What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

According to the Psoriasis Association of Singapore, at least 40,000 people are affected by the disease in the country. While most cases of psoriasis take on the form of chronic plaque psoriasis, there is one type of the disease that affect the joints in the ankles, knees, and fingers.

Causes and Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of chronic inflammatory arthritis and occurs mostly in people with psoriasis which also affects the large joints in the distal joints (joints closest to the nail) of the toes and fingers, lower extremities, the back, and the sacroiliac joints in the pelvis.

According to studies, nearly 30% of patients with skin psoriasis are likely to develop psoriatic arthritis, and 85% of these have symptoms of arthritis can appear before the skin disease manifests. The symptoms will vary among the affected persons and will typically manifest between 30 to 50 years of age. There are children, however, who also develop this condition and are even at risk of having an inflamed middle eye layer called uveitis.

The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include the following: tenderness, swelling, and pain on the tendons; pain, throbbing, and stiffness in the joints; fatigue; reduced motion; morning stiffness; nail problems; and pain and redness in the eyes.

Treatments for Psoriatic Arthritis
Treatment must be given immediately if the symptoms show, because it can result to permanent damage in the joints. To determine whether you have psoriatic arthritis, a number of tests such as physical examination, MRI, X-ray, and blood tests are done. The symptoms, however, mimic those of other types of arthritic diseases and must be ruled out before any treatment can be recommended. Once the doctor has made sure that you have psoriatic arthritis, he/she will then have to examine how many joints are affected and the severity of the condition assessed.

Symmetric psoriatic arthritis targets joints found on both sides of your body, while asymmetric affects only one side of the body. Oligoarticular is the term for mild psoriatic arthritis and usually affects less than four joints, while spondylitis affects the spinal column. Enthesitis affects the entheses or the part where the tendons and ligaments are connected to your bones, while dactylitis is the inflammation of the toe or finger and distal psoriatic arthritis stiffens the ends of the toes and fingers and changes the nails.

The symptoms are treated with NSAIDs, DMARDs, and steroid injections for inflammation. Biologic types are also infused or injected, while anti-rheumatic drugs are recommended for cases that don’t respond to the usual medication. For the skin, you will be prescribed tar-based ointments, steroid-based creams, retinoid tablets, and light therapies. If there is a need for a repair to a damaged tendon, you might also need surgery.

The Best of VR Gaming So Far

Virtual reality has opened new possibilities in gaming even if not all gamers welcome this new technology. Even with just a handful of titles available for now, VR gaming has shown that it has a bright future ahead.

Here are some of the games you should try.

The Lab
If you’re a fan of the Portal series, The Lab might interest you with its eight different games, namely; Slingshot, Longbow, Xortex, Postcards, Human Medical Scan, Solar System, Robot Repair, and Secret Shop.

The Climb
The objective of The Climb is quite simple: reach the top of each stage by climbing the stone walls. Who needs to go out mountain climbing when you have this, right?

Robinson: The Journey
In this game, a character named Robin is trapped in a planet populated by dinosaurs. The objective is for the player to help him escape with the aid of an artificial intelligence that came with the ship.

Wayward Sky
Bess is attempting to rescue his father who landed on a fortress and was later kidnapped. The game features puzzles that the player must solve in order to move the story forward.

Play an arcade game in virtual reality with Chronos, a world ruled by the Seven Lords who are the fathers of the seven different races.

Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives
If your job is boring, try virtual simulations of real-life jobs on your spare time. Now that’s dedication to becoming better in your craft.

Elite: Dangerous
This game will allow you to pilot a spaceship by picking from one of the three factions, but if that’s not impressive, try driving through the realistic scaled version of the Milky Way.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
The title of the game pretty much sums up its objective; you will listen to vocal instructions while disarming different types of bombs. For this game, therefore, you will need another player who will provide the instructions for manual defusal, while the other will defuse it.

Rick and Morty Simulator: Virtual Rick-ality
This game might seem familiar because it’s based on the animated series Rick and Morty. In the game, Rick clones his grandson Morty so that someone can do the laundry for him.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
The title is the 11th installment of the series and follows Ethan Winters’s search for his wife in a plantation. The game is played in first-person view and can be played in PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

Eagle Flight
In this post-apocalyptic world, you are an eagle that is trying to survive by defeating rival animals and building nests in different locations. VR games are made for this kind of experience.

Everest VR
Although it’s not the perfect substitute for climbing the highest peak in the world, Everest VR can at least give you that once-in-a-lifetime experience without the risk of freezing to death.

5 homemade chips for healthy snacking

Who ever said chips are unhealthy? Coach potatoes can now redeem their sedentary lifestyle. Here are few suggestions to give in to those guilty pleasures we just can’t seem to get enough of. But this time, let’s side on the healthier corner by preparing a bunch of homemade chips that’s not only good for our palates but also for our bodies.

1. Taro chips
For this one you will need peeled taro, kosher salt and olive oil. Slice the taro lengthwise through using a mandolin. To do this, set it to the lowest, either 1 or 2. This step should be done carefully. Prepare baking sheets then place the slices neatly. Using olive oil, brush each slice lightly. Bake under 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes until crispy.

