The Benefits of Vitamin E for Beautiful Skin

The first thing most people notice is your skin. Is it healthy, shiny, beautiful or dull, lifeless and muted? Vitamin E can increase the suppleness of your skin. Keep reading to find out more.

What Is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that is important to the body. Because it is friendly to fat it can enter cells and work there. It contains components that enhance the immune system. This is what makes it an antioxidant.

In the body, antioxidants fight the effects of free radicals (by-products of cellular metabolism). Free radicals lead to signs of aging, cancers and other detrimental effects on the body. But, this is not the only source of free radicals. They enter the body through air pollution, smoking, UV radiation, toxins and stress. Vitamin E can help protect the body from free radical damage from outside sources.

What else does vitamin E do? It can help with anemia, sunburn, rheumatoid arthritis and increased immune function in older people.

So what does this mean for the skin? As an antioxidant it can help create a protective barrier on the skin to keep away the effects of the sun, pollution and other external sources.

Many lotions, creams and make-up contain vitamin E. This may help the skin to absorb more vitamin E and thus toughen it up for whatever may come against it. Vitamin E comes in two forms, an alcohol form and an acetate form. The alcohol form is more potent in protecting the skin.

Sources of Vitamin E

Not only do creams and other beauty products provide the skin with vitamin E, but it also comes from food sources. In fact, food sources are the best because they work from the inside out. The recommended daily allowance is only 15 mg, but we don’t usually even get that much.

* Cereal – Look for cereals that are fortified. Read the label to see if they contain vitamin E. This includes oatmeal and cream of wheat.

* Nuts – While nuts are high in fat it is the healthier fats that the body needs for cellular function. Try hazelnuts to get a daily dose of vitamin E. Oils made from these nuts and even seeds (like sunflower seeds) are also a healthy source of vitamin E. Don’t forget peanut butter.

* Vegetable oils – Add them to recipes or use them to sauté veggies to get some vitamin E into your system.

* Leafy greens – They contain not only vitamin E but also A, C, K and beta-carotene. They are antioxidant powerhouses that are great for increasing the health and appearance of your skin.

* Tomatoes – These are rich in antioxidant lycopene but also vitamin E. Try making fresh tomato paste or eating tomato soup.

Vitamin E helps protect the skin, using it as a moisture barrier but also giving it a protective barrier from outside damage from sun, pollution and chemicals.

Teen Depression: How to Recognize and Treat It

Depression is not strictly an adult condition. Teenagers can be affected by it as well. More and more teenagers are exhibiting signs of depression. Will you recognize them when they occur?

Depression is a condition that is characterized by many different symptoms. It has been equated with being down or having the blahs, but it goes much deeper than that. It could be described as a bout of sadness that goes on for a more extended period of time. With sadness, once the event that led to it has disappeared, more upbeat moods eventually follow. This is not so with depressive episodes.

With teens it is hard to recognize symptoms. During this time in their lives, they are bombarded with hormonal changes, libido, peer pressure, academic pressures and athletic pressures. Any one of these could contribute to the typical signs that are exhibited during depression: mood swings, irritability, anxiety and anger.

For parents this can be a scary situation and also an opportunity. Teens already think that their parents don’t know anything, but you can prove them wrong by keeping those lines of communication open. It is often hard to distinguish normal behavior for your teen if you are not used to their habits.

Talk to them. Let them know that you are available if they want to tell you anything that is bothering them. Even if they don’t take advantage of it, always make sure that you leave that door open.

Symptoms

So what are the symptoms that your teen may exhibit? They include but are not limited to increased episodes of sadness, changes in friends, changes in wardrobe, loss of concentration, lower energy levels, preoccupation with death, bouts of crying, loss of interest in their usual activities and declining grades.

Teens who are suffering from depression are also prone to risky behaviors to try and get away from their feelings. Look for signs of alcohol or drug abuse, smoking or law-breaking behavior.

If you notice any of these signs, try to coax the reason for their change in behavior from them. Whether you can or not, you may want to contact your doctor and make an appointment for a check-up. They can evaluate and talk to your teen. Let them see for themselves and suggest the best way to proceed.

Treatments

One form of treatment is medication but it is usually the last resort for poeple so young. Instead, you and your teen may be referred to a therapist for further evaluation.

Therapy is an important tool that can help a teen to get in touch with what is causing the depression to occur. They can learn to recognize and apply positive affirmations when negative thoughts enter their minds. Depending on the source, they can use visualization and cognitive behavior therapy to help confront different situations in their lives and receive positive results.

Teen depression is a serious matter. If your teen is showing signs like the ones mentioned, please get help right away.

Superficial Thrombophlebitis

Thrombophlebitis is an inflammation of the superficial veins of the body. They are mostly found in the legs. Keep reading to find out what this condition really is and how it can be treated.

Superficial thrombophlebitis refers to the veins that are near the skin. These veins can become blocked by a blood clot and become torturous and ropelike. While the blood clots here are not serious enough to require surgery, they can lead to inflammation and redness on the skin at the site. When this occurs, you will need to be treated to reduce the inflammation and stop any pain you may have associated with it.

Are you at risk for this condition? Well, anyone can develop it. Your chances go up if you have varicose veins already. Varicosities form when valves get weak in the leg veins and lead to backwards flow of blood. Pregnancy can bring about varicose veins.

Accidental injury to the veins can also contribute to increased incidence of blood clots. Birth control bills carry a warning on them that they can cause blood clots in women after a certain age.

Another factor could be an IV site in your vein. There could be a clot that forms at that site while the IV line is still in or not long after it has been removed.

