Search Results for: zinc

3 Ways to Get Zinc into Your Diet

3 Ways to Get Zinc into Your Diet

The healthy human body is a fusion of metabolic processes delivering energy to limbs and the brain. We need to process certain minerals and metallic compounds to keep that process moving along at peak efficiency. Zinc is one of the more crucial elements in that miraculous organic process, aiding in supporting a healthy immune system,which promotes scar healing, and ensuring every part of the body is sound, and bursting with energy.

Here are three naturally occurring sources of zinc to check out:

1. Pumpkin Seeds

The World Health Organization is one of many branches of science quick to recommend the pumpkin seeds for maximizing zinc intake. While the shell doesn’t contain significant amounts of zinc, unshelled bags of pumpkin seeds provide an excellent source of the mineral, protecting the immune system and enhancing protein synthesis.

2. Garlic

Found across a wide spectrum of world cuisine, in pasta and salad, pizza and meat dishes, the pungent garlic bulb is host to many healthy minerals. The high amount of zinc in the bulb aids in improving liver function, combining with the antioxidant properties of garlic to promote a healthier metabolism, detoxing the body. Garlic is a powerful addition to a zinc specific diet as well as a tasty treat in any meal.

3. The Virtues of Meat

The above choices come more from a vegan or vegetarian emphasized dietary perspective, but meat has to be a consideration in adding a zinc rich food, especially since pork, beef, salmon and other animal products have high concentrations of the mineral in every bite. Of course, practice awareness of portions when consuming meat. Health is the goal here, and we don’t wish to compromise that target by greedily devouring chunks of meat full of cholesterol and nasty fat.

As with most other minerals, the easiest and best way to deliver zinc into a healthy diet is to turn to naturally occurring sources and organic food full of nutrients. A salad or sandwich filled with lean cuts of meat and pumpkin seed is one option, or a pasta cooked in extra-virgin olive oil and plenty of onions, scallions and tasty garlic.

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How Does Zinc Affect Skin and Scar Healing?

How Does Zinc Affect Skin and Scar Healing?

Bodily functions such as immune responses, growth and reproduction, and neurological functions rely on Zinc for a number of reasons. For cuts and abrasions the use of zinc is recommended, and in topical and oral applications in can be used to encourage the healing of wounds, prevention of infections, and for the reduction of damage to the skin. Before beginning any supplements, it is always wise to check with a doctor for the proper dosage and advice.

Zinc plays an essential role in the metabolizing of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. This allows the body to utilize protein to help heal wounds. The body uses zinc in the generation of cells, which is crucial to the re-growth of skin that is damaged from injuries, aging, or causes on an environmental level. Zinc is also good at helping the body with collagen production, reduction of free radicals, prevention of the growth of bacteria, inflammation reduction.

When it comes to the treatment of skin ulcers, acne, and inflammation, zinc has shown a great deal of promise. It is helpful for the prevention of infection and scar healing. It has very positive effects on the immune system and the prevention of the growth of bacteria. In 2006 a study was completed and published in the Annals of Burns and Fire Disasters that supported zinc as beneficial to skin that has been burned to heal much faster.

Not only is zinc used for protection against the sun, but also to promote the healing of skin. It is used in skin ointments, over the counter treatments that help cuts and abrasions and also in diaper creams. Taking an oral dose of zinc as a daily supplement can be very beneficial to the body. The body is naturally able to produce zinc; however, if you have skin that is damaged, you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or suffering from a medical condition, the levels of zinc could be reduced, and a supplement may be required. Sources of zinc include shellfish, poultry, dairy products, red meat, beans, nuts, and some grains that can be used from these dietary resources.

Read: How Nutrition Affects Scar Healing

While it is very rare for it to occur, an overdose of zinc is a possibility. In some cases, an administration of only 50 mg daily of zinc could result in causing gastrointestinal distress, which is due to mild zinc toxicity. It is possible at higher doses of around 225 milligrams could cause nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, or diarrhea. Before beginning any regimen that includes zinc it is important to seek out the advice of a doctor.

