Thursday, 20 June 2013
Flare up: Sadie and a rash caused by her nickel allergy
For nearly five years, the lesion on my stomach simply refused to heal. What started as a ten pence-sized cluster of red bumps just above my belly button, developed within weeks into an angry red sore patch the size of my palm.
Impossibly itchy, it wouldn't clear up, despite liberal applications of just about everything from antiseptic and anti-histamine creams to calamine lotion. Scratching, naturally, only made the condition worse.
But what had caused this extreme reaction? A tropical insect bite? A rare skin infection?
No. When I eventually consulted a private dermatologist, it turned out a belt buckle and the button on the fly of my jeans were to blame.
They both contained the everyday, silvery-white metal, nickel, which is found in everything from costume jewellery to small change.
Despite never having had a problem before, suddenly in my mid-20s I'd become highly allergic to it.
Since then I've been caught out by bra clasps, chain straps on handbags and even sunglasses with metal arms, all of which left angry welts on my skin, sometimes within minutes of coming into contact with them.
So when I read last week that there's been a massive surge in nickel allergies - one in ten Britons is now a fellow sufferer - I wasn't surprised.
It's an allergy that seems insignificant until you actually suffer from it yourself, and it is reported that one in five women, like me, does. That's because nickel is everywhere in places you'd never imagine.
It's used in over 300,000 items from batteries and cooking utensils, to pans and, yes, the proverbial kitchen sink. It's found in paper clips, toasters, zips, car keys, bath plugs, door handles, scissors and even in the metal trims and keypads of many mobile phones.
Analysis has shown that the five and ten pence coins introduced since January 2012 contain four times more of the metal than they used to. Cheaper to produce than the old coins, which were made from an alloy of around 70 per cent copper and 25 per cent nickel, the new slightly thicker coins are steel with a nickel coating.
Experts have warned that handling these coins regularly could trigger contact eczema or dermatitis, and cause painful cracked and sore skin.
There are increasing amounts of nickel in coinage
Lindsey McManus, of Allergy UK, says many nickel allergy sufferers already report having to wear rubber gloves when handling coins, and with the new 5p and 10p pieces she fears the problem may become even more prevalent, especially among workers such as shop cashiers and bus drivers who handle money all day.
Nickel can even penetrate cloth, so men who put their loose change in their pockets can find it aggravates the skin on their legs underneath.
Prevalent in the earth's crust, nickel is easily available and cheap. It's also hard-wearing and doesn't corrode, which makes it a popular choice in manufacturing.
It can even get into our food from the equipment used to handle, cook or store it.
Tinned tuna, for example, contains nickel from the can. As a trace element, nickel occurs naturally in soil and, as it is absorbed through the roots of many plants, it is found in most vegetables, fruits and nuts.
Cocoa, raspberries, peanuts and chickpeas are high in nickel, as are many of the products derived from them including chocolate and wine.
Thankfully I've yet to suffer a reaction to either, but that's not to say I won't in the future. The allergy has a way of creeping up on sufferers.
Consultant dermatologist Dr Tabi Leslie warns that a nickel allergy can strike anyone at any time. 'Like most allergies, it can develop suddenly at any age due to changes in the body's immune system and exposure to an irritant,' she says.
"Women have a higher risk simply because they are more likely to be exposed to nickel through jewellery and under wire bras"
'In a nutshell, the more we're exposed to it, the more likely we are to become sensitive to it and, with the increasing use of nickel, the numbers will only continue soaring.'
She explains that sensitisation occurs when the body starts thinking it's under attack and the immune system goes into overdrive, attacking healthy cells and tissue, and resulting contact eczema or dermatitis.
Five years ago I developed hives - a bumpy red rash - after swapping my usual breakfast cereal for porridge. Initially, make-up and a new moisturiser were chief suspects until my dermatologist told me that rolled porridge oats contain high levels of nickel.
Within days of giving up porridge, the eczema was less itchy, and within a few weeks it had disappeared. And a nickel allergy can also trigger a reaction on other patches of skin that haven't been in contact with it, what Lindsey McManus calls 'a referred reaction'.
'It can be baffling for people who aren't yet aware they're allergic to nickel,' she says.
Though rare, some people are so sensitive to nickel that it can trigger an immediate, and potentially fatal, reaction known as anaphylactic shock, where the airways close in on themselves.
