Every magazine article and tv commercial speaks about antioxidants and their seemingly miracle-working qualities. What are antioxidants really capable of and why do we need them? We take a little closer look.
Atoms, which make up molecules, are at the center stage of every chemical reaction that takes place within the body. To undertake ordinary chemical reactions, molecules should have a balanced charge. Balance in the molecules means everything is running smoothly, which translates to good health. The trouble begins when some atoms acquire an extra negative charge, transforming them into free radicals.
The free radicals roam the body looking for a balanced atom they can snatch an electron from to balance their charge. This solves the atom’s problems but creates another unbalanced molecule (free radical). As the free radicals increase in the body, many issues start to occur, including unhealthy chemical reactions and uncoordinated body functions. The resulting chemical stress can lead to diseases such as cancer, arthritis, respiratory and heart diseases. As long as there are free radicals in the body, the chain reaction continues, causing more chemical imbalances.
The damage caused by free radicals is known as oxidative stress. To counteract the oxidative stress, you require antioxidants. These are atoms whose work is to give the radical atoms the electrons they need to balance the charge. When there are enough antioxidants in the body, free radicals do not need to steal atoms from other atoms, breaking the chain.
Antioxidants that give away their electrons become oxidized so the radical molecules can gain balance and stop damaging the cells. Their mission is to find free radicals and prevent the reaction and formation of new radicals.
The key to chemical reactions is that they take place in the atoms, the core or foundation of the cells that make up the body organs. If the chemical reactions are altered in the cells, the entire body will react differently.
Origin of Free Radicals
Inhaling pesticides, household cleaners, smoking, radiation, alcohol consumption and exposure to industrial waste can expose you to free radicals. Processed foods, sugary foods, some medications, and emotional stress may raise the levels of free radicals in the body. This means that you need to take care of your diet, understand the chemical composition of prescribed drugs and steer away from radiation therapy if possible.
To ensure the body’s supply of antioxidants outnumber the free radicals, limit chemical exposure and consume foods high in vitamins and minerals. In fact, we recommend that you fill your plate with all colors of food. This ensures you get all the required nutrients to fight off the free radicals.
How do you get more antioxidant power?
Diet is one of the most important considerations. As you will realize, you cannot prevent the total formation of free radicals or oxidation because these are some of the byproducts of the body processes. Supplements and foods rich in minerals and vitamins are vital in achieving the optimal power to clean the body and stay healthy. Vitamin C is one of the vital nutrients required for this process.
To boost the protective power, you should make a conscious decision to eat foods high in antioxidant power. These include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. It is important to note that how you prepare your meals can preserve or destroy their potency or ability to fight off destructive elements in the body. Deep frying food leads to oxidation and breakdown of nutrients and so does overcooking. Cooking over low heat ensures all the nutrients stay intact.
Stick to a healthy diet and ensure you include foods rich in Vitamin C, A, E, lutein, flavonoids, selenium, and lignan. As noted earlier, vitamin C is the best antioxidant, so make sure you eat foods rich in the vitamin, such as citrus fruits, strawberries, and green leafy vegetables.
If you are worried about oxidation effects on your body, find solace in the fact that most bodily organs have a natural way of protecting themselves from this dangerous process. They can produce chemicals to fight oxidation and protect their cells from free radical damage. Being aware of the effects free radicals can have on your body can help you make better diet and lifestyle choices.
If you have questions about antioxidants in your body, contact our office today!Lear More
As the weather begins to change, cold winds and dry air can lead to red, itchy, and cracked skin. This is why now is the time to adjust your skincare routine. Here are some tips to help you prevent dry skin and keep your skin feeling its best during the cold season:
Use a Humidifier
One of the main reasons skin dries out in the winter is the lack of humidity in the air. It is best to use a humidifier in your house and work environment. If you have to choose one place, our advice would be the bedroom. Here, your skin will be exposed to moisture in the air throughout the night and keep it fresh for the day ahead.
