Tag Archives: Health

Feed Yourself Pretty

Español: Glass of water. Español: Copa con agua.

Image via Wikipedia

We all ignore it. The fact that vitamins, water, spice and everything nice actually do great things for our appearance. Instead, being the lazy make up reliant generation that we are (myself included), we say ‘meh’ to the healthy goodness of food and instead pull out the ever reliable concealer. So instead of thinking fruit is your enemy and water its evil twin, why don’t you give mother natures intended make up a go and give your cosmetic bag that well deserved rest.

Drop that bottle of coke immediately and I don’t even care if its diet.  How many times did your grandmother say you can’t drink better than water? And don’t you always see the pretty skinny girls carrying around huge bottles of water and think what the hell is in that bottle? Well I’ll tell you – there’s radiant skin, brighter eyes and shinier hair.

For your skin and hangover cure there’s nothing more rejuvenating than water. Its trick is that it hydrates skin cells and improves their elasticity, making them look less haggard and you less demonic after a wild night out. For your eyes, the simple method of dabbing them with water will leave the under eye area and tough bags brighter and cooled. And for shiny hair, the secret is to grit your teeth and stifle a scream, because giving hair a last-minute blast of cold water after washing will increase its shine tenfold.

And don’t forget your vitamins deary, another classic line from grandma but one that’s right yet again. The papaya fruit, exotic enough your grandma wouldn’t know whether to kill it or eat it, is stocked in vitamin A. The exact vitamin that is an antioxidant, removes dead skin cells, exfoliates and firms – something that will come in very handy when you’re nearing good ole grandma’s age.

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Needles are the new Sally Hanson

Hypodermic Needle Stomach Injection 3-1-08 8278

Hypodermic Needle Stomach Injection 3-1-08 8278 (Photo credit: stevendepolo)

Our country is riddled with the disease of paleness, but blessed be the bottles of fake tan at our exposure or I would never wear a dress again. Those of us who like the bronzed lifestyle buy fake tan by the bucket load, stand naked for spray tans, lie in UV light for hours and pop tanning tablets. We’ll go to pretty much any length to stay glowing, but would you go to the lengths of a drug addict?

Tanning injections are the new black market buzz that’s peeking interest in Ireland. Illegal, dangerous and not even approved for human use, these injections are the worst extreme Irish lasses have ever turned to for a tan. And I am truly worried. So much is wrong with them that I don’t even know where to start.

Let me explain what these injections are. They come as sachets of Melanotan powder, which is a chemical hormone that is being developed for skin intolerance to the sun. It then must be mixed with a “solution”, and injected daily with an insulin needle to the stomach area. Sounding a bit dodgy yet? It’s bought and sold over the internet, and contents can include an already used needle and incorrect dosage. Now I think were past dodgy.

Immediate side effects can range from nausea to increased blood pressure. That might not sound too bad, maybe you’d even be ok with the long-term side effects, a small thing known as cancer and that tingly feeling you get called organ failure. Do you really want to stab yourself to the point of sickness to look darker? The only thing I’ve left to say to this train wreck of dodgy needles, sickness, disease and desperation is thanks, but no thanks. I’ll take mine out of a bottle any day.

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Cancer won’t beat me

Me and my brave Mam

Sitting in front of me is a woman with a thin layer of grey hair on her head, a lit cigarette in her steady hands and experience in her faded blue eyes. This grey hair and this experience haven’t come with old age, because this woman is young. It came from her suffering battle with cancer, a battle which she is about to win.

Caroline Curran is a woman orientated around her family, her husband of 19 years Anthony and her only daughter Roisin. The day the news came that Caroline had breast cancer was the day this family became closer than ever. To them, she is the strongest woman in the world.

The diagnosis was made after she had discovered a lump on her breast, and was prompted to get it checked after a whole month of procrastination in fear. “I didn’t think there was anything wrong with my body at the time – although I knew the lump didn’t belong to my body, the thought that it could be cancerous was furthest from my mind.”