In the United States, a deficiency in zinc is rare; however, it can happen. Symptoms of such a deficiency could include a change in the skin health. This mineral deficiency could result in dry skin, weakness in the fingernails, slow healing, and inflammation on the skin, dermatitis, and acne.  People with diet restrictions such as vegetarians could be at a higher risk of such a deficiency. The zinc in vegetables and plants is much harder to absorb than in the meat from animal products.

How do you incorporate zinc to help heal your scar: topically or through your diet?

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How Long Does it Take to Get Rid of Scars?

How Long Does it Take to Get Rid of Scars?

Healing is a series of steps on a very long journey, but the destination proves worthwhile when scars eventually fade. Individuals hoping to minimize (or even eliminate) the appearance of hypertrophic, atrophic, and other types of scars should understand how their bodies react to each stage of the process.

Read More: Scars

The Inflammatory Phase

Healing begins with the inflammatory phase. A cut to the skin triggers a sudden dilation of blood vessels, which allows enzyme-rich fluids to rush to the wound. These fluids attack damaged tissue, breaking it down to eliminate bacteria, erythema, and broken collagen fibers.

The Proliferation Phase

To combat the amount of nutrients lost from inflammation the body increases its collagen production. This creates a new network of tissue. However, all too often this network proves excessive, with protein chains layering against each other. This raises the skin and forms a scar.

Epithelialization Phase

Skin serves as a barrier against infections. However, newly formed scars are structurally weaker than traditional tissue. Lipid bilayers appear infuse the skin surface with moisture, sealing scar sites against free radicals.

Maturation Phase

Scar tissue eventually begins to mature. Surrounding blood vessels shrink back to normal size, collagen production decreases, and hydration levels settle. The wound closes completely and bonds with the tissue. Eventually, the scarring begins to fade.

Read More: Scar Phases

How Long do These Phases Take?

Scars are unique – and so is the healing process. Each phase demands an individualized amount of time to reach completion. In general, however, patients can expect:

  •  Inflammatory Phase: 1 to 3 days.
  • Proliferation Phase: 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Epithelialization Phase: 1 to 2 days.
  • Maturation Phase: 1 – 2 years.

Impacting Factors

The healing process is, unfortunately, fickle. A variety of factors impact its effectiveness:

Genetics

Certain elements, such as metabolism, oxygenation rates, and enzyme levels, are inherited. Genetic precursors play pivotal roles in the overall speed and efficiency of healing.

Nutrition

Dietary choices directly impact healing. Patients suffering from low Vitamin A (which promotes balanced cell growth), Vitamin C (which promotes anti-oxidation), or Zinc (which promotes enzyme production) often experience slow healing.

Age

Younger skin is more prone to abnormal and exaggerated healing. This can lead to hypertrophic or keloid scars. Older skin takes longer to recover. These factors affect the body and its ability to heal, keeping scars from fading and potentially increasing their appearances.

Read More: Scar Healing

Each patient is different – shaped by specific genetic traits, dietary choices, and their age. Because of this, it remains impossible to definitely chart a scar’s healing process.  However, most can expect the process to take about a year.

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Healthy Snack Ideas to Improve Scar Appearance

Healthy Snack Ideas to Improve Scar Appearance

Healthy skin demands a healthy diet. To improve the appearance of scars, ensuring proper collagen distribution, the reduction of inflammation, and the softening of tissue, choose nutrient-rich foods.

Read More: Nutrition

Snack Time Suggestions: Choosing the Right Ingredients

Sodas and sweets make for a delightful treat. However, they don’t offer the fundamental nutrients needed to improve scars. Swap out those calorie-heavy snacks for ones infused with Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Zinc.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that strengthens the immune system and expedites the healing process, helping scar tissue fade. Physicians recommend a daily dose of 90 milligrams to ensure good health, and achieving this requires the right snacks:

  • Yellow Bell Peppers (341.3-mg per large pepper)
  • Golden Kiwi (64-mg per large fruit)
  • Strawberries (10.6-mg per large berry)
  • Oranges (69.7-mg per large orange)

