Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ricky Knowles Hair Loss Specialist

Our very own Ricky Knowles is in Dubai, showcasing his talents at the Beautyworld Middle East Trade Fair, The Largest International trade fair for hair and beauty products in the Middle East. He was selected to attend the trade fair in Dubai on behalf of New Image University/New Image Labs Corp., the world's hair replacement products leader. Ricky is demonstrating his amazing hair duplication techniques as well as exhibiting new products that he has helped develop with New Image for hair care and hair loss. We're so proud of him!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Compression stockings are often recommended during pregnancy to help energize tired, achy legs, help prevent and reduce swelling and promote better circulation. Great for those who are standing or sitting for long periods of time, gradient compression products help keep legs healthy.

Gradient compression hosiery during pregnancy helps keep your legs looking and feeling their best! Often recommended for those with tired, achy, fatigued legs and feet, swollen feet or ankles or mild to moderate swelling, gradient compression helps keeps your legs going strong!

By applying the tightest “squeeze” to the ankle and then gradually decreasing the pressure up the leg, gradient compression hosiery help promote better circulation and more leg energy.

If you are experiencing any of the following, you may benefit from wearing gradient compression:

• Tired, aching, fatigued legs

• Swollen feet, ankles, and legs

• Mild to moderate swelling

• Stand or sit for long periods

• Traveling

• Overweight

Even if you do not have any of the above conditions, you may still appreciate the benefits of wearing compression because of how great they make your legs look and feel.

Did you know?

• About 40% of all pregnant women suffer from varicose veins.

• Pregnancy increases the body blood volume.

• The increase level of the hormone progesterone cause blood vessel to relax. Therefore valves separate slightly and they don't work properly, letting the back-flow of blood in the veins.

• The uterus presses against the major veins in the pelvic region and increases the pressure in the leg veins are then subject to becoming varicose.

• The weight increase enhances the risk of venous insufficiency affecting the legs.

Graduated-compression stockings are designed to be tight at the ankle and get looser as they go up the leg, making it easier for blood to flow back up toward your heart. As a result, they help prevent swelling and may keep varicose veins from getting worse.

To prevent blood from pooling in your legs, put the stockings on before getting out of bed in the morning, while you're still lying down, and keep them on all day.

For more information about compression garments, contact our compression garment guru, Kristen at 713-623-4247.  She is a certified compression garment fitter and can help you choose a compression garment to fit your lifestyle!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Exercise Cuts Breast Cancer Risk For All Women Everywhere

This could be the simplest bit of health advice ever: Exercise reduces women's risk of breast cancer, no matter what kind of exercise they do, how old they are, how much they weigh, or when they get started.

Researchers in France looked at studies that involved more than 4 million women around the world who participated in prospective studies from 1987 to 2013. They found that the more active a woman is, the better her odds of avoiding breast cancer. Women who were most active, with more than an hour a day of vigorous activity, got the most benefits, lowering their cancer risk by 12 percent.

But women weren't as active saw reduced risk, too, notes Mathieu Boniol, research director at the Strathclyde Institute for Global Public Health in Lyon, France. More activity was better, but anything was better than nothing. He presented the data Thursday at the European Breast Cancer Conference in Glasgow.

"This decrease is the same whatever the country, whatever the age, whatever the menopausal status," Boniol told Shots. And it didn't matter if women were active in work, activities of daily living, or sports. "It's very good news."

Scientists don't know why physical activity reduces breast cancer risk. There's been speculation about exercise's effect on hormones and inflammation, but no one knows for sure.

Other studies have found breast cancer risk reductions as high as 25 percent from physical activity, but Boniol says that because of the huge number of women included in this analysis, the 12 percent reduction is more accurate.

Women who were overweight or obese benefited a little less, but still lowered their risk by 10 percent overall.

And women who got moving after menopause also saw benefits from exercise. "It's not something to say, 'Oh, I've never done sports why do that right now?' " Boniol says. "We now have evidence that it could still be beneficial. And it's cheap. It's a very cheap way to do prevention of breast cancer."

Thursday, May 15, 2014

How to Get the 7 Essential Anti-Balding Vitamins and Nutrients

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The foods to eat: Flaxseeds, walnuts, salmon, tuna, kale, Brussels sprouts, rapeseed oil.