The nickel allergy problem has become so great that Europe has introduced strict new rules on how much nickel can be used in items worn next to the skin such as watchstraps, earrings and necklaces. Coins were excluded because it was thought they did not release enough nickel to trigger reactions.
But researchers from the St John's Institute of Dermatology at St Thomas' Hospital, London, now say the high nickel levels in coins will dramatically escalate the problem of allergies in Britain.
So what can you do if you're a sufferer? As I found out myself, painting offending items with clear nail varnish can act as a barrier but it isn't foolproof.
'Anti-histamine tablets and creams help to break the itch-scratch cycle and relieve discomfort,' adds Dr Leslie, 'but to get rid of contact eczema you need a prescribed emollient to act as a barrier and reduce the dryness, and a topical steroid cream to reduce the immune reaction.'
It was a long course of steroid cream that eventually helped clear up the patch on my stomach. Unfortunately, what's best is avoiding the metal completely, something that's increasingly difficult.
Having a nickel allergy is a pain, quite literally, but perhaps it's not all bad. In 2011, Danish researchers found that those who reacted to common irritants such as perfume or nickel were less likely to develop three different cancers.
This may be because contact allergies, where the body falsely believes it is under attack, help prime the immune system to be super responsive and fight off other threats.
As the saying goes: 'Every cloud has a…..' Actually, I'd prefer a gold lining. Silver often contains nickel to strengthen it !
Ref: Daily mail UK, Dated: 19.June.13
Tuesday, 30 April 2013
There are many different natural ingredients that you can use around your home to get every day cleaning down.
Replacing your chemical cleaners with a few of these ingredients can turn your home into a greener chemical free sanctuary.
Here are some top cleaning ingredients and simple recipes you can adopt around your home!
Items you can use : Castile Soap, Baking Soda, Tea Tree Oil, White Distilled Vinegar, Natural Lemon Juice, your Favourite Scented Essential Oils,
Castile Soap: Castile soap is a natural vegetable oil that can be found in a soap bar or liquid form. The uses for castile soap are endless since a little bit goes along way. Castile soap makes an excellent toilet bowl scrub, hair moisturiser, and floor cleaner.
For a great floor cleaner: mix several table spoons of liquid soap in a bucket of water and stir gently. This floor cleaner is great for an outdoor porch and drive way.
Baking Soda: Next to vinegar baking soda is one of the most versatile ingredients you can you can use as safe substitute cleaner. Baking soda is completely toxic free and is cheap. Here are some great ways to use Baking Soda in your home
1) If you have a smelly trash can sprinkle some baking soda in the trash to neutralize the smell
2) If you have kitchen surfaces that need a quick clean up then this can be done by sprinkling baking soda on the counter and wiping it with a warm cloth
3) Polish your silver using 3 parts baking soda and one part water (create a smooth paste)
4) If your carpets are suffering from pet urine, clean the mess up and then sprinkle baking soda and let it sit for 10 minutes before vacuuming.
Vinegar: White distilled vinegar is amazing for cleaning and disinfecting. White distilled vinegar is popularly used around the home because its high level acidity that is effective for killing most molds, bacteria and germs.
If you have the H2O Mop X5 - ELITE, then fill your water tank with a diluted solution of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water. The X5 Elite Steam mop is a brilliant way to use natural steam and a vinegar solution to clean wash room tiles and floors.
Another great way to use vinegar is for dishes, pots and pans and plastic lunch containers to remove stains and deodorize.
Tea Tree Oil: Concentrated Tea Tree Oil is a widely known germicide, fungicide and bactericide. If you want to keep your home germ free the non-chemical way then Tea Tree Oil is definitely something you want to try.
1) Get rid of mildew and mold by mixing several drops of tea tree oil and hot water in a spray bottle. Spray carpets or walls that smell of mildew and do not wash or rinse out. Leave the solution on the stain to remove the smell
2) Use drops of tea tree oil in your laundry, beddings and towels to remove the old smell of mold.
Scented essential oils: Most essential oils have antibacterial, anti-fungal properties and are an excellent way to mix them in with other natural cleaning solutions. If you have the H2O Mop X5- ELITE steam cleaner, you can add a couple drops of your favourite scented essential oil to the water tank for a refreshing clean smell.
