What You Need to Know About Sunburn

Our planet earth is no longer in its best shape. Due to human activities, particularly the clearing of forests and burning of fossil fuels, we are now experiencing the greenhouse effect, which in turn causes the continuous rising of the average temperature in our climate, otherwise known as global warming. The same human activities also play a role in the ozone layer depletion. The ozone layer is responsible for absorbing the ultraviolet rays from the sun. Without the protective covering of the ozone layer, more ultraviolet radiation from the sun can penetrate into our atmosphere, causing a significant impact on every living being.

More than ever before, we are now more prone to sunburns because of the intense heat of the sun. This is especially true if you are not using any protective covering against the sun’s rays. Sunburn is an inflammation of the skin which can range from mild to severe.

Risk Factors for Sunburn

Sunburn develops when the ultraviolet radiation from the sun or other light sources exceeds the level that is tolerable for your skin. Additionally, there are several factors that can increase your risk of developing sunburn:

  • Age – babies and children have sensitive skin which easily develops sunburn with prolonged sun exposure
  • Type of skin – Fair or light-skinned people develop sunburn faster than those who are dark-skinned
  • Time of exposure – exposure to the sun between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon makes you more prone to sunburn because of the strong rays of the sun during these times.
  • Health condition – certain health conditions such as lupus make a person more sensitive to the heat of the sun. The same is true if you are taking certain medications such as antibiotic doxycycline which makes your skin more prone to sunburn.

Symptoms of Sunburn

The initial symptoms of sunburn may not appear until a few hours after exposure. But the full effect on the skin may only appear after 24 hours or even longer. Symptoms normally depend on whether you have first degree sunburn, second degree sunburn or third degree sunburn:

  • Redness and tenderness of the skin
  • Tingling or warm sensation when the affected area is touched
  • Blisters that can develop hours or days after
  • Peeling of the sunburned area of the skin

Most of these symptoms are normally just temporary. However, sunburns may leave permanent skin damage to the skin which includes skin cancer.

Home Remedies for Sunburn

Once you feel the initial symptoms of sunburn, there are some home remedies that you could try:

  • Take a cool bath or shower to cool off the sunburned area
  • Apply vinegar for sunburn by soaking a clean cloth in a vinegar solution (equal parts vinegar and water) and putting it on affected area
  • If you develop blisters, apply dry bandages to prevent infection
  • Relieve discomfort by applying a moisturizing cream. However, do not use oil-based products such as petroleum jelly as they block pores and may cause infections
  • If the affected area gets too painful, you can alleviate the pain with over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen
  • To reduce inflammation, you could apply cortisone creams

It is important to note that aspirin must not be given to children to treat the symptoms of sunburn. Also, avoid using products with lidocaine or benzocaine as they may worsen the sunburn.

When to Call a Doctor

Call your doctor if the following symptoms are noted:

  • Fever, nausea, chills or rashes
  • Dehydration or heat exhaustion
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Rapid breathing or rapid pulse
  • Clammy, pale or cool skin
  • Excessive thirst with no urine output
  • Sunken eyes or eyes that are sensitive to light
  • Severe and painful blisters

Sunburn is a serious condition that can permanently affect your overall health. It would be good to find all means to prevent this condition. One way is by applying SPF 30 or higher broad spectrum sunscreen and avoiding sun exposure when the sun is at its strongest.

What is Ecological Footprint?

Now that there is an increasing concern about the status of the environment, perhaps you might have heard about the term ecological footprint. This term may be popular, but many people do not know its meaning and what it signifies. Because it concerns all living things on earth, it is important to have a good understanding on what ecological footprint really is.

In simple terms, ecological footprint refers to the impact of each person, a group of people in a city, country or globally, or a particular activity such as manufacturing to the environment. It is normally expressed in terms of land area needed to sustain the use of natural resources. This term is now used by government and non-government organizations as a communication and management tool to assess the environmental status of a particular country. The ecological footprint of a particular country is the total area required for planting crops, grazing, fishing, and tree planting to produce fiber, food and timber as well as to absorb the pollution and waste that are emitted when energy is used. It also considers providing a space for infrastructure.