Imagine what it must feel like to get such devastating, life changing news. Imagine the mind frame one must slip into after discovering they had one of the most threatening, incurable cases in the medical world. And imagine the strength it takes to take on all of this and keep on going. The changes that happened in Caroline’s life thereafter were diverse and on a range from extreme to insignificant.

“The great thing was I got an excuse to leave a job I had never liked”, she laughs. “My body wasn’t able for the workload anymore once I began my [chemo] treatment.” However, one very demanding and agonizing change was the removal of Caroline’s right breast in late September. This operation consisted of 3 hours under the knife and a painful 5 day hospitalisation afterward. “So painful in fact, I had to be given morphine every few minutes for the first two days”, she remembers.

Caroline is now in the last stage of her treatment, which is radiation therapy, and she is pleasingly more than halfway through it. The finish line is just around the corner for her and breast cancer. “The strength just comes from within to face this and fight it, every woman has it”, she says with triumph. “I could never have gotten through this without the constant network of support from my family and friends. I owe them everything, and cancer nothing.”

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Something Smells a Bit Fishy

unedited My new pedicure free for use My photo...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m sure by now most of you have heard of the fish spa. If you have, or if you’re reading about it here intrigued and want to partake, then let me warn you.  You could easily be contracting a disease the minute you put your feet into the tank.

This craze has swept from across the world – it came from Turkey, stopped briefly on an episode of Ugly Betty and hit the high street (including our own Limerick City) with a plunge.  These little fish, called Gurra Rufa, eat the dead or infected skin of a person’s foot.  It is sometimes popular among people who have eczema or psoriasis – not that it’s a recommended medical treatment.

It seemed amazing that putting your feet into a tank of water filled with tiny, little, flesh-eating fish left your feet supple. And personally, I cheered for joy when I saw such a salon come to Limerick. But then I asked myself, and now I am asking you, would you use a treatment that has been banned in 14 states in the U.S?

Standard regulation in all salons is that they must sanitise or throw out tools after being used on a patient. But in this case you can’t exactly sanitise the fish, and their too expensive to throw away. For all you know, you could be letting fish chomp away at your skin when they’ve just been chomping on an infected foot. Most fish spa’s will check and inspect the feet of patients, but who’s to say they’re 100% legit? What disease one man had on his foot you could be getting on yours.

Currently the Health Protection Agency is investigating the treatment and sanity risks. But until the filed report is released, I’m not risking my own feet to find out.

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Are you going to the Botox party?

Botox

Image by AJC1 via Flickr

Hi come in, the party just started. Have a drink while you wait, the professional is preparing upstairs. Once you relax it’ll be over soon, it’s a simple injection of paralysing toxins into your forehead. It might pinch a bit. Yes you read correctly, and don’t be shocked just yet. For all you know your closet friend could greet you with the same insane reasoning in a matter of weeks.

Welcome to the Botox party ladies, the newest and in my opinion most bizarre fad that’s swept the world of beauty as of yet. More and more frequently women all over the country have been hosting these parties, a mixture of cute fruity drinks and toxic injections. Once considered a pastime of the rich and beautiful, no one but the celebrities dared to be so self-indulgent.  But of course once we saw an actual party on the reality TV show of guilty pleasures, TOWIE, then everyone had to have one.

However Botox certainly isn’t something to be played around with, and here comes the science bit to explain why. Botox is in essence a paralysis that originates from a germ called Clostridium Botulinum. This germ was found in badly prepared food, but now at the price of €400 and above, it can be found in your forehead too. If this drug is not refrigerated at the proper temperature, if mixed with alcohol, or if your head is not in an appropriate headrest – you’re in the hazard zone. All of the above cases will lead to bruising on your face, drooping eyelids, headaches and the drug not taking effect at all.

Fully licensed practitioners will not give the injection to anyone drinking alcohol or without signing a release form – if you can persuade them otherwise then they probably have a lot more uniforms than the doctor’s one. So take a friendly suggestion from me if you ever get such an invite, or find yourself in a situation as horrendous as this. Take one good hard look at the needles lying on the frilly pillow, chug that drink and run straight for the door.

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