trigger it. Such triggers may include heat, pregnancy, hormonal imbalance, topical applications as in certain soaps and creams and/or stress. Remember that old wives tale about sharing clothes? You can dismiss that myth because eczema is not contagious but be sure no liquid is seeping from the inflamed area.

Not up to a week after applying the ‘no heat’ treatment and adequate moisturisation (eczema-prone skin is usually dry and requires extra moisturizing) on my daughter, I couldn’t believe the positive changes. Her skin cleared without any scars but her hair which had fallen off in patches took longer to grow out. She’s 3+ now and yet to have a relapse.

 

Are you prone to eczema? Does someone in the family have it? Have you ever taken note of what flares it up in your case? Hit me up in the comment section below.