Safe “spa” tips

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I agree with , you can’t be too careful about  safeguarding your health even at – or maybe especially at – a spa.

Dr. Papantoniou is an expert who specialises in Injectables, Lasers, Body Contouring, Surgical and Medical Dermatology.  She is also clinical instructor at Mount Sinai Health Center in New York City with locations on Long Island and Queens.

Dr. Papantoniou is also a woman. She recounts, “I recently was in a large shopping mall, and was quickly approached by a kiosk worker who started to buff my fingernail before I could say yes or no to his administration. After I walked away, I was preoccupied with the thought that the very same nail file had been used on countless other people, and I could potentially develop a wart on that finger now!”

According to Dr. Papantoniou, “Sometimes the more you know the worse off you are. However, this is just an example of how you can Dr kally Ppick up a skin virus or infection without even knowing, and may not present for weeks. A similar incident occurred during a massage when the masseuse began to use a cactus bristle brush against my skin as part of her routine.  The entire time I was concerned about the reuse of the tool, and was too polite to request that she not use it”.

Dr. Kally Papantoniou  image on the right

“I have many patients that have acquired warts from nail salons, the gym, and even from facials or waxing. Young women who come see me to treat tiny warts disseminated over the face or body commonly have a history of frequenting a spa or salons. When you are using instruments on patients and not properly sterilizing them, it can lead to the transmission of diseases. While these skin conditions aren’t life threatening in the cases I have presented, they are often difficult to treat and unpleasant”, Dr. Papantoniou concluded.


I couldn’t agree more about with her concerns. I always place a small clean towel on my own yoga mat to protect my face from any virus or bacteria my feet might have transfer to the mat. I will also be using also of her tips anytime I visit a spa.

Here are Dr. Pap Antoniou’s 5 Tips for A Safe Spa Experience

Seek out a salon or spa that uses a heat autoclave to sterilise their instruments.

You can ask directly if the instruments are autoclaved and they should be able to answer this question. Establishments that use autoclaves will often have their instruments in sealed bags. Other spas or salons will use an alcohol-based solution to clean their instruments, this can be helpful, but is inferior to heat autoclaving. Autoclaving entails placing instruments inside a machine utilising intense pressure and high heat to destroy all organisms on tools. It is the gold standard for sterilising even medical and surgical instruments.

Don’t soak your feet in the foot-bath in the nail salon.

Unless a disposable liner is being used for each customer, I cannot think of a dirtier place to soak your feet. As appealing as a nice warm soak might sound, I have seen some terrible infections that were picked up at nail salons. One such customer had suffered an amputation of one of her toes due to a salon-acquired infection. The issue is that you never know who is going to pick up an infection. The vast majority of people who have these services have no such serious complication, but very commonly will develop a wart or athletes foot.

Bring your own nail filers/emery boards, and/or other nail tools if you desire.

When in doubt, you cannot go wrong by being prepared and bringing in your own supplies. You may get a few looks by other customers, and cause the employees to talk a little, but is it worth it to have fewer worries about your health? Absolutely! It is not uncommon for many salon goers these days to come prepared with their own equipment.

Do not permit the use of any reusable instruments that are not sterilised.

For example: getting a massage and being scrubbed with a brush that is used on other customers. Do not be shy, and don’t let anyone use something that has not been properly sterilised. A nice way of avoiding this awkward moment is to actually be up front and direct with your question before having a service.

Seek care quickly!

If you do pick up what appears to be a wart, nail fungus, or another skin infection, do not delay seeking dermatological care. The earlier you start treatment, the easier it is to fully resolve. There are many treatment options available and your dermatologist can advise which one will work best. In addition, holding off treatment can result in the development of more warts and spreading warts or fungus to your loved ones at home.

Twitter @drpderm



Manners can make or break a new relationship

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How you behave on a dinner date can make or break a budding relationship — according to many surveys. International Etiquette Expert Sharon Schweitzer, founder and CEO of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide, offers these tips to help men and women date and dine to win and woo.  Most of these tips are also good to remember when dining with friends.


Most people won’t date anyone who is rude to a server.


Dining out tips for polished manners:


Soup: Differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack – remember the proverb, “Just like ships that sail out to sea, I spoon my soup away from me.”


Invitations: The person extending the invitation is the host and is responsible for payment of the bill. When extending invitations; inquire about special dietary requests such as food allergies or kosher, halal, gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free diets. Book a restaurant that accommodates these needs. Guests don’t split the bill.


DolceDolce tip: When dining with friends is clear about invitations and then spilt bills fairly and neatly. Don’t over-charge anyone but don’t be nit-picky – and never forget the tip. And if a woman invites a man she can also arrange to pay the bill.


No table additions: Keep your smart phone, wallet, keys and glasses off the table.


