Negative Impacts of Tattooing

The National Geographic News reported that as of April 2000, about 40 million Americans are estimated to have a tattoo. And this number is continually increasing by the day. This is despite the fact that tattooing can leave a negative impact on the person concerned as well as to the environment. If you are serious about getting your first tattoo, it would be good to first know what these impacts are so that you can make an intelligent and informed decision beforehand.

Impact on Your Health

Regardless of whether you have side tattoos for girls or chest tattoos for men or a tattoo anywhere on your body, they all can leave the same impact on you. Less serious health impacts include skin problems on the tattooed area such as scabies, dermatitis, psoriasis and allergies. The most common cause for these skin problems is the toxic substance present in the ink used.

In addition, most black inks used in tattooing contain benzopyrene, a carcinogenic substance that causes cancer in animals. In fact, there were already reported coincidental cases where malignant tumors and melanoma were present in tattoos.

Viral infection can also be potentially transmitted to you through the needle used for getting a tattoo. You could contact Hepatitis B and C, Syphilis, staph, Herpes and even HIV or AIDS if the needle used was not properly sterilized. Moreover, some hospitals and testing centers do not allow people with body tattoos to be subjected to life-saving MRI tests. That is because there are metal particles in the ink that may cause an extreme burning sensation during the test.

If ever you want your tattoo to be removed, there is another health concern that you have to face. Some pigments are phototoxic, which means that they will break down into a toxic substance once removed using laser or UV light which is a common technique in tattoo removal. These toxic substances could then end up in your liver or kidney, making you at risk of other health problems.

Impacts Employment

Employers have certain criteria when hiring employees. Although in most hiring processes it is not clearly specified that tattoos are prohibited, most hiring managers prefer to hire applicants who have no tattoos. If you can conceal your tattoo during an interview, that is acceptable. The challenge is to conceal it during work hours. That is why tattoo placement is an important consideration. If you want to have a tattoo, have it in the area on your body that you could easily conceal with clothing.

Impact to the environment

It is estimated that there are now more than 20,000 tattoo parlors in the US. And most tattoo shops now use disposable needles and other paraphernalia. Many of these parlors do not dispose of their needles and paraphernalia properly. As a result, they could end up in landfills and bodies of water. And remember that many of these needles still have ink left in them. Just imagine their potential hazard to many animals that will be exposed to them. If you are concerned about the environment and wildlife and you support any effort to help save and protect them, rethink about having a tattoo.

Most people have tattoos to express themselves. However, it is worth considering that this form of body art can have a negative and significant impact on your health, employment and also the environment. Knowing the effect, it is now your personal decision whether you will push through with it or not.

How to Detect Implantation

For couples trying to conceive, it can be hard to scrutinize early signs of pregnancy. Some like to detect pregnancy as early as a few days or weeks because they like to prepare themselves physically and emotionally for their coming baby. One way to help detect signs of early pregnancy is by way of using an implantation calculator, like this one here, and detecting signs of implantation. While some women are already aware of some signs of a successful implantation, some don’t.

Implantation occurs when a fertilized egg implants itself in the uterine wall. It normally happens within six to ten days after ovulation or within 20th to the 24th day of the menstrual cycle. But it may happen later or earlier around these periods. If a woman has a 28-day cycle, ovulation occurs on the 14th day with the first day of menstruation counted as the first day.

There are usually only a few signs of implantation and some women may not be able to notice them. These symptoms are normally confirmed once pregnancy is also confirmed. Symptoms include cramps in the uterine area, increase in basal body temperature, and a dip in thermal temperature. But of course, the last two symptoms will only make sense to you if you are charting because your past temperature will be your basis of comparison. A spike in the basal body temperature happens as the body adapts to the development of a growing fetus. Instead of an increase in basal body temperature, some women experience a thermal temperature dip as the body acclimates itself to the stresses of implantation. Sometimes, implantation bleeding or light spotting may also occur especially around seven to ten days after ovulation.

However, even if you already have experienced these symptoms, the ultimate confirmation if you are really pregnant is when you go positive in a pregnancy test. If you are experiencing implantation symptoms and you want to be sure if you are pregnant or not, you could run a pregnancy or blood test for confirmation.

