What is Alopecia Areata?

For most people, getting bald is a process not everyone wants to go through, but there are a few unfortunate individuals who suffer hair loss for most of their life.

Who Can Get Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata is not as rare as most people think. It’s an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss in most parts of the body that affects millions of people worldwide. In Singapore, statistics show that a significant portion of men aged 80 years and above are affected by alopecia areata. Both men and women can be affected by this disease and the symptoms usually appear during childhood, although the severity differs among individuals. This type of polygenic disease is inherited from parents, but unlike single-gene illnesses, scientists believe that it can develop through contributions from both parents, although family history is not a guarantee that you will get alopecia areata. It’s impossible to tell if a person with alopecia areata will pass on the disease to his/her child because the researchers do not know yet what triggers the illness.

What are the Types of Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease, which means the person’s own immune system attacks the hair follicles on the body, that is why some people also lose their hair other than that on their heads. But this does not mean the person will not have hair for most of his/her life, because the hair follicles are still alive and can grow anytime. Depending on the site and the severity of the hair loss, alopecia areata can take on some forms, such as; alopecia totalis or the loss of hair on the scalp; alopecia areata patchy, or loss of hair on small patches on the body; and alopecia universalis or complete loss of hair on the head and body.

What are the Symptoms of Alopecia Areata?
When you notice some of these signs in your child, you should consult a doctor to get the right diagnosis and treatment options. Symptoms of alopecia areata may include patches of lost hair on the scalp and other parts of the body; hair growth and hair loss occur at the same time throughout the body; noticeable hair loss within a short period; and dents or pits on the fingernails.

What are the Treatments for Alopecia Areata?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for alopecia areata, although it does not mean that the person will be bald for life. The good thing about this disease though is that it does not cause any health problems. There are available treatments to promote hair growth even after more than 50% of the body hair has been lost. However, you need to talk to your doctor before deciding which treatment is best for you because they work differently for everyone.

Living with Hirsutism

Most women do not want to have thick hair on other parts of the body besides the scalp, but some unlucky individuals must live with a rare condition called hirsutism in which a lot of hair grow on places more common among men.

Can Hirsutism Be Cured?
If you have this condition, you will find coarse, dark hair on your chin, chest, stomach, back, and upper lip. The causes vary and is not often hereditary although it’s more common among families with a history of being hairy. There are studies that point its connection with the level of the androgen or male hormones in the body, that is why most women with hirsutism also suffer from acne and have a deep voice and small breasts. However, certain medical conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and adrenal glands tumors can also raise the level of male hormones in the body. It can also be triggered by medications such as danazol, anabolic steroids, and minoxidil.

Unfortunately, hirsutism cannot be cured, and the most that the patients can do is to reduce the facial hair or body hair by various means. Although the condition will not cause any serious medical problem, it can be an emotional burden to a woman who is pressured by society’s image of a nearly-hairless, smooth-skinned idea of beauty.

What Can I Do to Reduce the Hair?
Hirsutism can be treated with different combinations of approaches, such as oral contraceptives, antiandrogens, topical cream with eflornithine hydrochloride, and hair removal techniques. The last one can be stressful and time-consuming and almost always ineffective, especially if there are a lot unwanted hair. However, women can try other methods such as laser and electrolysis to reduce unwanted hair especially on the face, so that they don’t need to shave, wax or sugar anymore. Several sessions of laser therapy or electrolysis may be required to see the results, and must be maintained properly. The woman might also be required to lose weight or lower the insulin and cholesterol levels to reduce the level of androgens in the body.

Other symptoms of elevated male hormones like acne should be treated separately using oral contraceptives, antibiotic treatments, and topical therapy. In case of hair loss, ironic but not a rare occurrence among those with hirsutism, antiandrogen and androgen suppression is required along with topical treatment to stimulate growth of hair. More serious causes of hirsutism such as ovary tumor, pituitary gland tumor, or adrenal glands tumor will need a thorough testing before the problem can be solved. Most of the time the condition is also associated with diabetes, obesity, and menstrual problems. The last one is usually connected to PCOS, which if not managed, can lead to infertility, insulin resistance, and heavy periods.

Bad Habits that Weaken Your Immune System

The immune system is the body’s first line of defense against diseases, which is why those who are immuno-compromised are more susceptible to infections and illnesses than those who are healthy.

However, we are all guilty of a few practices that harm the immune system.