Look for signs and symptoms that you may have the condition. Even without varicosities, you may exhibit pain in your extremity where the thrombophlebitis is occurring. The area may be warm to the touch and red indicating an infection. The vein may also become hard from the presence of the clot and the infection.

If your condition persists, see a doctor. They can take your symptoms and may refer you to a specialist in vascular issues. There are tests that they can perform to assess the condition of your extremity.

A venography takes a picture of your veins to show if there are blood clots present and where they are. Ultrasounds are also done to assess the blood flow through those areas of pain.

If you are experiencing pain, you want it to stop and that is your doctor’s goal as well. He may recommend a few treatments that don’t require the use of medication:

* Compression hose – These are thick stockings that work by compressing tighter at the ankle and loosening up as you reach the calf. They help to stop the blood from flowing backwards in your veins. If you stand in one place for long periods of time they can reduce the pain.

* Compresses on the area – These can reduce pain and inflammation. Use a warm compress to reduce inflammation. Keep your legs elevated as much as possible when not standing to facilitate blood flow.

* Pain killers and NSAIDS are also recommended for pain and inflammation. If symptoms persist, surgical intervention may be needed to handle the situation.

Superficial thrombophlebitis is not life threatening but it can be painful. Consult your doctor if you believe you have it for more information and treatment options.

Stress Busters at Work

Stress is a number one complaint at work. Workers may not say specifically that they are feeling stressed but there are a number of signs that they may exhibit that bears this out. If you are one of the thousands that are feeling under pressure to perform on the job, here are some stress busters that may help you to regain control and enjoy your work environment again.

Stress in the workplace has cost insurance companies big money over the years. And employers have been hit as well through loss of days at work. Trouble in the workplace has led to workman’s comp claims going up. One way to combat this is through stress management on the job.

Here are some ideas to fight back the feelings of stress when they arise. Remember, don’t let stress get away from you or ignore it. Striking at the beginning increases your chances of managing it successfully and having a more pleasant experience at work.

* Get some sunlight – Exposure to sunlight is at a minimum in most offices. People underestimate the value of natural light. Basking in the sun raises levels of serotonin in the brain. This neurotransmitter is one that is responsible for our moods. And, you want to be in a good one. Take breaks outside or a brisk walk at lunchtime to soak up some old-fashioned vitamin D.

* Reduce tension – This may relate back to your chair. Most chairs are too stiff and don’t compensate for the curvature of the back. This can cause tension and pain in the lower back and even the shoulders if you work on the computer. At your desk, be sure that your chair is adjusted to a height that allows your legs to hit the floor at a ninety degree angle to your torso. Also ensure that your arms do the same as they tap the keyboard. This can take the strain off your neck when doing repetitive movements.

* Breathe – Have you ever noticed the air quality in your office? You may need an air purifier at your desk. They can be expensive but you can get some time outdoors as an alternative. Take long, deep breaths. The added oxygen can help clear the fog from your brain in the afternoon after lunch. If your desk is located near the copy room, ask to be moved if possible. Copiers collect a lot of dust and that is not good for the environment, the air quality or your lungs.

* Say no – We are often stressed because we take on too many tasks. It is okay to do your job and strive to do more, but don’t overload yourself to the point of too many projects coming due at one time. You can’t possibly do your best work that way. Know your job description and don’t be afraid to let your boss know what you can’t handle.

Is your job crushing your psyche? Use these tips to help keep you in top mental shape for whatever lies ahead.

Stop the Signs of Aging

How old are you? Now, how old are your insides? Everyone will get older but you don’t have to look it. Here are some ways to stop the signs of aging.

Age is truly just a number unless your body tells otherwise. Sometimes, stopping the signs of aging requires changes on the inside and also to what we put into our bodies.

One telltale sign that you are getting older is your skin. Youthful radiant skin (which everyone wants) makes others think that you are younger than you are. On the other hand, skin that is thin, transparent, wrinkled or dry can make you look older than you are.

Here are some tips to keep that skin looking radiant at all ages. Radiant skin signifies that the insides are healthy as well.

* Protection from the sun – This can’t be stressed enough. Not only can too much unprotected exposure to the sun cause skin cancer, but it also can lead to premature wrinkling, leathery tough skin and age spots. Wear sunscreen whenever you go outside, summer or winter. Don’t forget your face and lips.

* Get some sleep – The body uses the sleeping hours at night to repair itself from the wear and tear of the day. When you don’t sleep, the body has to move on without the chance to rest and renew. This can lead to increased stress in the body and illness. Most adults need at least six to eight hours a night. When you are well rested, so is your body.

* Stop smoking – Cigarette smoke contains hundreds of toxic substances that are released into the air and then into your lungs. It reduces elasticity in your vessels but also in your skin. For your face, you get that pursed look around your mouth from holding a cigarette there.

* Reduce stress levels – Stress really can lead to illness. It causes us to eat an unhealthy diet, sleep less, and take up risky behaviors (smoking and alcohol abuse). All of these things have a poor effect on the body. It increases the risk of disease and can give you a body that is years older than your chronological age. Stress increases free radical damage in the body and that includes the skin. Manage your stress so that you can carry on a healthier lifestyle that promotes radiant skin.

* Increase healthy diet – When the body doesn’t get the vitamins and nutrients that it needs, this can lead to external signs: dry brittle hair, dry brittle nails, pale lackluster skin, wrinkles and dry skin. You are missing what you need. Switching to a diet full of whole grains, complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables and nuts will slowly rejuvenate your body and the skin.

How is your skin looking today? Maybe you are lacking a nutrient or experiencing too much stress. Take steps to reduce your risk factors and plump up that skin again.