FUNGI and FURUNCLE – Here is What You Need to Know

Have you ever noticed a brittle nail, with a flaky texture or yellowish tinge? Or maybe a painful, red bump on your skin, especially after a tropical vacation or a trek outdoors? Don’t worry, you’re not alone and you have plenty of options as far as treatment is concerned.

Although fungi and furuncles are equally uncomfortable, they are completely different from each other. It’s important to know these differences so that they may be successfully diagnosed and treated. Let’s start with the basics- fungi affect the nails whereas furuncles affect the hair follicles. There are treatments available for both, so there’s no need to worry if you notice either of the two erupt on your skin or nails. Let’s go into detail:

What are the symptoms of fungi?

  • The initial symptom is spotting on the nails, they begin to get stained yellow or white, and then get darker from the debris that collects under the nail
  • The texture of the nails is notably different, they tend to become extremely brittle, fragile and crumb-like.
  • There is also an unpleasant odour that develops if the nail is covered for a long time
  • In extreme cases, or if not diagnosed on early, the nail can also be dislodged from the skin

What causes fungi and how can I prevent it?

  • If you wear socks and shoes on a daily basis, you are at risk because you’re feet do not get the ventilation they need. This is the perfect chance for bacteria and infection to spread. Make sure that your shoes aren’t too tight, and your socks are made from a breathable fabric. Thick socks that absorb perspiration work the best.
  • Walking around public areas, such as swimming pools or saunas barefoot may not be the best idea. This is because these areas are an open ground for infections. If you are going to the nearest club for a swim, or for a relaxing massage at a spa, make sure you are wearing some sort of footwear at all times.
  • If you have an injury on your fingernail or toenail, make sure it is covered up. This is because an open wound makes you more susceptible to disease, especially fungi.

What are the various treatments for fungi?

  • A long-term treatment for fungi would be oral antifungal medicines which can be prescribed by a doctor. This treatment could last for six weeks, or could even take as long as five months for a healthy nail to grow back.
  • Another long-term treatment is medicated nail polish, which can also be prescribed by your doctor. This usually takes a year.
  • If you’re looking for something faster, there is laser therapy treatment for fungi as well.
  • In extreme cases, you might have to get your nail surgically removed. In this case, you will have to wait for a new, healthy nail to grow back.

 

So now that we have an understanding of what fungi is, why it’s caused and how to prevent it, let’s move on to furuncles!

What are the symptoms of furuncles?

  • A furuncle usually begins with a tiny, pea-sized reddish bump, and can be quite painful
  • The skin around the bump gets inflamed and appears red and swollen
  • The furuncle actually grows continuously as it fills with pus. If it’s not treated on time, it can grow to the size of a tennis ball
  • Like pimples and boils, the top of the furuncle has a tiny, white tip which is where the pus can be drained out from

What causes furuncles and how can I prevent them?

  • Furuncles are caused by a bacteria which infects the hair follicles
  • If your skin is broken due to an injury or an insect bite, you’re at risk because bacteria can enter your skin with ease. Make sure to clean the area thoroughly and keep it covered and dry till it scabs. Scratching insect bites is a big no-no as it’s a sure way to rupture irritated skin

What are the various treatments for furuncles?

  • If your furuncle is detected before it grows too big, it can be drained by a doctor
  • If your furuncles are severe or keep recurring, antibiotics are usually prescribed
  • A simple home remedy is to apply a warm, muslin cloth on the furuncle through the day. This helps it rupture and drain quickly. If you are not a professional, do not try rupturing the furuncle by yourself! You’ll need the help of a doctor for the same

Fungi and furuncles can be easily avoided if you take care of yourself and maintain proper hygiene. If you find yourself in the great outdoors, make sure you’re equipped with the right footwear, socks and insect repellent. The next time you see early signs of either fungi or a furuncle, remember it’s best to nip it in the bud. Remember not to self-diagnose or self-medicate, you can always reach out to us if you’re in need of a trusted Doctor.

All You Need To Know About Cataract

Many assume cataract is vision problems in the elderly since it is estimated that half the people who reach the age of 80 years are going to develop cataract. Did you know? That’s just half of the story. If you’re approaching 40 or may have passed that mark, here is more information and insights for all you need to know about cataract.