Change Your Shower Routine
Some people take warmer and longer showers during the winter months. While this is great for defrosting cold toes, the steam will dilate pores and allow extra water to evaporate from your skin. Warm water also strips natural oils away. If you have to use warm water when you bathe, try to shorten your time in the shower. Drying appropriately is also important to keep your skin healthy. You should not rub your body because the towel is abrasive against the skin and may cause irritation, as well as dry skin to flake off and patches to spread. Instead, try gently patting away the water.
Although you should always drink plenty of water throughout the day, it is particularly important during the winter months. You should drink 8-10 glasses of water per day. This will help to keep moisture in your skin. This is especially helpful if you frequently consume alcohol and coffee, which are diuretics and dehydrate you.
Protect Your Skin from the Outside Elements
When you must go outside, it is essential to protect your skin. You should cover any exposed areas with a scarf, gloves, and a hat. On a windy day, your skin may become dry and red from exposure. Also, winter may be a dark season, but the sun still shines brightly on certain days. It is necessary to wear a moisturizing sunscreen that will keep your skin protected from the sun as well.
Remove Makeup Carefully
The way you remove your makeup at the end of the night can dry out your skin. Many women use convenient cosmetic remover wipes, but, most of these products contain alcohol or similar ingredients that can be extremely drying. A better alternative is cold cream (an emulsion of water and oil). This item has been around since the second-century but still has a lot of great qualities. It will add moisture to your skin while effectively removing makeup.
Choose the Perfect Moisturizer
If you enter any store, you probably are bombarded with hundreds of moisturizing products. It is important to know how to choose a product that works for your specific skin type.
You may wonder whether to use a lotion, ointment, or cream. The difference is the amount of water that each contains. Most lotions are comprised of a high volume of water when compared to the other ointments and creams. This means that if you have extremely dry skin, a cream or ointment is a smarter option. As you read the ingredient labels, look for a product that contains humectants. These draw moisture from the inner layer of your skin to the other layers. A common humectant is a glycerin. Another helpful ingredient is an occlusive agent (Lanolin, mineral oil, or paraffin). These will create a barrier to your skin that seals in moisture and adds a protective wall.
Be sure to apply moisturizer after showering (and drying off correctly). You should also have a bottle of hand cream available at home and at work. This is especially important if you frequently wash your hands throughout the day.
Visit a Trusted Dermatologist
The best way to care for your skin during cold weather is to visit a dermatologist. An experienced doctor can offer more preventative tips that will keep your skin from drying out. They will also be able to provide recommendations based on your specific skin condition and type.
At Universal Dermatology & Vein Care, we are dedicated to finding a treatment that targets each patient’s individual needs. Whether you are having trouble with acne, varicose veins, or dry skin, you will benefit from our services. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.Lear More
Summer is synonymous with sweat, sun, and sea. It is also the time of year when we kick our health and skin care habits into overdrive. Thanks to extra exposure added to the sun’s UV rays, summer is when we are more likely to experience skin damage. To protect ourselves and our skin, the following skin care habits should become second nature.
1. Eat Well and Exercise
As amazing and effective as topical treatments and procedures can be, regular exercise and eating well is still the first step to great skin care and good general health. As a rule, drink lots of water and stay away from sugary snacks, processed carbohydrates, and too much salt. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables (especially hydrating, waterlogged ones), lean meats, fiber-rich grains and more. Also do at least 30 to 45 minutes of moderate exercise daily.
2. Wear Sunscreen
Sunscreen is perhaps the most important tool in your healthy summer skin bag of tricks. Sunscreen must be worn at all times when going outdoors. While no sunscreen can block all of the sun’s UV rays, be sure to use a sunscreen of SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30, as these have been shown to effectively block up to 97% of the sun’s rays.
3. Use protective gear
Since the sun’s UV rays are very damaging to the skin, reducing direct contact between UV rays and the skin is the name of the game. In addition to applying sunscreen, using umbrellas, wearing sun visors or caps, and sitting in the shade when outdoors can all go a long way to protecting against UV rays related skin damage.
4. Develop a skin care routine
During the summer, it is important to keep up with your skincare routine. Be sure to gently wash and cleanse the skin regularly, as well as moisturize. Use the products that work well with your skin type.