Sometimes, no matter how much you try, you may have difficulties in achieving a successful implantation. For most working women, one reason for this is stress. If you have difficulties in implantation and you really want to get pregnant, you could try resting from your regular work routine and focus more on your goal. One way to do it is to spend a vacation from work and to stay up close with nature. You could check if there are nature reserves or nature parks in your area where you could visit and spend a few days with your partner. This is what most people who are trying to conceive do.

However, it is important to note that nature reserves and parks may serve as natural habitats for plants and animals. Be sure to respect them when you stay in these places.

The signs and symptoms of implantation may vary among women. Even if you don’t experience these symptoms after trying to conceive, there is still a chance that you may be pregnant. That is why don’t lose hope until it is confirmed in your pregnancy test.

Green Pregnancy Announcement Ideas

Getting pregnant is a very joyous and magical occasion. Imagine a woman, being given the ability to bring forth life in this earth, it certainly is indescribable! You first missed your period for several days and dismiss it as something else, several more days pass and still nothing, finally you decide to test yourself if indeed you are pregnant, and happily you are! Now things get going around in your mind, many questions pop up like; how you will proceed with your pregnancy, how to tell your husband, relatives and friends about it, what pregnancy announcement ideas to use and other matters. You begin to worry about how to tell and share your happiness with them. Of course, you want it to be special and you want everyone to remember this moment of renewal. What better way to express it than thinking about nature.

Nature is life and giving birth is its process of renewal. Announcing your pregnancy with nature in mind is both easy and memorable, just let your imagination soar and you will be fine. Still not convinced?  Here are some ideas which might let you rightly choose what approach to take in this very important moment of your life.

A Bun in the Oven

Bun signifies your baby, and the oven is your womb. Surprise, surprise! It may take them a little while to realize what they are looking at. But once they eventually comprehend what the bun is doing in the oven, be ready for a reaction worth talking about in the years to come. In keeping with our theme of nature conservation, use only organic and unadulterated wheat in making of the bun. Genetically modified wheat, according to certain studies, poses health risk not noticeable immediately and manifests itself in certain afflictions like diabetes and heart disease.

A Budget Blunder

Act seriously and tell your husband that you did something expensive and that you both need to talk about it. Tell him to add up your bills first and when he asks you for a pen give him the positive EPT kit and watch for his reaction. He may think it is some form of highlighter pen or something but when he does realize it, coupled with the budget expense being untrue, his reaction would be priceless. Before anything else, make him commit to you that you both must start to conserve electricity immediately. Some of the electricity that we use in our homes are generated by burning fossil fuels, which in turn causes pollution and damages our atmosphere and contribute to global warming.

An Innocent Looking Gift

This one requires not too much thinking as the other two. And it also could be one of many things, like a card made of recycled paper which says, “You are going to be a new dad” or “Congratulations, your swimmers made it” and other phrase that suits the one you are sending it to. You can also send out mementos like crocheted baby socks or recycled baby bottles and even books made of recycled paper. Just always remember, to use materials that are in line with the protection and conservation of our environment. Think recycled and handmade items.

 

Carrying a child in your womb is like the earth holding us in its bosom, in that, we don’t harm the one’s that provides for us and keeps us alive. Let us make the conservation of our home planet a daily habit and infuse it in everything we do. Our awareness to it is the first step towards realization of a cleaner, more habitable planet. You owe it to the child you are bringing into this world.

How to Keep Your Dog Safe While Home Alone

Dogs are a favorite pet in many households. Even some busy households where all the members of the family work during daytime own a dog. One challenge though for busy households is on how to keep their dog safe while left alone at home. You will never know what can happen to your dog or to your house when there is no one home except your dog. To avoid any unwanted circumstances that may compromise the life of your pet, here are five simple tips that you could do:

1. Don’t leave your dog to roam around outside your house.

Keeping your dog outside without a leash attracts danger for your dog and to strangers. You don’t want your dog to bite a passerby or someone knocking on your door.

Aside from that, you should not allow your dog to roam outside if you or your neighbor uses lawn chemicals or herbicides. Exposure to lawn chemicals and herbicides puts your dog at risk of developing cancer of the bladder or lymphoma.