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the naturally clear lens of the eye which lies behind the iris and the pupil that is responsible for vision. Cataract can occur in one eye or both the eyes but it’s not contagious! The lens must be clear for the retina to receive a sharp image. However, if the lens is cloudy due to cataract, the image you see will be blurred.

Types of cataract

Cataract can be categorised under various categories such as:

  • Subcapsular cataract that occurs at the back of the lens. If you are diabetic or have been taking high doses of steroid medications, then you are at a greater risk of developing subcapsular cataract.
  • The nuclear cataract forms deep in the nucleus of the lens and is usually associated with aging.
  • The cortical cataract is characterised by white, wedge-like opacities that start at the periphery of the lens and work their way to the centre in a spoke-like fashion. This type of cataract occurs in the cortex, which is part of the lens that surrounds the central nucleus.

Symptoms and signs of cataract

A cataract usually starts out small. Initially, it has a very little effect on your vision. You may notice that a little blurred vision – almost like looking through a cloudy piece of glass. The light from the sun or a lamp seems too bright or glaring or you notice when you drive at night, the oncoming headlights causes more glare than ever. Colours may appear dull too. If you pay attention, you can recognise some of their symptoms in the less advanced stages. The symptoms of early cataract may be solved with new eyeglasses, brighter lighting or anti-glare sunglasses to some extent. In case these measures do not help, probably you need a surgery.

What causes cataract?

The lens of the eye works much like a camera lens and it is mostly made of water and protein. The protein is arranged in a precise way that keeps the lens clear and lets the light pass through, but as we age, some of the protein may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens. It may grow larger and cloud more of the lens, making it harder to see. Researchers worldwide have identified factors that may cause cataracts besides advancing age:

  • Ultraviolet radiation from sunlight and other sources
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Prolonged use of medications like corticosteroid
  • Medicines used to reduce cholesterol
  • Previous eye injury or inflammation
  • Previous eye surgery
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Significant alcohol consumption
  • Family history

Cataract may affect only one eye

It’s more common to develop “bilateral cataracts,” but some people are only affected on one side. This can happen when you suffer from a trauma to one eye. It is always recommended that you see an eye doctor if you’ve suffered any type of incident or accident around your eyes. Cataract affects in different forms: A cataract can affect in a different way for different people. Some can develop this disease and see perfectly fine, however, with the only difference being that light affects them more than other people. Others may have difficulty when there is little light or at night, but in natural light, they see well.

You may not need to do surgery

Ask the doctor if the surgery is really needed. Sometimes, some medications and regular visits to the eye doctor might avoid the need for a surgery. Only your doctor can tell you if you have cataract and the best procedure is surgery.

Prevention of cataract

Visit your eye doctor at least once a year to prevent the occurrence of cataract and other eye disorders as you age. They will tell you if you have a specific problem or if there actually are any signs of cataract. Eat healthy to slow their progression.

10 Common Health Notions Examined Closely

Have you heard the notion about not swimming or taking a bath after you’ve eaten? There are many ways to become healthy, all roads lead to Rome kind of situation. Here are 10 common health notions dissected and presented so you can understand the truth thoughtfully too.

Drinking milk every day is good for you.

Call it aggressive marketing or an old wives tale, adults and even senior adults seem to have their hopes for health pinned on drinking milk every day. Milk is miraculous only up to a certain point for humans. Most grownups want to drink milk for their calcium and vitamin D fills. However, now compelling research now shows there is no direct link between drinking milk and less number of fractures in your life. On the contrary, there is a link with drinking milk and a higher rate of mortality in humans.

The 5-second rule of eating food dropped on the floor.

Have you heard this before? If you drop something on the floor, it’s ok to grab and eat it within five seconds of it falling. Now if it’s the last second chip from your pocket or your only piece of chocolate to sweeten your day – what would you do? Since you’ve heard of this common health notion before, you pick it up and eat it without a second thought, no? First, bacteria and virus don’t need seconds, they get attached to your food within milliseconds of falling on the floor. So give this notion a pass the next time your favourite food falls on the ground.