It is easy to understand ecological footprint from a realistic figure. For instance, in 2007, the global ecological footprint was about 18 billion hectares. This figure means that there should be a total of 18 billion hectares of productive land worldwide to support the wastes and lifestyle of the people. However, as of that year, there were only around 11.9 billion hectares of productive land available worldwide. It signifies that during that year, people used more natural resources that the planet could produce or generate.

Different countries leave different footprints. Some countries like Indonesia have a more sustainable footprint. It all depends on the lifestyle of the people, including how much goods they consume, how much fuel they burn, how much wastes are generated, and how these wastes are addressed.

If a country’s ecological footprint shows an overshoot, it sends a clear and urgent message to all. It may indicate a scarcity in resources or improper use of its resources. It could also send a signal that wastes or pollution is not properly addressed. This is an important message that could impact human survival in the future. But regardless of the footprint of a particular country, its people need to be informed about it. That global overshoot in 2007 is frightening information. And we may likely have a bigger overshoot in the present unless we do something about it now.

The computation of accurate ecological footprint is necessary towards sustainability. It tells us what kind of resources and how much of those resources are available and how long they will be available based on current consumption patterns. It could help nations and organizations focus and address the environmental problems they are currently facing. It could also help them conceptualize ideas to better address any overshoot in their ecological footprint. Additionally, it will also give scientists and researches insight if there is a need to create new resources like in the case of the creation of biofuel as an alternative to fossil fuel. And even more important, it will tell if the sustainability efforts of various organizations and countries work out.

Back Pain: Possible Causes

Nature tripping can be an excellent activity for friends and family. There are national parks and nature reserves across the country suitable for nature tripping and sightseeing. Hiking and camping outdoors can bring you closer to nature and help you appreciate more the natural beauty of the environment. However, nature tripping can cause body pain, more particularly back pain especially if you are carrying a heavy backpack on a long hike.

Back pain is a common problem affecting many people even those who do not engage in nature tripping or hiking. This kind of pain can be triggered even by everyday activities at home, school or work. The pain can develop gradually and may worsen over time. If you have back pain, whether it is lower left back pain, middle back pain or upper back pain, you are not alone. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health, around 80 percent of people may experience this at one point in their life. More often, the pain is only minor; but sometimes, it can also be caused by a more serious underlying condition.

Here are some of the possible causes of back pain:

  • Mechanical problems – Mechanical problems refer to conditions affecting the movement of your spine. One of the most common mechanical problems which can cause back pain is intervertebral disc degeneration which is common among older people. The discs found between the spine’s vertebrae can deteriorate with age, which in turn may result in lower cushioning ability. Back pain may then arise when the back is stressed. Other mechanical problems that can cause back pain include wearing down of facet joints, spasms, ruptured discs and muscle tension.


  • Injuries – If you have a spine injury that causes fractures or sprains on the spine for one reason or another, it may also cause a minor or chronic back pain. Sprains refer to the tears in the ligaments supporting the spine. They normally occur as a result of sudden or improper lifting or twisting. On the other hand, fractures on the vertebrae are more often a result of having osteoporosis, a condition when the bones become weak and porous. Less commonly, back pain may be caused by more severe injuries that result from accidents and falls. In some cases, injuries may be caused by accidents or falls.


  • Certain medical conditions – Some health problems may also contribute to back pain. Among the most common are scoliosis, various forms of arthritis and spinal stenosis. Some people also suffer from back pain as a symptom of kidney stones or kidney infection, fibromyalgia and endometriosis. Pregnant women are also prone to back pain.


  • Infections – A less common cause of back pain is infection affecting the vertebrae, known as osteomyelitis.


  • Tumors – Tumors too may cause back pain but only in rare cases. Some tumors may appear in the back or spread to the back from other parts of the body.


  • Emotional stress – Emotional stress such as depression and anxiety affects the body in many ways. In some cases, it can affect the severity and duration of back pain.

While you may be able to endure back pain, this condition is something that needs your attention. For persistent back pain, it is best to see your doctor to know the real cause of the pain.

Simple Tips to Prevent Bunions

They say that if you want change, it should first start with you. If you want to help make a difference in our environment, you could start it in your home. There are many basic things that you could do at home that can make a significant contribution to our environment. For instance, using natural cleaning agents such as baking soda and vinegar in cleaning instead of using toxic commercial products can help reduce air and water pollution in general. Recycling your garbage too, instead of throwing everything in the dump can help in reducing waste.

