Women’s Health Tips

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What you should know about hair dye allergies

Published January 7, 2018 by teacher dahl

ladies colored hairs

When someone has an allergy to hair dye, they are most likely allergic to one of the chemicals in the dye rather than the entire product. The most common cause of these allergic reactions is para-phenylenediamine, also called PPD.
PPD is found in most commercially produced hair dyes. The PPD is usually mixed with peroxide in the dye to alter the hair color. What happens before this reaction is fully complete also makes the PPD more likely to interact with the skin and cause an allergic reaction.
PPD can be found in commercial hair dyes under many alternative names. These include names such as PPDA, 1,4-Benzenediamine, and Phenylenediamine base.
Another common chemical found in hair dye is para-toluenediamine (PTD), which can be tolerated better than PPD but may still cause an allergic reaction in many people.

Fast facts on hair dye allergy:
The most common symptom of a hair dye allergy is contact dermatitis.
A quick reaction to the first signs of a hair dye allergy can make all the difference.
Gentle moisturizers may help relieve symptoms of dry or itchy skin.

Hair dye allergy symptoms
PPD may be the most common cause of allergic reactions to hair dye.
Allergic contact dermatitis is a reaction caused by the skin being touched by something it is allergic to. Once sensitized, the affected skin will usually become inflamed and red when exposed to the offending allergen.
The scalp, ears, beard, or neck may become red and inflamed. The eyes also may itch, and the eyelids may swell as the reaction develops.
Most contact dermatitis from a hair dye allergy is classified as type 4 hypersensitivity, and it usually takes hours or more for symptoms to occur upon exposure.
Hives may also show up after a hair dye application. The symptoms of these are red, raised, and itchy patches on the body. Someone may experience difficulty swallowing and respiratory problems, such as wheezing and sneezing.

Anaphylactic shock
It is also possible, but far less common, for someone to have an immediate, anaphylactic allergic reaction or type 1 hypersensitivity to hair dye, leading up to anaphylactic shock.
Symptoms may include hives, swelling of the face and airways, shortness of breath, and a drop in blood pressure with a fast heart rate and possibly loss of consciousness. Anaphylactic shock can be fatal, and anyone experiencing these symptoms needs immediate medical attention.

One of the difficulties in identifying a reaction to PPD is that symptoms typically will not show up until after the second usage of the product.
The body becomes allergically sensitized to an invading substance the first time it is used. Once it is applied a second time, reactions will often start to appear. Reactions may also get worse with more applications of the product.
Hair dye intolerance

contact derm
Non-allergic contact dermatitis may affect people who are not allergic to hair dye.
It is also possible for people who are not allergic to hair dye to react when using it, leading to non-allergic contact dermatitis or other symptoms.
Some skin types are more sensitive to chemicals, including PPD. This type of reaction may be more common when someone switches brands with different dye formulations.
Most people will find that their skin may become dry, stretched, or cracked. The scalp may tighten or feel as if it is burning.
Symptoms of irritation will usually appear within 48 hours. At the same time, many people with a hair dye intolerance may have an almost immediate reaction to PPD or other hair dye components.

Treatment for hair dye allergy
If any symptoms of a hair dye allergy show up, the hair should be washed immediately. The excess dye can be removed through multiple gentle washes with a mild soap and plenty of rinses with clean water.
*Hydrogen peroxide
It may also help to rinse the hair with a solution of 2 percent hydrogen peroxide after washing the excess out. This helps to oxidize the PPD fully and make it non-reactive. This step has mixed results, and it should be avoided if it makes symptoms worse.
*Steroid creams may be used to reduce inflammation with swelling and irritation in cases of stronger allergic reactions.
Some over-the-counter steroid creams may work well enough to manage symptoms if they are less severe. However, more severe allergic reactions may require a prescription steroid cream or possibly oral steroid therapy.

How long do symptoms last?
Symptoms of hypersensitivity to hair dye may last anywhere from a few days to a week or more, depending on the severity of the reaction.

Synthetic and natural alternatives to PPD
Many alternatives to PPD-containing hair dyes are on the market, though color options may be more limited.
They are PPD-related chemicals, such as hydroxyethyl-p-phenylenediamine sulfate (HPPS), or they do not contain PPD at all, and they work by getting deep into the hair and staining it. Some of these alternative dyes are only available in limited ranges of color, so they may not work for everyone.
Henna is another option for people looking to avoid irritating PPD. True henna is made from crushed plant matter.
Henna usually ranges from an orangish to red-brown color, depending on the other ingredients in it and how it is prepared before it is applied.
Henna is considered to be more allergy-friendly, though there is still the possibility of reacting. A patch test should be used for any henna-containing dye if someone wants to be sure.
It is also crucial to be certain the henna is in fact true henna. Many companies add PPD or its derivatives to their henna-containing hair dyes and market it as henna. These may still cause a PPD-related reaction.

