girl doing exercise in gym

Avoiding Muscle Cramps During Exercise

So there’s this really cute guy at your gym. You feel emboldened because you just shed about 15 pounds and your new tank top reveals your newly flat belly. You see him on the treadmill. You give a little wave and smile. He waves and smiles back. Good sign. You maintain eye contact as you straddle the stationary bike. You feel his eyes on you as you start to pedal. And then…it happens! You are seized by a blinding shooting pain causing your leg muscles to spasm uncontrollably. Your face becomes a mask of agony. The cute guy looks away, horrified. You will never live this one down.
The most commonly accepted explanation for muscle cramps is dehydration, so most of us will try to combat a cramp with a glass of water. However, the reason for muscle cramps may be far more extensive and avoiding them may not be a simple as grabbing a glass of H2O.

Fluids
The jury on the effects of hydration on muscle cramps is still out. Some studies find there is no correlation between cramps and liquids, others show that fluids and electrolytes can be an effective way to avoid or delay muscle cramps. If dehydration is a cause of cramping, it would work something like this: When we don’t get enough to drink fluids outside our cells decrease and our nerve endings get crowded together, The result of this is a spontaneous discharge or a muscle twitch, leading to a muscle cramp. Proper hydration will prevent this from happening. So, to drink or not to drink? To drink of course. The benefits of staying hydrated during exercise are virtually never-ending, even if they don’t include the prevention of cramps. Experts agree that you let your thirst be your guide in determining the proper amount of fluid to drink and when to drink it.

Muscle Fatigue
Cramps are most common among beginner athletes and those who exercise too intensely because cramps are more likely to result from muscle fatigue. Exercisers should make sure to warm up muscles and pace their exercises to avoid strain. Adapting to heat may also cause cramps. When warmer weather arrives, take precautions to avoid starting workouts with too much intensity; don’t go from 0-100 too quickly.

Salt
Electrolytes are necessary for shifting fluids into and out of cells. Sodium is an electrolyte found in table salt. When it sweats, the body doesn’t just lose water, it loses sodium. Replacing the water without replacing the sodium can lead to dangerously low sodium levels, otherwise known as hyponatremia. This condition is most likely to occur during high endurance workouts which produce repeated sweating and can lead to painful cramping. Sodium can and should be replaced by snacking on salty foods or drinking sports drinks with high sodium levels.

Carbohydrates
Although some may claim they are the devil incarnate, carbs are still the main source of fuel for exercise. Carbohydrates are stored as glycogen in our muscles, and muscle cramps can set in when the store is exhausted. This is because our muscles use carbs to contract and also to relax. While exercise makes muscles contract, without enough fuel, muscle relaxation becomes impaired . If the muscle cannot relax, it can cramp.
Energy from carbs usually lasts through 60 to 90 minutes of exercise. Carbohydrates should be consumed if the workout exceeds that limit. Eat carbs before and during exercise, as needed.

So if you want to avoid those painful cramps, stick to these guidelines:

  1. Make sure to get appropriate training.
  2. Get used to the environment.
  3. Make sure your body gets enough fluids.
  4. Eat salty foods of high sodium sports drinks during, before and following exercise.
  5. Consume carbohydrates before working out and every 60 to 90 minutes thereafter.
thighs

Causes Of Inner Thigh Skin Sag

Did she so it or didn’t she? Did Beyonce, the woman who only needs one name, photoshop her world famous legs to create the image of a thigh gap? We can all agree that Beyonce is flawless, so why is she so concerned with creating the illusion of thinner thighs?
A survey commissioned by REAL Magazine found that , of the body parts that cause the most dissatisfaction to women, 91% of women named their hips and thighs.
Inner thighs are a cause of consternation for many, mainly because inner thigh muscles can be very difficult to target with exercise. Overweight women may find loose skin forming in this area. Muscle targeting can be helpful, but it often does not completely solve the problem.