Pre-arrange payment: If you want to be a sophisticated host, arrive early and provide a credit card, or call the restaurant ahead of time to pre-arrange payment. Your date will appreciate that everything is handled seamlessly.


Napkin knowledge: As the host, place your napkin in your lap first. If you must leave the table between courses the napkin is placed on the chair seat soiled side down. At meal’s end, place your loosely folded napkin on the left of your plate. Don’t refold it.


Please take my guest’s order first: Polite comments to the server such as ‘Please bring my guest…’ or ‘my guest will order first, please,’ let the server know that you are the host.


Sommelier: For a pleasing pairing, tell the sommelier what you like and the entrées you and your date ordered. You can provide an idea of your price range by pointing out 2-3 wines in your price range. The sommelier will stay within those ranges. Don’t say how much you want to spend.


Avoid a catastrophe: Alert the server to allergies and sensitivities such as eggs, gluten, salt, sugar, and spice. If the server lists 4 types of dairy as part of a secret specialty sauce and doesn’t mention eggs, protect you. Say: “I’d like the house specialty, but I can’t stand eggs. You didn’t mention eggs, but I know sometimes there are hidden gems.”


DolceDolce tip: If allergies are serious, I suggest calling ahead to make sure the restaurant can handle your requests.


How many courses? Order the same number of courses as your date. This avoids awkwardness and allows you to pace yourself with your date or companion.


Pacing the meal: Make sure to take your time eating and pause after every few bites. You don’t want your date or dining companion to feel rushed during the meal.

Sending food back: If you must send your food back because it is not cooked to your liking, it’s your responsibility to insist that your date or companion start eating.


Silent service signals: If you are resting between bites, place your fork, with tines up, near the top of your plate. To signal the server that you’re finished, place your fork and knife across the center of the plate at the 5 o’clock position.


Silverware savvy: Once silverware is used (including handles), it must not touch the table again. Rest forks, knives, and spoons on the side of your plate. Unused silverware stays on the table.


Refreshing beverages: Don’t pour yourself a drink first. If there is a carafe of water or beverages on the table, always pour for your date or companion.


Sharing food: Depending on how well you know your date, you may unobtrusively pass a bread plate for a sample before a first bite.


Eating difficult foods: Boiled lobster? Artichokes? Avoid panic attacks by planning what you’ll order ahead of time. Read the online menu, call the restaurant about daily specials and do your research beforehand.


New serving trend: Traditionally, professional wait staff have served food from the left and removed food from the right. Beverages are poured and removed from the right. Be aware of a new trend of serving from the right and removing from the right.


Nonverbal cues: Oh server? A closed menu indicates you are ready to order. If you or your date are browsing an open menu, the server has the impression you aren’t ready. Catch the eye of the server if you need assistance, or slightly raise your index finger pointing up. If she is busy, softly call their name or “server”?


Conversation: As the host, it’s your job to keep conversation going during the meal. Don’t hog the conversation—ask your date questions, light topics include books, travel, vacation, movies, pets; avoid politics or religion.


Fete accompli: When you place your loosely folded napkin on the left side of your place setting, dinner plate, dessert, or coffee, the dinner is concluded.


Tipping: Always leave a tip at restaurants: bartender: 10-15% of bar bill, valet: $2.00- 5.00, coat check: $1.00 per coat, server: 15- of the bill before coup



Less stress in the New Year

Firouze Zeroual and Michele PeriquetDouble click the topmost title to open

Stress is part of life but too much stress can be deadly. Health coaches Firouze Zeroual and Michele Periquet

have easy tips to help reduce stress.

To reduce stress they suggest:

Top up your Zinc Levels

Zinc is known as a sedative for its calming, anti-inflammatory effect on the body.

It protects against oxidative stress and is necessary for DNA repair.

Zinc rich foods include: chicken, turkey, grass-fed beef and lamb, free-range eggs,

sunflower and pumpkin seeds, unpasteurized dairy and sea vegetables such as kelp & dulse.


Try foot reflexology

Foot reflexology is an excellent way to relax the mind and body and it is easy to do at home.


It calms the nerves and helps restore the natural energy flow in the acupuncture meridians of the body.

Rub both feet with your hands, for at least five to ten minutes each.


Rub all the toes, the top of the foot, the heel, ankle — and your calves for a few minute also.

( tip: You can use lotion if you like or do this in the bath.) Pay more attention to any tender or painful area. 



Avoid stimulants before bed, keep your bedroom dark and free from electronics, and be consistent; try going to bed and waking up at the same time daily. Our bodies function best on a regular schedule.



Try meditation as a way of relieving stress, calming your mind and encouraging a sense of tranquility.




Beat “single” holiday blues

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If being single over the holidays has you feeling blue then

, you need some help from Marni Battista,


How to Effortlessly Have Men Pursue You,

Treat You like a Goddess & Commit to You for Life,

90-Minute Books.