Semi-permanent and lead-containing dyes
Some people can tolerate semi-permanent hair dyes or lead-based hair dyes, though these options may not be right for everyone. A dermatologist can help determine any chemicals that may be right for every individual they test.

Avoiding a reaction
Avoiding a reaction to hair dyes is easy if a few steps are followed. Any or all of these methods can be used to help test for reactions or avoid them
General precautions

Using gloves for hair dye allergy
It is recommended to use gloves when handling hair dye.
The instructions for each particular dye should be followed closely to help prevent any reactions caused by incorrect usage.
It is important not to leave hair dye in for longer than recommended. While most chemicals in hair dye are considered safe to use, leaving the chemicals on the scalp for too long can be irritating for most people.
Gloves should be worn whenever handling or applying hair dye.
Typically, for permanent dye, the hair and scalp should be washed thoroughly after the application is complete. Poor washing and rinsing leave bits of dye on the hair and scalp. This could cause irritation if the unnecessary dye is left reacting on the scalp longer than necessary. Additional washes and rinses may be required to be certain all the extra dye is washed off the hair and scalp.

Patch tests
Patch tests are done by a doctor and involve putting small, precise amounts of allergen substances in chambers on a small portion of the skin, usually the upper back, to check for allergic reactions.
With oxidizing hair dyes, a person can do an at-home test in a similar way, using the hair dye mixture. One of the simplest places to test is just behind the ear. Following the dye’s instructions on what to do after applying the dye is the best way to ensure a proper test.
Any irritation, reaction, or feeling of being unwell is a sign that the rest of a person’s scalp will have a bad reaction to the product. The product should be avoided in favor of another kind of dye.
Allergy clinics
If home patch testing or hair dyeing become a regular necessity, many people choose to go to an allergy clinic. Allergy clinics can do their own patch test to help determine what chemicals a person is intolerant of or allergic to. The list of possible irritants can then be checked against the ingredients of hair dyes to find the best one for their use.
Any potentially irritating chemicals should be avoided. A person should be tested to ensure they are not allergic to a chemical or chemicals in hair dye to prevent a reaction. Avoiding further use of the product is key to preventing the recurrence of an allergic reaction.


Science Says Menstruation Doesn’t Mess With Women’s Brains

Published July 24, 2017 by teacher dahl

woemen mens

New research suggests menstruation doesn’t change how a woman’s brain works.
The idea that a woman who is menstruating isn’t operating at her cognitive best is hardly a new one. Plenty of (pretty ropey) studies have indicated that it can change fundamental thought patterns.
But robust new research published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience has dealt that idea a significant blow. A team of researchers enlisted 68 women and tested three major aspects of cognitive function across two menstrual cycles, finding they were not affected by changes in levels of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

While some hormones were associated with changes over one cycle, the effects didn’t repeat in the following cycle. Basically, none of the hormones had any replicable, consistent effect on study participants’ cognition.
Leading the research was Professor Brigitte Leeners, a psychotherapist and specialist in reproductive medicine. Dealing with many women who have the impression the menstrual cycle influences their well-being and cognitive performance, Leeners both wondered about the anecdotal evidence and questioned the methodology of many existing studies on the subject.
To gain some better insights, Leeners and her team utilised a much larger sample than in the past, and decided to follow women across two consecutive menstrual cycles.
Operating out of the Medical School of Hannover and University Hospital Zürich, 68 women were enlisted in the study and underwent detailed monitoring to investigate changes in three selected cognitive processes at different stages in two separate menstrual cycles. The research team looked for both differences in performance between individuals and changes in individuals’ performance over time. They couldn’t find any.

The hormonal changes related to the menstrual cycle do not show any association with cognitive performance,” Leeners said in a news release. “Women’s cognitive performance is in general not disturbed by hormonal changes occurring with the menstrual cycle.”

The next step in the research is to enlist larger samples and more sub-samples of subjects. But for now, this is a pretty big stigma-buster. Or you would think. Giving an indication of just how loaded this topic is, witness two different approaches to covering it: ‘Why moody women can’t blame the time of the month’ is the Daily Mail’s SEO title for their story; while the International Business Times has the much more obvious (and even handed), “Myth busted: Women are just as clear and rational on their period.”

So maybe don’t expect this one to be put to bed any time soon.



