5 Effective Natural Remedies for Acne

Acne is perhaps one of the most common skin problems among many bikers. This is due to our frequent exposure to dust and dirt which could clog pores and develop into acne. I have known of a few bikers who have this problem and I was surprised to read an article online that there are actually effective natural remedies for this condition, regardless if you have nodular acne like these shown here, scalp acne, or acne in other parts of the body.

1. Baking Soda

You may be surprised, but yes, this baking product and all-around house cleaner is also one of the most effective remedies for acne. It could unclog the pores, remove dead skin and regulate the pH balance of the skin to keep it healthy. It also contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Application

Make a paste composed of two teaspoons baking soda and water. Apply the paste on the affected area and rinse it after five minutes. Do this procedure twice a week.

2. Oatmeal

This breakfast food is another natural solution for getting rid of acne. It can absorb excess oil in the skin and cleanse the pores to prevent acne. Moreover, it also exfoliates the skin, giving it a healthy glow.

Application

Mix a cup of cooked oatmeal with one teaspoon of honey and about half a teaspoon of lemon. Gently massage the mixture over the affected area and let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing it with lukewarm water. You could do this procedure once or twice a week until you see the acne disappear.

3. Lemon Juice

Lemon’s acidic property is also great for treating acne. It can help clear the pores of any accumulated dirt and oil, thereby preventing acne. However, it is important to note that lemon could make your skin sensitive to sunlight, so it is best applied during night time.

Application

You could simply cut a lemon into half and rub the open portion on the affected area. You could also mix equal parts lemon juice and rose water and then use the solution to wash the area with acne. Leave it for several hours before rinsing. You may do it daily, but if it is causing your skin to become dry, it is better to apply it once every three days.

4. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are also acidic, which make them an excellent remedy for acne. Aside from that, it is also rich in vitamins A, C and K and lycopene which are among the important components of many commercial acne medications.

Applications

Slice a tomato in half and gently rub the open areas on the acne-affected area. You may also grind the tomato using a blender and apply it as a facial mask. Tomatoes as acne remedy can be used daily.

5. Potatoes

Another good remedy for acne is potatoes. This vegetable is rich in vitamins B and C. It is also rich in niacin which is helpful for skin lightening.

Application

Shred one raw potato and apply it on the affected area. Let it sit for at least five minutes before rinsing.

With these inexpensive but effective natural remedies for acne, you could now get rid of this problem in no time.

Safety Gears for Bike Riding

Bike riding is a sport kids and adults enjoy doing. It is a good form of recreation and exercise at the same time. But just like any kind of outdoor activity, there are safety precautions which must be observed while bike riding, which include wearing safety gears.

Before you get too excited and start to pedal your bicycle, be sure to follow this checklist of safety gears you should be wearing for your protection:

1. Helmet

Helmet is utmost important for any open vehicles such as motorcycle and bicycle. Helmet provides protection for your head against injury in case of accidents. Don’t ever ride without this safety gear.

2. Gloves

Aside from a helmet, gloves also provide added protection in case of accidental falling while bike riding. It is especially designed for protecting the palms of your hands when you accidentally fall on the pavement. While driving, gloves also protect your hands from direct exposure to the sun which could lead to sunburn. For long rides, it is more ideal to use padded gloves as protection against compression stress from holding the handlebars. Pads also provide added comfort during winter.

3. Full Body Armor

Some parents outfit their children with full body armor as protection against sharp objects in case of accidents. However, this gear can be warm inside especially during summer and warm weather. Full body armor is composed on knee or shin armor which can protect the knee area during high speed collision. There is also the body armor which can protect you from broken vertebrae or ribs.

4. Mouthguards

Although bike riding is not a contact sport like boxing, riders still need a mouth protection against strong impact especially in adventure riding or long distance riding. There are studies showing that a blow to the chin causes more damage than just messing up the teeth if the person is not wearing a mouthguard. Mouthguards stabilize the jaw which can prevent further damage. And it is an important gear you should also wear when riding a bicycle.

5. Flags

If you will be riding a bike in a high traffic area especially for long-distance travels, having a bike flag may be able to save you from road accidents. Flags help other motorists see you.

6. Active Lights

If you are riding a bicycle after dark, active lights is a must. It lets other drivers see and prevent them from bumping you. Reflective lights are not as effective as active lights so you might as well invest in this type of gear. Commonly used active lights are blinking rear lights which let others identify your bicycle.

7. Reflective Materials

Reflective stickers and other materials can also help especially during nighttime. You could put them on your helmet and on the body of your bicycle.