Eating Too Much
Eating regular meals is a must, however, some people tend to eat more servings than their bodies need. Not only will you weaken the body’s protection from infections, but you are also at risk for complications caused by excess weight. Eat only what you can burn and it will be easier to keep an ideal weight.

Lack of Sleep and Rest
A tired body will not be able to fight off diseases so easily, because not only do your hormones fluctuate, your body will also compensate by feeling hungry all the time. Regardless of your work hours, you should still make sure that you get at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Too Much Alcohol
Partying occasionally with friends is good for you, but not if you consume alcohol excessively. Studies have shown that alcohol destroys some of the antibodies as well as take you on a path to alcohol addiction. You’ll be more likely to suffer from diseases caused by alcoholism.

All Work and No Play
Your mental and emotional health also plays a role in your immune system. If you’re always stressed, then you’re more susceptible to diseases caused by elevated stress hormones, blood pressure, and heart rate.

Being Grumpy
Arguments with family members and co-workers will not just harm you emotionally, but your body will also have difficulty fighting diseases and recovering from illnesses.

Poor Hygiene
Even if some people claim you’ll get used to the dirt and germs in your home, you will still be prone to harmful organisms. Maybe it’s time to clean that mess under your bed or scrub the toilet to get rid of harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

Too Much Sunlight
Sunlight is also good for you, but not if you’re exposed to the intense heat between 11 A.M. to 4 P.M. The harmful UV rays can lead to immune suppression.

Being Dehydrated
Substituting other beverages for water is bad for your health overall. Water is not only supposed to help your organs function properly, but it will also flush out toxins. Put down that soda next time you feel thirsty.

Too Much or Too Little Exercise
Regular exercise will boost your immune system and make you healthier overall, but too much exercise can also lead to stress and physical strain. They key is moderation; get enough exercise and rest equally.

The 4 Best Board Game Cafes in Singapore

Bring back those nostalgic old-school memories and bring your friends to one of the board game cafes here in the city. Whether it’s a heated game of Monopoly or a heart-stopping game of Jenga, these cafes have got you covered. Alongside good friends or your family members, reminisce memories and create new ones over board games, drinks, and good food. Here are some of the best board games cafés here in Singapore.

1. The Mind Café
The Mind café was over 200 games to choose from, and imbibes a casual, laid-back atmosphere. This place is a perfect space for friends and families to meet. With such a large collection, chances are you’ll find something that can keep you occupied for hours, from classic games of Clue to obscure games that only the geekiest of your friends can know about. Prices are payed per person and starts at $2 per person on Sunday to Thursday, and $2.50 on Fridays, Saturdays, and public holiday. This is also a great place to bring children, as kids below seven can play for free.

2. Settler’s Café
For those who like switching between games, Settler’s Café has got you covered. As the very first board game café in Singapore, Settler Café houses over 600 games in their inviting space. Play the classic board games of your childhood with a fun game of Taboo, or choose one of the more recent games like Exploding Kittens. Settler’s Café offers gaming session promos like their Big Gulp Gaming Session for $8.90 for three hours. You can also avail of their reduced weekday for Monday to Thursday from four to seven pm for only $7.90.

3. Coffeemin
Coffeemin is more than just a café. it aims to be a home away from home, filled with comfortable chairs and a casual atmosphere. Coffeemin even allows you to bring your own food, and charges you depend on how long you stay. An hour will only set you back for $6, and you can pay $30 to stay for the whole day. Coffeemin is also a great space to host private events for your next meeting or party.

4. Battle Bunker
Considered to be the largest game location in Singapore, Battle Bunker has two different sections; one section is where they sell all their merchandise, like popular board games, trading cards and action figures, while the other section is where you can spend your time playing from one of the many games they have on hand. Because of its large size, Battle Bunker also hosts a lot of competitive gaming events and large-scale tournaments, and even the occasional team-building event. However, if there isn’t a game occurring, the space is also perfect for casual gaming sessions between friends and family members.

4 Types of Biometric Door Access System

Upgrading your security system by including biometric door access and CCTV can deter crimes and allow you to monitor employees, clients, and customers. But how do the different biometric door access system work and what are their differences?

Biometric means the measurement of a physical aspect or behavior as a type of identification system different from conventional methods of using passwords and identification numbers. What makes the biometric door access system different from the card and pin access system is that authorized personnel will not lose or forget their identification number and smart cards. The system can also complement the building’s CCTV camera and intercom system.