Signs and Symptoms of Normal and Abnormal Periods

Published May 26, 2017 by teacher dahl

abnormal period

From time to time, every woman likely suspects that her menstrual cycle is abnormal for one reason or another. However, often what we think is an abnormal period is actually normal menstruation.

It’s important to know when you are having an abnormal period because it can be a symptom of a health issue that needs attention, including pregnancy, uterine cancer, and uterine fibroid tumors. So the question becomes, how do you know when you’re experiencing abnormal periods?
Abnormal Bleeding During Periods
You may be experiencing an abnormal period, abnormal uterine bleeding, or an abnormal menstrual cycle if the time between your menstrual cycles is longer than 21 to 35 days, or your period lasts longer than a week. If you need to change tampons or sanitary pads after only one or two hours because they’re saturated, this is a red flag (no pun intended!) as well.

For girls under 11 and post-menopausal women, any vaginal bleeding should be treated as abnormal and prompt a call to your healthcare provider.

When Menstrual Cramps Are Abnormal
While it’s normal to experience a small amount of cramping during your period, it’s not normal to experience severe menstrual cramps. If you suddenly begin having severe cramps you should be evaluated by your health care provider to determine the cause of the increased pain you experience during your period.

  • Some young women have more intense cramping during the first few years after their first period.
  • This typically decreases with age and after childbirth.
  • If you are over 16 and haven’t had a period yet, consult your health care provider to determine the cause and be sure and ask about the possibility of polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS.

mens 1

Period Symptoms That May Seem Abnormal But Usually Aren’t
The best thing to do when you suspect that you’re experiencing abnormal bleeding or menstrual cycles is to consult with your healthcare provider.

However, sometimes what appears to be an irregular symptom actually isn’t. For instance, blood clots, which are actually pieces of tissue in your vaginal discharge may look a little scary the first time you notice them. But this is no cause for alarm; blood clots such as these are perfectly normal.

Skipping periods or having irregular periods for the first few years of menstruation also is normal for many girls and young women.

If you’re extremely active you may skip a menstrual cycle or two from time to time. This is another normal occurrence among women who regularly participate in intense sports or other activities.


mens 3

Things to Remember About Menstruation
Here are some basics every woman should know to help determine if you’re having an abnormal period.

Normal menstrual bleeding lasts about 5 days.
The typical amount of blood lost during menstruation is about 2 to 8 tablespoons, although it may seem like more than that.
The average menstrual cycle is 28 days from the first day of one month’s period to the first day of the net month’s period. However, anywhere from 21 to 35 days between periods is considered a normal menstrual cycle.
If you’re ever unsure whether unusual bleeding or other menstrual symptoms are abnormal, you should talk to your healthcare provider. Finding irregularities with your menstrual cycle before they turn into serious problems is just one more reason regular exams are advised for women of childbearing age.

So much can vary from month to month and from woman to woman, that having a healthcare provider who knows you and your cycle is important for your health and your peace of mind.


Look Younger : Secrets that Work

Published March 17, 2017 by teacher dahl


Start With Primer
If you’re old enough for laugh lines, a skin care makeover can give you a fresher, younger look. Our skin dries and thins with age, so products used five years ago may look quite matronly today. A better routine calls for skin primer, according to Robin Rylant, a celebrity makeup artist who’s worked with Celine Dion. A high-quality primer fills in small wrinkles, making them less visible.

Forgo Thick Foundation
If you still slather foundation directly over aging skin, you’re likely adding years to your look. That thick top coat tends to break into deep cracks, which look far worse than the fine lines you’re trying to hide. Instead, apply moisturizer, primer, then a light liquid foundation for additional skin-plumping moisture. Ryland suggests tapping it in gently with a sponge, rather than rubbing it in.

clown eyes
Avoid Clown Eyes
Applying flattering eye makeup requires precision. Unfortunately, eyesight tends to decline with age. “If you don’t see as well, you may not get the makeup on correctly,” Ryant says. The results can include clownish amounts of eye shadow or crooked eyeliner. The solution: “Get yourself a good magnifying mirror.”

Enhance the Shape of the Eye
As we age, the eyelids tend to droop, so the goal is to draw attention away from the lid and toward the actual eye. Eyeliner is the key. Apply it in a thin streak along the line where the lashes begin, top and bottom. This will enhance the shape of your eye and create the illusion of thicker lashes. Use soft shades and a light touch when applying eye shadow.

