Archive for the 'Shower Filters' Category
Unfortunately, studies and records show that eczema, particularly in babies and children, is becoming a more common and widespread problem. The good news is that it’s not always a life-long affliction for kids (they often outgrow it by 5 years old), but it’s still painful and frustrating to treat as a parent (and no picnic for your wee one, either).
Many cases remain of undetermined origin, but there are some environmental and genetic variables that can play a part:
• Skin too dry (dehydrated or not enough natural oils, excessive sweating)
• Exposure to physical allergens and irritants
• Plain old bad luck (genetics)
In babies and young children, eczema shows up initially as red or swollen—sometimes pebbly or rough—skin, especially in skin folds that tend to stay damp: armpits, behind the knees, and in the groin area. Sometimes there are blisters or raised red bumps, and sometimes the scratching and dryness can get so bad the skin cracks and leaves open sores. Fussy, irritable babies with tender skin who dislike bath time might have a problem with eczema.
Treatment invariably depends on the cause, which is not always obvious. Please consult your pediatrician or a dermatologist in order to get direction on the proper course of treatment.Your doctor will evaluate your kiddo, and ask a lot of questions about his or her environment. Why? If your child’s skin reacts to the laundry detergent you use, resolving the issue could be as simple as switching brands or going to a “free and clear” version. Children’s skin often responds to diet changes as well; removing things like dairy, nuts or soy can improve eczema symptoms a surprising amount. There are lotions and creams, acupuncture and other homeopathic treatments, and even UV light treatments. Here are the biggies:
• Filter your child’s bath water (I can personally attest that this does help, as I have adult eczema, and it helps me!)
• Change laundry detergent, and dress your wee babe in 100% cotton clothing to allow the skin to breathe
• Perform an allergy test and identify possible contact or internal allergens (we’re looking at you, cow’s milk!)
• Remove certain Big Allergens from your kid’s diet (or stop eating them yourself, if you’re breastfeeding): cow’s milk, soy, nuts, eggs, fish, shellfish, and wheat
• Try keep your baby in a warm (not hot!), dry environment to minimize sweating (sorry, fellow Texans, you will fail this one)
• Try OTC hydrocortisone cream (though I’m not a huge fan of chemicals)
Those are just some of the remedies available. There are a lot of them out there on the web, but please be careful when trying them out! Always test first on yourself, and if there’s no reaction, a small part of your baby (with something handy to wipe/remove the solution if it’s not well received).
Does your child have eczema? What have you found works to help alleviate the symptoms? Share in the comments!
Oh, rashes. We’ve all encountered them in some form, mostly from an allergy or something we touch. Growing up on 10 acres of wooded land, I found myself adventuring outside to “explore” (usually poison ivy). I then got to explore the rash that would form on my skin, along with all the scratches I collected on my legs from stepping in briars, and all the itching that ensued. Rashes are a common skin condition that many children and adults experience and they are utterly annoying to deal with.
Rashes, also called dermatitis, are often caused by things that your skin touches (contact dermatitis) such as:
Cosmetics, soaps and detergents
- Jewelry (like all women, I’m allergic to fake gold)
- Dyes and other chemicals in clothing
- Poison ivy and poison oak
Common symptoms include:
Red rash or bumps
- Dry, red patches
- Blisters and draining fluid in severe cases
- Pain or tenderness
Irritant and allergic contact dermatitis
Contact dermatitis fall into two categories: Irritant and allergic. Irritant contact dermatitis is more common and caused by repeated contact with a substance that – wait for it – irritates the skin! Bleach is a substance that can cause this after just one exposure, as it removes oil and protective barriers in the skin. Allergic contact dermatitis is caused by a reaction to substances (allergens). The resulting rash, and sometimes blisters, is your body’s response to the allergen. It can take several years to develop
an allergy, which will then last for life.
Most the time you have to ride out the rash, which is the most annoying part of developing a rash. After taking antibiotics, I developed a rash that lasted for two weeks and the only remedy that significantly soothed my itching was olive oil. Olive oil has healing and renewal properties and helps restore moisture to the skin. The only thing more annoying than having to apply this on my skin is the craving of bread that followed. Other self-help remedies include:
- Witch hazel
- Aloe Vera
- Calendula Essential Oil
- Baking Powder
- St. John’s Wort
- Wild Pansy
Prolonged scratching may increase the intensity of the itch and lead to Neurodermatitis, so it’s best to keep your skin as moisturized as possible. The chlorine that is in your shower water can exacerbate itching, as it strips your skin of its natural moisture. Installing a shower filter that removes chlorine, as well as other contaminants, is one of the best things you can do for persistently itchy skin.
