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Wed, 10th June 2015

The Botox band wagon winds restlessly on. Tens of thousands now worship the Great God "B", the greatest success story for beauty and improved looks since the invention of skin. Now it is probably the most popular facial intervention of all time and it really took place largely by chance. It has been known for years that a potential chemical called botulinum toxin could paralyse the body and rapidly kill. This came from a germ which causes botulism, a terrible and potentially fatal condition. That's why canned food products must always be checked for freshness before use. If there is an outward bulging of the ends, it means the food inside is probably infected with the germ and eating the food is potentially lethal.


Nothing new about this. It is also known for years the toxin paralyses nerve endings, leading in turn to paralysis of the muscle fibres to which it is going. Again nothing new. It was then discovered by chance that very tiny concentrations were apparently non injurious and could be targetted at specific muscle fibre groups. In the early stages, it was used as medical treatment. Those with severe spasm appeared to benefit. Some suffer from unilateral contraction of the neck muscles. Injecting the fluid seemed to stop the contraction and provided relief. Then it was found to be similarly effective in those with recurring spasms of the muscles around the eye, which often occurred on one side only. Again, the spasmodic twitching vanished. Writers cramp, due to spasm of certain hand muscles then came to attention, and a "cure" took place. But it was noted the positive results gradually wore off, so that repeat treatments were often needed every three months or so. There appeared to be minimum or no adverse side efects.


Then someone decided it would similarly relax muscle fibres underlying facial wrinkles and creases. Then the flood gates opened. Now "cosmetic enhancement" is probably the main reason botox is injected. Again, creases vanish, skin becomes smooth. At around $300 a hit, it seemed to many, a small price to pay for instant beauty. It takes a few days for the positive outcome to be noticed. Again, it lasts 10-15 weeks. Some claim it reduces facial character features, as normal smiling may also be compromised, as similar muscles fibres may be involved. Long term effects, if any, are at present unknown. Injection site may bruise, infections may occur but seems risk is minimum. Allergan, the giant US company manufacturing the product, continues to pump it out at a massive pace. Although it seems nearly anybody can inject the fluid, ideally talk to your GP before you embark on treatment and be guided by specific advice.



I go for a walk most days and often see older teenagers with eyes straight forward, concentration on their faces, arms swinging, firm rapid steps. I often wonder what they are thinking about.


Lots are now into "power walking" and similar routines with their own sub set of names - it doesn't really matter. The mind is fixed on the goal of better health and achieving a routine, which makes them feel good and empowered. To achieve and maintain maximum health, physical and mental effort are both essential. This is not hard with the right mind set.

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I have several cups of cappuccino a day and as the day goes on I often feel bloated and my stomach seems in a knot.


Milk coffee contains fat and lots of bubbles, and this can fill and bloat. Also, there are probably 150 mg or more of caffeine per cup. This is a nerve stimulant (hence the mental kick start), but it can also act locally on the stomach and gut walls. So it contracts, goes into a quiver imparting a tight tense sensation. The cure is simple. Simply limit coffee intake to one a day. Your body will soon advise if this is the answer. My bet is you will feel better, but may feel an afternoon "let down headache" as a result. This will soon vanish. You will also sleep better at night. Caffeine has a life of about 15 hours in the body! Most do not realise this.

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Why does one feel all sexed up in the teens, twenties and thirties, but come what may, it seems to visibly flag after this. Getting going is almost a hardship, reactions slower and climax a rarity.


Life winds on, skin ages, hair turns grey or falls out, teeth degenerate, vision and hearing acuity gradually lessen. Ideally make every effort to maintain good health. The ravages of time inevitably set in. That's why youth should make the most of it. Surely it will vanish readily enough. Smoking and over use of alcohol or substance abuse will hasten the sad days. Adequate rest, exercise, sensible eating patterns, exercise, water at least keep the spirits bright, and help postpone the evil days ahead. In years past, few survived life after the fifties.

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I often wonder if we may catch ear or mouth bugs from talking into public phones which are used by anyone and everyone.


I don't think there have been any major epidemics from use of public telephones. Although certainly millions pass over their surfaces. Shiny surfaces usually do not harbour bugs nor give them the environment to multiply. Just the same, minimum contact of objects handled by others is a good idea. Wash hands after visiting the loo (public or private), and always before handling food.

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What is the best way to keep lips moistened, for they often dry out and feel uncomfortable?


Smear with petroleum jelly. This is often best carried out at bedtime. Vaseline is probably the commonest trade name. It helps the surface retain moisture. Winter time is the worst time for skin surfaces, for the air is then crisp and dry, and loves sucking out moisture from any surface, and skin heads the list. Avoid harsh soaps which are high in alkaline, a definite No No for maintaining nice soft moist surfaces. Any form of direct heat and air conditioning also makes moist surfaces dry.

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This health advice is general in nature. You are advised to seek medical attention from your doctor or health care provider for your own specific symptoms and circumstances.



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