It is also important to note that applying chemicals on your lawn will have a significant environmental impact. A study found out that 16 of the popularly used lawn pesticides are toxic to birds, 11 are toxic to bees, and 24 are deadly to aquatic organisms including fishes. Pesticides can also cause contamination in the food sources of wildlife. If you are applying these chemicals, you should rethink about it for the sake of your pet, other wildlife and the environment.

If you decide to let your dog stay outside your house, keep it on a leash or in a dog house where it will not be exposed to the elements.

2. Keep your dog busy.

Some dogs including poodle mixes such as yorkie poodle are best kept inside the house. These dogs prefer the indoor comfort rather than staying outside. If you prefer to keep your dog inside the house, be sure that your dog will have something to do while alone. Toys such as Kong which can be stuffed with food may help. You could also use a food dispenser instead of an ordinary food bowl. Some toys have varying difficulty levels for dogs to access their food, enough to keep them busy for a time.

3. Leave food and water for your pet.

Don’t starve your dog while you are away; otherwise, your dog might end up looking for food among your things, and the unexpected might happen. On the other hand, don’t let your dog just have easy access to its food or water or it will be consumed before the middle of the day. Follow suggestion number 2 so that your dog’s food and water will last longer.

4. Train your dog to behave while inside the house.

If you train your dog to behave while inside the house, you should have no problem about accidents that may result from unruly behavior. Training can be demanding of your patience. However, it pays off once your dog becomes well-behaved.

5. Put cameras around the house.

If you really like to know what your dog is doing inside the house to ensure its safety while you are away, you could also install cameras inside your home. This can be an expensive option though.

These five simple tips are just some of the ones you could follow to ensure the safety of your dog while home alone. If you are in a busy household and you think that you cannot do any of these tips, then perhaps owning a dog is not the best for you at the moment.

Possible Causes of Unexplained Bruising

Bruising is a condition that is not only common among humans but can also occur among animals. They may vary in appearance depending on who is affected. In some animals, bruising may be less obvious because of their coats. Bruising can be an indication of nothing serious, but it may also be a sign of a life-threatening condition especially for unexplained bruising. It is important to know the possible causes of unexplained bruising to know if it is something that needs medical attention.

Unexplained Bruises in Humans

Children and adults with an active lifestyle such as those involved in contact sports are the ones who commonly get bruises. Their bruises may be a result of bumping onto hard objects, of accidents or injury. Some of these bruises may easily come and go unnoticed because they are nothing really serious.

However, some unexplained bruises in humans could be a symptom of an allergic reaction to certain medication, underlying illness or vitamin deficiency (source:www.unexplainedbruising.net). Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, blood thinners, aspirin, and birth control pills are among the medications that may cause unexplained bruises for some patients. If you are taking any of these medications and are experiencing unexplained bruises, you need to see your doctor immediately for proper remedy.

Diabetes, Grave’s disease, cirrhosis of the liver and leukemia also make a person more prone to bruising. If you have unexplained bruises and are suffering from blurry vision, fatigue and excessive thirsting, it could be a sign that you have diabetes. For Grave’s disease, other associated symptoms are rapid heartbeat, difficulty in sleeping, irritability and physical weakness. On the other hand, you may be suffering from cirrhosis of the liver if you have unexplained weight gain and have a lack of energy aside from the bruises. Lastly, it could also be leukemia if you have painful bones, red blotches in the skin, unexplained fever, and excessive perspiration. The best way to have a proper diagnosis is to see your doctor.

Moreover, people who are deficient in Vitamins B12, K and C are also prone to bruising. Your doctor will normally recommend vitamin supplements to address this problem.

Unexplained Bruises in Animals

For animals including cattle, sheep and pigs, bruises can be a result of a physical blow by a stone or by another hard or pointed object, falling down, or a metal projection during handling and transportation. For house pets such as dogs and cats, bruising may also develop as a result of accidentally bumping into hard objects while they were playing. Or it could also result from abuse by their owners.

Just like humans, any unexplained bruises in animals also need to be investigated to know the right cause. Some bruises will just heal on their own, while others may need a trip to the veterinarian. Looking after the welfare of animals is part of protecting our wildlife. All animals including house pets and raised animals play an important role in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem and therefore, need to be protected.