Read More: Vitamin C

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a retinal-infused compound that improves the texture of the skin. It accelerates cell development and generates greater elasticity. Physicians recommend a daily dose of 1500 micrograms, and individuals can reach this amount this with:

  • Carrots (7835-micrograms per large carrot)
  • Kale (17707-micrograms per cup)
  • Cantaloupe Melon (2334-micrograms per cup)
  • Tuna Fish (7141-micrograms per ounce)

Read More: Vitamin A

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient. It counters the effects of free radicals, protecting skin from loss of hydration, decreases in elasticity, and oxidation. While Vitamin E does not improve the appearance of scars (whether applied topically or taken through diet or supplements), it is great for combating oxygen free radicals which can damage the skin, especially from sun exposure – and UV rays can permanently darken a scar. Physicians recommend a daily dose of 20 milligrams, and there are many ways to meet this number:

  • Almonds (7.3-mg per ounce)
  • Avocados (4.2-mg per cup)
  • Sunflower Seeds (10.2-mg per ounce)
  • Tofu (4.5-mg per ounce)

Read More: Vitamin E

Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that directly impacts the body’s immune system. It enhances cellular growth and dissolves carbohydrates (which provide key proteins during the tissue creation process). This decreases the rigidity of scars and reduces inflammation. Physicians recommend a daily dose of 15 milligrams, and there are many delicious ways to reach this goal:

  • Cashews (1.6-mg per ounce)
  • Dark Chocolate (5.9-mg per cup)
  • Mushrooms (1.4-mg per cup)
  • Mung Beans (0.6-mg per cup)

Read More: Zinc

Consider Supplements

Achieving a healthy lifestyle is not always possible, with individuals forever on the move and away from the kitchen. Choosing the right snacks proves challenging, and vitamin supplements are often needed to ensure balanced results.

These items deliver concentrated bursts of key minerals so that even the busiest individuals can maintain their diets and meet their intake goals. It also promotes the improved appearance of scars.

Read More: Vitamins

Substituting traditional snacks with vitamin-heavy foods provides immediate and long-lasting results. Make the change today!

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Treatment for Forehead Scars in Children

Treatment for Forehead Scars in Children

Children are accident prone, often falling and bumping their knees, elbows, and head. Cuts and wounds that occur on the forehead during childhood can create a scarring that remains as a scar throughout a person’s life. Luckily, there are steps you can take to minimize your child’s forehead scar.

Step One: Properly Treat the Wound

The first step in treating forehead scars in children is to minimize the damage to the area. When your child hurts his or her head, be sure to treat the wound and reduce the risk of infection. Infection increases the risk of scarring because it leads to inflammation and delays healing. Thoroughly clean the wound with soapy water and apply an antibacterial ointment. If it is a significant wound, be sure to seek medical care and get stitches if needed. Once the wound is clean, be sure to cover it. This keeps bacteria and other harmful things out of the wound, while also keeping moisture in. Moisture is important for proper wound healing and reducing the amount of scarring.

Read: What Affects Wound Healing?

Step Two: Promote Natural Healing

Scars are the result of the body healing damaged tissue. As the body continues to heal, normal skin cells can replace the damaged scar tissue to a certain extent. To do this, the natural healing response needs to be supported. The best way to do this with your children is to ensure they are healthy overall. They should eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other essential nutrients. Vitamin A, C, protein, and zinc are important components for healing and skin health. Exercise can also promote healing, so you should let your child run around and play, as long as there is no medical reason for avoiding exercise. Exercise improves circulation, which promotes the regrowth of skin cells. Also make sure your child gets plenty of sleep, as this also promotes natural healing.

Read: Do Scars Grow with Age?

Step 3: Help Reduce the Appearance of Scars

There are plenty of scar reduction creams on the market, but be sure to check the ingredients before choosing one for your child. Avoid ingredients that can cause allergic reactions such as preservatives, fragrances, vitamin E, kojic acid or hydroquinone. Instead, find a scar cream with hypoallergenic ingredients. Vitamin C and licorice extract are two natural ingredients that promote natural skin healing without side effects. These should be combined with silicone gel which studies have shown to be the gold standard in scar therapy.

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Image via Michael Henry Photography