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The Life And Death Of A Hair Follicle

A simple hair follicle plays an important role in our body structure and overall well-being. When somebody mentions hair, you likely think of just the hair on your head. Of course, we know there’s hair on almost every part of our body with the exception of the palms of our hands, the soles of our feet and yes…our lips.

While most of our hair is easy to see, like your eyebrows and the hair on your head, arms, and legs; other hair, like that on our cheeks is very fine and is almost invisible for some.

Each Individual Hair Follicle Has a Purpose

Our hair, depending on where it is has different functions. The hair on our head helps us retain heat, keeping it warm with the added benefit of providing some cushioning for our skull. Eyelashes protect our eyes by decreasing the amount of light and dust that can get into them, and our eyebrows protect our eyes from that salty sweat that may drip down from our forehead.

Whether our hair is growing out of our head, arm, or ankle, it all starts out of our skin in the same way and has a “shelf life”.

Where Hair Follicles Start Development

Before you were born, your hair follicles were being genetically coded while you were in your mother’s womb.

If hair loss genes were present as part of this coding, then the hair follicles on top of your head would be sensitive to the male hormones, testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

These genetically programmed hair follicles would then begin shrinking in adulthood. This would result in your hair follicles growing finer hair, lighter in color, shorter and less deeply rooted than previous growth cycles. In most cases, when this happens, the shrinking hair follicle will ultimately stop producing new hair.

Understanding the Hair Growth Cycle

Your scalp hair only makes up a small fraction (100,000 to 150,000 follicles) of the total follicle count for the body…somewhere around a staggering 5 million follicles.

Hair growth can be divided into three different phases:

  1. anagen (active growth)
  2. catagen (active loss)
  3. telogen (resting)

About 90% of your hairs remain in the “active growth” phase, which can extend over a period of 3 years. During the “active loss” phase (that lasts about 2 to 3 weeks), your hair separates from the dermal root but remains in place only by a thin strand of connective tissue.

In the “resting” phase the basal attachment (innermost layer of the epidermis) becomes even more thinned and weakened, resulting ultimately in the hair shaft falling out.

Normally hair remains in the “resting” phase about 10% of the time, and this phase lasts about 3 to 4 months. When the rate of hair loss is greater than that of hair growth, the result is thinning hair or even balding.

Makeup of the Hair Follicle Structure

When our hair starts to grow, it pushes up from the root and out of our hair follicle, through the skin where it can be seen. A hair follicle itself is a tiny, sac-like hole in our skin.

At the bottom of each follicle is a cluster of cells that reproduce to make new hair cells. The new cells that are made are added on at the root of the hair, causing the hair to grow.

It’s the tiny blood vessels at the base of every follicle that feed the hair root to keep it growing. But once your hair is at the skin’s surface, the cells within each strand of hair die. The hair you see on every part of your body is made up of dead cells.

To put this in perspective can you imagine how painful a haircut would be if your hair cells were alive? This is important to know when coloring or perming or straightening your hair. If you cut yourself, your skin heals, since it is living tissue. If you damage your hair, it doesn’t heal.

What Happens to Hair in Male Pattern Baldness?

If you are balding, you’ve figured out on your own that male pattern baldness is the conversion of thick and healthy hair into thin or fine “baby” hair.

The controlling factor for this type of hair loss comes from that single gene inherited at birth, regulated by circulating levels of those male hormones…testosterone and DHT.

When the male goes through puberty, the surge in male hormones drives the alteration, over time, from thicker hair to thinner hair and begins the process of hair loss.

Both of the male hormones (testosterone and DHT) are found in both men and women…but to different degrees. The rate of hair loss or change in hair density comes from your genes whether you are male or female.

How To Treat Oily Skin

How to treat oily skin only a daily basis can be as frustrating as it is confusing. Firstly, it is important to realize that every has different skin types. Some of your friends will have very well balanced skin that is neither to dry or to oily. Others will have suffer from constantly dry skin or even excessively oily skin. A lot of times this is due to our genetic makeup, something we inherited from our mom and dad. There is no helping our heredity, however more often than not the environment we live in and how it interacts with your skin plays a much more important role.

So Why Do I Have Oily Skin And How To Treat Oily Skin?

Your body produces skin oils naturally, it does it by releasing hormones into your body that influence how much oil your oil glands produce. Hormones can be affected by:

  • Onset of puberty
  • Start of menstrual cycle
  • Pregnancy
  • Onset of menopause
  • Taking medications. The birth control pill can affect your skin cause it to over produce oil.
  • Emotional health
  • External environment

A lot of different things can come into play and cause your skin to over produce oils and exacerbate an already oily skin condition. Knowing what can affect your skin helps you in understanding how to treat oily skin conditions.

How Oil Is Produced On Your Skin

The oil that is produced by your body is called sebum. Sebum is produced by oil glands called sebaceous glands that live under the second layer of your skin, called the dermis. These oil glands are not distributed evenly over the face. In fact the majority of these glands are concentrated near your nose and the surrounding area. This area is consequently more likely to have blackheads.

