Should you worry that most of us have herpes?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 3.7bn people worldwide have the Herpes Simplex Virus. That’s 2 out of 3 people under age of 50 suffering with incurable oral herpes. But while it seems most of us have it, it might not be as frightening as you think.

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Understanding the Viruses

HPV comes in 2 types: HSV-1 and HSV-2, both of which are highly infectious and incurable. HSV-1 is passed through oral contact and causes cold sores, while HSV-2 is what you might call the “bad” type, as it is passed through sexual contact and causes genital herpes.

According to the WHO, HSV-1 can also cause genital herpes and there are around 140 million people aged between 15 and 49 who are infected with it globally.

It is thought that as people became more aware of how contagious cold sores were, they were careful not to expose young children to it, which means more and more people have reached adulthood without HSV immunity. This means that younger people are more susceptible to HSV-2 and are exposed to HSV-1 when they begin sexual relations.

Because although HSV-1 lives in mouths and HSV-2 in the genitals, they can swap places, meaning that lovers with HSV-1 can unknowingly spread genital herpes.


Herpes is poorly understood by the public, who might feel stigmatised if they are diagnosed with it despite it being a lot more common than they realise. Once you contract herpes, you have it for life, but you may never know as the symptoms are often mild or don’t show up at all.

Thankfully, you can be easily tested and if you can’t face going to a clinic, it’s now possible to get a home-testing kit. If you are young and looking for London STI testing kits, you can look at, which will send a free kit and send the results back in the post.

Seek Advice

If you are diagnosed with genital herpes, you should visit your GP, who will suggest ways to ease any mild symptoms, or prescribe antiviral tablets to prevent the virus multiplying.


Practice safe sex by using condoms, and if you have any blisters or ulcers, you should avoid having sex at all. If you have a cold sore, you should avoid kissing anyone.

Top skincare mistakes that you could be making

Every woman wants clear, dewy skin, but most of us inadvertently sabotage ourselves by making mistakes with our skincare regime. Here’s our rundown of some of the worst errors.

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Poor lifestyle choices

If you smoke, sunbathe, drink a lot of alcohol, have a poor diet or don’t get enough sleep, your skin is never going to look great, no matter how much money you spend on beauty products. Beautiful skin starts from within, so respect your body and provide it with excellent nutrition along with plenty of water. Quit smoking, wear sunscreen every day, and limit alcohol to just a few units a week. Your skin will thank you for it!

Not adapting your skincare routine over the years

What works for your skin in your 20s isn’t going to be appropriate as you hit your 30s, 40s and beyond. Our skin dries as it ages and requires more intensive moisturising, along with targeted products to fight against wrinkles and lines. Choose products tailored to your age group, and keep up with the sunscreen to prevent premature ageing.

Over-complicating your skincare regime

There are hundreds of products on the shelves promising to make us more beautiful. In fact, we’re spoiled for choice. Unfortunately, far too many of us chop and change products and try to incorporate too many different potions, lotions and serums into our daily routines. When it comes to beautiful skin, less really is more.

Take a tip from seasoned travellers: according to the Daily Mail, one in five of us now jet off on holiday taking only hand luggage, which requires minimal beauty products to comply with flight regulations. Special packs, such as Nivea travel kits, are aircraft compliant, and you can even pack a set for the man in your life with

Not seeking professional help

A good facial is hugely beneficial in brightening the complexion and tackling a range of skin issues. Facials are available for all budgets, from a basic deep cleansing and moisturising treatment to expensive high-tech options. If you haven’t been for a facial recently, take a look at what’s on offer in your local area and book yourself for a skin analysis. Treatments will be carefully tailored to your skin type, and you’ll emerge looking fresh and youthful.

Skin deep

Did you know that skin is our largest organ? We tend to think of our organs as inside the body but skin is one organ that adults carry 8 pounds of while it would stretch for 22 square feet. Skin is a wonderful things and we owe it a great deal which is why we should look after it to the best of our ability. It acts as our own personal waterproof shield, guarding and insulating us from temperatures, sunlight and chemicals.

What else can it do? Cleverly, it can produce antibacterial substances to help prevent infection. It also produces Vitamin D for us to convert into calcium for maintaining healthy bones. Skin helps us to know what is happening in the outside world by sending messages to our brains via nerve impulses. Without this, we would not know when we were perhaps in danger. So let’s learn a bit more about this incredibly important organ of ours.

The outer layer of skin is called the epidermis which actually contains the same material found in nails and hair called keratin. This protein forms several layers that are constantly growing outwards as the exterior cells die and fall away. There is roughly a five week cycle while new cells work their way to the surface. The epidermis is where the useful Langerhans cells live which are the ones which alert the body’s immune system to viruses and other nasty things.