2. Baked chili cheese fritos
For those looking for flavor in their chips, this will surely satisfy your craving. For this one you will need corn tortillas, olive or canola oil, salt, chili powder, nutritional yeast, cumin, onion powder and garlic powder. While preparing, preheat oven to 380 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, add all spices and toss until mixed, then set aside. Cut the tortillas into equal strips. Place tortillas into the baking sheet and coat with canola or olive oil. For 12-15 minutes, bake tortillas until golden brown or crispy. After that, immediately add tortilla chips to the mix prepared earlier and coat well. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with chili, soup or dips.

3. Root Veggie Chips with Sea Salt
For this one you will need peeled sweet potatoes, blue potatoes, beets, parsnips, carrots, rutabagas, celery root and fine sea salt. Boil a large pot of salted water. Add the vegetable slices mentioned earlier and cook for about thirty seconds. Drain the water and rinse with cold water. Repeat for about two to three times. Using paper towels, gently dry the vegetable slices. Season vegetables slices by placing them in a bowl and coat well. Prepare them in a mesh-lined dehydrator tray. Dehydrate chips for about 8 to 10 hours at 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Shift trays accordingly to dry them evenly.

4. Peppered Kale Chips
For this one you will need fresh kale, olive oil, coarse ground black pepper and salt. While preparing other ingredients, preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare baking sheets with lines of parchment paper then set aside. Prepare the kale by removing and discarding thick stems. Rip the leaves into small sizes or bit-size ones. Rinse the leaves and dry with paper towels. Combine the kale, oil, salt and black pepper in a large bowl. Massage and thoroughly coat. Prepare the baking sheets and line them neatly. Bake for about twenty minutes, stir if necessary or until crispy.

How to Keep Your Bags in Mint Condition

What girl wouldn’t splurge on a handbag or two every month? Or even more?

Girls everywhere are suckers for handbags, slings, backpacks or shoulder bags, just so they could switch from one bag to another almost every day. Matching outfits or moods, bags are indeed every girl’s best friend. Efficient and stylish top our priorities in finding our next purchase.

But as our appetite for more handbags increases, our storage techniques must also keep up. We must be very diligent in storing them properly so as to keep them longer. We get the most of our purchase and more importantly keep our options for handbags in good numbers.

Here are a few tips to help you maintain your handbags’ newly-purchased glint:

1. Keep your hands clean. When handling your bags, make sure your hands are clean. Some stains stick on some materials used in our bags. Also, if your hands are damp or wet, the color might run or cause stain on your bags. Make sure your hands are clean and dry when choosing your next companion.

2. Wrap up. Bags can also bear accessories and can therefore get tangled up with other bags when stored. So to keep those crystals and other beads, make sure to wrap those pieces with a bit of tissue paper before stowing them away.

3. Clean regularly. No matter what material your bag may be made of, it’s always a must to keep them clean. Grab a soft washcloth and wipe your bag on a weekly basis to keep them from insects or dust that may destroy the material.

4. Suede to suede. For bags with suede material, clean it with a suede brush to revive it. They code is simple: like to like.

5. Chill on the use. When using your bags, make sure not to overstuff them as this can distort the bag’s shape. Also, keep cosmetics, pens and other materials which may stain the lining in pouches so as to minimize chances of ruining your bag’s interior. If possible, avoid putting your bag on the floor when you’re out. And watch out for those corners as they are the first signs of a bag’s age.

6. Switch regularly. Since you already have options of bags, make sure to switch from one bag to another regularly. This isn’t to show off your collection, but more importantly, you get to preserve to tip-top condition of your bags. They don’t wear out easily if you don’t use them as a default bag every day.

7. Store bags out of direct sunlight. When you keep your handbags, whether in racks or any other storage you prefer, make sure to place them out of direct sunlight. Leather handbags shrink with long exposures under direct sunlight. Other materials used in handbags also fade if under prolonged exposure. They also get worn out quickly.

8. Moisturize leather. For bags made of leather, use leather moisturizers to keep the material free of cracks and keep its elastic touch.

5 Tips to Take Better, More Interesting Pictures

Singapore is brimming with photographic potential – but that potential is only available to you if you know how to look. Here are five tips that you can use to take better pictures:

1. Study the light closely.
Where is your light source coming from? Is it from the sun or from an artificial light source, like a lamp?
How does the light interact with the foreground and background? With the subject? What kind of shadow is cast? If the light makes harsh shadows on your subjects, break out the flash to make an even exposure.

What time of day are you shooting? If you’re shooting at midday, you might want to set a lower ISO on your camera to keep the quality, and a higher ISO if you’re shooting at night or in a dimly-lit place.

2. Get friendly with your subjects.
When you’re taking portraits of people (especially in street photography), be sure to ask for permission first out of respect to the person that you want to use as a subject, as things can – and often do – get ugly for you if you don’t.

It doesn’t hurt to smile or shake hands and show them the image once you’ve taken it, and a well-timed joke will always give you a more natural smile. You’ll be amazed at how easily people will open up to you if you do this.