Each of us has something to offer for the preservation and protection of the environment as long as you are willing to work and put some effort. That is, unless you are suffering from certain conditions that affect your ability to do even some of the most basic tasks.

One of the conditions that seem to be negligible but can greatly affect your ability to even stand up is a bunion. If you have a bunion, it can be a challenge for you to do even some of the simplest tasks at home that require the use of your feet. Yet, many people are not aware of what causes bunions and how to prevent them. That is why many still suffer from this condition.

A bunion is a condition when a person has an enlarged joint at the base of the big toe. If it affects the smallest toe, it is called tailors bunion. Under this condition, the affected joint normally flexes with each movement, making it painful to walk.

Several factors can cause a bunion. One is hereditary factors such as having over pronation which puts much pressure on the toes. Among women, the primary cause of bunions is the use of high-heeled or pointed shoes. Fortunately, there are ways on how bunions can be prevented:

  1. Set an appointment with a podiatrist, a doctor who specializes in this condition, even if you don’t have any sign of bunion. Bunions and other foot problems that are inherent in your family can be prevented before a child turns 6 years old. If you are a parent and bunions run in your family, have your children checked by a podiatrist for some advice on how your children can prevent the same condition.
  2. Choose comfortable shoes that provide better foot support. Avoid wearing high heels and pointed shoes. Instead, wear shoes with lower heels, preferably less than two inches in height. Also opt for wedges as they provide better support for your feet than stilettos. Between pointed shoes and round-toe shoes, the latter is much better to use. Also when choosing shoes, be sure that they do not irritate or cramp your toes and that they have a wide toe box that conforms to your feet.
  3. Avoid too much rolling of your toes inward (pronation) when walking or running. Doing so may lead to the formation of bunions. If you have excessive pronation, your doctor may recommend using custom orthotic shoe inserts.
  4. If you are starting to develop a bunion, avoid activities that can cause more pressure on the feet. For instance, let us say that running is part of your exercise regime before experiencing a bunion. Once you start developing it, slowly reduce your running time and try switching to another exercise regime since running can speed up the development of bunions.

A bunion is definitely a serious matter especially if you want to make a good contribution for the environment. However, you can try the tips mentioned above to avoid this condition.

Acne: Basic Facts You Should Know

There is a general notion that whatever we do now will leave a significant impact or footprint on something. For instance, if we plant trees now, those trees will be able to help combat the greenhouse effect when they grow. On the other hand, if we don’t protect the wildlife now, more and more animals might go extinct. The same truth also applies to each and every one of us especially in the aspect of health. If you are feeling or noticing any abnormalities in your body, but are not doing anything about it, your health might quickly suffer.

One of the conditions that affect both men and women is acne. Yet it is also one of the most neglected conditions especially if the acne affects the less conspicuous areas of the body such as the back or scalp. As a result, it may leave a negative footprint on your skin such as blemishes or even scarring. To avoid this, it is important to understand more about acne and its possible treatments.

Acne Defined

Medically termed as acne vulgaris, acne is a skin disease involving the oil glands found at the follicles of the hair. It normally appears starting puberty during which the oil glands are activated in both males and females. It normally appears on the face, scalp chest, back, neck and shoulders. Acne is not a serious disease but it can leave scars.

How Common is Acne?

According to dermatologists, about 75 percent of people between the ages of 11 and 30 will get acne at one point in their life. But there are some people already past 30 years old and even in their 50s who still get acne. Although it can affect both sexes, young men tend to suffer longer than women once they have it.

What are the Causes of Acne?

It is not very clear what causes acne. Some experts believe that it is cause by an increased level of androgen hormone in the body, which in turn causes the body to produce more oil. The excess oil or sebum may in turn block the pores of the skin or cause bacterial growth leading to acne. Some research findings also indicate that if your parents or siblings have acne, you are also more likely to have acne. Certain cosmetic products may also promote acne. Additionally, some women suffer from acne as a result of hormonal changes during pregnancy.