However, even if you are wearing all these safety gears, there is no guarantee that they will protect you during accidents. Each rider must focus on safety first. Do not expose yourself to dangerous road conditions which are prone to accidents and can lead to injury or even death. Instead, be a defensive driver. Only travel when and where it is relatively safe.

Introduction to BMX Bikes

Bike riding is one of the most popular activities among children and adults. For children, they consider bike riding as a form of fun and enjoyment. For adults, it is more commonly used as a mode of transportation, recreation or exercise.

When bike riding is mentioned, what first comes to mind to most people is the BMX bike. BMX stands for bicycle moto cross. While many people often use the term BMX generically, it is important to understand that there are different types of BMX bikes designed for different biking styles. These BMX bike types are classified into freestyle bikes and jumping and racing bikes:

  • Freestyle bikes

Freestyle BMX bikes generally have a 20- to 22-inch top tube and 20-inch wheels. Surprisingly, they are not always equipped with brakes and if they do have brakes, they are normally straight cable brakes. Their grips also have no flanges because they can be bothersome to their riders when certain tricks are performed. Additionally, different freestyle BMX bikes have varying peg sizes except for dirt bikes which normally don’t have pegs. The peg is the part that attaches to the bike’s wheel axle. Tire styles also depend on the surface where the bike will be used. For dirt bikes, a more knobby tire is most suitable because they can provide extra grip on loose grounds.

Important Facts You Should Know about Bunny Pets

Although bunnies are not as common as a pet cat or dog among bikers, I know of some who own a bunny or a pair of bunnies. I have learned that bunnies are great pets because they are not very difficult and expensive to maintain and care for as long as you take time to understand their needs.

Here are some quick bunny facts to help you care for your pet:

1. The safest place for pet bunnies is indoors.

Rabbit owners ought to know that rabbits or bunnies raised as pets should be kept indoors. They are different from the wild ones as they cannot tolerate extreme temperatures. They are also at risk of predators outdoors. The sight of other wild animals can easily cause them stress and they can easily suffer from a heart attack and die of fear.

2. You need safety precautions if you decide to let them roam inside your home.

If you decide to let your pet roam inside your house, you should make your house rabbit-safe. These animals like to chew on things so make sure that all electrical cords are covered and out of reach. Keep all your floor-mounted cabinets locked to avoid access. Also keep poisonous and toxic materials out of reach including cleaning supplies and insecticides. Some common plants such as Calla lily, aloe, Lily of the Valley, azalea, and philodendron are also poisonous to them.

3. If kept in a cage, they need a lot of room for stretching.

If you decide to keep your rabbit in a cage, make it at least five times its size to allow space for exercise and stretching. The cage should also be layered with cardboards and other materials because wire floorings are hard on their feet. Inside the cage, your rabbit also needs a quiet space for hiding and resting. Placing a cardboard box inside the cage can achieve this purpose. Additionally, if kept in the cage, you should let your rabbit out of the cage for a few hours a day for exercise, playing and exploring.

4. Rabbits need a balanced diet.

Many health problems among rabbits are caused by feeding them with foods that are incompatible with their digestive system. A basic rabbit diet should be composed of hay, leafy dark green vegetables and fruits such as apples, papaya, bananas, pears, plums, melons and others. Foods to avoid feeding to rabbits include tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, cabbage, beans, peas, corn, potatoes, onions, beets, rhubarb, seeds and grains among others. If you are not sure whether a certain food is okay with your rabbit or not, you could ask your veterinarian for advice. Moreover, there are also rabbit pellets available in the market, but they should only be given in small quantities alongside vegetables and fruits. Your rabbit should always have a fresh supply of clean water.

5. Handle rabbits with care.

Rabbits are very fragile and they can break their own spines if they are struggling. That is why you should handle your pet with special care if you have to carry it.

Now that you know these tips, it will then be easier for you to take care of a rabbit as your pet. There is a wide range of breeds that you could choose from and one of the most popular is the lionhead bunnies. Be sure to keep these five tips in mind when caring for your rabbit.

Natural Remedies for Bronchitis

When biking, it is important to consider where you are biking. Many people prefer to bike in places with less traffic and pollution. And that is a good decision compared to biking in a city area where you are in danger of getting hit by vehicles or of developing sicknesses caused by pollution. One of the serious health problems that you can develop if you frequently bike within the city is bronchitis. This disease is caused by exposure to certain pollutants that may be present in the polluted city air. That is one of the reasons why I prefer to bike in parks or natural environments where I can also breathe in fresh air.

Many people are confused about bronchitis vs pneumonia because they share many similar symptoms. But the latter is a more serious condition, especially if you are elderly. Bronchitis, on the other hand, can be treated with several home remedies.