Facial Recognition
Facial biometric can work with the building’s existing CCTV camera, whether it’s analog or an IP camera, and intercom system for better security. A facial biometric will be able to identify a person by comparing and analyzing patterns in the facial features. The office camera scans the face and identifies the 80 nodal points, which are then used to produce measurements of the cheekbones, eye sockets, nose, jawline, and others. This data is then stored and will alter be used to scan faces using a security camera. What makes this type of biometric door access system better than biometric thumbprint is that the person dies not need to be close to the scanner for identification. The IP CCTV can scan faces in a crowd within a few seconds and identify unauthorized personnel. This can be done even without the people knowing they are being monitored on an IP camera in a Singapore office.

Fingerprint Recognition
Fingerprint recognition or biometric thumbprint takes an image of the fingerprint by recording and measuring the loops, arches, and whorls. The biometric thumbprint works on the idea that there are no two similar fingerprints among people. By recording the ridge, correlation, and minutiae, the biometric door access system creates a data unique to a specific person which can be in the form of an ID card with intercom hardware. This means that every time the person needs to be identified, an image sensor scans the fingerprint and compares it with the records for verification. Chances of errors is very few and the authorized personnel will not have to worry about forgetting or losing the identification. It is also difficult for impostors to bypass this type of security in Singapore.

Voice Recognition
Another type of biometric door access system that is difficult to bypass is voice recognition. This technology scans the speech patterns by recording the frequency, cadence, inflection, and nasal tone. There are two types of voice recognition technology available for commercial and industrial buildings such as the text-dependent method and the fixed text method. A scanner records the voices, analyzes the patterns, and then stores the result in the database. Like the other methods, authentication requires stepping up to a scanner so that the database can compare the results.

Iris Recognition
If you need higher security for your office in Singapore, iris recognition might be the best biometric method for you. A scanner analyzes the different regions of the eyes, specifically the pupils which have patterns unique to individuals, just like fingerprints. An iris scanner, however, might be too expensive an option. An alternative is the retina recognition method which analyzes the vein patterns in the back of the eyes.

Types of Painting Services for Your Apartment

If you’re looking for the best painter to perform painting services for your apartment in Singapore, remember the different types of painting contractor services for specific condo painting jobs.

Here are some of the options at HBD painting service to keep in mind.

Interior House Painting
Most painting services for condo painting projects involve the preparation of the home interior for renovation or redecoration. This means that the painting contractor should first inspect the house before providing you with a breakdown of the pricing and the materials that will be used. The best painter in Singapore should help you move the furniture or find a contractor to do it, before any prep work can begin. Prep work usually involves the removal of curtains, outlet covers, and switch plates. The painting crew can then repair the drywall before sanding, taping, back filling. Next, the painting contractor might use priming if necessary or review other flaws for another drywall repair before the finishing coat can be applied. The cleanup should also be a part of the painting process so that the furniture and other items can be moved back in.

Exterior House Painting
The process for exterior painting is slightly different from the interior condo painting. First, the ideal colours specialist in Singapore must remove the debris, dirt, and oxidation on the walls and clean out the vegetation. Next, some of the old paint is removed until the solid edge is revealed. Then, caulking of the seams, joints, and cracks can begin before the painter masks and covers any surrounding vegetation or item that cannot be removed from the walls. Finally, the application of the paint is done through various means such as bankrolling and spraying.

How do you look for a painting contractor in Singapore? Here are some questions you need to ask when looking for a painting services company such as www.idealcolours.sg.

• What types painting services do you offer?
• Do you have a list of these services and the prices? Will I pay for the materials, too?
• How do you screen your employees and do they have special training? Who is the best painter in the team?
• Will the job need only one of the best painter or a team of specialists? Are they full-time employees or subcontractors?
• What type of materials are used for the painting services?

• Will there be a person who will manage the project? Who will I contact if I have questions or concerns?
• Is there a safety training for your employees when using the materials and techniques?
• Do you have liability insurance in case my property is damaged?
• Do you have worker’s compensation in case there is an accident during the condo painting?
• Is there a warranty for the painting job? What does it cover and how long is the warranty?

Do not hesitate to ask for more details from employees at the HBD painting service, because they will be more than happy to assist you.

The Importance of Rekeying Your Home Door Locks

The door locks you have at home are essential part of your home’s security system. If you are unable to maintain and ensure the security of your locks provides, do not hope to keep unauthorized people from entering your home.