Treatment for Acne

Treatment options for acne largely depend on its severity. Grade I acne or the mildest form of acne is the easiest to treat with over-the-counter medication containing salicylic acid such as ointment, creams and lotions. Grade IV acne or severe acne which includes nodular acne is the hardest to treat as it normally involves systemic medications and constant visits to the dermatologist. Other treatment forms for acne include salicylic acid peel, light therapy and injected medication.

If you have acne, don’t wait until your condition gets worse. The earlier you can treat it, the fewer blemishes or scar it will leave on your skin.

How to Reduce Your Environmental Footprint

In 2007, the global environmental footprint was computed at 18 billion hectares while the productive land resources are only at about 11.9 billion hectares. This figure indicates a big overshoot in the current resources that are available worldwide compared to the consumption and waste production of humans. This alarming figure should send a clear message that we should do something about our environmental footprint now. Disregarding it will greatly affect human and animal survival in the coming years.

The ultimate question is how to reduce the environmental footprint? Each person, group of people, government, and various organizations can have a significant contribution to have a positive impact on the environmental footprint.

Individually, here are simple things you can do:

  • Reduce consumption of resources. Anything you consume or use, from the food you eat to the fuel you use in your car, requires energy to make or transport. The less resource you consume, the less energy you use and the less footprint you leave.
  • Buy recycled or recyclable products. Buying recycled or recyclable products leaves a positive impact to the environment because it can help reduce waste and reduce the amount of new resources that will be used for new products.
  • Be as energy efficient as possible. Try your best to be as energy efficient in your own home or when using transportation. In your home, you could use energy-efficient appliances and lightings. For transportation, try to practice a more sustainable transport system. If you are travelling alone to work or school, try to use the public transportation or try carpooling if possible. The less you drive the less fuel you consume.
  • Protect green spaces. If you have a farm with green spaces or if you have several trees surrounding your house, protect these spaces by not cutting down the trees. Trees do help in dealing with air footprint as they absorb carbon dioxide and give in oxygen.
  • Buy locally grown fruits, vegetables and meat products. Buying locally grown foods will reduce the transportation footprint on food which is currently averaging 1,300 miles. Travelling long distances requires the use of energy. Better yet, you can have your own garden in your backyard.
  • Avoid or reduce the use of toxic or poisonous products. While it is normal for many households to use commercial cleaning products that contain toxic substances, try to make your own using natural products such as baking soda and vinegar which are also known for their cleaning potential. That way, you can reduce the impact these toxic products have to the air and to the environment as a whole.
  • Implement better waste management. Observe better waste management in your home by segregating garbage and separating recyclable and biodegradable waste from the rest of your garbage. You could send your recyclables to recycling stations and make compost out of biodegradable waste.
  • Share your knowledge to others. You can also help your friends and neighbors reduce their environmental footprint by sharing your knowledge to them. Working as a community will have a greater positive impact to the environment.

Additionally, if your organization, community or government implements projects that will help reduce environmental footprint, support them and convince others to show their support as well. Although changes start slowly and individually, it is only by working together that significant reduction in environmental footprint can be achieved. There is no other perfect time to do it than now.

First Aid for Sprained Foot

A sprained foot is pretty common especially for people who are engaged in physical sports that subject their feet to abnormal bending and twisting motions such as basketball, baseball, softball and other sports. But ordinary people may also be affected by it as a result of daily activities. And since it can affect anyone, it is important that we know the first aid treatment for this condition in case it happens to us or to the people we know. First aid treatment for a sprain is very important for pain relief and immediate comfort.

Sprains in the feet can be classified into three categories: Grade 1 is when the injury is mild and there is just microscopic stretching or tears in the ligaments. Grade 2 is when the injury is moderate, causing partially stretched or torn ligaments. Severe sprains are classified as Grade 3 and it is when there are completely torn ligaments and the foot becomes unstable and can no longer bear the weight of the body.

It is important to note that when a sprain occurs, there are two possible parts of the foot that can be affected. One is the mid-foot which is the central area of the foot including the arch. Sprain in this area is normally caused by a fall, collision or twisting. The other part is the first metatarsophalangeal joint which is at the base part of the big toe. A sprain in this area can be caused by extreme backward bending of the big toe. A case in point is when a football player who falls forward with the big toe planted flat on the ground and receiving impact.

