Atopic dermatitis, better known as eczema, is a chronic condition that causes the skin to become inflamed. It often manifests on the body as patches of dry, itchy skin that are red or brown. The itching may become more intense at night and, in some cases, raised bumps that leak fluid will develop. Cracked, scaly skin that becomes raw and sensitive from scratching may also be an issue.
Here are some tips for mitigating the discomfort associated with eczema.
Regardless of whether stress causes eczema to flare up, it’s likely that relaxation techniques and activities such as yoga can distract people from the itching and reduce the perceived severity of their symptoms. You can also try massage therapy, reading a book or listening to music to de-stress.
Whether they’re mild or severe, a good moisturizing cream is a must for managing eczema flare-ups. For best results, apply a liberal amount of moisturizer after taking a lukewarm bath or shower. Avoid hot water, as it dries the skin and will likely make your symptoms worse.
In addition, drink plenty of water and avoid consuming dehydrating foods and drinks such as deli meats, candy and alcohol.
A variety of medicated creams, some of which can be purchased without a prescription, can help manage flare-ups. Make sure to choose a product endorsed by dermatologists, and avoid greasy creams as well as those containing perfumes, parabens and dyes.
Choose the right clothes
When your skin is irritated and inflamed, it’s best to avoid synthetic fabrics and tight-fitting clothes. Privilege loose apparel made of natural textiles such as cotton, bamboo and silk. These are less likely to aggravate your skin.
Manage humidity levels
Dry air can worsen eczema symptoms. Use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels at home and at work. Ideally, you should maintain a humidity level that’s between 40 and 60 percent. If necessary, you can use a humidifier to remedy dry air.
Learn your triggers
Eczema flare-ups can be triggered by a wide range of things including soaps, dust, cigarette smoke, cleaning products and certain foods. Try to identify the things that trigger your eczema and, if possible, eliminate them. This will result in fewer flare-ups.
While it’s easier said than done, refraining from scratching is an important component of managing atopic dermatitis. Despite the temporary relief it provides, scratching damages your skin and makes you even itchier.
If you absolutely need to relieve the itching, try to pinch or lightly rub the affected area. It’s also a good idea to wear cotton gloves to bed, as unconscious nighttime scratching is a common cause of skin damage. Finally, you should cut your nails very short to minimize the risk of injuring your skin.
Eczema is a common and potentially debilitating skin condition. Following these tips, and seeking the help of a health care professional, will likely make it a little easier to manage.
Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome: what is it?
The legalization of cannabis in some states and in Canada has spurred enthusiasm for its potential therapeutic properties. However, healthcare professionals have reported an increased incidence of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS), a condition specific to regular cannabis users that’s characterized by cyclic nausea and vomiting and abdominal pain. Here’s what you should know.
In the early stages of CHS, persistent morning nausea and abdominal pain may be the only symptoms. However, the more active phase of the condition is characterized by moderate to severe abdominal pain accompanied by persistent and potentially severe nausea and vomiting which can only be relieved by very hot baths or showers. Some patients experience symptoms of dehydration due to extreme vomiting. This is typically what prompts them to seek medical attention.
As vomiting and abdominal pain are common complaints, a diagnosis of CHS can be difficult to establish. In addition, the disorder was first identified in 2004, meaning some medical professionals may not be aware of it and misdiagnose it as cyclic vomiting syndrome, a condition with similar symptoms. The only definitive diagnostic finding is improvement after quitting cannabis.
While intravenous fluid replacement, medication to reduce vomiting and painkillers may be provided to alleviate the symptoms of CHS, prolonged, persistent vomiting can lead to serious complications. The only known treatment for the syndrome is to stop using cannabis. Afterward, symptoms usually disappear within one or two days.
CHS is a rare condition and the main risk factor is chronic, heavy cannabis use, defined as 20 days a month for at least six months. It’s unclear why some users develop the syndrome while others don’t.
While rare, CHS diagnoses are increasing. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms such as persistent vomiting and abdominal pain, it’s important to seek medical attention.
6 keys to complete wellness
1. A balanced diet
A healthy lifestyle starts with smart dietary choices. Privilege fruits and vegetables for their high content of vitamins and minerals. You should also make room for whole grains, which are packed with heart-friendly fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Aim to reduce your consumption of salt, trans fats, refined sugars and fried foods. In addition, it’s a good idea to regularly substitute meat with legumes, eggs and plant-based proteins such as tofu. Don’t forget that balance is key, however. Allow yourself a treat from time to time, otherwise you may become frustrated and be less likely to stick to a healthy diet.
2. An active lifestyle
Regular physical activity improves coordination, balance, cardiovascular health and self-esteem. In addition, it strengthens bones, decreases stress, helps you manage your weight and reduces your risk of developing heart disease and certain cancers. The World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of physical activity per week for people aged 18 to 64. If you’re not sure how to meet this objective, try taking the stairs instead of the elevator and privilege active transportation, such as biking and walking, whenever possible. If you struggle to keep yourself motivated, join a gym with a friend and work out together.
3. A restful sleep
Generally speaking, adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night to feel energized and maintain their physical and mental health. To help you sleep better, make sure you have a comfortable mattress and pillow and that your bedroom is dark, cool and well-ventilated. Avoid screens, stimulants and physical activity before bed and plan for at least two hours between supper and sleep. Finally, try to make your sleep schedule as regular as possible and, if you can manage it, try to stick to it all the time, weekends included.