Identifying Loose Skin
If you have loose skin on your thighs, you probably don’t need any help identifying it, nor do you want to help anyone else identify it. However, for those of you who may be new to it, saggy thighs are often characterized by drooping skin that hangs lax from the muscle without tone. It is often wrinkly and may have cellulite and is common in those who have had a recent dramatic weight loss.

Causes
When obesity occurs, skin expands to accommodate the excess fat. When weight loss occurs, the added skin remains and will only increase the amount of weight lost. Sagging thighs can also develop from a general lack of physical activity or age. Excessive sun exposure can also break down collagen in the legs, causing the skin to sag.

Exercise
One option for tightening up skin is exercise, but, if you are targeting your thighs, you may want to concentrate your efforts on the thigh muscles. Running may work, as may standing leg lifts, squats, and side lunges. If you are familiar with pilates, the side split may also be helpful.

Creams And Lotions
Vitamin C, vitamin E, and alpha-hydroxy acids are known for their ability to firm skin. Coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter are known for their moisturizing properties. Using creams and lotions with these ingredients along with regular exercise may help to give your thighs a tighter appearance.

Non-Surgical Methods
Radio frequency is a nonsurgical option which has been compared to a microwave by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery(ASAPS). It heats the skin to a point at which firming occurs. Pulsed light treatments are another option and work in a similar way, converting light to heat.

Surgical Methods
If you are considering a surgical solution, a lower body lift will remove loose skin and fat tissue , and, according to the ASAPS allows the “remaining tissue to stretch and smooth around the lower body, especially the buttocks and thighs.” Thin scars may result, but can be hidden by clothes or covered with concealer.

If you are considering surgical or nonsurgical methods, remember to consult a dermatologist first, and, if none of these options float your boat, there’s always loose clothes and photoshop!

latex gloves

Understanding Latex Sensitivity

Dustin Hoffman must have said it best. “There’s a new medical crisis. Doctors are reporting that many men are having allergic reactions to latex condoms. They say they cause severe swelling. So what’s the problem?”
Depending on your proclivities, the word latex brings up several associations. For the sexually inclined, thoughts immediately go to condoms and rubber clothing. For the less exotic, latex recalls rubber gloves and cleaning. If you are a dentist, you may recall catheters.
Naturally occurring rubber latex is derived from the sap of a rubber tree (of course!) otherwise known as Hevea Brasil ensues, which is found in Southeast Asia and Africa. Allergic reactions may occur when people who are sensitive to the proteins in natural rubber latex are exposed to products which contain the material.

Where Is Natural Rubber Latex Found?
Latex is common in dental and medical supplies like intravenous tubing, disposable gloves, stethoscopes, syringes, catheters, and bandages. As for consumer products, latex is found in handbags, athletic shoes, underwear leg and waist bands balloons, tools, tires, and, of course, condoms. Latex can also be found in baby products, such as baby bottles, pacifiers, nipples and rubber toys.

Triggers
Allergic reactions occur when latex allergy sufferers come into contact with latex. Some of the more common, and less embarrassing, ways of incurring these reactions are blowing up a balloon or undergoing a dental or medical procedure in which the doctors are wearing latex gloves.

Food Triggers
People with latex allergies can have food allergies as well. If you have latex allergies, you may also be adversely affected by apples, potatoes, bananas, papaya, melons, celery, carrots, kiwi, chestnuts and avocado.

Symptoms
Usually, allergy symptoms do not occur right away. In most cases, it takes several exposures for the signs to reveal themselves. (Virgins rejoice!) However, once they develop, symptoms include itching, hives, and runny or stuffy nose. Asthma- like symptoms, such as wheezing and tightening of the chest, may develop. Reactions will appear within minutes after coming into contact with latex. Anaphylaxis is the most serious result of a latex allergy and is characterized by breathing difficulty and drop in blood pressure.
If you wear rubber gloves, you may be in contact with chemicals that cause “allergic contact dermatitis.” This can cause blisters on the back of hands and eczema occurring 1to 3 days after wearing gloves.
And perhaps most distressingly: You don’t even have to come into contact with latex products to develop a reaction, Asthmatic reactions and anaphylactic can be caused just by inhaling proteins in the air caused by the powder contained in latex gloves and aerosols.