Any unexplained bruises in both humans and animals should not be taken for granted. A visit to your doctor or veterinarian can help you identify the cause so that a proper remedy can be administered.

The Environmental Impact of Your Diet

Are you on a 1000 calorie diet and just taking in low carb vegetables and fruits? Or perhaps, you are on a meat-based diet? Do you know that the kind of diet you have may leave a significant environmental impact especially in the natural habitat of many animals?

Humans can survive without material things but not without food. A rapidly growing population requires for the production of more food. In the US alone, the food production system utilizes about half of the total land area of the country, 80 percent of freshwater, and nearly 20 percent of fossil energy. Because of food production, environmental degradation is evident in the US. Many natural habitats for wildlife have been destroyed for the sake of food production.

One particular issue that raises an environmental concern or problem is meat production. Meat production contributes to air and water pollution as well as to carbon dioxide emission. Production of crops for animal feeds also threatens many wildlife species and it affects biodiversity.

Fortunately, there are simple ways that you can practice to reduce the negative environmental impact with your diet:

1. Eat more fruits and vegetables, and less meat.

Meat production has the greatest environmental impact. When people consume more meat, there will be a higher demand for more meat production, which in turn may lead to pollution and other environmental problems. This is one reason why being on a low carb diet also has an indirect benefit to the environment.

2. Plant a garden in your backyard.

If you have a vacant area in your lot, utilize that space to have your own garden. Having your own vegetable garden is a more sustainable way of feeding your family. If more and more people can do this, there will be no need to clear more wildlife habitat for crop planting.

3. Do not waste food.

All types of food require energy and natural resources to produce and transport them to your home. Wasting food means wasting all these energy and resources. But the more critical environmental impact of food wastage is that when they end up in landfills, they could produce and emit methane gas which is a known greenhouse gas. In fact, food wastage accounts for about 25 percent of methane from landfills.

4. Support local farmers.

Supporting local farmers means that your food will not have to be transported for long distances just to reach your home. That means savings on the fossil fuel used for transportation and reduced carbon dioxide emission. In addition, because their food produce don’t have to travel long distances, they are fresher and are generally more nutritious since many nutrients in plants and vegetables do not store well long enough.

5. Support organic fresh produce.

The production of organic produce reduces the pressure and harmful effects in the ecosystem because they are grown without using toxic chemicals which could contribute to water, air and soil pollution. This practice also supports local wildlife because organic farmers encourage them to thrive on their land because of their role in natural pest prevention.

While humans need food to survive, it is important to note that your food choices and your attitude towards food can significantly leave either a positive or negative impact to the environment. If we don’t act now to save our environment and wildlife, it is still we who will suffer the consequences.

What You Need to Know About Hip Flexor Strain

Our hips are generally stable and strong if they are not injured or affected by certain conditions such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis which are more common among older people. For athletes, there are also common hip conditions that can affect them. Some of them are less serious and would heal in a few days, while others may have a longer recovery period and in some cases, a patient may have to undergo anterior hip precautions during the recovery period. One of the conditions that have a long recovery period is hip flexor strain. Understanding this condition can help you avoid it or make appropriate remedies and exercises to recover from this condition.

A strain in the hip flexor may cause hip flexor pain which could range from mild to severe depending on the severity of the strain. A first degree strain means that one of the flexor muscles is slightly torn or stretched. A second degree strain means that that there is a partial tear in the tendon or muscle, while a third degree strain means that the tendon or muscle has been completely severed. The recovery period for each type of hip flexor pain also differs from weeks to months, depending on the severity.

There are as much as six muscles that are involved in the hip flexion. Any one of these muscles can be strained; however, the muscle that often gets strained is the iliopsoas. Iliopsoas can be strained when there is a forceful contraction of the muscles, or when the leg is forcefully prevented from moving or is fully extended. It normally happens during sprinting or kicking. Soccer players, runners, cyclists and martial arts athletes are more at risk to this condition.

You will know that you have a hip flexor strain if you are experiencing pain and possible swelling in the front of the hip or groin area. You will also notice your lack of strength when lifting your knee. If you have these symptoms, rest immediately from whatever you are doing.