Property managers and security experts here in Singapore often advise to replace door locks regularly, especially when security has been breached or you once lost your keys. While you can take this route, you can also request your locksmith for the more convenient—and equally secured—option: rekeying.

What Is Rekeying?
Rekeying is the process of reconfiguring the mechanisms of existing locks in a home. While it can certainly be done on houses, it cannot guarantee to do the same on cars. Only your car manufacturer can reconfigure car locks to securely lock and unlock car door. For homes, rekeying is a more practical solution, since replacing all locks can be expensive and time-consuming due to the need to purchase and lock installation of new hardware.

How It Works?
Rekeying may sound complex, but really it’s a straightforward repair lock process. It is simply a form of repair lock that replaces the lock pins inside the cylinder and changes the configuration of the lock. Take note that once your lockmaster expert has rekeyed your locks, the old keys no longer works unlock door.

Advantages of Rekeying
Locksmith services will likely offer to rekey your door locks before considering the idea of totally replacing them, and there are many good reasons why, such as the following:

• It is cost-effective. Compared to total lock replacement, rekeying is much cheaper, since you won’t have to change old locks with new ones. While locks are inexpensive, it can get costly when dealing with a number of them, not to mention the cost associated with lock installation.
• It is faster. Since you don’t have to remove and replace locks, rekeying is faster to do than lock replacement.
• It is more secure. Rekeying allows you to limit the number of freshly cut keys produced by your 24 hour locksmith.
• It is more convenient. Believe it or not, you can carry just one key for all door locks of your home. You can ask your locksmith services provider in Singapore such as www.lockmaster.sg for this one. Having to carry just one key can make your daily routine much more convenient.

Methods to Rekey Your Locks
There are a few ways you can take to rekey your locks, which likely depends on factors like the number of locks, time and cost.

The easiest and safest method is to hire a professional 24 hour locksmith in Singapore. Certified locksmith services provider might be a little bit expensive, but you can guarantee secure results. You won’t have to worry that an intruder may easily unpick lock of your home. A professional locksmith can ensure that your new locks are unique and won’t be easily breached.

Another way is to DIY. But unless you have background in locksmithing, this is tricky to execute even if there are rekeying kits available in the market. You may be able to unpick lock of your closet or unlock car door with a hair pin, but it requires skills and proper training to reconfigure door locks.

5 Everyday Habits That Destroys Your Eyesight

Our vision is probably the most valuable sense we have. Without it, we wound not be able to do most of the things we do on a daily, like driving, reading, watching TV and more. However, it is also the sense that we usually forget needs extra TLC. A lot of our daily habits pose a threat to a healthy eyesight, but these five are the most common—and can be easily avoided.

1. Wearing Expired Eye Make-Up
Make-up products should be thrown away after a certain period of time, and eye make-up is one of those products that needs frequent replacement. Whether it is an eye shadow, eye liner or a tube of mascara, you need to replace it every after few months, regardless you have finished them or not. Most make-ups indicate at the back label how many months after opening a certain product should be replace, so make sure to follow.

2. Forgetting Your Sunglasses
Extensive exposure to UV rays can damage your retina and put you at serious risk for some major eye issues like cataracts. If you’re wearing contacts, choose a brand that also provides UV protection to add an extra layer of defense in addition to your sunglasses. So, take the little extra effort to grab your sunnies every time you head outside.

3. Spending Long Hours In Front of the Computer
This one may be unavoidable, especially if your work requires you to be in front of the computer eight hours a day. If you really can’t avoid it, know that there are ways to minimize the effects. Keep your screen at least 15 percent below eye level and reduce the screen’s brightness as much as possible.

4. Wearing Contacts In the Shower
Not just in the shower, but also in the pool and the beach, as any form of water contains bacteria that can get in contact with your lenses. In severe cases, you may even get acanthamoeba into your eye. Although rare, this microorganism, which thrives in the soil and fresh water, can cause serious eye infection that may lead to blindness or permanent damage to the eye.

5. Rubbing Your Eyes
You probably won’t go blind for rubbing your eyes, but if you are a regular rubber, know that it can cause jeopardize the health of your vision. Chronically rubbing or wiping your eyes will increase your chances of developing keratoconus—a condition when the cornea becomes pointy and thin causing a distorted vision. The best you can do? Just keep your hands off your eyes, and wash your eyes with water to flush out dust and irritants.

You only get to have a pair of eyes during your entire lifetime, so make sure to take extra care of it by avoiding these five everyday habits that are unhealthy for your eyesight.