When to see a doctor
Some rashes may require a visit to your dermatologist or family doctor. See your doctor if:
- You’re so uncomfortable that you’re losing sleep or daily routines are interrupted.
- Your skin is painful
- Your skin becomes infected
- Self-care has failed
- You feel the cause is job-related
When most people think of dermatology, they probably think of beauty. No longer are dermatologists known for removing embarrassing warts or moles, but for chemical peels and Botox. They are the go-to person for making skin beautifully flawless. But dermatologists also engage clients to help them deal with some of the more unsightly dermal concerns: skin abnormalities, rashes and cysts, among other things.
My own first meeting with a dermatologist was over a cyst. Cysts are a common abnormality that often appear on the face and neck, but can appear anywhere on the body. They’re just plain ugly, and coming from personal experience, I can assure you that they’re embarrassing and made me feel self-conscience. I even had people ask if I had cancer!
What is a Cyst?
A cyst is a noncancerous, closed pocket of tissue that can form anywhere in the body and is common on the skin. Skin cysts develop due to an infection, clogging of sebaceous glands (also called oil glands), and may form around foreign bodies in the skin, like piercings. Certain factors increase the possibility of developing a cyst such as:
• Age (30s or 40s)
• Damaged hair follicles (skin abrasions or wounds)
• Trauma (skin is crushed or broken from an injury, such as hitting your finger with a hammer)
• Birth Defects
Common Skin Cysts at a Glance:
Cysts are usually noticeable and tend to be slow-growing, painless and can be rolled under the skin. Some of the most common types of skin cysts include:
• Epidermoid cysts (which men are twice as likely to have): the most common type of skin cysts (this was the type I had) and are often mislabeled as sebaceous cysts, which are a rare type of cyst. Epidermoid cysts range in size from ¼ inch to 2 inches (Mine was about an inch).
• Lipoma: a fatty lump that tends to grow slowly over time and is usually discovered accidentally.
• Pilar cysts: form from hair follicles and commonly occur on the scalp.
• Milia: tiny white bumps or small cysts on the skin. These cysts are common in newborns, which then are called Epstein’s pearls, and go away on their own.
• Pilmatrixoma: a slow-growing, hard mass found beneath the skin. Occurs most commonly on the face and neck and is seen mostly in children under 10.
The treatment of most cysts depends upon cause, size and location. Removal of the cyst is done at your doctor or dermatologist’s discretion, as some cysts can be drained or aspirated, or injected with a cortisone shot (My dermatologist gave me a cortisone shot, which resulted in an infection, so instead of a smallish size cyst, I had what looked like a goiter. I went back and it was drained – yuck! – and removed). Some cysts disappear on their own without treatment. Most people elect to have their cyst drained or removed for cosmetic reasons or to prevent further growth of the cyst. Pilmatrixoma cysts are removed surgically as an outpatient procedure.
Some skin cysts can be prevented by keeping your skin clean and avoiding skin irritation. Using a shower filter that filters out harsh chlorine to keep your skin soft and less dry may help reduce irritation. Use gentle, oil-free cleansers, wear soft, cotton clothing, and adjust anything that may rub against your skin.
Need a little less skin irritation in your life? Check out our shower filters to keep your skin soft and from drying out! Click here to receive half-off during July 2011!
As you may or may not be aware, dermatology is the field of medicine that focuses on the skin: skin diseases and disorders. This includes things as varied as hair removal and implantation, skin cancer treatment, skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis and (the most unfair of plagues) acne, to plastic surgery like liposuction and face lifts.
And just how, you might ask, is dermatology related to water and water filtration?
For hair removal issues, plastic surgery and cancer, water is important for all the usual health reasons, but has little impact aside from that. Where water becomes an essential component of dermatology issues are in the areas of skin health and skin disorders. Proper hydration is often the heart and soul of health in general, but it particularly affects the skin. Lack of adequate hydration can exacerbate (or cause) rashes, eczema, allergic reactions and other topical ailments.