Resting for at least 48 hours can help avoid further damage to your hips. Aside from that, you should also apply an ice pack on the affected area for at least three times a day for around 20 minutes during the first 72 hours from injury. There are also pain medications that can help alleviate the pain such as ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen. Compression shorts or bandages can also help prevent inflammation. If symptoms still persist, you must see your doctor immediately.

During recovery period, there are appropriate exercises that can help you strengthen your hip flexor. Among them are lengthening and stretching exercises. These include quadruped posterior rocking, rotational lunge stretch, leg cradle, and half kneeling.

When doing rehabilitation exercises, some people prefer to do them in parks and other natural surroundings where they could also meditate and rejuvenate. Some take it as an opportunity to spend a vacation with their family. If you prefer the same, be sure to avoid doing anything that can harm the natural habitat of plants and animals. But more than treatment and rehabilitation, you can avoid suffering from hip flexor strain if you observe warm-up exercises before a strenuous activity or sport.

What is Neutropenic Precautions and Why They Are Necessary

Our body has good white blood cells or neutrophils which naturally fight infection. If the level of neutrophil in the body is significantly low, it makes a person more prone to infections. And this condition is called neutropenia. One of the primary causes of neutropenia is cancer treatment. However, a person with neutropenia is not without hope because there are neutropenic precautions that can help them avoid catching infections.

For patients with neutropenia, it is important to recognize early signs of infection and to seek medical attention immediately when infection is noted. However, infection prevention is much better than having to deal with infection. And this is when observing certain precautions can help protect neutropenic patients.

Basic precautions include:

1. Hand washing. This is perhaps one of the simplest but most essential precautions to observe to avoid infection. Keeping your hands clean can help prevent contracting germs from other sources. Hand washing should be done after using the bathroom, before eating, before preparing food, after handling garbage, after coughing or blowing your nose, and after handling things that expose you to germs and bacteria.

2. General hygiene. Basic hygiene includes taking a bath daily and regular mouth care using a soft toothbrush. As much as possible, avoid using public toilets, hot tubs and the swimming pool where you might be exposed to bacteria and germs. For the same reason, you must also avoid exposure to animal poop, live plants and fresh flowers.

3. Maintain an intact skin. A broken skin is the passageway of bacteria to enter inside your body. That is why it is important that you should maintain an intact skin. Avoid getting cuts, bruises and breaks in the skin. If you have to work with sharp objects like knives and needles, be sure to wear gloves for protection.

4. Diet. Diet also plays an important role in avoiding infections. There are certain foods that you must avoid if you have neutropenia and that includes uncooked meat and raw fruits and vegetables, raw or unpasteurized milk, raw eggs, and anything grown in dirt as they may be carriers of bacteria. It is important that foods to be fed to a neutropenic patient are properly prepared and cooked. Always wash your hands before preparing foods and before eating. Additionally, be careful with the expiration dates of commercial foods that you eat. Be sure that they are not yet expired and are still sealed when you buy them.

5. Activities

Certain activities are prohibited for people who are neutropenic. Construction and garden work must be avoided because they pose a risk of contracting infection from dust and the soil. If, for example, you are involved in habitat conservation and you have to plant trees as part of your task, you can still do it but you have to wear gloves and mask while doing your task. It is just a matter of taking appropriate precautions when doing things.

A neutropenic person is generally prone to infections. But with the precautions listed above, you could still do your regular routine and avoid the risk of infection. If in case you have questions about these precautions, you may seek for advice from your doctor.

Skin Tear Prevention and Treatment

Skin problems are very common but they are rarely serious. However, there are skin problems such as tattoo scabbing, acne and scars which can be distressing especially if they are present in areas that are visible such as on the face. Among the various skin problems, one of the least known and understood is skin tear. Some people who would hear about it would immediately conclude that tearing is the separation of the outermost layer of the skin caused by a sharp object like a knife. But that is not always the case.

Skin tears are injuries that cause the outermost layer of the skin to separate fully or partially. Some perceive it as a minor injury but in many cases, they can also be complex wounds that may require medical attention. Infections and complications contribute to the seriousness of the condition and in some cases, they could lead to death.