Treatment And Management
Sufferers of latex allergies should avoid coming into contact with anything containing latex and avoid consuming potentially risky foods. Doctors and dentists should always be informed of allergy before performing the treatment. Clinics and hospitals have increasingly begun to feature latex-safe areas and to use non-latex and low protein latex gloves.
Those with a latex allergy should wear a medical alert ID and carry an epinephrine auto-injector in case of emergencies. Allergists can provide additional information and recommendations for those affected by latex allergies.

woman sneezing

Environmental Allergies and Dark Eye Circles

Are the dark circles under your eyes getting you down? Well, hear this! It seems that there is a whole army of people with dark circles under their eyes who wear these features as badges of honor. Dark circle mantras include,”Those dark circles under my eyes are not from being tired, they’re from being awesome.” Benicio Del Toro defends his dark circles by saying, “Before I was ever in high school, I had dark circles under my eyes. I have dark circles under my eyes, deal with it.”

But if you don’t feel ready to bin your concealer, here are some facts that may be helpful. Dark circles under the eyes can usually be attributed to exhaustion, age, or illness. But those dark circles can also be a product of environmental allergies and can be fought accordingly.

Seasonal Allergies
Allergies, like hay fever, cosmetic allergies, food allergies and allergies from the workplace are all likely to cause dark circles. The blood vessels under the eyes to swell and rub the thin skin of the eyes, resulting in a darker color. Blocked nasal passages can also contribute to the formation of dark circles as the veins connecting the nose and eyes become dilated and dark. In the winter season, pollen from certain flowers can cause allergies which create dark circles.

Environmental Allergies
Environmental allergens include dust, mildew, mold and smoke. Pet dander can also cause allergies which lead to dark circles. Environmental allergies can lead to congestion which accelerates blood flow to the nose. Because of the delicate texture of the skin under the eyes, the excess blood flow creates a purplish color and makes the blood vessels around the eyes larger, creating a drier hue. Add to that the fact that allergy sufferers suffer adrenal fatigue and don’t sleep properly.

Food Allergies
Although the way foods affect allergy sufferers differ from person to person, the most common culprits are peas, chocolate, citrus, mustard, peanuts, shellfish, soy, and wheat. Foods with high sodium and potassium contact can also lead to dark circles.

Remedies for Dark Circles

  • Eye Cream: A topical cream containing ingredients like Vitamin A, cucumber extract or green tea extract can be effective on dark circles.
  • Cold Compress: Applying a cold compress on the eyes can reduce the appearance of dark circles by reducing inflammation, Place them on the eyes for about 15 minutes to affect a change.
  • Cucumber slices: Cucumbers are known to have natural bleaching properties and their pulp contains and solution that reduces skin swelling and restores texture. Apply cold slices to eyes for about 10 minutes and rinse with cold water. Potato slices and moist chamomile tea bags can also be effective.
  • Medication: While seasonal allergies can usually be effectively treated with OTC meds, allergy sufferers are also known to be deficient in folic acid, B6 and B12. Multivitamins can help to restore levels of these vitamins to the system.
doctor checking on patient's skin

Skin Appearances That Might Be Signs Of Cancer

Normally, when one thinks of nudist colonies, one thinks of images of nature, free love, lack of inhibitions and a return to innocence. What they may not think of is skin cancer. Cancer of the skin is the most common type of cancer. According to the American Cancer society, about 76,380 melanomas will be diagnosed in 2016.

There are two types of skin cancers: melanoma and non-melanoma. Melanoma is the most dangerous form and is likely to spread other parts of the body. It begins in the deepest layer of the skin. Non-melanoma is less dangerous and can usually be surgically treated. It is found in the upper and middle layers of the skin.

