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Tinea pedis

July 31st, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Tinea pedis)

It is important to note that tinea pedis is common in tropical countries during the summer and monsoon season where men are more susceptible than in women. The fungus grows in the upper layer of the skin or epidermis, usually in warm and moist areas.

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Damp socks and environments that are warm and moist are the best place for fungus to thrive and cause athlete’s foot. Foot fungus can spread to others after exposure to contaminated surfaces such as in locker rooms or saunas. Tinea pedis causes rashes, blisters and sores in between the toes and can spread into the dorsum of the feet. Anyone can suffer from tinea pedis, but it is common among people who wear closed fitting shoes for long hours and those who love to take baths in community showers as well as walking barefoot in swimming pool facilities.

The skin of the toes is the first to be affected and a rash develops which is scaly and itchy with a membrane covers the red, glazed and cracked skin. There are plenty of cracks that develop between the toes and the flakes of skin can fall off from the infected area. There is burning and severe itching and sometimes there is oozing from the area. When the skin becomes cracked and fissured, there is a high risk of developing a secondary infection.

Tinea pedis

The skin of the toes is the first to be affected and a rash develops which is scaly and itchy with a membrane covers the red, glazed and cracked skin.

If the condition is not properly treated, the infection can spread to the sole and on the sides of the foot. The individual is not capable of wearing shoes and other footwear due to the discomfort and pain. Severe itching can urge the individual to scratch, thus resulting to bleeding of the affected area.

Causes of tinea pedis

  • Fungal infection of the foot can be acquired by walking barefoot on areas around swimming pools and taking a bath in community showers.
  • Wearing ill-fitting footwear that can cause excessive sweating.
  • People suffering from diabetes and other diseases where the immune system is weakened.
  • Elderly people are easily infected due to the diminished immune function.

Treatment and home remedies for tinea pedis

  • Add a couple of teaspoons of salt to warm water. Soak the affected foot for 10 minutes. Mustard powder can also be added by sprinkling a few shakes of mustard powder into the warm water since it has anti-fungal properties that can eliminate the fungi.
  • Create a foot soak by mixing equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water or dab a cotton ball in this solution and apply in between the toes which are susceptible to the skin condition.
  • Apply a cold compress over the affected area in order to minimize inflammation, dryness, itching and pain.
  • Add a few cloves of crushed garlic to warm water. Soak the feet in this solution for 10-15 minutes.
  • Mix minced garlic and a few drops of olive oil and soak a cotton ball in the solution and dab it on the itchy, red feet.

Phlegm in the throat

July 24th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Breathing Emergency - (Comments Off on Phlegm in the throat)

Phlegm is a thick substance that is secreted by the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract. There is abnormal production of phlegm when the individual is currently suffering from common cold or other respiratory conditions.

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Phlegm will develop in the throat after the accumulation of cough which can be due to infections or allergy in the body. Phlegm is a mucous that is usually yellow or greenish in color and it indicates the type of infection the affected person is suffering.

Causes of phlegm in the throat

  • Allergic reaction to certain stimulants or irritants such as dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Conditions of the throat such as strep throat and tonsillitis
  • Bacterial or viral infections
  • A disorder of the throat such as a deviated septum
  • Pregnancy
  • Eating or drinking cold food and beverages while suffering from cough and cold
  • Taking birth control pills
  • Smoking
Phlegm in the throat

Allergic reaction to certain stimulants or irritants such as dust, animal dander and pollen

Treatment and home remedies of phlegm in the throat

  • Drink hot water mix with lemon and add a spoonful of honey in order to provide relief to the cough. Hot water helps in relaxing the throat while fluids in the water help in eliminating infections in the body.
  • Heat water and add a few drops eucalyptus oil to the hot water. This produces a medicated steam that the individual should inhale in order to eliminate phlegm from the throat.
  • Soak some orange slices in wine and leave it overnight. After they have been soaked, cook the oranges until very soft and then eat them. Oranges are rich source of vitamin C and the mixture helps in relaxing the throat and eliminate the phlegm.
  • Combine together licorice root, black pepper, sugar crystals and dry ginger. The individual should be given a teaspoon of this mixture at least three times every day. It helps in preventing production of phlegm and minimizes the discharge.
  • Another treatment is a combination of ginger, carnation, cinnamon and honey. All you have to do is put them in the grinder and place a few drops of water. Mix them well to make a paste, then add 1 tablespoon of honey. The individual should consume this paste two times every day in order to help clear the throat from phlegm.