Along the same lines, the water you wash with can affect the quality and vitality of your skin in surprising ways. City water contains a whole raft of contaminants in varying concentrations, some of which have been shown to be harmful to your skin. Chlorine in particular is cause for concern. We all know how it feels when you get out of a chlorinated pool: the itchy, dry, tight feeling plagues you until you can rinse off with less chlorinated water. But there’s chlorine in your shower water, too, if in lesser amounts, and it’s still not good for you.
Dermatology and you
For the next several weeks, be on the lookout for blog posts, Facebook and Twitter activities, and general buzz on Aquasana.com and our other community channels that relate to dermatology and skin issues. The subject is near and dear to our hearts, and we have undertaken a mission to shed light on various dermatology topics. With that in mind, we’ve found some really excellent resources about dermatology and skin conditions out there on the net:
Related, interesting sites on dermatology…
Father’s Day is coming up this weekend, and the race is on to secure a good, enticing, enjoyable gift for the men in our lives who grease the wheels and make life exciting. But what do you get for the man who already has every tool from Home Depot and too many ties to count? Why not go sideways this year, and reach for a practical and exciting gift that he’ll love? (That’s my plan, anyway.) Here are some ideas to get you started!
For the closet cook
Cooking has become a more acceptably enjoyable activity for men, and a good many of them show a decided flair for it. Why not invest in a few really excellent kitchen gadgets to help him out?
Men really like to grill best, and summer is the perfect time for him to get some more experience! Try the cookbook Everyday Grilling from Sur La Table. He’ll be able to make everything on the grill, appetizers to desserts!
If he already knows the grilling ropes, a great instant-read digital thermometer can help him hit just the right level of done.
A nice pizza stone is a good investment, too. When not in use for pizza parties, you can use it to bake other yummy things, like biscuits and cookies.
But not every man likes to cook. Some of them just can’t ever own enough gadgets. For some spectacular ideas on what to get to indulge him, try looking at Skymall.com or Brookstone.
Weather stations are pretty neat little things, and the prices on the good ones are coming down. If you need to know instantly how to dress the kids today, don’t wait for the weatherman, just take a peek at this little guy!
Maybe your man is security-minded, though. If so, investing in a home security system could be a good gift to ease his anxiety. There are lots of options out there, and some even come with iPhone or smartphone apps that let you manage your security remotely, so you always have access and control.
Or if your husband is the fastidious sort, you could consider even our own Aquasana shower filter with handheld wand. Clean himself, the kids, the dog, pots and pans, whatever he wants, in clean and healthy shower water!
Being a dad is a demanding job, one that increases stress and tension. Why not get Dad a back and neck massager of some kind? (And when he’s not using it, you can hop right in there and take a whirl!)
There are lots of other ideas out there, but use these to get you started. Use a bit of thought and imagination, and forgo the tie or cufflinks this year (unless they shoot lasers or auto-clean the house or something). And remember the best gift dads can ever get, those three little words they love to hear:
“I’ll clean up!”
The Expo was a huge hit! Preparing for the Expo was a ton of work, but our efforts were completely worth the trouble. We met so many lovely people and introduced them to Aquasana and the realities of filtered water, which is always a good thing.
New bottle cap colors
We showed off our new bottle cap colors at the show. Everyone loved choosing their favorite color! The blue seems to be the most popular, then red and green. These will be on sale on our website soon—stay tuned!
Dr. Mao joined us on Saturday afternoon to sign books and advise people on improving their longevity and overall health. There was a line of people waiting before he even got there! We loved hosting Dr. Mao, and will continue to work with him to help spread the word about the importance of filtering water and taking care of yourself.
Amid much excitement, we debuted our new booth at Expo West. The more streamlined and softer construction brought people in on all sides, and we got a number of compliments! People especially loved the ability to fill up their free glass water bottles (that we provided) with chilled water from the twin Aquasana water chiller taps at the end.
We supplied samples of yummy infused water concoctions for our new friends. From left to right, we served
1) Lemon, cucumber, rosemary and thyme
2) Strawberry, tangelo and mint
3) Plum and cinnamon
Women tended to like the cucumber/lemon infusion the best, and men generally preferred the orange and strawberry. The plum was tasty, but very subtle, and the plums sink, so it didn’t look as appealing as the other two.