3. Break the rule of thirds.
Though the rule of thirds serves as a great guide for taking more engaging photos, you don’t have to be limited by keeping your subjects to the side of the grid. For example, you can focus your subject on the center, if you happen to set your eyes on something astonishingly symmetrical.

4. Splurge on books instead of gear.
While having more specialized equipment can let you take better shots, they’re only good if you know how to use them well. Many stunning images have been taken with nothing more than a smartphone – all it takes is a good eye, and good eyes are honed with time and practice.

Instead of having different kinds of lenses, spend your budget on different photography books – studying the works of masters is a good way to inspire you and develop your eye for a good shot.

5. Shoot every day.
There’s no better way to improve your skill than by practicing, and what better practice is there than to just go out into the world to experiment and have fun? After going about taking pictures, be sure to study the images that you took to see how you could improve in certain areas.

The Different Types of Women’s Footwear and What They’re for

Footwear is a staple to looking your best anywhere you go and whatever you do. Whether they’re heels or stilettos to gym sneakers, a good pair that goes well with your outfit will be sure to make you an eye-turner.

But before you go ahead and head to the nearest store, you should know exactly what kind of pair you should put on your feet. But with so many different types of shoes for women, how do you know where to start?

Well, you’re in luck. Women’s shoes often fall into three categories: heels, wedges, and flats. Here are some of the different types in each category:

• Kitten Pumps – This is the quintessential go-to pair, whether it’s for work, any formal event, or even a casual party, when you can do without the extra height but need to move around for a while.

• High Heels – Also known as “pumps”, they’re usually wider than kitten pumps and are between two and three inches in height. They’re also low cut around the front.

• Stilettos – Think of high heels, but a little higher (about eight inches) and flat-bottomed in front. Now you have a pair of heels that work wonders for enhancing your height.

• Ballroom Dance Shoes – Originally designed for ballroom dancing (duh!), they’re a must-have if you have plans on wowing fellow guests by showing off your moves.

• Wedged Heels – Wedged heels offer you the same height advantages of heels without the discomfort. Simply pair with a sleek, sexy black top along with a high-waist skirt and a ponytail, and you can basically see the flashes and paparazzi coming your way.

• Wedged Sandals – They’re basically wedged heels, but they’re a more open-toed option if you like to go along with a little tease for your outfit.

• Menswear-Inspired Flats – Whether they’re Oxfords, loafers, or bluchers, they all offer the same degree of polish as their male counterparts (without the arches, of course!).

• D’orsay Flats – Polished enough to pass as office wear without sacrificing the comfort, they’re great to wear for when you know you’re in for a long commute.

• Sneakers – Nothing says casual, everyday wear more than the ultimate comfort footwear that is sneakers. Whether you’re headed to the gym or simply out for a quick run to the grocery store, a good trusty pair is a must-have to keep around in your closet.

• Ballet Flats – Also called “doll shoes” in some countries, they’re quick and easy to slip on and go great with most casual outfits, especially jeans.

5 Tips for Long-Term Trips with Kids

Ever thought of renting a family home somewhere and just explore the world for months? It’s a vacation that plenty of families would love to get on, but just the thought of planning such as major trip is already daunting—especially when it requires so much of your energy just to prepare the kids and get them out of the door.
However, if you’re determined to take your entire family to your dream long-haul vacation, here are some tips to make prepping up a lot easier.

1. Stick to Your Decision
There are positives and negatives to long-term travels with kids. Travelling with toddlers is cheaper, since you don’t have to worry about school, but they’re also unlikely to remember anything about your trip. Older kids can remember memories but you need to think about their studies. And while your teenagers can handle more activities, close friendships at home could mean they will need more convincing to go on a long-term trip. Worried about when’s the ‘right’ time to travel? Just a pick a date and start planning.

2. Get the Necessary Shots
Securing your kid’s health should always be a top priority, especially when travelling outside Singapore. Before hitting the road, get the necessary vaccinations months in advance. Bring a good first aid kit with you in case of minor boo-boos and discuss with everyone what to do during an emergency.

3. Budget Wisely
Running out of money when you’re far from home should be avoided, so work out a weekly budget and make sure to stick it. But also, do not derive yourself of some splurges from time to time by setting aside a different budget for that. To save some cash, be wise with choosing your destination. You’ll burn quite a lot in Europe and America compared to India and Southeast Asia. Also, try camping instead of staying in a hotel and cook your own food rather than dining out every meal.

4. Pack Light As Much As Possible
Are travelling around with baby paraphernalia or flying with kid who can bring their own things? Do you need to plan for different seasons or will you be going somewhere tropical? Wherever you’re headed, pack as little as you can. You can buy other stuff, like food and clothes, along the way, anyway. A small backpack that your kids can carry themselves is an effective way to get the, involved in the preparation.

5. Let Travel Be the Teacher
Learn about history and art by visiting temples, museums and other ancient sites; use the market trips as quick math lessons; study maps for your kids to understand geography; and encourage your kids to socialize by interacting with locals using local language.

It is a major decision to travel for long-term with the family. There are a lot of things to plan for, but you’ll get it done a tad easier if you keep these points in mind.