Bronchitis remedies are directed toward thinning the phlegm in the chest so that you could easily cough it out. Here are some of the effective remedies you may try:

Steam

The most effective approach to thin the phlegm is by way of breathing in steam. You can do it by taking a hot shower, soaking it in a hot tub, or simply inhaling the steam coming from a basin of hot water. To make it even more effective, you could add several drops of eucalyptus which has antibacterial properties that also help in softening the mucus that is obstructing your airways. You could also add pine oil as it acts as an expectorant which is helpful in keeping the phlegm moving from the bronchial tubes.

Water

Water is also effective in helping you cough out the phlegm easily. Drink at least eight glasses of water every day. Also, avoid drinking caffeinated and alcoholic beverages which can dehydrate your system and make it tougher for the mucus to dislodge.

Cayenne and chili peppers

Spicy foods containing cayenne or chili peppers can also help out in thinning the mucus, allowing you to have a more productive cough.

Mullein tea

Mullein is a traditional remedy for respiratory problems. It contains saponins and gelatinous mucilage which can soothe your mucus membrane. You could boil two teaspoons of dried mullein and then steep for around 10 minutes before straining the leaves and drinking the tea.

While trying these home remedies, avoid drinking milk because milk contains lactalbumin which can stimulate mucus production. Aside from home remedies, there are also supplements that can help alleviate the symptoms of bronchitis. This includes N-acetyl cysteine and R-lipoic acid.

Prevention is better than cure or remedies. Aside from frequent or prolonged exposure to polluted air, you are also at risk of bronchitis if you smoke. Don’t smoke if you do not want bronchitis and other respiratory problems. This is the same advice I tell my friends because I notice that respiratory problems are becoming more common as the person gets older. Overall, don’t smoke and bike in the city.

Understanding Shoulder Pain

Have you ever tried biking while your shoulder is in pain? Isn’t it uncomfortable and disturbing? I have tried this at one time and I had to stop frequently to stretch out. And as I got more tired, it seemed that the pain was also increasing. I know of other bikers who suffer from shoulder pain after several hours of long drive or practice. Understanding shoulder pain can help bikers and other people deal with this problem and possibly avoid it as much as possible.

Shoulder pain refers to any pain around the shoulder joint. It could be a pain in left shoulder or in right shoulder or a pain between shoulder blades. Each of our shoulders has four tendons called the rotator cuff which is responsible for a wide range of shoulder movements. Any damage, inflammation, swelling or bone changes in the rotator cuff would cause shoulder pain. Aside from that, there are also underlying conditions that may cause shoulder pain, including arthritis, bone spurs, bursitis, broken shoulder bone, shoulder bone dislocation, or separation and frozen shoulder. Any injury or overuse of the nearby tendons like the arms’ bicep muscles may also cause shoulder pain. Sometimes, the pain in the shoulder may also be due to problems in other parts of the body such as the neck.

A less serious shoulder pain can be remedied at home. One common remedy is the application of ice pack on the shoulder for fifteen minutes three to four times every day for three days. Resting can also help alleviate the pain. You should avoid doing activities that are highly demanding on your shoulders to encourage fast healing. And when your shoulders feel better, do not return to your normal routine immediately, especially if those activities were the cause of your shoulder pain. If you bike, don’t bike long distances immediately. It would be good to slowly return to your regular routine so as not to stress out your shoulders.

While shoulder pain is not generally a very serious problem, there are cases when the pain can be a sign of an impending heart attack. This is especially true if the pain comes out suddenly for no reason. The crushing and sudden pain normally affects the shoulder and it runs to your chest to the left jaw or neck or arm. Also, aside from the pain, you may experience dizziness, sweating or shortness of breath. When these symptoms occur, it is best to call 911 or any emergency health care service for immediate medical attention.

However, there are cases when you don’t have to call 911 but have to see your doctor at the soonest time possible. These are cases of shoulder pain where the pain also comes with swelling, redness or bluish skin color around the affected are, fever, where the pain causes your shoulder to be immobile, or where your condition does not improve and the pain remains after more than two weeks of home treatment.

What is relieving about shoulder pain is that it can be prevented with stretching and exercises that can strengthen the rotator cuff. That is why if you are a biker like me, I highly recommend doing these exercises to avoid shoulder pain before going on a long ride.

 

Back Pain Problems and their Remedies

Back pain is something unavoidable especially for bikers like me. I often hear other bikers complain about back pain after hours of riding. And the pain normally varies in severity as well as the area of the back being affected. Back pain can affect the lower, middle or upper back.

Lower Back Pain

It is estimated that around 60 percent of adults will experience lower back pain at any point of their life. Lower left back pain is actually more common that lower right back pain. Aside from pain or aching, other associated symptoms include difficulty in movement which is made worse by standing or walking, pain that moves down to the groin area, buttocks and thigh, muscle spasms, and local soreness when touched.