To recognize sprains, there are several symptoms that are noticeable. There is pain, bruising, swelling, and inability to bear weight or to move. In some cases, the patient may also experience a feeling of tingling feet. You don’t have to send the patient immediately to a doctor once sprain is detected. There are first aid treatments that can provide immediate relief and treatment for this kind of condition.

RICE Therapy

The RICE therapy is known to be an effective approach for sprains. RICE stands for rest, ice, compress and elevate. It is important that the patient should completely rest and stop doing your normal routine to avoid further injury in the affected foot. To relieve the pain and swelling, wrap ice in a towel and apply it in the affected area for up to 20 minutes. Repeat the same procedure after every hour until the pain or swelling is relieved. The next step is compressing the affected area by wrapping it with an elastic bandage or specialized braces. Compressing can help remove the swelling. Be sure to elevate the affected foot above heart level.

Aside from the RICE therapy, you could also give the patient an over-the-counter medication NSAID such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen to deal with the pain and inflammation. Except for minor sprains, you should consult a doctor for severe sprains since there may be broken bones that need to be set.

While recovering from a sprain, take time to get up close with nature. It is also one way of getting therapy for overall wellness. Sometimes, having a sprain could be an indication that you need some rest from your normal routine. It is always good to have a natural protected area near your place where you can get close to wildlife and to relax. It is one of the advantages if we protect and conserve our nature.

How to Deal with a Controlling Boyfriend

In numerous forums in the Internet, you could read about girls asking how to get over someone who is very controlling. And in many cases, these girls have a controlling boyfriend who they like to get rid of. Breaking with someone you love even if you have just been together for a month can be one of the most difficult things to do for girls. That is why in many cases, girls try to avoid breaking up with their boyfriends even if one’s boyfriend becomes too manipulative of her personal life.

If you have been struggling in your relationship because of a controlling and manipulative partner, here are some things you could do:

1. Think it over if your relationship is worth it.

If you love a person, it is easy to get blinded by his or her negative traits. But if you spend some time with yourself, you may be able to realize them. When you do, you could weigh whether it is still worth going on with your relationship or not.

natureNature tripping is one way to do it. When you are up close with nature, you can easily meditate and think things out. Nature provides a great avenue where you could think and be at one with yourself. This is one of the reasons why we should continually preserve and protect our nature and wildlife.

2. Talk with your boyfriend.

If you think that you don’t deserve your boyfriend now, your next step will be easier and that is to end your relationship. But if you like to give it another chance, the next thing you have to do is talk with your boyfriend sincerely. Be honest on how you feel about his controlling attitude. At the same time, give him an assurance that you love him and you like to develop trust between the two of you.

3. Formally introduce your boyfriend to your friends.

Perhaps one of the reasons why your boyfriend does not like you to spend time with your friends is because he does not personally know them. That is called fear of the unknown. Your boyfriend can only get rid of this fear if you introduce him to them. Schedule a date with your friends and allow your boyfriend to mingle with them.

4. Use verbal affirmations.

One of the possible reasons why your boyfriend is controlling you is that he is insecure about his personality. Use verbal affirmations as often as possible, like tell your boyfriend how you admire his looks and his being responsible. Tell him you love him or how you are lucky to have him. That way, he can get over his insecurities and start to loosen up.

5. Make it clear what is unacceptable in your relationship.

Be totally honest with your boyfriend about the things you find unacceptable. You could also solicit his ideas and then talk about them one by one. Doing so will help both of you to be responsible with your actions if they affect your relationship.

These things are easier said than done, but they are a good way to start afresh in your relationship. If you still find your boyfriend too controlling despite doing those things, you may want to reconsider your thoughts of giving the relationship a second chance.

What Is Hypoallergenic Dog Food

When we think of animals in the wild, we think of them as tough and less prone to diseases that affect many domesticated animals. But one disadvantage of them being in the wild is that their life is very dependent upon their natural habitat. Their natural habitat is where they get their food and where they take shelter. That is why it is important that their natural habitat is protected.

Consecutively, domesticated animals like dogs have no problems when it comes to shelter and food. But one of the challenges they encounter is when they become homeless, as they have difficulty in adapting to a life of their own. In fact, some dogs have a special diet which includes hypoallergenic dog food because of their vulnerable condition, more about these types of dog food can be found here. And this kind of diet is little understood by many pet owners, putting the life of their dog in danger.

