Subscribe to RSS Feed

Have I got adult-onset acne – and do I need treatment?

Dec 2nd, 2017 by

It’s often not taken particularly seriously, but acne affects 20% of women and can cause scarring in a fifth of those. But there are effective ways of treating it

Want to know the difference between acne and spots? There isn’t one, according to Dr Anjali Mahto of the British Association of Dermatologists. How many spots you have is irrelevant – even a few can really bother people. Those afflicted can become anxious, avoid social events and even stop going to work. “The mistake people make is to think acne is a cosmetic condition,” says Mahto. So if you think you might have acne, you probably do.

Adult-onset acne starts at around the age of 23 but can occur at any age in people who have never had spots before. Mahto says it affects 20% of women compared with 8% of men. It is a condition largely caused by genetics and hormones and not, as myth would have it, through dirty skin and too many chips. Even after the menopause women can suffer from acne – the male hormone androgen, in excessive amounts, is linked to the condition, but women produce it too, and during the menopause oestrogen levels drop and so the proportion of androgen rises. This causes a build up of dead skin cells and increased oil production, clogging up the hair follicles. Bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes) move in and the skin erupts in pustules, nodules (bumps) and cysts. Nodules that are inflamed and push deeper into the skin can be painful for weeks and cause scarring.

Continue reading…

Continue Reading »
0 Comments

How architecture shapes our cities – and our lives

Dec 2nd, 2017 by

Communities which design their own buildings are more likely to be happy and healthy

“We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us,” said Winston Churchill. He was right; our surroundings can make us healthier and less likely to drop litter, enhance our beauty, decrease our perception of pain and enable us to solve puzzles more quickly.

But long before buildings, the elements of our natural habitats shaped us. According to Darwinian theory, all animals should be attracted to the sort of settings they excel in. For humans, this means habitats providing the right balance of information and refuge. We can’t swim, fly or smell very well, but we glide gracefully through seas and skies of information – our special super power. We follow the promise of new environmental information like a bloodhound tracks a scent.

Continue reading…

Continue Reading »
0 Comments

Fit in my 40s: ‘If you breathe properly, it will improve skin, sleep, digestion, mood’

Dec 2nd, 2017 by

First, you must concentrate…

Esther Nagle is teaching me to breathe by Skype. If you breathe properly, filling your lungs from the belly to the throat, it will improve everything: skin, sleep, digestion, even impending Christmas stress. First, you must concentrate. “It’s not meditation – that has a precise meaning. We call it quiet sitting.” Right. I should be able to sit quietly.

Related: Fit in my 40s: ‘I’d rather eat earth than meditate for 17 more seconds’

Continue reading…

Continue Reading »
0 Comments

‘It’s something between compulsion and comfort’: the quiet therapy of counting

Dec 2nd, 2017 by

Our pop culture expert still recalls the number of steps from her childhood bedroom to the bathroom. Now, though, she’s counting down to Christmas

There are, on average – depending on the briskness of the wind or the lethargy in my bones – 156 steps between my apartment building and my nearest laundromat. When the air is summer-thick, I take smaller steps and let my feet go slow. But now that it’s colder, I can make it in 150 easy, urgently looking to get back inside. (Side note: I can’t believe the number of people who live in the US, the land of fetishised convenience, without an in-house washing machine.)

I started counting things in childhood. I still remember how many steps it took to get to the bathroom from my bedroom: five (fewer in the middle of the night). I recall the number of rungs on my bunk bed in boarding school (three). I know there are 48 stairs from the ground floor to the fourth floor of my building, plus an extra six steps to my front door. I count when I walk to the shops, to the subway station, to the post office. Noting the exact number of steps between the lift and my desk (61, on average) is pointless, but I do it anyway. It’s something between compulsion and comfort. Counting is a form of quiet therapy; at the very least, a sort of breathing exercise. It’s Lamaze without a bump.

Continue reading…

Continue Reading »
0 Comments

Bike lanes don’t clog up our roads, they keep London moving

Dec 2nd, 2017 by

Protected cycle lanes are one of the best ways to reduce congestion in London, carrying up to five times as many people per hour as a main road, a new report shows

Congestion isn’t exactly the most fashionable political topic of our times, but it is a problem that threatens London’s status as a well-functioning, competitive global city. Businesses need to be able to make and receive reliable deliveries, Londoners need to be able to get to work on time, and tourists – almost 20 million of them a year in London – need to get around quickly and easily too.