Melanoma Signs
The first sign of melanoma is typically a growth on the skin or a change in a mole that you have had for a while. While normal moles tend to arrive at an early age and remain unchanged, it is quite a different story with melanoma. They are more likely to appear suddenly and change rapidly.

The ABCDE
The Melanoma Research Foundation suggests that you use the ABCDE method to classify and identify melanoma.

A- Asymmetrical Shape: While benign moles tend to be symmetrical, melanoma moles are usually shaped irregularly.
B- Border: Melanoma lesions tend to have unclear borders and blurred outlines, whereas non-malignant ones have smooth, well- defined borders.
C-Color: Melanoma lesions are often characterized by several unevenly distributed colors, usually blue, tan or black.
D- Diameter: Melanoma lesions often measure more the 6 millimeters in diameter.
E-Evolution: The most telling sign that your lesion is cancerous is its evolution, If you notice the mole changing in size and color, contact your dermatologist.

When You Should Worry About A Pre-existing Mole
Moles are common and are usually the result of a normal reaction to the sun. However, you may consider having a mole checked out if you experience:

  • Crusting, scabbing,bleeding
  • Itchiness of tenderness
  • Swelling or increasing size

Non-melanoma Skin Cancer
The Uk National Health Service Reports that, “The main symptom of non-melanoma skin cancer is the appearance of a lump or discolored patch on the skin that won’t heal.'”The most common types are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

Basal Cell Carcinoma
Although it is not known to spread to other areas of the body, basal cell carcinoma can result in disfigurement if it is not cared for properly. It can be identified by:

  • a pearly bump in which you can see blood cells
  • an irritated scaly patches on the back or chest
  • a bleeding open sore that becomes crusty
  • a white lesion resembling a scar
  • a pink mole with a light dent in the middle

Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Usually caused by overexposure to the sun, squamous cell carcinoma can spread to other areas of your skin, although widespread carcinoma is unlikely. Look out for:

  • Crusty, wart-like bumps
  • Scaly patches with a tendency to bleed
  • Open sores that bleed or form crusts
  • red nodules

So, if you want to take your clothes off in the sun, just remember to keep your sunblock on and if you notice any changes in your skin, please go see a dermatologist asap!

doctor checking a patient for thyroids

Thyroid Deficiencies And Your Skin

You walk into your doctor’s office. You tell him you are concerned because lately you notice your skin has become dry and wrinkled, your nails break easily, and you are losing hair from your head and eyebrows. He suggests that you balance your diet and get more vitamins.

According to the Thyroid Federation International, there are up to 300 million people in the world with thyroid dysfunction and, of that number, over half are presumed to not know it. Due to incomplete or outmoded testing methods and failure to recognize symptoms, hypothyroidism is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed or undiagnosed health problems in the world.

The thyroid gland produces hormones that help to balance your metabolism and keep your body weight and temperature regulated. According to Dr. Broda Barnes, author of “Hypothyroidism: the Unsuspected Illness”, “When thyroid function is low, circulation is reduced. In advanced cases of hypothyroidism, the skin, in fact, may receive as little as one fourth to one fifth the normal blood supply.” As a result, hypothyroidism , or under- active thyroid, can cause your skin to retain fluids, it may create bags under the eyes and bloating in your legs, ankles, and fingers as well as cracked heels, colorless skin, and eczema.

Myxodema
Myxodema is skin swelling caused by deposits of sugar called glucosaminoglycans. It is a result of insufficient production of hormones by the thyroid gland, which is also responsible for regulation of metabolism. Myxodema is most likely to occur when hypothyroidism goes without treatment for an extended period and can have serious complications. The condition can be treated with thyroid replacement hormones which will help alleviate the symptoms.