Put Eyebrows Back On
“Eyebrows are extremely important because they frame the face,” Ryant says. But the brows tend to grow thinner and grayer with age. To “put eyebrows back on,” Ryant recommends using eyebrow pencil that complements your hair color. Placing powder over the pencil will help it stay put. Some people choose to have eyebrows permanently tattooed, but the FDA and Consumer Reports has raised safety concerns about this practice.

bleeding lips

No Bleeding Lipstick

Don’t Let the Lips ‘Bleed’
Few things draw attention to wrinkles like bleeding lip color. This happens because lipstick is a cream, and it tends to slip into any low spaces — including the lines around your lips. To keep color from traveling, use moisturizer, then coat the lips with foundation before applying lipstick.

whiten teeth
Whiten Stained Teeth
Whitening toothpastes can help remove surface stains so your teeth look about one shade lighter. To go deeper, try peroxide-based whitening gels or strips. These products bleach the enamel of your teeth to change your natural tooth color. For the most dramatic results, an in-office treatment with your dentist can make the teeth visibly whiter in less than an hour. Several treatments may be needed to get the desired shade.

tired eyes

Rejuvenate Tired Eyes
If your eyes look tired, the most obvious solution may be to get more rest. Sleep triggers the release of hormones that help the skin remain thicker and more elastic. To reduce eye puffiness, cut back on salt and stay well hydrated. You can also try soothing swollen eyes with cool cucumber slices or moist tea bags.

dark circles

Reduce Dark Circles
Getting enough sleep can also minimize dark circles under the eyes. But in some people, the discoloration comes from too much pigmentation in the skin. In that case, creams containing lightening agents such as retinol, hydroquinone, green tea, or vitamin C may help. To camouflage dark circles, use a concealer one shade lighter than your skin and yellowish in tone. Wear SPF 30 sunscreen daily.

boosts thin hair
Boost Thinning Hair
You can give thinning hair the illusion of more body with some simple styling tricks. Use a large round brush to lift the hair and add volume. To set the style, use the cool button on your hairdryer. Styling with hot rollers is another good option. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance way to add body, Ryant suggests a perm.

pamper hands

Pamper Your Hands
The skin on the hands has very little fatty tissue underneath and can easily become crinkled when dry. Applying moisturizer throughout the day can draw water into the skin to help hands look plumper and more youthful. Look for a moisturizer that contains glycerin, hyaluronic acid, shea butter, or safflower seed oil. You can also use lightening creams to fade age spots on the hands.

dont smoke

Don’t Smoke
One of the surest ways to protect against skin damage is to avoid cigarettes. Studies of twins suggest smokers have skin that is more wrinkled and up to 40% thinner than nonsmokers. Researchers believe tobacco smoke releases an enzyme that breaks down collagen and elastin, compounds that are vital to the skin’s structure and elasticity.

Study Reveals That Starting Work Before 10am Is Ruining Your Health

Published January 15, 2017 by teacher dahl


In case anyone was after confirmation, yes – early mornings suck. They especially suck on weekdays when you have to go into your crappy job on your crappy salary on the crappy train in the crappy rain.

But until society collapses and we no longer need to invest our time in exchange for money in order to survive on this god damn earth, I guess we’ll just need to bite the bullet and go to work.

Considering the average person spends roughly 30 per cent of their life at work, does it not make sense to want to spend it in the least pain possible? Enter science.

Science has your back. Not only has it proven that drinking wine before bed will help you lose weight, it backed it up with proof that eating cheese every day is good for you.

And for its final act: science is pushing for a 10am start on work days, comparing 9am starts to ‘torture.’

The study out of Oxford University found that forcing staff to start work before 10am is making employees ill, exhausted and stressed. Before the age of 55, the circadian rhythms of adults are totally out of sync with the average 9-5 working hours, posing a serious threat to employees’ performance, mood and mental health.

Study author Dr Paul Kelley says sleep deprivation is particularly damaging on the body’s physical, emotional and performance systems.

“Your live and your heart have different patterns and you’re asking them to shift two or three hours. This is an international issue. Everybody is suffering and they don’t have to,” Kelly said.

And despite contrary belief, no – you cannot change your circadian rhythms.

“We cannot change our 24-hour rhythms,” said Kelly. “You cannot learn to get up at a certain time. Your body will be attuned to sunlight and you’re not conscious of it because it reports to hypothalamus, not sight.”

Just one week with less than six hours sleep each night leads to 711 changes in how genes in your body function. Lack of sleep impacts performance, attention and long term-memory, and can also lead to exhaustion, anxiety, frustration, anger, impulsiveness, weight-gain, risk-taking and high blood pressure.


So when you’re forced to wake up or go to work earlier than what your body wants to, your sleep deprivation is putting your body under a huge amount of stress, and “sleep deprivation is a torture.”