As politicians wake up to the need to do more to increase Britain’s productivity, being smarter in how we set up our transport infrastructure is essential. Our streets will get more congested if we do nothing as London continues to grow – currently at the rate of an additional London borough every three years. If no further action is taken, GLA figures show that by 2041, three days would be lost per person every year due to congestion.

Continue reading…

Continue Reading »
0 Comments

How to get the most out of cycling in winter | Peter Walker

Dec 2nd, 2017 by

Cycling has its challenges as the nights draw in and the frosts arrive – but it can also be more rewarding and straightforward than one might think

The nights have well and truly drawn in, and for many Britons the frosts have arrived. Time to pack away the bike for a few months?

Don’t be tempted. Cycling, particularly bike commuting, can bring its challenges in winter. But it’s compellingly rewarding, and can be much more straightforward than many would think.

Continue reading…

Continue Reading »
0 Comments

New high-speed trains go slow on provision for cyclists

Dec 2nd, 2017 by

The new service by Great Western Railway has reduced bike space, a troublesome booking system and fails to meet the needs of disabled, elderly or less mobile cyclists

Great Western Railway’s (GWR) new high-speed Intercity Express trains made headlines last month with their gaffe-filled launch that saw new trains temporarily taken out of service after several on-board malfunctions, on a service that arrived 41 minutes late, with the transport secretary on board.

There could be more bad news down the line for those travelling with cycles, with the prospect that bike space on the new trains is reduced to zero at times, and those who have not booked a bike ticket told they won’t be able to board at all, whether there is free bike space or not.

Continue reading…

Continue Reading »
0 Comments

E-bikes: time to saddle up with low-cost energy and no sweat?

Dec 2nd, 2017 by

E-bikes are well-established in some EU countries, but how about the UK? Old-school cyclist Peter Kimpton tries a new model to see if he’d be tempted to swap

“E-bikes are fantastic. I use them all the time. You can take the kids up mountains. You can arrive in your good clothes at a meeting. It’s so easy.” Who said this?

Surprisingly, it was none other than Fabian Cancellara, perhaps the greatest ever road time-trial rider. He made similar remarks during a Q&A at the recent Rouleur Classic, an event for road bike and race purists, causing good-humoured outrage. But if even the great Cancellara can ride an e-bike, so will I.

Continue reading…

Continue Reading »
0 Comments

How was your weekend running?

Dec 2nd, 2017 by

Racing, pacing, mudlarking or recovering – as always, come and share your weekend stories below the line

Any race with a beer in the pre-race goody bag, and a bag of oranges presented as you cross the line, already has me in the palm of its hand. Add in sunshine, perfect temperatures for running, palm trees, wide, flat roads and you have an official contender for my favourite 10k ever. I’ve spent the weekend in Valencia, eating oranges, running that 10k and cheering on the marathoners on the same course (my race route was essentially the last 10k of the marathon). The start/finish area is one of the most picturesque I’ve ever seen, and I swear I have actually felt my Vitamin D levels rising in the Spanish November sun.

I confess I’ve been struggling recently with motivation – not so much with track or hill sessions. Broken into small reps, and too little breath or oxygen to the brain to really have any thoughts – negative or otherwise – I can always get those done. It’s more the so-called easy runs: I just haven’t found myself either looking forward to, or enjoying, one of those in ages.

Continue reading…

Continue Reading »
0 Comments

Why are cyclists one minority group the BBC feels it’s OK to demonise? | Peter Walker

Dec 2nd, 2017 by

The BBC’s usual standards of impartiality and respect too often fall short when it comes to cyclists, as one show this week – where a pundit labelled them fanatics and even compared them to Nazis – sadly demonstrates

The scene is a BBC talk show. The subject is a particular niche pursuit enjoyed by a very disparate group of people who otherwise have nothing in common. And things aren’t going well.

The presenter – a man known for actively disliking this group – has assembled a seemingly balanced two-person panel, but repeatedly interjects to make it clear he finds the people being discussed annoying and weird.

Continue reading…

Continue Reading »
0 Comments

Powered by WP Robot