The best for cleaning are lemon, grapefruit, eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, lavender, and rosemary.
If you don't own the H2O MOP X5- ELITE yet, Visit this site and ORDER yours TODAY!
Saturday, 23 February 2013
Finally a practical solution to avoid spoiling of food and money!
With the Always Fresh Box & Bag set you get a complete storing system that keeps your food fresh for a longer time and therefore saves money!
Always Fresh Boxes & Bags are made of natural, environmental-friendly material.
Storing food the ordinary way traps food with the food-spoiling gases it naturally emits during the ripening process.
This causes food to spoil even faster as during the natural process of ripening the food develops ethylene gas.
This gas accelerates the ripening of fruits, vegetables, meats - which eventually go bad faster.
Thanks to the revolutionary Always Fresh Box & Bag Set; all food items stay fresh and crunchy as the ethylene gas is absorbed and neutralized.
Always Fresh Box and Bag Set use nanotechnology to release all-natural minerals that act like magnets to remove these damaging gases....
....And food lasts up to weeks longer!!
Food stays fresh for a longer time (i.e.: meat, fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, cheese, bread ...)
Made of natural, environment-friendly material
No loss of valuable vitamins - without any use of chemicals
Microwave and dishwasher safe
All boxes fit together in the 4.6 liters box - perfect space saving storage solution!
Brilliant order in the fridge: boxes can be piled up
Bags are reusable: after using for 4 or 5 times put them in the microwave for 30 - 60 seconds for reactivation!
1 x box 475 ml. (including lid)
2 x boxes 725 ml. (including lids)
2 x boxes 1150 ml (including lids)
2 x boxes 1800 ml (including lids)
2 x boxes 2850 ml (including lids)
1 x box 4600 ml (including lid)
10 x large bags
10 x medium bags
Wednesday, 9 January 2013
STAY WARM THIS WINTER !!
TeleVantage proudly announces launch of its newest product - the uber cool "CUDDLEE" !
- ( only available for these chilling Winters !!!! )
The Cuddlee is a gigantic fleece blanket with sleeves!
A very soft-to-touch, lightweight but warm, fleece blanket with large, loose sleeves. It is designed to keep your entire body covered and cozy while you are still able to use your hands freely and hence you do not feel like you are wearing a blanket, but are simply wrapped up in its soft wonder!
Work the remote, use your laptop, have a hot cup of coffee, type a message on your phone, or do some reading in the luxurious ultra soft - Cuddlee blanket!
This one-size fits all product with sleeves is warm, keeps your hands free to effortlessly carry on your other activities and looks fabulous!
It is hassle-free and machine-washable.
Simplistic and practical!And it makes a great gift, so share the warmth this winter!
Available in 5 stunning colors of :
Bordeaux Red, Luxurious Brown, Midnight Blue, Royal Blue, Serene Beige.
CLICK CUDDLEE TO BUY TODAY !!!
Monday, 8 October 2012
What Can Steam Mops Get Rid Of?
Aside from the usual dust, dirt, and debris, steam mops can also get rid of other unwanted stuff on your floors. These include:
Bacteria and germs: Even if your mop or washcloth has removed the visible dirt and dust from your floors, some unseen bacteria and germs are not as easy to get rid of. Fortunately, the extremely high temperatures of steam released by steam mops can kill bacteria and germs, leaving your floors not just clean on the surface, but also completely free from unwanted microorganisms that may even cause health problems.
Allergens: Advantage of steam mops is that they are excellent sanitizers and disinfectants, again because of the heat they produce. Thus, they can effectively eliminate dust mites, mold, mildew, and other allergens. They do this without the help of any harsh chemical. If you or some household members are prone to allergies, using a steam mop is a surer way of cleaning your floors.
H2O MOP X5 deodorizes sanitizes and increases cleaning power by converting water to steam. Find out more about this here : http://bit.ly/NQY0qK
This brings us to this very valid question :
What are the advantages of Steam Mops?
Effective: Steam mops may have a different configuration but they work just as effectively as the upright or canister type steam cleaners. The mechanism of action used by these machines is exactly the same. A steam mop produces hot steam that effectively dislodges dirt from the surface and picks them right up without a hassle.