Other remedies

  • Boil a handful of mint leaves and eucalyptus leaves in a large pot with water. Once it reaches the boiling point, remove it from the heat. Drape a towel around the head of the individual and instruct to inhale the vapors. Take note that this helps in opening the sinuses and dries up the mucus.
  • Juice an onion and lemon together, combine them together with a cup of boiling water, then add raw honey and let it cool down. Drink the whole cup in one sitting. Prepare this drink at least three times every day for t2-3 days in order to help eliminate the phlegm.

Swollen throat

July 24th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Swollen throat)

A swollen throat is a symptom of various systemic diseases. The throat is the organ of the body that serves as the passage of food and water as well as the air that we breathe that passes the wind pipe in the throat. The voice box comes from the larynx is located in the throat. Swelling in the throat can lead to discomfort and it is important to know the cause of the swollen throat in order to avoid its recurrence in the future.

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Causes of swollen throat glands

  • Bacterial infection that is caused by streptococcus bacteria that results in the enlargement of the throat, throat pain, fever and difficulty in swallowing.
  • Virus infection can cause swelling and infection on the throat.
  • Some upper respiratory tract infections such as mononucleosis, measles and H. influenza can cause a swollen throat.
  • Exposure to allergens such as pollens, particles of dust and fumes of gas and also chemicals can cause irritation of the throat and result to swelling of the mucous membrane in the throat.
  • Some conditions such as tonsillitis, pharyngitis, candida infections, syphilis, HIV, cancer and smoking can cause the throat to swell.
Swollen throat

A hoarse voice caused by infection and inflammation in the larynx or the voice box.

Symptoms that indicates a swollen throat

  • Fever with swelling of throat.
  • The throat becomes blistering red and there is itching and tickling sensations that can be felt that occurs along with the redness.
  • Difficulty in swallowing food especially fluids.
  • There is dryness of the throat, the tonsils are swelling, painful and tender when touched from the outside and there is presence of white patches found on the tonsils.
  • A hoarse voice caused by infection and inflammation in the larynx or the voice box. Sometimes, it can result to distorted speech. A hoarse voice can be caused by speaking too loud for a long time or it can be caused by allergy.
  • An enlarged lymph node
  • Generalized aches of the body, weakness and headaches are usually common among people suffering from throat infection.

Treatment and home remedies of throat infection

  • If the swollen throat is caused by bacterial infection, take the prescribed antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications in order to lessen the symptoms of the swelling throat.
  • In order to minimize the risk for secondary infections, gargle with warm water and drink chamomile tea.
  • Gargle using salt water since this helps in relaxing and minimizes inflammation of the throat. Salt is an antiseptic and warm water helps to lessen pain and irritation on the throat.
  • Before going to bed, drink tea that is mixed with honey and a dice of lemon.
  • Mix water with orange juice to help treat a swollen throat. Orange juice has vitamin C and it helps in boosting the immunity of the body and minimizes swelling of the mucus membrane of the throat.
  • Drink warm milk that is mixed with a pinch of turmeric powder which has natural anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties and helps in relieving swelling in the throat.
  • Drink plenty of water.

It is vital to seek medical help if infection of the throat recurs very often.

Trapped gas in the stomach

July 24th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Trapped gas in the stomach)

Gas in the stomach is not a dangerous condition but it produces discomfort for the person. Take note that this occurs due to the eating and drinking habits of the individual. Some undigested foods or eating gas-producing foods can cause formation of gas or gas bubbles in the stomach.  The trapped gas in the stomach goes out through the mouth by belching or through the anus in the form of flatulence in a few hours.

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Trapped gas in the stomach can cause stomach pain, belching, distention and heaviness of the chest. Trapped gas in the stomach can be caused by drinking an aerated cola to a more severe condition such as gastroparesis. Sometimes, people swallow air while drinking and eating and just happen without knowing it and some people who smoke and use chewing gum can also swallow plenty of air that ends up in the stomach. Allergies on gluten and lactose intolerance can also cause gas in the stomach and intestines as well as eating large amounts of beans and nuts.

Gas in the stomach

Trapped gas in the stomach can cause stomach pain, belching, distention and heaviness of the chest.

Normally, there are only small amounts of gas that can be ejected, but large amounts of gas can remain trapped in the stomach if emptying is too slow and it happens when the affected person is suffering from the condition known as gastroparesis. Growths of bacterial flora found in the stomach and intestine can produce gas which cannot easily pass out of the mouth.

Treatment and home remedies of trapped gas in the stomach

  • Take an over-the-counter gas medication such as milk of magnesia or some medications that contains simethicone which helps break up the bubbles and relieve bloating and cramping of the stomach.
  • Mix ½ teaspoon of baking soda in 8 oz. of water in room temperature, then drink the mixture. The individual should wait at least two hours and if there is still gas in the stomach; drink another dose of this mixture. The baking soda mixture helps in breaking up the gas bubbles in the stomach and can cause belching.
  • Drink a glass of club soda, then wait at least two hours, and if there is still gas, drink another dose of this drink. This also helps in breaking up gas bubbles and can cause belching.
  • Lie on the back and hug the knees to the chest. This position helps the gas to travel through the anus, helps in squeezing out the gas naturally.

