Nothing defines the holiday season more than dressing up in festive cocktail dresses with our favorite strappy stilettos.  Dr. Liza Egbogah BSc, DC, DOMP, a leading body and posture expert based in Toronto, cautions women to take care of their feet while wearing high heels.  Heels alter the position of the body placing more weight on the balls of the feet, thereby shortening the calf muscles, over stretching the ligaments to the front of the knee, tightening the hip flexor muscles, and placing more pressure on the lower back.  “Consistently wearing high heels can lead to the formation of bunions, ankle sprains, knee injuries, hip and lower back pain,” she shares.  Here Dr. Egbogah offers seven ways to keep you happy in your heels.

  • Soak the feet in Epsom salt:Epsom salt can help relieve muscle tension and joint stiffness that can be caused by wearing high heels,” said Dr. Egbogah. “By improving circulation, they can also reduce inflammation in aching feet.” She recommends a soak in a combination of warm water, Epsom salts, and peppermint or lavender essential oils for 20 minutes.
  • Choose high heels with a chunkier heel: These types of high heels are safer than stilettos because you’re more stable and don’t need to overuse your muscles to create stability.
  • Place cushioning or orthotics inside your shoes: This helps to distribute your weight more evenly.
  • Buy shoes made of natural materials: Natural materials, like leather, conform to your foot and stretch throughout the day in response to the changing size of your feet. It also allows your feet to breathe.
  • Choose a shoe with a rubber grip: A sole with a rubber grip prevents you from slipping while you walk in the heels.
  • Limit your heel height: Ideally, women should wear a heel height of three inches or less, or a 4-inch heel with a 1-inch platform. Platforms reduce the pitch of the shoe so less pressure is placed on the balls of your feet.
  • Be conscious of your posture: Center your weight in your arches while walking, and rest your weight in the heel while standing to help prevent injury.

SEVEN WAYS TO STAY HAPPY IN YOUR HEELS!


Most of us do not think about the water we use or drink on a daily basis.  Often we turn on the tap, wash our faces, hands, and hair a never question the effects it may have on our skin.  Hard water has a high mineral content from calcium and magnesium which have accumulated when water percolates through deposits of limestone and chalk.  According to the Water Research Center, “it interferes with almost every cleaning task from laundering and dishwashing to bathing and personal grooming.”

London Oculoplastic Surgeon and Aesthetic Doctor, Maryam Zamani, shares, “Hard water makes it more difficult for cleansers and other soaps to work effectively, reducing your ability to​ rinse product and makeup ​off your skin.” By using even more product, it creates a soapy build-up which, in turn, irritate​​s skin and clogs the pores.  Additionally, using excess amounts of soap to wash the skin can exacerbate sensitivity, often resulting in acne, dryness, and even eczema.  Finally, tap water can affect the pH of the skin.  “Our skin is slightly acidic and acts as a barrier,” Dr. Zamani explains.  “If this pH is disrupted, it can cause a flare up.”  Because hard water tends to be more alkaline, it makes it harder for the skin to retain moisture and causes a dry, tight sensation.

Dr. Zamani suggests several ways to counteract hard water:
  • Use a water softener or a water filter, which will filter out heavy metals.  Water softener treatments remove certain materials from hard water by using lime softening or ion-exchange resins, making the water softer and more compatible with soaps.
  • Use a slightly acidic cleanser to combat alkalinity in hard water.
  • Try a “no-rinse” cleanser.
  • Use cleansers which do not include sulfates.
  • Eat a diet high in antioxidants to help counteract any potential issues.
  • Avoid substituting tap water with a micellar water or thermal water spray which, contrary to belief, many not make a significant difference.

IS HARD WATER HURTING YOUR SKIN?


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A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows an increased risk of breast cancer among those using hormonal contraception (from an IUD or birth control pill).  Funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation of Denmark, 1.8 million women, ages 15-49, were followed on average for 10.9 years.  Within the study, 11,517 cases of breast cancer occurred.  This translates to approximately thirteen additional cases for every 100,000 women using hormonal contraception (based on 68 cases found among those using the form of birth control versus 55 cases from non-users) on an annual basis.

While it was previously believed that more contemporary forms of hormonal birth control (with lower doses of estrogin) were less dangerous than previous generations, this study debunked the myth.  It also showed evidence that progestin-driven devices (specifically the IUD) had an even higher rate of breast cancer occurrence than traditional birth control pills (which combine estrogen with progestin).  Speaking with The New York Times, Dr. Marisa Weiss, a well-respected oncologist not involved with the study, shared, “This is an important study because we had no idea how the modern day pills compared to the old-fashioned pills in terms of breast cancer risk, and we didn’t know anything about I.U.D.’s,” adding, “Gynecologists just assumed that a lower dose of hormone meant a lower risk of cancer. But the same elevated risk is there.”

HORMONAL CONTRACEPTION TIED TO INCREASED CANCER RISK