Any location in the body can be affected by skin tears. However, among elderly people, they are most common in the extremities like in the lower and upper limb and in the dorsal parts of the hands. The skin becomes more at risk of tearing with age. Aside from age, there are other risk factors for tearing of the skin. These factors include gender, dry or fragile skin, medications such as steroids, poor nutrition, cognitive impairment and others.

moisturizerFortunately, there are ways to prevent skin tears. One way is to regularly apply moisturizer especially if you have dry skin. Wearing pants and long-sleeved shirts can also protect your extremities which are more prone to tearing. Also, it is important to keep yourself hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water daily.

There are also natural remedies for a healthy skin that can help you avoid skin tears. They include fruits, vegetable and wild plants that are rich in antioxidant properties such as blueberries, pomegranates, acai berries, raspberries, goji berries, spinach, nuts and grapes. The wild or organic versions of these plants are normally best in quality compared to those that are laden with pesticides and other toxic chemicals. Our nature is still the best source of remedy for a healthy skin. That is why it is important that we should also promote caring for nature as much as we desire to achieve a healthy skin.

If you still incur skin tearing despite doing preventive measures, it is important to wash the tear as well as the surrounding skin with a wound cleanser or saline. Avoid rubbing the affected area while cleaning. Let the area dry before applying gauze. One of the popular gauzes being used is the petroleum jelly gauze which you could apply over the tear. You may also apply a bandage but use a paper tape to secure the bandage in place instead of applying the tape directly on the skin.

Tearing of the skin is generally not a serious skin condition, but it can become serious if there are infections or complications. However, there are ways on how it can be prevented and there are also remedies that you could easily apply if you are suffering from it.

5 Things You Should Know Before Owning a Hedgehog

For a few years now, African hedgehogs have been gaining in popularity as pets. Hedgehogs as pets are proven to help decrease stress and lower the blood pressure of their owners. They are also sweet, charismatic and less demanding pets compared to other household pets like dogs or cats. However, you could not just simply buy a hedgehog and take it home with you. There are five important facts that you should know first:

  • Laws on ownership vary. Laws regarding hedgehogs being kept as pets may vary from one state to another. Some states including Hawaii and Arizona consider it illegal to take these animals as pets. So before you buy one, check first with your local authorities if it is legal and if there are special paper works that you need to comply with first to own one.
  • Don’t disturb new mothers. New mothers easily get stressed out when disturbed. And when they do, they have the tendency to eat their young. When the pups are already about five weeks, you could already wean them and move them to separate hedgehog cages.
  • Hedgehogs are nocturnal and solitary animals. They are territorial and should be kept alone in their cage. A hiding place in their cage where they can rest is a necessity. Their cage should be high sided and should have smooth walls. Exercise wheels can be a great accessory in their cage to encourage exercise and to avoid obesity. It is also important to watch the temperature in the cage. These animals are comfortable between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything cooler will cause them to hibernate, while anything warmer will cause them to become sluggish or stressed.
  • Hedgehogs are insectivores but they are an opportunistic feeder. Their dietary needs do not just consist of insects but also fruits and vegetables. Each night, they can feed up to one-third of their total body weight. For domestic hedgehogs, you could feed them with dry cat food, depending on their metabolism and level of activity. You should also provide them with a supplementary diet which includes mealworms and insects as well as boiled eggs, vegetable and fruits.
  • Don’t just get any wild hedgehog as your pet. We should all be proactive about protecting wildlife and the environment. Wild hedgehogs are different from African hedgehogs which are commonly bred as pets. Wild hedgehogs in the garden help control the population of insects, acting as natural insecticides. They also don’t thrive in cages since they are used to staying in the wild. Putting them in cages may just endanger their life. That is a reason why you should not attempt to adopt a wild hedgehog as a pet. Instead, buy your pet from a reputable breeder or pet store.

Hedgehogs have gained in popularity among pet lovers who prefer smaller animals. It is important to note that these animals are living beings and must be treated with respect. If you are interested in raising a hedgehog, you should first know its basic needs including the appropriate cage, diet, exercise and health. That way, you will be able to take care of your pet properly.

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