Dogs are like humans because they are also prone to allergies. They normally develop skin irritations and gastrointestinal problems aside from others as a result of exposure to allergens. Sadly, most of their allergens are present in the food being fed to them. This could include milk and other dairy products, wheat and yeast, beef, chicken, corn, soy and others. Because of that, many dog food manufacturers have come up with a solution to this problem. And that is how hypoallergenic foods for dogs came to be.

But what makes hypoallergenic food different from other dog foods?

Unlike other commercial dog foods, the hypoallergenic ones are specially formulated so that they do not contain ingredients that can possibly provoke allergic reactions in dogs. They do not contain artificial flavorings and preservatives and are mostly made from natural ingredients. Another special quality about this kind of food is that they also do not contain fillers or meat by products that commonly cause skin irritations among sensitive dogs.

Nowadays, more and more dogs develop allergic reactions triggered by commercial dog foods. And this has caused an increase in the demand for hypoallergenic foods. Dog owners are normally advised by veterinarians to change their current dog food if signs of allergies become noticeable. However, choosing which brand to use can be challenging especially when it is normally difficult to determine the specific ingredients that cause allergic reactions in a dog. For most dogs, the trial and error method is one way to do it.

It is also important to note that dogs may also be allergic not only to commercial dog foods but also to other human foods fed to them. Some people have wondered: can dog eat bananas or other fruits? Bananas and other fruits can be a good source of vitamins and minerals for dogs including potassium, calcium and vitamin C. However, whenever you have to feed your dog with any fruit or vegetables, you should carefully observe its reaction because the animal may be allergic to it. Being an observant owner is one way you can help your dog avoid allergens.

Furthermore, if your dog suffers from allergic reactions, its food may or may not be the one causing it, since there are also other common allergens such as fleas that affect dogs. It would be better to bring your dog to a veterinarian for proper diagnosis.

INFP Profile

The INFP personality based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment is defined as people who are introverted, intuitive and who rely on their feeling and perception. This type of personality is very rare as there are only an estimated 4.5 percent INFPs in the entire population. It can be a great privilege to meet someone who is an INFP.

Understanding INFP and other personality types is essential to developing a relationship with different types of people. For instance, it can be hard to understand why there seems to be a big difference between INFJ relationships and INFP relationships when these two personality types only differ in one personality trait, and that is reliance on judgment for INFJ and perception for INFP.

Personal Character

INFPs are known to be reserved, calm or even shy. However, their inner passion and inner flame are something that should not be taken lightly. They can also be very affectionate, a trait which is not common in other personality types. Their affection may be long-lasting, but they are also cautious on whom to direct this kind of feeling. INFPs also have a sense of honor and strong idealism, which they are proud of. One drawback though is that they are often misunderstood and isolated because their personality is relatively rare.

Goal in Life

Some of the most affected groups of people when it comes to bad things happening around the world are the INFPs. Their goal in life is to seek harmony, and they feel dejected when bad things happen around them. They are also very much concerned about what is happening around them and would like to get involved in solving the problem. This is perhaps one of the reasons why many INFPs are also involved in the preservation and conservation of our natural habitat and wildlife. But it is not only they who should respond to the call of nature. Regardless of personality type, we all need to act to preserve our mother Earth.


Generally, INFPs are extremely creative, goal-oriented and innovative. They also have an aptitude for foreign language which is unmatched. That is why many of them land a job in foreign relations. Some of the great actors and writers also have this kind of personality, as they can easily convey their own personalities in fictional characters. It is also natural for them to write and to engage in poetry.

Perception of Others

INFPs rely on perception rather than judgment. They don’t easily judge a person by what they see. In fact, they can see goodness in every person, even in those who do bad things to them. In their eyes, even the most unlikeable or revolting person is worthy of respect or sympathy.

Because of what is happening in the world now, we need INFPs in a wide range of endeavors especially in promoting the preservation and conservation of the environment. INFP is among the most likeable personality types listed by MBTI. Yet INFPs are commonly misunderstood as the opposite. Knowing and understanding them can help us change our bad perception about INFPs.