Effortless to use: Investing in a steam mop means saying goodbye to all the crouching, scrubbing, and bucket-lifting that used to make up your floor cleaning tasks. Like a regular floor mop, they just need to be pushed along in front of you. And some steam mops even have adjustable handles, so if you shorten the handle, you can even clean your floors while sitting down. There is also no need to buy and use any form of detergent, bleach, or cleaning chemical since the heat produced by the machine is already an effective disinfectant.
Guaranteed dirt removal: When you use a floor mop, every time you soak your mop into a bucket, the water that you use becomes dirty. This is why sometimes, you would see unpleasant-looking streaks of dirt on your floors. A steam mop is free of that disadvantage. Thus, you only do your cleaning once. A steam mop guarantees that there is absolutely no need for do-overs.
Some of the benefits of the H2O MOP X5 Steam Mop are that it can be used on multiple floor surfaces :
Thursday, 4 October 2012
Every Mother's Dreammmm Come TRUE!!!!Getting your children involved with daily cleanup is a great way to teach responsibility and cleanliness at a young age. Here are some tips to get your children to help clean up around the home.
Tip 1: Invest in stackable storage boxes. Keep the children’s room easy to clean by keeping storage boxes and extra closet space around. Children will easily put things away when they know there is storage boxes . Also, Buy stackable storage boxes in different colors so it makes it easier to put toys, clothes and other items away in different color boxes.
Tip 2: Make a fun game out of cleaning by putting on music to get your children moving to put things away. If you have two or more children you can always make a competition out of cleaning by using a timer. Whoever wins in the shortest amount of time gets a small reward.
Tip 3: Teach your children at young age. As soon as they can walk and pick up toys teach them how to put these toys back. Create a cleanup song and teach them to put the toys back in the bins where they belong. If you teach them at young age they will be able to carry this habit with them.
Tip 4: Make a schedule and stay consistent when children do not clean. Teach your children to make their beds in the morning after getting up and to pick up their toys and books in the evening before they go to bed. If your children resist your instructions to cleanup you can always withdraw a reward or stop them from going out. Stay firm and consistent with your orders.
Tip 5: Be interesting with cleaning at an early age. If your children can read then teach them how to alphabetize their bookcase and organize their study desk.
Tip 6: Get your children involved by simply asking the question “can you help me please?” Children generally liked to be asked for help.
Tip 7: Children love to spray things, so get a small spray bottle and fill it up with some hot water and vinegar and have them spray down and wipe their toys, desk and furniture. Diluted 50/50 water and vinegar is harmless to your furniture and children. Its a great way to get kids to wipe and clean up their room.
Getting your children to tidy up around the home can be a little overwhelming especially if you haven’t instilled this habit from before. If you have more than one child then assign cleaning tasks appropriate to their age. A 3-4 year might clean up by dumping things in one container which is fine , but a 10 year old will learn that color coordinated storage boxes are used for different things. Cleaning up with children can also be a great way to spend time together.
Monday, 17 September 2012
Chemical Free Cleaning with H2O MOP X5
VISIT: H2O MOP X5- As Seen On TV
Maintaining a more eco friendly lifestyle should be all of our properties when it comes to the choices we make and products we buy. Cleaning with heavy chemicals is not only harsh on the envirnoment but also on the ones you love. Chemical cleaning solutions used all over your home is not ideal when you have littles ones or pets . Purchasing the H2O MopX5 gives you peace of mind that you are choosing a product that effectively cleans, steams, freshens and deodorizes your home all by using tap water. The lastest model of the H2O MopX5 allows you to clean your entire home without using chemicals you would otherwise use for each room.
Cleaning in the past lead us to use heavy sprays and metals scrubs, smelly window cleaners and one hour spray and sit oven cleaners. With the H2O mop X5 you eliminate using different chemicals for different rooms and use the power of hot steam as an effective alternative.
H2O MopX5 is also perfect for cleaning and mainting your BBQ machines, bike tires, microwave units and other appliances or tools around your home. Always be sure to read labels to see if hot steam is permitted to clean the item and choose the appropriate cleaning brush so you do not scratch or ruin appliances or counter tops. Another benefit to cleaning with the H2O MopX5 is that its also proven to kill up 99% of certain types of bacteria, for example e coli, salmonella, beg bugs and dust mites according to laboratory testing. Instead of dinfecting wipes for counter tops the H2O MopX5 which converts into a handheld steamer makes for perfect chemical free counter top cleaning.