Don’t eat ice-cream when you have a cold

Most people find ice-cream comforting but if your kid has a cold ice-cream is a strict no-no in the house. Did you know? If you have a sore throat or are sick with a cold, ice-cream can soothe you. Besides, the notion “food the cold” stays true and ice-cream can give you those much-needed calories you otherwise may not get by starving yourself from sickness.

Sugar is bad for kids, it makes them hyperactive

One of the recent and most common notions is that sugar makes children hyper or refined sugar causes attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) in kids. Be comforted that many scientific studies were conducted and these have failed to prove this notion.

Spending 1 hour a day at the gym is good for health 

Going to the gym and exercising an hour a day is great for you. However, did you know? Sitting at the desk or on your couch for five hours straight is equivalent to smoking a whole pack of cigarettes. Yes! Your one hour at the gym is one thing but you have many other hours in the day. Make the most of them too for better health.

Flu vaccination is only for babies

We all need a flu vaccination! Having flu is a serious illness and it can cause serious damage to your body, even cancer! Once you get the vaccination, before the flu season starts, it works without giving you side-effect. Prevention is always better than cure and so, flu vaccinations are critical even for adults and specifically the senior adults.

Taking supplements keep you healthy

Popping pills are fine but if you skip meals and then take supplements to make up the loss is a whole different matter. Vitamins don’t work that way. Taking vitamins or supplements without a go head from a physician is risky. Studies have now found a link between overuse of supplements and increased risk of cancer.

Drink 8 glasses of water daily to lose weight

Drinking water and staying hydrated is important but strictly eight glasses? If you replace caffeinated drinks with water or replace your canned fruit juices with water, you will consume fewer calories in that perspective.

Cure a hangover by drinking one more of whatever you had last night

No, that one shot of tequila again in the morning will not help your hangover. Even coffee is bad to follow up after all the alcohol binging. You are dehydrated so drinking more alcohol or coffee will prolong the effect rather than help it. Drink lots of water and get breakfast instead.

Sugar causes diabetes

Diabetes is complex and there are is no compelling research to suggest a direct link of sugar with diabetes disease. However, if you consume sugary drinks and sports drinks, you can become overweight and weight gain is associated with many diseases, not just diabetes.

With so much information right at your fingertips now, you can’t help but examine these common health notions that people throw at you every day. So the next time you hear something, question it and do the right thing for your health.

 

 

Reduce That Beer Belly Without Cutting Down On Beer

No one needs to tell you that drinking beer reduces stress levels, but it’s true. Studies have shown two beers help students study better! Researchers have also proved that drinking beer moderately can help reduce the risk of heart disease. However, if you push it and have a little more than necessary gives you that beer belly though. That’s what happens when you take in too much of a good thing. If you have already, use these tips to reduce that beer belly without cutting down with beer.

Clean up Your Diet

Beer already has calories and if you have too many beers that’s too many calories your body can handle. So cleaning up your diet is the first step. Include more plants, healthy fats such as fish or protein like chicken. Include complex carbs such as whole grains to improve your metabolism. As you age, your metabolism decreases and so, you need these essential nutrients that help increase your metabolism and burn those extra calories. So remember to increase fiber and clean up your body.

Don’t Skip Meals

Ok so beer has too many calories, but that does not mean you skip meals to make up for those extra calories. Eat food but in small quantities, so your body can digest it properly. Sleep early so you can wake up for a good breakfast, each lunch and have buttermilk during lunch to help fasten the digestion process and so on and so forth. If you skip meals, your metabolism will be negatively affected and not eating will only bloat more gas into your beer belly.

Eat Breakfast

Skipping breakfast is one of the worst things you can do to keep your belly fat. Having a good wholesome meal in the beginning of the day kick starts your metabolism and keeps it running for the rest of the day. If you skip this most important meal of the day, your body slows down the metabolism and whatever you consume will be even more difficult to burn later.

Skip the Elevator

If your lifestyle is so busy that you don’t have the time or motivation to go the gym, take the stairs. This simple activity boosts your metabolism because it burns more calories in less time. If you are consistent, you could lose nearly 3 kilos a year – just by taking the stairs! Imagine that.