Vitiglio
Vitiglio is a pigmentation disorder that is frequently associated with autoimmune thyroid disease. Its symptoms include white patches on the skin, hair and eyebrows, and in severe cases, may result in the total loss of color from the skin. It usually precedes thyroid disfunction by many years, which makes it necessary for those with the skin disorder to be screened before hyperthyroidism develops.It can be treated medically with creams, oral medications, ultraviolet light, and removing color from other areas of skin so tone appears more even. It can be treated surgically with skin grafting and tattooing.

Hyperthyrhoidism
Hyperthyrhoidism is cause by too much thyroid hormone. It can make skin smooth and moist and prone to flushing and redness. Skin may become thin in some areas, whereas it may become thick and hyper pigmented (darker) in others, and may become extremely dry. Pretibal myxedema is another skin condition caused by hyperthyroidism which effects the front of the legs. Symptoms include hives and itching based on the increased action of hormones metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins and fats. These conditions can be treated with hypoallergenics.

If you have any of these symptoms, it is important that you tell your doctor you need to be tested for hormone imbalance. Early detection can prevent severe symptoms from occurring.

woman trying to pop a pimple

Common Skin Symptoms Triggered By Auto- Immune Disease

Vitiligo is just one of the skin symptoms triggered by an autoimmune disorder. It affect not only the health and daily lives of the sufferers but also their self-esteem. An autoimmune disorder occurs when the body’s immune system fails to distinguish between healthy cells and harmful ones (antigens) and begins to destroy healthy tissue. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, joint pain and rashes. It is important to have an awareness of these skin disorders in order to recognize and understand them in ourselves and others and to ensure public support.

Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition that results from the overactivity of skin cells. The skin cells of a psoriasis sufferer form too quickly and the old skin cannot be shed quickly enough to accommodate it. The results are silvery scales or red itchy patches on the elbows, lower back, and scalp. It is treatable with prescription creams, phototherapy, and oral and injectable medicines.

Vitiligo
Vitiligo causes the body to destroy melanocytes, which are cells that produce pigment. This causes patches of skin to lighten. These lightened patches can appear on the inside of the mouth, the hair and the eyes. In severe cases of vitiligo, skin loses all of its pigment and becomes completely white.
While there is no known cure for vitiligo , treatments are available to restore pigment and even out skin tone. They range from foundation and cover-up to topical medications. Tattooing and skin grafting are other treatment options.

Lupus
Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks tissues and organs causing inflammation. Its most common symptom is a butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and nose. Lesions may form after sun exposure. Lupus can be treated with immunosuppressants, antimalarial drugs, corticosteroids and anti -inflammatories.

 

Dermatomyositis
Another inflammatory disease, dermatomyositis causes a rash on the eyelids and face, shoulders, back and upper chest and knuckles. Symptoms include trouble breathing, muscle weakness, and difficulty swallowing. It most commonly affects children between 5 and 15 and adults between 40 and 60. It can be treated with corticosteroids and immunosuppressants. While in children, the symptoms may completely disappear, the disorder may be a sign of an additional underlying disease and could lead to lung failure.

Pernicious Anemia
In cases of pernicious anemia, the cells of the body attack the stomach cells and make it hard for the intestines to get the vitamin B12 necessary for the formation of red blood cells. The result is extremely pale skin, bleeding gums, a swollen tongue, loss of appetite and fatigue. It usually responds successfully to Vitamin B12 shots and supplements.

If any of these symptoms seem familiar to you, see the dermatologist to determine whether it is just a skin condition or a symptom of something else. We also invite you to share your experiences and raise awareness about the effects of autoimmune disease.

Asthma

Can Prebiotics Help Asthma?

Stewart Brand, best known for his work as editor of the Whole Earth catalog once said, “If you don’t like bacteria, you’re on the wrong planet.”  It is true that, to most of us, bacteria has a negative connotation, but  lately, we are learning that the certain bacteria may be extremely beneficial.

You may have heard the terms prebiotic and probiotic being tossed around lately.  You may also know that they’re typically found in dairy products like milk and yoghurt.  But what are they?

