Month: November 2019

Know What Type of Arthritis You Have

Osteoarthritis According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), arthritis is the leading cause of disability in people 15 years of age and older.

There are more than 100 types of arthritis. (The word arthritis literally means “joint inflammation.”) The most common type, osteoarthritis (OA), is a degenerative disease of the cartilage and bone that results in pain and stiffness in the affected joint. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)—a systemic disease characterized by joint inflammation and pain—is far less common than osteoarthritis but potentially much more serious. The exact cause of RA is unknown.

Both Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis are chronic conditions; there is no cure for arthritis. The good news is that tremendous strides have been made in the management and treatment of arthritis and related conditions. In addition, there are many things you can do to make living with arthritis easier and less painful.

Arthritis Treatment

The type of arthritis and intensity of the condition determine the course of treatment. There is no cure for arthritis, but there are traditional and alternative treatments that can bring arthritis pain relief. Prescription and over-the-counter medications are popular for treating arthritis pain. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is often recommended for osteoarthritis patients with little or mild inflammation, while aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen work best for patients with inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis.

The healing touch of massage may stimulate the flow of blood, bringing heat and relief to stiff joints. Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, relaxation, yoga, and even emu oil have proven effective for many arthritis sufferers.

Heat and cold can help alleviate pain too, but since moist heat, such as that from a bath, acts differently than the dry heat of a heating pad or the cold of an ice pack, this type of treatment needs to be discussed with a doctor or physical therapist. Doctors also often recommend patients wear splints or braces to relieve joint pressure and protect them from further injury.

All About Acne: Alternative Methods and When to See a Doctor

Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, but it can appear for a variety of reasons. In most cases, acne begins to develop when skin pores are clogged with oil and dead skin cells. This clogging leads to the development of bad bacteria, which is then attacked by white blood cells, leading to inflammation in the form of whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. Most people will experience acne at some point in their lifetime, but coping with the condition can be difficult – regardless of age.

Over 20 million teenagers, around 85% of American teens, have acne in the United States alone. Many turn to drugstore products to combat breakouts, whether they’re chronic or occasional. That said, some of the most powerful anti-acne medications are sitting in the kitchen pantry or refrigerator. Below, we’ve explored some common and helpful alternative acne solutions.

Zinc Supplements

Zine is important for cell growth, hormone production, and immunity. Research shows that those with acne tend to have lower levels of zinc than those with clear skin. Taking an oral zinc supplement up to three times per day can help significantly reduce acne.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This vinegar, made by fermenting apple cider or unfiltered juice, is known for its ability to fight several types of bacteria and viruses. The vinegar contains the organic acids necessary to kill the bacteria that causes most acne. To try, mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 3 parts water and apply the mixture to the skin using a cotton ball. Rinse and pat dry.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil, extracted from the leaves of Melalueca alternifolia, is known for its ability to fight bacteria and reduce skin inflammation. To try, mix 1 part tea tree oil with 9 parts water and use a cotton swab to apply to the affected areas. Repeat daily as needed.

Adult Acne and Dermatology

The number of adults who report having acne has increased significantly in the past decade. In most cases, typical over-the-counter products and alternative methods, like apple cider vinegar and zinc supplements, will treat the problem. But acne can be both personally and professionally detrimental for adults, and these remedies might not work in severe cases.

Knowing when to visit a dermatologist can be difficult, especially if you experienced the condition as a teenager. For some, it might still feel par for the course – an embarrassing yet relatively innocuous condition. But for others, a recurring skin disorder can be difficult to cope with, sometimes leading to a lack of confidence and the development of an anxiety disorder. In fact, a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology found that adults who experience acne have a higher likelihood of developing psychological, social, and emotional problems.

Mild to moderate acne will typically go away in 4 to 6 weeks with the use of drugstore creams and cleansers, many of which contain benzoyl peroxide and/or salicylic acid. More severe acne will resist these treatments. This is when a dermatologist should step in.

A doctor can prescribe more powerful acne combatants, like antibiotics and isotretinoin. Doctors are also trained to know when an acne breakout is the result of topical bacteria or an indication of something more serious. As a rule of thumb, if adult acne has not subsided in 4 to 6 weeks, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist to figure out what’s going on.