For further information about how to protect yourself from summer’s strong UV rays, contact Universal Dermatology today.Lear More
- working out
- drinking lots of water
- reducing the intake of processed foods and sugars
- consuming more fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains getting adequate sleep
- managing stress
- Wearing sunscreen: Overexposure to UV rays is one of the most common causes of skin cancer and skin damage. As we are taught at an early age, sunscreen is a very important part of combating the sun’s rays. As long as the sun is out, your sunscreen should be out. An over-the-counter sunscreen of SPF 15 or more is a great place to start. And remember, keep applying!
- Donning protective gear: In addition to wearing sunscreen, protective gear like umbrellas or clothes with sleeves, can help to form a buffer between the sun’s rays and direct contact with the skin.
A good skin care regime goes beyond using anti-aging creams and potions, or acne medication when things start to go wrong. Instead, it involves everything from eating well and exercising to protecting ourselves from over-exposure to the harmful rays of the sun. Not surprisingly, skin care measures geared towards the latter become increasingly important as summer approaches and the likelihood of sunburns increases.
Sunburn prevention and sun protection precautions to help us stay protected from overexposure and sunburns.
Of course, the obvious way to avoid sunburn and the other damaging effects of the sun on the skin is to avoid being in the sun. However, this is not always a realistic option (especially during the summer), so the next best thing is to take preventative measures designed to help reduce the harmful effects of the sun. Here are a few tips to help you prevent sunburn during your outdoor activities:
Wear sunscreen. As you probably know, wearing sunscreen is one of the best ways to avoid sunburn. Sunscreens are designed to be topically applied to the skin to block out the harmful rays of the sun. The best sunscreens are those with an SPF of 15 or greater (the greater, the better). When using sunscreen, pay attention to the following, as they will all affect how effectively the sunscreen will work:
– the amount of sunscreen applied to the skin (SPF of 15 or more)
– how often it is applied (or reapplied)
– the time of day it is being applied is
Sunscreen should be generously applied, and reapplied when necessary, especially during the times of the day when the sun is at its peak (like noon for example). It is generally recommended that sunscreen is reapplied about every two hours or so for maximum effect. Still, as different sunscreen brands come complete with their own set of directions for use, be sure to pay attention to the same.
Use umbrellas. Rain or shine, use your umbrella this summer! Umbrellas are effective tools for sun protection and sunburn prevention. Using an umbrella outdoors can help to block the sun’s rays from coming into direct contact with the skin. This tip can be used along with using sunscreen, particularly during the hottest times of the day. Grab a cold drink and enjoy a beach day in the shade under your umbrella!
Re-organize your schedule when possible. In addition to the above tips, try to limit your time in the sun during the middle of the day, when the sun is the hottest. Plan your run for the early morning or your pool party in the late afternoon when the sun is less harmful.
Protective clothing. Wearing sun-protective clothing or hats is a simple and effective strategy for reducing sunburn and sun poisoning. Sun protective clothing like wide brim hats is a great option for protecting your face from the sun. Retailers that specialize in sun-protective items, such as https://www.sundayafternoons.com, are a great place to start on the search for your warm-weather accessories. #dontforgetyourhatLear More
Springtime is a favorite season for many. As flowers and plants begin to bloom again, the sun becomes a more prominent feature of everyday weather conditions. Protecting your skin from skin cancer and other kinds of skin or sun damage should be an important part of your skin care routine as much as it during the summer and winter months. The following skin protection tips can help you do just that.
1. Use sunscreen with recommended SPF balance
The sun’s rays are harmful. The less of them that your skin is directly exposed to, the healthier your skin will be. Protecting your skin from the harmful sunrays is something you should be doing all year round. Sunscreen is one of the things you can do to protect your skin during the spring. Make sure that you use a sunscreen with an SPF of 20 or more on a daily basis to stay protected.
2. Avoid being in the sun between 10AM and 4PM
In addition to wearing sunscreen, avoid being in the sun whenever possible, and especially at times when it is most harmful. The sun is at its hottest and most harmful during the hours between 10AM and 4PM. If you must be in the sun during these hours, enhance your skin protection by moisturizing properly and using a sunscreen with an appropriate SPF.