The foods to eat: Chickpeas, wheat germ, oysters, beef, veal liver, roast beef.

The foods to eat: Greek yogurt, eggs yolks, kale, peanuts, beans, peas, lentils, tofu, chicken, turkey.

The foods to eat: Dark leafy greens, whole grains, beans, red meat, turkey, egg yolks, clams, mussels, oysters.

Vitamins A and C
The foods to eat: Swiss chard, spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, pumpkin.

The foods to eat: Almonds, spinach, cashews, lentils, brown rice, halibut.

The foods to eat: Brazil nuts, tuna, halibut, shrimp sardines, ham.

Are you ready to explore your options to combat hair loss?  Call our world-renowned hair duplication specialist Ricky Knowles at 713-623-4247 to schedule a free hair loss consultation!

Monday, May 12, 2014

8 Skincare Tips For Cancer Patients And Survivors

Avoid cleansers that use harsh surfactants or sudsing agents that actually strip the skin of its environmental protective barrier. Creamy cleansers are less alkaline than soaps and gels and may be used at night to wash the face. Consider eliminating your morning cleanse and opting instead for a gentle splash of tepid water.

In non-science speak TEWL is the loss of water from skin through evaporation. You can make a mist with green tea or white tea that is safe to use whenever your skin needs hydrating. In hot weather, refrigerate the tea and spritz it on cold—very refreshing! Since green teas have catechins and polyphenols that provide UV protection take a big bottle with you to the beach. Spray it on or drink it, it’s all good.

Wearing sunscreen every day is the best way to prevent basal and squamous cell carcinomas, and non-nano zinc oxide is the ingredient you want to see in your sunscreen. Zinc oxide because it is safe, even for babies, and it provides full spectrum UV protection. Non-nano because the larger the particle the smaller the risk that the zinc oxide will penetrate past the epidermal barrier. Nano-particles are often coated to achieve greater stability, but the coating can break down to generate free radicals that cause cellular and DNA damage.

Because we absorb 60 to 70% of what we put on our skin it stands to reason that topical substances will have an impact on our health.

This is a short list of the chemicals/ synthetics to avoid and what you can use instead:

  • Triclosan. Lab studies link this ingredient to cancer. It is found in many products, including anti-bacterial hand washes and wipes. Plain soap and water works just as well.
  • Fragrance or “parfum.” Most contain contaminated aromatic hydrocarbons that are carcinogenic. Look for fragrance-free or products with essential oils only.
  • Parabens. Used for preservative purposes, ingredients belonging to the paraben family are endocrine disruptors. Look for paraben-free products.

Products containing alcohol can dry skin that may already be extra dry due to certain medical procedures. Sometimes even “moisturizers” contain denatured alcohol. Avoid this ingredient, but don’t confuse it with fatty alcohols like cetyl and stearyl alcohol, which are fine. Creamy cleansers are less alkaline than soaps and gels and may be used at night to wash the face. In the morning a splash or two of tepid water is enough.

By whole foods, we mean foods that are not processed. Eat these as much as possible. Whole foods provide better nutrition to your body and contain the least amount of preservatives and other harmful chemicals. Quick tip: when eating out, stick to fresh salad bars and food that is grilled or steamed.

According to the Mayo Clinic, it is important to vary your diet to include lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains. When it comes to selecting your entrees, the American Cancer Society recommends that cancer survivors:

• Eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
• Choose healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, rather than saturated fats or trans fats.
• Select proteins that are low in saturated fat, such as fish, lean meats, eggs, nuts, seeds and legumes.
• Opt for healthy sources of carbohydrates, such as whole grains, legumes, and fruits and vegetables.

This combination of foods will ensure that you're eating plenty of the vitamins and nutrients you need to help make your body strong.

Studies have found a link between alcohol intake and the risk of getting a number of cancers: Mouth Throat Larynx, Esophagus, Liver and Breast.

Alcohol use may be linked to colon cancer, too. In people who have already been diagnosed with cancer, alcohol intake could affect the risk for new cancers in these sites. Alcohol intake can also increase levels of estrogens in the blood. In theory this could increase the risk of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer coming back after treatment, but studies so far have not addressed questions like this.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Lymphedema Treatment Act Needs Your Help!