Your oil glands are located under your skin, in order for the oil to reach to the top layer of your skin it flows out into nearby follicle pores and finds its way onto the surface of the skin.

The oil produced by your body serves a very important function. It acts like a thin layer of protection. It protects your skin from drying out, keeping it hydrated and plump. Sometimes, if your skin over produces oil than it will accumulate on your skin and look shiny or even slick and greasy. The oil can then attract dirt and grime making it stick to your skin.

The Good Thing About Oily Skin

Believe it or not there are some good things about people that have oily skin. Oil acts to protect your skin and over time this helps to make your skin age visibly less quickly than over dry skin conditions. Oily skin will have less wrinkles and creases also. Some of your friends may be paying lots of money just to keep their skin as youthful and healthy while you do not have to pay anything. A person suffering from dry skin conditions needs to spend money to hydrate their skin.

Methods On How To Treat Oily Skin

There are many simple things you can do today to cut out bad habits that maybe contributing to your oily skin.

Quit smoking. If you are not a smoker avoid chain smoking and smoky environments. Over time smoking encourages your pores to enlarge. Exercise to promote blood circulation. As blood circulates through your skin it will help to nourish it from the inside. Clean your face with warm water and a gentle facial cleanser for oily skin. There is no need to rub excessively to clean your oily skin. Let the chemicals do the work. Start with the most gentle facial cleanser that still provides results. Removing to much oil will leave your skin dry and may lead to irritation and redness. When using a facial cleanser use the tips of your figures and massage gently in an upwards and outwards motion. You can promote blood circulation by massaging in the direction of your blood floor. If you have excessively oily skin, consider using a clay mask.

Clay acts as a very good compound to soak up oil from your pores without resulting to mechanical scrubbing or overly harsh chemicals. Use a moisturizer after cleaning your face. Even if you have naturally oily skin, you still need to keep it hydrated, use and stick to a water based hydrating lotion. Avoid an oil based moisturizer. Moisturizers targeted for oily skin are best for you. Keep your hair of your face. Your hair contains oils as well, you may have noticed that your cheeks or forehead might be prone to breakouts if you have long hair. Avoid picking, squeezing and popping blackheads and pimples. It is very tempting to scratch, rub and pick at your skin with your fingers. Realize that your fingers are very dirty and carry germs and dirt. Your dirty fingers touching your face will contribute to breakouts. Instead use products that are made to target acne and breakouts.

Pimple creams containing a salicylic acid is perfect for this. Popping pimples can also lead to acne scarring. On final tip that is not mentioned all to often but is an important part on how to treat oily skin. Change your pillow cases frequently. As you sleep your skin is in contact with your pillow for upwards of 8 hours during the night. This is absorbed by your pillow case and even into the pillow. You can imagine that as you keep sleeping on the pillow, the dirt and grime just accumulates and builds over time as more and more skin oil gets absorbed. Each time you sleep, that dirt and grime gets reapplied to your skin.

If you can follow these simple steps today on how to treat oily skin properly, your skin will be less prone to break outs and acne.

The Most Popular Face Wash For Oily Skin

Finding the best face wash for oily skin is paramount when trying to treat oily skin. Find out more about the top 5 most popular products on the market now.

Why I Started Looking For The Best Makeup For Oily Skin

More personal stuff about the best makeup for oily skin

Why did I start looking for the best makeup for oily skin? That’s an easy one, I like to look good. It may sound conceited, but everyone knows that they want to look their best. I took a look at myself and realized I was not looking as good as I could.

Why should all the other girls get the attention just because I have a shiny forehead? It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but that’s how life goes. I was determined to find the best way to minimize my flaws and accentuate my positives (that’s my personality if you were wondering). To do this, I decided the first step was to get rid of my oiliness.

It sounds simple enough right? Just wash your face more often and then you’ll be fine. Well, in actuality, that isn’t how it works. Many women have different issues that are causing their face to look oily. I did wash my face more, but I also started eating better and trying not to touch my face. These methods helped a little bit, but not to the extent that I was hoping.

This is where I decided to go the medical route. I talked to a doctor about my oily skin worries and he said that even the best makeup for oily skin won’t help if the root cause is an underlying medical problem. Sounds pretty legit, and he IS a doctor, so who was I to argue? He prescribed a cream called retin-A.

Retin-A is supposed to be derived from vitamin A and have all kinds of amazing benefits. People are claiming it reduces wrinkles, cures acne, and all kinds of face related problem. In my experience, it was terrible. It’s basically a cream that you rub on your face. It’s supposed to clear out your pores and help natural exfoliation, and all kinds of other good things. In my case, it burned, it made my skin red and irritated, and pretty much sucked in every way. I should have known something was up when it’s a prescription drug and it warns you to not go out in the sun too much. It’s like a horribly face melting vampire serum.

Anyway, back to the point of this post, the reason I set out on this quest to find the best makeup for oily skin is so that I didn’t have to try out any more prescription drugs and have my face melted off all because I want to look pretty. Yes, I am serious about wanting to look nice, but not serious enough to pay big money for drugs that may make me look even worse than before I got them.