Other remedies of trapped gas in the stomach

  • Consume yogurt and buttermilk since they contain good bacteria that can help with indigestion.
  • Drink tea and add powdered ginger or simply provide the individual with salted pieces of ginger to eat. These can help promote quick emptying of the stomach.
  • Consume 1-2 cloves of garlic every day since it helps in preventing formation of gas in the stomach.
  • Avoid drinking carbonated beverages and limit the intake of beans and nuts in order to minimize gas distention in the stomach.

Muscle knots in the back

July 24th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Muscle Injuries - (Comments Off on Muscle knots in the back)

Muscle knots felt at the back can be painful, especially when they are big and do not heal. Some knots causes discomfort, difficulty in sleeping, work and movement. Muscle knots are also called muscle spasms or trigger points which are an abnormal area in the muscle and causes pain.

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Painful knots in the back can make daily activities difficult, and these develop when a specific part of a muscle becomes tight and can be caused by bad posture, improper mechanics of the body, muscle injuries and stress.

Treatment and home remedies of muscle knots in the back

Muscle knots in the back

Painful knots in the back can make daily activities difficult, and these develop when a specific part of a muscle becomes tight and can be caused by bad posture, improper mechanics of the body, muscle injuries and stress.

  • Provide the individual with anti-inflammatory medications in order to minimize the inflammation.
  • Apply alternately heat and cold compress. Heat helps in relaxing the muscles and ice makes the muscles tight. This therapy helps make the muscle return to its original structure and functioning.
  • Apply cold compress to the affected muscle at the back for 15 to 20 minutes at 3-5 times every day for the first two to three days after the injury. A frozen bag of peas or other vegetables can also be used.
  • Make a cold compress by pouring 3 cups of water and mix it with 1 cup rubbing alcohol and freeze it overnight. This cold compress helps reduce flow of blood flow in the area and minimize inflammation and pain.
  • After 2-3 days, you can apply a warm compress over the affected area for 15-20 minutes. This helps minimize muscles knots in the back, increases flow of blood and relaxes the muscles.
  • Drink plenty of water in order to flush out toxins that accumulate and affect the functioning of the muscles.
  • Increase the intake of foods rich in potassium such as apricots, bananas, plums, and apples. These can help in preventing constant muscle cramps and fights off fatigue in the muscles.
  • Regular massage helps in reducing muscle knots, spasm and tension areas. Use of clove oil, nutmeg oil or lavender oil to help reduce the pain and strain as well as preventing cramping and improves flexibility.
  • Massage is helpful in minimizing muscle knots in the back. Applying manual pressure to the affected area helps in increasing the flow of blood and eliminates toxins from the muscles. In addition, it can relax the muscle and minimize the knots.
  • Perform gentle stretching in order to minimize knots in the back muscles. You can stretch the lower back by lying on the floor and then bend one knee until it reaches the chest. Pull the knee close to the chest using the hands until the person feels the tight muscles stretch. Remember to avoid stretching it up to a point where pain can be felt since it can cause damage to the muscle. Remain in this position for 20-30 seconds and repeat the procedure with the other leg. Perform this exercise 3-5 times every day.
  • Stretch the upper back by interlocking both hands in front of the body. Make the elbow straight and arch the back until a stretch can be felt around the shoulder. Remain in this position for 20-30 seconds. Perform this exercise 3-5 times every day.

Nail eczema

July 17th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Nail eczema)

The nail is made up of hard keratin which helps in protecting the fingertips and toes. Nails can also be affected by damages and diseases such as nail eczema. Usually eczema only affects the skin, but it can also affect the nails and people of all ages can end up with this condition. Nail eczema causes the nails to turn rough, pitted and even resulting to the permanent loss of the nail.

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Causes of nail eczema

  • Eczema on nails can be caused by prolonged exposure of the nails to water and moisture particularly tasks such as cleaning dishes and washing clothes.
  • Allergic reactions to certain irritants such as soaps and detergents as well as industrial chemicals.
  • Stress and genetics

Symptoms of nail eczema

Nail-eczema

Sometimes, the pain becomes severe and the area around the nails becomes swollen.

  • The eczematous nail looks dull and rough. There are small indentations on the nail and pitting which is a common symptom of nail eczema.
  • The nail becomes yellow or brown in color and the skin below the nail is inflamed. After some time, the nail cracks and crumbles.
  • Sometimes, the pain becomes severe and the area around the nails becomes swollen.
  • If eczema is severe, there is a possibility of permanently losing the nail.