Thousands of smart, successful women have used Marni’s Supermen System to attract their relationship-ready quality men.

If you are single and would like to change your dating style to attract relationship-ready, quality men then take Marni’s challenge.

Take the 20 Interaction Challenge

Get out of your head and out of that place of focusing on who you’re going to kiss under the mistletoe. Move into a place of interaction and eye contact with people — not just with men you want to date, but with everyone — to practice getting out of your comfort zone and meeting people.

At the coffee shop, ask a guy if he prefers the mocha mint Frappuccino or the pumpkin spice latte.

In the grocery store, ask if he’s ever cooked a turkey or has a secret method. Always make eye contact and smile.

 If you do this 20 times, you’ll start to get your feminine juju going, and soon it will come naturally to you.



Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sex y.

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Many women dread having to bare their arms,

but they don’t want to give up wearing sleek, sexy sheaths,

especially for the holidays.  Arms are tough to tone

but celebrity trainer JJ Virgin has answers.


JJ has spent 25 years working in health and fitness. 

 She is the author of Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sex y.

 We are bringing back her tips because they work! 

Start right now you have time to get your arms ready to wave hello to the New Year!



Here are JJ’s no-nonsense tips:


Build muscle on your plate with protein, good fats, and fiber. Unhealthy eating will derail even the best workout regimens.


High fiber carbs and non-starchy veggies slow down digestion and tell your brain you’re full. You will eat less and burn more fat.


Ditch the bread for a protein appetizer.


Get to bed! Lack of sleep ups stress hormones and hunger, decreasing insulin sensitivity. In short, it makes you fat and cranky.


Eating soluble fibers and increasing exercise is a sure-fire combo to burn belly fat.


Never skip breakfast. It sets your metabolic tone for the day and triggers fat burning.



Grill outside, all winter

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Some of the best  cooks cook grill outside all year round – even in very cold places.  It seems they know what they are doing! “The trend of year-round grilling is taking off due to the rise and accessibility of outdoor kitchens,” according to Jim Ginocchi, President of Coyote Outdoor Living.


Jim also said, “We have seen a strong, continuous growth in popularity the Sun Belt states and warmer U.S. regions, and there has a significant increase in the Mid- and North-Atlantic as well.”


A few simple tips can help you to  getting cold-weather grilling right.


Here are Jim Ginocchi’s  to get your grill on with a chill on:


 First, get a good gas grill on a cart to reduce prep time and bring it closer to the house.


Allow additional time for your grill to heat up. It might take a bit longer than usual.


Prep the dishes indoor as much as possible. Do they need to be on a tray, a skewer, or marinated? Be ready before you step outside.


Keep the lid on as much as possible to keep heat consistent and use a timer to reduce the heat loss caused by opening the hood too often.


Flossing is still a must!

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You may have recently read or heard about two recent reports that said flossing your teeth might not be necessary and could even do more harm than good, but before you stop you should listen to what Dr. Susan Maples has to say about it She has been named one of the top eight innovators in U.S. dentistry, and she wants you know flossing is a good idea.


The author of, Blabber Mouth! 77 Secrets Only Your Mouth Can Tell You To Live a Healthier, Happier, Sexier Life, Dr. Maples worries about the impact of these types of reports.


“Gum disease is among the leading causes of inflammation in the body. Given the links between inflammation and serious systemic diseases, flossing may be one of the best things you can do not just for your oral health, but for your overall health, too,” Dr. Maples says.


“Unfortunately, the majority of people still think brushing is required and flossing is optional. And because of studies like these, that is only going to reinforce that thinking,” she adds. “Flossing is mandatory and is by far the best way to remove attached plaque on the sides of the teeth.”



Tips for better flossing from Dr. Maples:


The type of floss you use doesn’t matter:

They all do a good job. Pick your favorite: nylon, Teflon, woven, waxed, or unwaxed, flavored or non-flavored. Any floss is good floss as long as you use it at least once a day.


Use good technique:

Good technique requires forming a “C” shape with the floss around every tooth and rubbing it up and down. Make sure to reach the surface below the gum line. If you have difficulty flossing because of deep gum pockets, braces, bridges or implants, water jets will suck unattached bacteria right from your mouth and reduce the bacterial load and the inflammation it can cause.


Be careful with mouth rinses:

In fact, some that contain “antimicrobial” bacteria-killing additives that reduce gingivitis or plaque – or so they say – are dissolved in alcohol (27 percent ethanol) and long-term swishing of alcohol may increase your chances of oral cancer. Again, flossing is always the best bet.


DolceDolce tip:

See your dentist as recommended, usually at least twice a year, and be sure to follow their advice. Regular preventative dental is a good investment.


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