Your move? Maybe don’t (actually, just don’t) accuse your boss of torturing you, but instead raise the topic of coming into work a bit later and back it up with the potential benefits like higher quality work, a greater work ethic and an improved mood.

This article originally appeared on Men’s Health.


Adding Folic Acid to Bread Flour May Prevent Birth Defects

Published January 9, 2017 by teacher dahl

If you’re a Filipina who’s expecting a baby, your diet may be missing a key ingredient believed to help prevent certain kinds of birth defects.
That ingredient? Folic acid, which has long been used to fortify, or strengthen, certain enriched grains.

However, as Jonca Bull, M.D., director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Minority Health notes, “Many Hispanic women don’t benefit from the folic acid in cereal grain products because those products are not a mainstay of their regular diets—which often are bread flour-based.”

This could be a reason why Filipinas represent the highest percentage of U.S. women giving birth to children with neural tube defects (NTDs), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). NTDs are birth defects of the brain, spine and spinal cord, such as anen¬cephaly and spina bifida.

The FDA has moved to help protect these women and their children by approving the addition of folic acid to corn masa flour, an ingredient in foods including tortillas, tacos, tortilla chips and tamales. Foods made from this flour are staple foods of Mexican and some Central and South American diets.

When consumed by pregnant women before and during pregnancy, folic acid—a B vitamin—may help to prevent neural tube defects.


An Important Preventive Step
In 1998, in response to a recommendation by CDC and the U.S. Public Health Service, FDA made it easier for many expectant mothers to consume folic acid. The agency required the addition of folic acid to standardized enriched cereal grains, such as enriched rice and flour, and standardized enriched cereal grain products, such as enriched bread and macaroni.

Refined grains are enriched when certain B vitamins are added back after processing. Standardized foods contain ingredients required by FDA and are produced in a specified way.

“The reasoning was that enough people—including expectant mothers—eat enriched grains as a matter of course. And that could make a difference in the number of neural tube defects,” says Dennis M. Keefe, Ph.D., director of FDA’s Office of Food Additive Safety. In fact, the number of NTDs in the U.S. for all populations has since declined.
However, the incidence of neural tube defects in some Hispanic American populations has not declined to the same extent as in the general population.

So, FDA reviewed and approved a food additive petition from five organizations—the March of Dimes Foundation, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Spina Bifida Association, the National Council of La Raza, and Gruma Corporation—requesting that folic acid be added to corn masa flour. Manufacturers may now voluntarily add the amount of folic acid (up to 0.7 milligrams) per pound of corn masa flour that is consistent with the levels in the enriched cereal grains mandated in 1998.

“With this approval, FDA is taking a powerful, preventive public health action,” Bull says. “By adding folic acid to corn masa flour, we have the opportunity to impact a large segment of the U.S. population and protect parents and their children from the devastating birth defects that are linked to insufficient folic acid consumed by the mother before and during pregnancy.”

If You’re Pregnant or Thinking of Becoming Pregnant
CDC recommends that for folic acid to help prevent some major birth defects, a woman should start consuming 400 mcg a day at least one month before she becomes pregnant and the entire time while she is pregnant. For masa, cereals and grain products, read the ingredient statement to see if the food has been enriched with folic acid.


Some easy ways to make sure to get enough folic acid are to:
• Eat a bowl of an enriched breakfast cereal that has 100% of the Daily Value of folic acid.
• Eat other enriched cereal grain products mandated to contain folic acid.
• Take a vitamin or multivitamin supplement that contains folic acid each day.
Talk to your health care provider about what’s best for you.

Running Slows Development of Osteoarthritis: Study says

Published January 9, 2017 by teacher dahl


Everybody believes running can leave you sore and swollen, right? Well, a new study suggests running might actually reduce inflammation in joints.
“It flies in the face of intuition,” said study co-author Matt Seeley, an associate professor of exercise sciences at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. “This idea that long-distance running is bad for your knees might be a myth.”
Seeley and his colleagues reached their surprising conclusion after analyzing the knee joint fluid of several healthy men and women between the ages of 18 and 35. The researchers looked for signs of inflammation in chemical markers before and after a 30-minute run and found little difference.

“What we now know is that for young, healthy individuals, exercise creates an anti-inflammatory environment that may be beneficial in terms of long-term joint health,” lead author Robert Hyldahl said in a university news release. Hyldahl is an assistant professor of exercise science at BYU.
The researchers said the study suggests running could actually delay development of degenerative joint diseases like osteoarthritis.
“This study does not indicate that distance runners are any more likely to get osteoarthritis than any other person,” Seeley said. “Instead, this study suggests exercise can be a type of medicine.”



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