Lift Weights

If you have the time and the motivation to hit the gym, then pump iron. Even lifting weights burns more calories in less time, therefore, boosting your metabolism to burn that beer belly fat. You can combine the weights with the running and aerobic exercises you already do. Don’t be scared about lifting weights if you are a woman too. You won’t become a body-builder type of person overnight and just by lifting weights. Find the right trainer to help you with your goals.

Yes, Relax.

No no, relaxing is not being lazy. You can relax, get some much-needed downtime to regroup and refocus on yourself. Doing this will help you lose that beer belly more. How, you ask? When you relax and don’t think about your belly or other issues in your life, your body produces more cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone, and an increased level in your body is good for you. Cortisol gives your body more energy by burning more calories. There are so many ways to relax, watch a great movie, read a good book or take a nap! Whatever you do, make sure you have downtime scheduled in your day to reduce that beer belly!

 

Beer is not just alcohol, it is packed with essential vitamins and good gut bacteria which are all great for your health and well being. Moderation is key though so remember you can have your beer, but do not overdo it for maximum health benefits.

“My Baby Healthiest” – The Ultimate Goal of A Mother

The weather is changing; the winter is coming and new mothers All Over the World know how hard it is to protect yourself and your little one from the flu season. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, most kids catch 8 to 10 colds in their first two years of life. But you know what? It is easy to protect your baby (and yourself) from colds and other such viruses. Follow these simple tips to stay on your goal keep your baby healthy, winter or otherwise!

Breastfeed as long as you can

Don’t be scared if you caught the flu or a nasty cold. You can continue to breastfeed through it all. Your body will send antibodies through your breast milk to your baby. Breast milk will protect your baby by boosting the immune system and many other wonderful activities that keep your baby healthy and thriving! So whatever you do, continue breastfeeding. According to the World Health Organization, breastfeeding until your baby is two years is beneficial for the physical and mental development for your baby.

Stay away from crowds

We know family gatherings or social meetings are important, but for a new-born with a brand new immune system, this is a little tricky. Be selective about where you take your baby. So unless it is fully necessary, taking your new-born to crowded malls, movie theatres or noisy restaurants is to be best avoided. Parks are great for open spaces and fresh air but you need to be alert if the children playing nearby want to come and mollycoddle your new baby.

Only clean hands

Insist on washing hands – not just for the enthusiastic loved ones who want to hold your new baby, but also you. If you are the primary caretaker, you have to wash your hands particularly after changing a diaper or preparing the bottle. If you have an older child, teach them manners about washing hands before touching and playing tenderly with your new baby. More tips for your toddler or the older sibling in the house:

  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into the elbow.
  • Wash hands immediately after coming home from school or playing outside.
  • Change outside clothes into home clothes.
  • Send home the sick neighbour kid who wants to play with your children.

Get more sun and exercise

Keeping yourself and your new-born cooped up at home is not healthy for either of you. Go on strolls around the society or visit parks with your new-born to get fresh air and the sun! The sunlight is great for your bodies, specifically during the cold winter days. So along with the vitamin D supplements, make sure you also get the real sun for a little while every day. Getting out of the house and getting the exercise is good for you too. Studies have shown that exercise helps remedy postpartum depression, uplifts your mood, and appetite too. This is very important because a healthy baby needs a healthy mother too.

Wear your baby

If you have to go out to the hospital, to the grocery store, travel in cabs or to go out to the park for your walks, try babywearing. This is a healthy way to bond with your baby too. In winters, babywearing helps you both to keep warm while you snuggle together in a safe baby carrier. Just make sure your baby’s legs are in an M position and not dangling straight down in 11 position. The dangling legs will put pressure on the baby’s spine and on your shoulders. The M position of the baby’s legs distributes the weight and keeps your baby in a comfortable sitting position.

Essential oil on clothes

Essential oils of eucalyptus and cinnamon are just fantastic to keep away colds or to treat stuffy colds fast. You have to remember NEVER use essential oils directly on the baby’s skin. These are remarkably concentrated oils and applying it on the skin can have harsh repercussions for your baby’s health. Apply few drops on the pillows and the baby’s clothes if your baby has a cold.

“My baby healthiest” – the absolute goal of a mother is perfectly achievable.