3. Continue to moisturize for skin protection
While moisturizing heavily may be associated with the winter months, your skin needs to be continuously moisturized to stay healthy. Try using a lighter, oil-free moisturizer as you transition from winter to spring. This will help keep your skin from drying out and keep it looking and feeling great during springtime.
4. Drink water
Drinking water is one of the things you can do for your body that helps keep it healthy both inside and out. Ensuring that your water intake is sufficient will help you maintain hydrated and glowing skin as well as keep your body functioning well. Getting in the recommended daily amount is a good place to start.Lear More
Winter gives your skin a double whammy. When outside, cold temperatures and high winds combine to stress your skin. Indoors, warm air from the furnace continues the work, drying it out to produce dull, lifeless and sometimes cracked skin. Skin health doesn’t have to suffer during colder weather if you use simple techniques to alleviate dry skin. Follow these skin tips for great-looking skin over the next few months.
Use Sunscreen. Yes, it’s important even in winter. The sun may not be out much, but your skin still needs protection. Winter sun combined with snow glare can damage your skin. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with zinc oxide does a great job of repelling rays before they enter your skin.
Moisturize More. Light moisturizers are great for spring and summer, but as the weather changes, so must your routine. Choose a moisturizer that is oil-based to create a protective layer over the skin, but chooses with care. Look for oils that won’t clog the pores such as avocado oil, mineral oil, primrose oil or almond oil. Lotions with glycerine, sorbitol, and alpha-hydroxy that attract moisture to your skin are also good. For your entire body, mix a few drops of olive or grapeseed oil into the bathwater, or try an oatmeal bath to make irritated skin feel better.
Ditch Overly Hot Baths. Speaking of baths, soaking in a hot tub may feel great in chilly weather, but your skin won’t thank you. The intense heat breaks down lipid barriers leading to a loss of moisture.
Take Extra Care of Hands and Feet. Winter takes a heavier toll on your hands because the skin there is thinner. Wear gloves outside and apply moisturizer frequently, especially after washing your hands. For very dry hands, apply cream instead of lotion. Applying cream right before bed and then wearing cotton gloves is a great way to avoid extreme dryness.
Similarly, don’t let your feet, especially the heels, turn into a callused and cracked mess. Exfoliate and moisturize frequently and don’t forget to wear socks at night to help creams absorb.
Sometimes no matter what you do, your skin health suffers in winter so much so that you need a prescription or professional advice. Visit the professionals at Universal Dermatology before your dry winter skin turns into a crisis.Lear More
With the cold season-ending, many people will be excited to feel the sun on their skin again. However, it is important for all individuals to enjoy the outdoor weather responsibly. The proper skin protection procedures should always be observed in order to minimize the risk of developing skin cancer. By following a few simple tips, you can stay safe throughout the spring and summer.
To begin, one of the most important things that all individuals must avoid is burning or tanning. No matter whether you intentionally tan in the sun or use tanning beds in a salon, it is vital to avoid going out of your way to tan. The ultraviolet light that comes from tanning beds and sunlight is the leading cause of skin cancer.
The sun’s rays are at their strongest between 10 AM and 4 PM. During this time, individuals should seek shade and avoid direct exposure to the sun. Wearing protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and pants can always help as well. A wide-brimmed hat and a pair of sunglasses can also be good options to avoid skin problems.
During particularly hot days, it is important for all individuals to use sunscreen. There are many different sunscreen products that customers can look into, many of which cater to specific skin needs. For a first time purchase, consider using a broad spectrum sunscreen that has an SPF rating of 30 or higher to protect your skin from the brunt of ultraviolet radiation. The sunscreen should be applied roughly fifteen minutes before going outside and then reapplied every two or so hours.
Individuals should also take care to exercise caution near sand and water. These surfaces can reflect the sun’s damaging rays, which may increase the individual’s chances of developing a sunburn. Finally, one of the best tips to avoid melanoma is to always try to catch it early. The earlier that the first signs of this cancer are detected, the greater the individual’s chances of fighting the disease. Everyone should take the time to examine their skin once a month, noting any new developments or changes along their dermis.Lear More