And last but certainly not least, we’d like to send a big, happy shout-out to all of our new friends: Seventh Generation, Dr. Mao, True2o, Rodale News, Evolution Fresh, Bert’s Bees, Tom’s of Maine, Kor bottles, Ciao Bella Gelato and all our new friends!
Natural Products Expo West is right around the corner (next week!) in Anaheim, California, and we’ll be there! We have a new booth, some great giveaway items, delicious samples and guest appearances! There will be something for everyone, so come on by and say hi.
Come visit us at the Aquasana Oasis and refresh from the exhaustion of the Expo: enjoy a bottle of delicious water (and keep your bottle), have a seat, relax. We’ll be sharing some great infused water concoctions each day (while supplies last), so make sure to stop by early!
• Tangelo, strawberry, mint
• Lemon, cucumber, rosemary, thyme
• Plum, cinnamon
We’ll be serving the water only while supplies last each day, some come by early!
Special guest appearance by Dr. Mao!
And Saturday ONLY from 3 pm-6 pm, come by to see Dr. Maoshing Ni (Dr. Mao), author and longevity expert. He’ll be signing copies of his latest book, Secrets of Longevity: Dr. Mao’s 8-Week Planner, and talking healthy tips for a long life!
We’ll also be giving away products every day: drinking filters, shower filters and bottles. If you want a bottle, just come by and tell us you’re thirsty. And to score a filter, follow @aquasana on Twitter and keep an eye out for instructions on how to enter the at-show giveaways.
We hope to see you there!
Ever read a blog that makes your head hurt? Bad grammar, incorrect word usage, terrible spelling and strange sentence structure are just some of the many errors that pop up in blogs that make you think, “How was this ever written by a human being?” Well, maybe it wasn’t.
Some writers and website content managers rely on bots, for example, to stuff blog posts full of SEO keywords that thoroughly trash any editorial or informational value the post might otherwise have had. Such posts are often repetitive (to pump up those SEO numbers), nonsensical and sometimes downright offensive. As avid bloggers and retailers, we get our fair share of blog notices that contain many of the capital blogging sins, and I’d like to share one shining example:
According to this blog post, The Aquasana shower filters have a wealth of hitherto unknown qualities, capabilities and commendations:
“Pure smoke removal.” (Our filters do not now, nor have they ever, removed smoke from shower water. Nor do we recommend that you smoke in the shower.) “Not to mention the filter, chlorine, which canallergic reactions.” (Our filter is not made of chlorine, it reduces chlorine, and I’m not sure what exactly a “canallergic reaction” is.)
“Aquasana filter reduces chemicals and synthetic because of a carbonized coconut shell.” (We actually use coconut shell carbon, which is slightly different than “carbonized coconut shell.”)
“It is not in vain as the Niagara ‘head.’” (Not sure what exactly is not in vain, and not sure how we compare to the Niagara “head.”)
“Even Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Oprah WinfreyHunger “prescribed” a shower filter his television audience.” (Um, what is an Oprah WinfreyHunger? And how does it describe Dr. Oz?)
“And many experts have specifically recommended the years Aquasana shower filter, including the Consumer Digest Magazine, which rated a “Best Buy” and cosmetology today, the name IT products.” (We are not, have never been and never plan to be an IT product of any size, shape, style or color.)
“If you are after a simple shower filter or if your best, you get rid of the chlorine exposure, the filter actually works.” (I am so glad the filter “actually works”. We would not sell bogus products!)
Hope we made you laugh. Happy holidays!
So you took the step of purchasing a drinking water filter in your house? Congratulations! You should take time to relish the relief you feel at providing healthy and safe drinking water for your family. I don’t know about you, but before I installed a drinking water filter, I always felt a kind of sour internal feeling that maybe drinking the tap water wasn’t really in my best interest, my heart plagued by guilt and doubt. But no more!