About 100 years ago,the pioneering Dr. Matternick found that bacteria in yogurt could improve digestion.  He postulated that this ‘good bacteria’ could take the place of ‘bad bacteria’ in the human stomach.  Probiotics are now defined by the FAO/WHO as ” live microorganisms which ….confer a health benefit on the host,” and are most noted as a digestive health aid. Prebiotics are nondigestable carbohydrates.  They are the fuel of probiotics and are usually found in milk and plants and are needed to ensure optimum function of probiotics.   Recent evidence shows that consuming foods that contain prebiotics can also help relieve asthma.  Let’s look at the evidence.

Asthma
There is little doubt that asthma is a big problem in the United States.  It affects about 17.7 million adults and 6.3 million children.  Its symptoms include tightening of the chest muscles, coughing, loss of breath and wheezing caused by inflammation of the airways.

There are two kinds of asthma. Allergic asthma is caused by allergens, like dust, mold, and pollen.  Non allergic asthma is caused by illness, exercise, medications, and stress.  It is this second type of asthma that has become the focus of the new findings.

How Does this Work?
You may have noticed a relationship between the words antibiotic and probiotic.  While antibiotics cure by preventing life, probiotics cure by promote life.  The theory is that  by promoting probiotic activity in the human  body, we strengthen our immune system and enhance our health.

The Study
Investigative research was conducted by the SHAPE Department Research center at Nottingham.  It involved 18 people, 10 with EIU ( exercise induced asthma) and 8 subjects who were asthma free.  They were all given a prebiotic supplement (B-GOS) for 3 weeks, followed by no  treatment for two weeks ,and then were given a placebo for three additional weeks.  These individuals with EIU showed an improvement in lung function after taking the B-GOS as compared with the results of the placebo.

Says Dr. Williams, study leader, says, “Importantly, the level of improvement in lung function that appears after the prebiotic is perceivable by the patient and therefore clinically relevant.”

Prebiotic Foods
In light of the fact that prebiotic foods are known primarily as a digestive aid, it may not be surprising to learn of their high fiber content.  Prebiotic foods include:

  • Raw chicory root:  While available as a supplement in health food stores and pharmacies, raw chicory root can also be found in certain breakfast bars, cereal and breads.
  • Raw Jerusalem Artichoke:  Sometimes know as the artichoke, due to its high fiber content, the only resemblance the Jerusalem artichoke has to the artichokes we are familiar with is the flavor.  It actually most closely resembles ginger  Besides being a great prebiotic, it is also a source of potassium and iron.
  • Cooked Onions:  A slightly less exotic options, cooked onions are a delicious addition to soups and sandwiches and can be sautéed, fried or even caramelized!
  • Raw Garlic:   Not recommended for a first date, raw garlic has almost half the required amount of daily fiber.  Put it is hummus, pasta, or with veggies.
Family Playing On Sofa At Home

The Power Of Family And Anti-Aging

You come home after a long day. Your daughter has just broken her brother’s gaming console and she is threatening to smash his cell phone over his head. Your husband is asleep in your room, the dishes haven’t been done and the tv and air conditioning are both on. You collapse on the sofa, sure that your family is going to be responsible for your premature death and possible loss of sanity. But, according to some studies, the opposite is more likely.

Having More Children Keeps You Younger
According to a recent study done at Simon Fraser University, more children equals long telemores! Confused? Telemores are protective tips located at the end of DNA strands used in the replication of cells. The study found that the number of children a woman gives birth to is directly related to the length of the telemores, hence, the greater the length of the telemores, the greater the longevity of the cells. In short, the cells of women who bore multiple children age at a slower rate! Good news Mommies! The study leader, Pablo Nepomnashy believes that estrogen is responsible. He says, ” The slower pace of telomere shortening found in the study participants who have more children, however, may be attributed to the dramatic increase in estrogen, a hormone produced during pregnancy.”