There are many possible causes for lower back pain and treatment varies depending on the cause. One of them is lower back strain wherein the group of muscles and ligaments providing movement and support for the spinal column is stretched too far or is overused during physical activities. Excessive bending, twisting, lifting heavy objects as well as accidents like falling may also cause lower back pain. Pregnancy as well as obesity also contributes to the strain in the lower back. Apart from that, there are underlying health problems which may also cause pain in the lower back, such as osteoarthritis which is common among older people. Other less common causes are herniated disc, sciatica, kidney stone or kidney infection and spinal stenosis among others.

There are basic practices that can help you prevent lower back pain. These include observing proper posture while standing or sitting down and avoiding slumping and slouching. However, if you already are suffering from lower back pain, home treatment is possible unless you experience sudden abdominal pain, fever or chilling, rapid loss of strength, weight loss, and difficulty in bowel control. In these cases, you might experience a serious life-threatening condition that needs immediate medical attention.

Upper and Middle Back Pain

Pain in the upper and middle back is not as common as lower back pain. It normally occurs from the base of the neck up to the bottom of the rib cage. The upper and middle back which is also called the thoracic spine is composed on 12 vertebrae which are attached to the rib cage. It also has discs separating each vertebra and absorbs shock as you move. Also, it has ligaments and muscles responsible for holding the spine together. Overuse to these muscles as well as injury and strain to the discs and ligaments would normally initiate pain in the upper and middle back. Common causes include poor posture, herniated disc, osteoarthritis, myofascial pain, and in rare cases, cancer or gallbladder disease.

Other symptoms that a person with upper or middle back pain may experience include burning, sharp or dull pain, and muscle stiffness of tightness. Other than these symptoms, if you also experience weakness in your arms or legs, a tingling sensation or numbness in arms, belly, or chest, and loss of bladder or bowel control, visit your doctor immediately for medical attention.

A back problem is something we should not neglect. It may be a common condition but it also needs treatment to avoid further complications. If you are constantly experiencing back pain after riding your bike, it would be good to have your condition checked to identify your health problem and so that proper treatment may be administered.

What is Scalp Folliculitis?

Have you ever experienced having scalp problems like scabs on scalp, dandruff and others? I used to have a serious problem with dandruff before and it has caused me discomfort because of the itchiness associated with it. Sometimes, it has caused me to lose concentration while biking. But I am fortunate enough because dandruff and even scalp scabs are a less serious problem compared to scalp folliculitis. I know of one fellow biker who had this problem and it was totally ugly.

Folliculitis is like pimples because it causes bumps on the skin. But it is an infection affecting the hair follicles. It may affect other parts of the body but is most common in the head, thighs and groin.

There are several factors that can cause this condition which includes bacteria, fungus and yeast. You may also have folliculitis if your follicles are damaged. Wearing clothes that irritate the follicles as well as shaving may also cause it. For boys, folliculitis is commonly caused by follicles becoming irritated or blocked by oils or gel. A person is also more likely to get folliculitis if he or she frequently uses the swimming pool, whirlpool or hut tub, or wears tight clothing. If you are using steroid creams or antibiotics for a long time, you are also more prone to having it.

Folliculitis can be easily managed if treated early while it has not yet spread. It usually heals in about two weeks. What you could do is to apply warm compress containing a small amount of vinegar to stop the itching and promote healing. There are also especially formulated shampoos designed for folliculitis.

But you cannot treat folliculitis unless you know you have it. Symptoms to look for include red bumps with hair growing in the center of each bump. The bumps may have pus and can be itchy. When these bumps are broken, blood, pus or both may drain from them. There is also hot tub folliculitis which commonly appears after 72 hours of using a spa or hot tub.

Generally, you don’t have to seek medical attention for mild folliculitis. However, if the itchiness or pain does not go away after several days or weeks, or if it has spread to other follicles, you may have to consult your doctor for proper treatment. You should also see your doctor if you are already experiencing fever and if the infected area becomes swollen, red, warm and painful. Your doctor may recommend using antifungal pills or antibiotics to get rid of it. In severe cases, laser treatment may be your best option. Laser treatment will destroy your hair follicles so they will no longer be infected.

While folliculitis can be treated, prevention is better than cure. Preventive measures include bathing everyday using mild soap, avoiding the use of oil or gel on the head, and avoiding sharing of towels and other personal items.

If you are into BMX biking and are suffering from any scalp problem, I would recommend solving your scalp problem first so that you will not lose concentration by the pain, itchiness or discomfort caused by your scalp problem.