Treatment and home remedies for nail eczema

  • The affected person should minimize contact with water by avoiding exposure to water for extended periods of time.
  • When washing dishes and clothes, cover the hands by wearing gloves.
  • Apply a moisturizer on the fingers at least once every day and apply it a night time as well. Coconut oil or almond oil is beneficial for nail eczema since they make the nails smooth and supple.
  • Avoid exposing the nails to irritants, chemical soaps and detergents. Always wear gloves when doing work in order to prevent direct contact with the irritants that can trigger eczema.
  • Avoid being stressed out since stress can make the condition worse.
  • Apply an ice pack over the affected finger or toe nails for at least five minutes to help reduce the itching, pain and swelling around the nails. A bag of frozen peas that is wrapped in a cloth can also help with the condition.
  • Apply a moisturizing lotion to the nail beds at least every day in order to make the skin supple and treat the eczema if other parts of the body are infected.
  • Cover the nails using a 1% hydrocortisone cream to help relieve the itchiness caused by eczema.

If the inflammation, itchiness and other symptoms of nail eczema becomes severe, it is best to seek medical help immediately.

Other remedies for nail eczema

  • Immerse the infected fingernail and toenail in a solution that contains Epsom salt. This can help relax the irritated skin and draws out impurities and toxins away.
  • In case Epsom salt is not available, you can utilize sea salt instead. Pour about two cups of sea salt under running water, immerse the infected fingernails and toenails for about 20 minutes, and dry with a towel. Take note that the sea salt helps in drying out the patches and reduces the itchiness.

First Aid for Wrist Sprain

July 5th, 2015 | Posted by Mikha Canon in Skeletal Injuries - (Comments Off on First Aid for Wrist Sprain)

A wrist sprain is a common injury that usually occurs when an outstretched hand is used to break a fall or a hard impact. This stress on the ligaments of the wrist that connect it to the bones of the hand may be overstretched or in more severe cases, partially or completely tear off. A ligament is a tough fibrous connective tissue that provides stability to the wrist joint and thus, explains the loss of function or the limited range of motion of the wrist experienced after injury. The most commonly injured ligament is the ligament that connects the scaphoid bone to the lunate bone, which are the two small bones found in the wrist. This ligament is otherwise known as the scapho-lunate ligament.

A wrist sprain is usually common in athletes such as basketball players, volleyball players, gymnasts and skaters just to name a few. A direct blunt force trauma to the wrist may also cause this injury.

Signs and Symptoms of a Wrist Sprain

A wrist sprain often presents with acute pain with some reports of hearing a popping sound upon the moment of injury. Other signs and symptoms are as follows:

  • Swelling and tenderness of the wrist
  • Bruising of the skin around the wrist
  • Inability to achieve full range of motion
  • Pain that is exacerbated when the wrist is moved

Grading of a Wrist Sprain

Grading of a wrist sprain depends on the extent of the injury on the ligaments. The grading is as follows:

  • Grade 1 – the ligaments are overstretched with or without minor damages to the fibers of the ligament but are not torn. This often presents with minimal tenderness and swelling.
  • Grade 2 sprain – a partial tear in the ligament that present with abnormal laxity of the wrist joint, moderate tenderness and swelling and decreased range of motion
  • Grade 3 sprain – a complete tear in the ligament that present with severe tenderness, swelling and loss of function

First Aid Treatment of a Wrist Sprain

Treatment of a wrist sprain will depend on the grading of the injury. A grade 1 sprain or even some grade 2 sprain may resolve with first aid and home remedies. The following can be done:

Apply ice on a wrist sprain to reduce swelling

Apply ice on a wrist sprain to reduce swelling

  • Rest – immobilize and rest the injured wrist for at least 2 days. A splint may be used if necessary
  • Ice – apply ice compress over the injured area for 2 to 3 times a day for at least 10 minutes
  • Compress – a compression bandage can ease the swelling
  • Elevate – elevate the injured wrist above the heart while sitting or lying down
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or aspirin can help ease the pain and swelling
  • Physical therapy or occupational therapy may also be recommended to restore mobility and to strengthen the wrist

 

For more severe injuries, such as a grade 3 sprain, surgery may be required in order to repair the detached ligament. This is followed by physical rehabilitation in order to strengthen the wrist and regain full range of motion.

To learn how to properly give first aid on wrist sprain, enroll in First Aid Courses.

A wrist sprain occurs when the ligaments found in the wrist are stretched beyond its limits producing pain, discomfort and in more severe cases, loss of function.