Marriage Keeps You Younger

Heart
More good reasons to get hitched! A recent study at NYU’s Langone Medical Center found that women and men who were married had a 5% decreased chance of getting cardiovascular disease than their single peers. Doctors speculate that the emotional support offered in marriage may lead to lower blood pressure.

Mind
Robin Simon, sociology professor at Wake Forest University, says that, “hundreds of studies document a robust relationship between marriage and improved mental health.” He goes on to point out that marrieds report being less depressed and are less likely to participate in substance abuse.

Longevity
Having a family seems to be a motivating factor in living a long life. Husbands especially, fare better in the life span department than bachelors. They have a smaller chance of death by suicide and, thanks to their wife’s  attentions, are more likely to get check- ups, stop drinking, and take medications.

Here’s One (or two) For The Singles
In case reading this article has made put you in mind of “Bridget Jones’ Diary” and her descriptions of the “smug marrieds,” listen to this. Marriage isn’t all that glamorous. Married people are more likely to suffer from obesity that bachelors and bachelorettes. A study found that single people exercise more than married people and married men were 25% more likely to be overweight. Talk about, “letting yourself go!” So before you run to the altar and toss out the birth control, remember, people in bad marriages are more prone to bad heart and mental health than those in good marriages. As for the heart and mental health, exercise and eating right will keep your heart in shape and an active social life will keep you happy and balanced. Quality of life takes precedence over all.

Women scratch the itch with hand

The Impact of Medicine On Your Skin

When Veronica Zenker was 13, she took two aspirin to relieve her headache. Within a few days, she was diagnosed with a disease called SJS, a condition in which the top layer of skin blister and peels off. America is a quick fix society. We tend to seek the most convenient and easiest solution to our problems, hence America’s love affair with prescription and OTC medicine. We believe in pills as a solution to all our problems. Got pain? Pop a pill. Depressed? Pop a pill. Nervous? Pop a pill. It’s much less time consuming than visiting a doctor and sometimes less expensive. In addition, most people trust OTC and prescription pills because they have been approved by doctors and subject to FDA regulations. However, those that take these medicines may not realize their potential for causing skin conditions like dryness, rashes and bruising.

Allergic Drug Reaction
Allergic drug reaction is usually caused by orally taken or injected drugs. In these cases, the body’s immune system develops a sensitivity to that drug. Sometimes the sensitivity occurs after only one dose, other times, it takes several exposures. After it occurs, the drug will trigger an allergic reaction, sometimes a rash, in the person the next time the person uses it.

Nonallergic Drug Reactions
Blood thinners, such as aspirin and ibuprofen may cause the blood to leak under the skin, resulting in bruises. In fact, many people who take an aspirin daily to lower their risk of hearing attack develop all over bodily bruises all due to the inability of the blood to clot properly. Overuse of blood thinners, like aspirin, ibuprofen or Aleve, can cause the even tiniest bumps to result in a bruise. These bruises are a signal that the entire body is at risk. Herbal and natural supplements, such as vitamin E, garlic. St. John’s Wort and gingko biloba are also blood thinners and may have the same effects. Lithium, an antidepressant, can cause severe acne. Other drugs can result in photosensitivity or extreme sensitivity to sunlight and ultraviolet light. Bactrim ,  a medication for the urinary tract is an example, as are some antipsychotics and artificial sweeteners. The rash, which resembles and acts like eczema, will not develop immediately after the drug is taken, but from later sun exposure.

Symptoms
Symptoms of drug -induced skin rashes may anything from slight redness and small bumps to peeling of the entire skin. Purple, red, blue and gray discoloration may result and sometimes painful rashes will appear in the mouth.
Allergic rashes may result in itchy hives, watery eyes and a runny nose, and can develop more significantly into symptoms including low blood pressure and wheezing.

Treatment
If you believe you have suffered the effects of a medication on your skin: Discontinue drug use. Most reactions go away when the drug is stopped. Use a corticosteroid cream and antihistamines to relieve itchiness. Severe cases may require hospitalization. Be cautious and consult a doctor if breakouts occur.

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