Bath & Shower Demons
Now let’s turn our attention to another source of nasty business in the house: the shower and bath water. If you have noticed that your hair and skin seem to be dry and that your baths or showers irritate your skin, that is likely the result of shower water contamination: chlorine, lead, VOCs, SOCs, chloramine, and other harmful vapors. The potential damage that shower water contamination could be causing goes much further than just irritated skin or dry hair. When you take a shower, your skin “drinks” water that it comes in contact with. In fact, during an average shower, your skin absorbs as much water as you would drink during an average meal. If that water is not filtered, the good work you did to protect your family from bad water in the kitchen may be undermined in the bathrooms. Here’s a quick rundown of the effects related to showering and bathing in chlorine-laden, unfiltered water:
• Contaminants absorbed more easily through skin and inhalation
• Mild or inflamed eczema and other skin disorders
• Inflamed asthma
• Dry, brittle hair
• Excessively dry and sensitive skin
• Eye irritation
• Respiratory irritation
The great news is that by taking the step to filter your bathing water, you can enjoy a good number of health and beauty benefits. It’s amazing how much changing just that one little thing can do:
• Healthier skin
• Softer, more manageable hair
• Healthy steam
• Less respiratory inflammation
• Improvement in existing skin conditions
Just Don’t Inhale!
Do you love taking long, steamy hot showers as much as I do? Ever had the unpleasant feeling of a tight chest or feel the need to cough? That steam we dig so much is the vaporized water coming out of the shower faucet, which—when unfiltered—contains all that vicious chlorine. That vaporized water invades your lungs and pollutes your body with even more unhealthy toxins. As much as we may love the idea of a relaxing, hot and steamy shower, the idea of standing in a small room with toxic steam makes the idea somewhat, shall we say, less appealing.
Shopping for a Shower Filter
For the best and most effective results, you should look for a filter that employs carbon, which filters out synthetic chemicals, THMs and VOCs. Also look for a filter to have a KDF stage of filtration, to reduce the amount of chlorine and balance the water’s Ph (for that healthy glow).
You may have heard the reports of the 60,000 chemicals from our industries that sometimes make their way into our drinking water supplies; the press keeps us abreast on what contaminants affect your water. You’ve no doubt heard all the dramatic warnings concerning the dangers of heavy metals, chlorine, bacteria, viruses, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, cow pee and fairy dust. Depending on the amount of unfiltered tap water you consume and the specific contaminants, you and your family’s health may be at risk.
The Gulf Oil Spill. Lead and giardiasis in city water. Water boiling warnings. You’ve seen this stuff all over the news, especially when the media run stories on local water supplies showing that this or that contaminant has been found. In these circumstances, your concern is probably justified. You may begin to worry, sniff the water that comes out of your taps, run water for 30 seconds before using it to cook or drink, or even make plans to buy bottled water or a water filter. Get the facts before you act. Consider the following:
1) Contact your municipal water supplier. You have the right to review their annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) for ongoing water quality issues. If there is a widespread, short-term problem, your municipal water supplier will have some sort of statement prepared, and will likely have it posted on their website along with instructions on what to do.
2) Contact local news and media outlets. If there’s a problem, they will more than likely know what’s going on. And if you are the first to bring it to their attention, they will probably investigate it!
3) Contact local hospitals or a trusted doctor. If there’s been a spike in recent cases of water-borne illnesses or sickness related to contamination, they will know about it and be able to tell you what the danger is to you and your family, what symptoms to look out for and how to avoid it.
4) Check the EPA’s website for information on contaminants that are prevalent in your area. This can be a good guide, but is rarely specific enough to really tell you enough information on your home or neighborhood. (Or try the Water Quality Association’s Interactive Problem Solver.)
5) Have your water tested. This is only applicable if the problem persists and the local water treatment supplier is unable to correct the levels of contamination. Find out what, exactly, the problem is so you can take steps to correct the problem yourself.
Now, what to do if there is a problem? And worse yet, what if the problem is persistent? You can go the bottled water route, but that leaves you vulnerable while bathing. I’d go with a water filter, for both drinking and bathing water, with a carbon filter that is certified by one of the two main independent certification organizations: Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). Also, check out this guide for how to choose a water filter.
Treat the problem, not the symptoms
We all have to work together to keep the federal, state, and local government accountable for how they treat the nation’s water supply. This is not an issue that lobbyists should be deciding, but sadly it does come to that from time to time. Make your voice and your opinions known. Write your regional and state representatives, let them know you feel water contamination needs more attention, help set the agenda and get out there and vote on Election Day.
Tap water contamination isn’t a hoax, and it’s no laughing matter. There really are contaminants in your drinking water. Small amounts of those pollutants aren’t usually harmful, but exposure to large portions of impurities affects your health.
For more information, check out some of the stories out there on water quality and the issues that surround it.