4. Optimal hydration
Being sufficiently hydrated is essential to ensure your body functions properly. Recommendations about how much water you need to drink a day vary and the amount required by an individual depends on many factors, including height, weight and lifestyle. One thing to keep in mind is that foods like soup and fresh fruits and veggies all count towards your daily water intake. However, try to privilege water over sugary drinks and juices, as it’s free of calories, helps regulate body temperature and aids in intestinal transit by facilitating the decomposition of food.
5. A supportive social network
Social activities are beneficial to both your physical and mental health. According to various studies, social interactions help reduce feelings of anxiety, mitigate symptoms of depression and decrease blood pressure and inflammation. Some studies also suggest that, in certain cases, a healthy social life can help reinforce positive habits like eating well and sticking to an exercise program. Finally, a strong and caring social network offers support in difficult times. If yours is sparse, try joining classes or volunteering. These activities offer great opportunities to meet new people and develop your interests.
6. Mental well-being
Preserving your mental health is crucial to maintaining your overall health. First and foremost, try to develop healthy strategies for dealing with stress, starting with reserving time for yourself in your schedule. Mediating, listening to music, going on nature hikes, reading, performing breathing exercises and getting massages are all great ways to relax. Part of adopting a healthy lifestyle involves devoting time to the activities you enjoy. This will help you keep stress under control and sleep better. In turn, you’ll have the energy you need to prepare healthy meals, work out and keep up with your social life.
Why consult a physical therapist?
Physical therapy provides preventive and rehabilitative treatment for neurological, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular problems. These may include muscle or joint injuries, chronic pain, arthritis, tendinitis and headaches. Physical therapists are also trained in helping with poor posture, loss of balance, dizziness, vertigo, pelvic rehabilitation and even delays in motor development in children.
Physical therapists can treat a person’s functional limitations, regardless if they’re caused by health problems (multiple sclerosis, stroke, arthritis, paralysis, etc.) or by an injury (sprain, fracture, strain, bursitis, etc.). They work with individuals of all ages wanting to recover the full potential of their physical abilities following an accident or sports injury. Depending on the situation, treatments can involve a combination of different techniques, such as applying heat or ice, exercise, manipulative therapy, and even electrotherapy.
Consult a physical therapist to learn more about the full range of services and treatments they provide.
How’s your swing?
Would you like to improve your cardiovascular endurance while having fun? Maybe you should sign up for a racket sport! Badminton, tennis, squash, racquetball, table tennis—there are numerous possibilities.
In addition to being great for the heart, racket sports help strengthen lots of different muscles. Besides the legs, which work hard as you move around the court, and the arm, which holds the racket, the back muscles and abdominals contribute to every stroke. And that’s not all—coordination, flexibility, balance, agility, concentration, and anticipation are all elements that racket sports help to improve. Players can easily expend enough energy to lose weight.
Badminton and table tennis may be Olympic sports, but they’re ideal for beginners as well. Even if you’ve never played a racket sport, you’ll still manage to learn to rally pretty fast. If you tend to like more intense sports, opt for squash or racquetball; you can burn between 1,000 and 1,500 calories in just one session!
Nadal, Djokovic, Sharapova, Williams… Do the great tennis stars inspire you? Why not try to imitate your idol? Just take a few lessons to learn the basics or ask a friend to introduce you to the sport.
Whatever your choice, racket sports are perfect to de-stress after a hard day or for sharing good times with friends. Why not give it a try? The ball is in your court!
Racket sports are great for the heart. Why not give it a try?
Your first visit with your physical therapist
During your first appointment, the physical therapist will assess your current condition by asking a series of questions about your injury or pain and how it’s limiting your daily activities. You can also expect questions about your medical history, such as previous injuries, current health problems, and if you’re taking medications.
You’ll also undergo a series of physical tests to evaluate your condition and determine its cause. Your physical therapist will then be able to diagnose the source of the problem and recommend the proper course of action.
Treatment can begin as early as the first or second visit. The frequency and number of treatments will depend on several factors, such as age, type of injury and overall commitment. You need to be an active participant in your rehabilitation by doing the recommended exercises on a daily basis. Consult a physical therapist for more information about services and treatment.
The pleasures of riding
Have you always loved animals and the great outdoors? Why not finally unite these two passions by signing up for riding lessons? Not only will you be able to stay in shape, but you’ll also be able to relax and enjoy the outdoors all year round.
Riding is much more than just sitting on a horse. Although it is an individual sport, teamwork is required between the rider and his or her mount—in a way, it is really all about developing a relationship with the horse. Consequently, it is essential to get to know your horse and the way it behaves so as to make the most of the experience. In addition to practical experience, riding lessons also include a bit of horse care theory.
Can horseback riding really be considered as a sport? Isn’t it the horse that does all the work? Actually, no. Riding develops balance, lung capacity, and muscle tone, which is essential for both good posture and guiding the horse. The muscles of the shoulders, back, and thighs, as well as the abdominal and gluteal muscles, all have their role to play. Different skills and levels of physical effort are required by the rider for walking, trotting, cantering, galloping, and jumping. Riding is also a great activity for improving self-confidence, as a great deal of mastery is required to guide a horse and to be ready to deal with the unexpected.
You might prefer to have quality time alone with horse and trainer by treating yourself to private lessons. Group classes are generally more affordable and are fun if you’d like to enjoy some time with friends.
Riding is all about collaboration between rider and horse.