This is why I decided to just go with good makeup. Everyone wears makeup, so why not just get good makeup that will also help with my oily skin? It seemed like an easy compromise to make. Fast forward to today(which really isn’t that much forwarding), and now I can tell you my favorite anti-oil product for just about any brand, or type of makeup. I’m basically a self taught expert on the subject. All so I can look nice and not have my face melted off by prescription chemical. It’s worth it though because I get really into it and enjoy trying and critiquing new products.

Now you know why I started a site all about the best makeup for oily skin. I want to look nice and I like critiquing things so it just seemed like a good fit. Hopefully some of the posts I am putting on here will be of help to others and this will all be worth it.

That Red Bump Bonanza Heat Rash

Does your heat rash remind you of summer or the other way around? Summer brings with it thoughts of the beach, barbecues – all the “beautiful” people (those toned, tanned and taut plus the rest of us) in shorts, sandals and swimsuits but it also brings with it, for some, the dreaded heat rash.

It’s more than annoying – it’s prickly, bumpy and madly uncomfortable. I mean, there is absolutely no reason anyone would want to put up with this red bump bonanza so let’s get to the bottom of it.

Here I’ll decode a few of the mysteries surrounding heat rash. Read on for an explanation of what heat rash is, how its caused and most importantly, what you can do in order to control, if not completely eliminate, heat rash.

What is Heat Rash?

Heat rash manifests itself as dermatological issue, where a person’s skin feels irritated, looks inflamed or is just plain uncomfortable.

The cause of this rash is prolonged exposure to heat (and not just the sun), heated conditions, high temperatures and excess humidity.

Heat rash can also be commonly referred to as “prickly heat” and “miliaria” (not to be confused with ‘malaria’) and is generally prevalent during summer months of intense heat and in many cases in geographic regions where higher humidity is found.

The only saving grace with heat rash (looking on the positive side) is that, under normal circumstances, it is a self-resolving skin issue and rarely requires extended medical attention. When you take away the irritant, the rash will likely go away on its own.

Anyone experiencing this inconvenient rash need only take a few precautionary measures to reduce its incidence and prevent any spreading. The downside of these nasty little red bumps is that they do have a tendency to show up in some of the most embarrassing places.

Who is Susceptible to Getting It?

Heat rash, interestingly enough, can happen to just about anybody and there’s no specific group or type of person who is single out over than another.

With that said, the incidence and occurrences of heat rash can be elevated by condition, for certain individuals such as infants, athletes who train under hot climates or surroundings, toddlers under the age of 4, military personnel on deployment (think of our soldiers in the and around the Middle East), firefighters and persons who may be overweight.

How Do I Recognize Heat Rash?

Prickly heat will manifest itself as little inflammations with red or pink patches at the base of your hair follicles. Extreme cases may present themselves as hives, large welts and resulting in much increased irritation. Although it must be noted while some individuals feel significant discomfort when afflicted, there are others who may feel no irritation at all other than trying to conceal it.

The parts of the body that are most susceptible to prickly heat outbreaks may include parts of your face, the back of your neck (nape), your upper back, groin, abdomen, buttocks, armpit and your chest area.

So I Have It…How Do I Get Rid if It?

While there is no definitive treatment for a heat rash, and as mentioned earlier usually resolves on its own, there are precautions you can take to decrease your risk of getting it. Here are some suggestions that work:

Avoid situations that lead to excessive perspiration such as exercising in hot and humid conditions Avoid, if possible, hot and humid environments where your body will need to sweat in order to regulate your body’s temperature Wear airy, lightweight and loose fitting clothing that will allows circulation Be sure your clothing doesn’t stick to your skin, because this may cause irritation when your skin can’t breathe Drink sufficient quantities of water to help stay hydrated – this will aid in your skin healing quicker in the heat When possible, take showers with cool water to regulate the temperature of your skin which will help reduce the spread of a heat rash After your shower, allow the water to dry naturally, thereby cooling your core temperatures and leaving you less susceptible to rash Prickly Heat Talcum Powder products also provide some relief from the itching sensations of miliaria, as do gels and creams that are available over the counter in any pharmacy or big box retailer

In rare cases, the heat rash bumps may burst posing a risk of infection. This is why you should never scratch the rash. If you do get little red pimple-looking bumps with the surrounding skin clear; and if any liquid that oozes out of the skin rupture is clear as well, it’s likely a heat rash. Always disinfect and dress any rupture to prevent infection and to keep it from spreading. If any symptoms worsen, it’s best that you seek medical attention. Don’t second guess yourself when it comes to a potential infection.

There you have it – a breakdown of one of the summer’s most annoying side effects (next to a sunburn) that could possibly impact a large part of your summer activities. The good news though, is that there is no reason you can’t beat the heat, and slay that prickly monster with a little preemptive maintenance.

So go out – enjoy the summertime and just keep in mind the tips on how to combat and decrease your risk of heat rash. Take pleasure in that long day of lounging on the beach or at the pool (don’t forget your sunscreen), spend the evenings sipping beer over grilled chicken or steak or live a little with a night out dancing at the hottest (no pun intended) night spots in your area.

Beat the heat and you’ll beat the heat rash.

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