The Lymphedema Treatment Act now has four new cosponsors, bringing the total to 37: Hastings (R-WA4), Lobesack (D-IA2) Schakowsky (D-ILL9) Yoho (R-FL3).

Have you called/written your representative since the bill was introduced on January 15th?

Take 5 minutes of your time and contact your representative and ask that he/she cosponsor our bill HR 3877.

Specific goals of the Act are:

  • -to provide comprehensive lymphedema treatment coverage, according to current medical treatment standards;
  • to enable patient self-treatment plan adherence by providing necessary medical supplies for use at home, as prescribed for each patient (including gradient compression garments, bandages, and other compression devices); 
  • to reduce the total healthcare costs associated with this disease by decreasing the incidence of complications, co-morbidities and disabilities resulting from this medical condition.
Help support this important legislation! 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Recent Review About Our Hair Loss, Lymphedema & Mastectomy Team!

"Do not miss the opportunity to visit Ricky Knowles Hair and Wellness. Ricky, Kristen and their team have been instrumental in making my journey a little less difficult. Ricky literally searched the world over to find the perfect human hair wig for me, then custom fit, cut and colored it to perfection so not even my family could tell it wasn't my own hair!

I volunteer at MD Anderson and the staff actually thought I was one of the few who did not lose hair in treatment. When I started going without the wig they wondered why I cut my hair so short - ha ha.

I developed mild lymphedema post radiation and it was challenging fitting me with a sleeve because I have such skinny arms and the edema only presented mid forearm. Kristen came to my rescue and we have tried different manufacturers to come up with just the right fit. I go to pick up my new "psychedelic" sleeve today:)

Last, but certainly not least, is Alex - the insurance miracle worker guru. Ricky was not in my network, but Alex contacted my insurance company and found out what I needed to do. After I did my part he went to work and filed all the necessary paper work. After review Aetna not only approved them but paid for my custom wig!!

Ricky Knowles Hair and Wellness has helped countless people with hair loss and lymphedema. I hear such positive stories many times over from patients I meet in the Breast Center at MDA. They truly make a difference in our lives that benefit us everyday."


Thursday, May 1, 2014

How to Prevent and Manage Lymphedema

From the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Following radiation treatment or surgery to remove lymph nodes (lymphadenectomy), patients can develop lymphedema, a condition that involves abnormal swelling, usually in the arms or the legs, due to an accumulation of lymphatic fluids. This fluid buildup is caused by blockage or removal of lymph nodes or lymph vessels.

Lymphedema is often associated with breast cancer patients, but can result from treatment of other cancers, such as melanoma, prostate, or advanced gynecological cancer.

In addition to discomfort, lymphedema can also lead to infection, as the fluid buildup can increase bacteria growth. Pay attention to signs of infection, including pain, heat, swelling, rash blistering, redness, and fever. If you notice these symptoms, call your physician immediately.

Below are some ways to prevent infection and manage lymphedema symptoms that arise:

Infection prevention techniques:

*Be sure to keep your skin clean and moisturize daily.
*Exercise when possible. A physical therapist can help you determine what types of exercise your body can handle. 
*Avoid injury (cuts, sunburns, and insect bites) and wear gloves for gardening or cleaning.
*Avoid injections and blood pressure readings in the surgery site, or in the area that is affected by lymphedema.

Lymphedema management tips:

*Do not lift heavy objects with an arm affected by lymphedema and avoid continuous circular motions, like mixing.
*Elevate the limb above heart level as often as possible.
*Avoid extreme temperature changes when bathing or alternating between ice packs and heating pads.
*Avoid constriction. Wear loose clothing, do not wear tight jewelry or elastic bands around affected fingers or arms.
*Maintain ideal weight and a diet rich in protein and low in salt. 
Read more about how patients can keep a healthy diet.

If lymphedema is caused by infection, a doctor can prescribe antibiotics. If not, mechanical compression sleeves and stockings can prevent further accumulation of fluid in the affected limb. A trained therapist can also introduce manual lymphatic draining, if necessary.