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The deeper layer is known as the dermis and this is where the collagen and elastin are situated. Blood vessels here help to regulate body temperature and a network of nerves detect things like touch, temperature and pain – sending these messages to the brain. This is also where the hair follicles are and the sweat glands can be found. Take care of your skin daily with Eucerin Aquaphor Soothing Skin Balm. For more information, visit

The subcutis is the name given to the deepest base layer of skin and includes a layer of fat which is held in reserve in case of a food shortage. It works well as an insulator and helps prevent us from injury when we have a bump or fall.

The colour of our skin is down to a substance called melanin which a pigment produced in the epidermis. It is designed to protect us from the harmful UV rays emitted from the sun. Darker skinned people produce more of this substance with deeper coloured melanin particles. This is why dark skinned people are native to tropical regions. Where solar rays are weakest, in the northern hemisphere, fair skin is more prevalent. The need here is for the Vitamin D to be absorbed for bone strength more than the need for protecting the skin.

Here are some other interesting things about skin:
• Skin amounts to 15% of your total bodyweight
• Every minute your skin sheds 30,000 dead cells
• On average, over 14 species of fungi live between your toes
• It takes up to 6 months for a baby to develop it’s permanent skin tone
• The thickest skin is found on your feet at 1.4mm deep

Top 10 Driving Days and Where to Find Them

How to Make A Petrol-Head Salivate!

With the beginning of a new year, everyone is looking for new challenges. If you are a petrol-head, or one of your friends or family just loves driving, the choices below might be some inspiration for new things to look at in the new year.

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This list comes from a survey published in Auto Express, and you can see it here

F1 Driving

Understandably, the ultimate is driving a Formula 1 car. This starts with training laps to get you used to the circuit, and culminates in a full-throated blast (of 10 laps) in a Forti Corse Grand Prix car.

Skid-Control Training

No longer will that moment when suddenly your car is going somewhere you really didn’t expect be so heart-stopping. This experience gives you the skills to deal with skidding on lots of surface types.

Driving a Tank

If you’re in the Midlands tank driving may excite you. Driving a 17-tonne tank through mud and water is unlike anything else. Check it out at for more information.

Big Jobs

Ever wondered what it’s like to drive a double-decker bus or fire engine or big HGV? This is the one for you.

Rally in the Forest

With this experience you will drive a prepared rally car through forest stages of the Welsh Rally, guided by an instructor. After that you’ll be the passenger as the instructor shows how fast that stage can really be!


Drive all sorts of diggers from minis to bulldozers in this experience.

Dodgems for Adults

Not the little electric ones at the fairground – you’ll be driving a 1.3 litre stock car around a muddy track, avoiding annihilation by all the others!


You’ll be driving the biggest truck in Britain in this event. How do 66-inch tyres and a 7.5 litre engine sound?

A Day at the Track

Bring your own car, and a helmet, to any one of a range of circuits to see how you can drive on a racing track.


All sorts of tracks and terrains, forest, fields and mud are available to try out this experience. Even youngsters can take a crack at this exciting activity – full safety guidance and equipment will be provided to you before you start.

Ovens through the ages

When you walk into your kitchen, I bet you don’t pay much attention to your oven. Well, why would you? However, this appliance has really changed the way we live and has quite an impressive history. An oven is a thermally insulated chamber used for heating or baking and can also be used in the form of kilns or furnaces for non-cooking related activities such as metalwork and pottery.

The earliest recorded ovens were in Central Europe and date way back to 29,000 BC. These ovens were quite a lot different from what we recognise today and were more like giant pits for boiling and roasting mammoths. Pits were used filled with hot coals and covered in ashes. The food would have been wrapped in leaves and put on the top and many mammoth bones have been found next to hearths used for heating and cooking. In Ancient Egypt at around 3200 BC, mud brick houses had ovens which were used to cook food and bricks.

The Middle Ages in Europe saw the use of fireplaces and cauldrons. After this period, the oven changed considerably from the use of wood, iron and coal and then gas and electricity. Cast iron stoves were used in the 18th century which had their own chimney.


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The beginning of the 19th century saw the advent of the coal and the gas oven. Gas stoves became the most popular form of oven in most households once gas pipes were available in neighbourhoods. One of the first gas ovens was designed by James Sharp in 1826. The Aga Cooker was invented in 1922 by Gustaf Dalen. An Aga is a heat storage stove and cooker made from cast iron which absorbs heat from  a constant but low intensity source and stays warm for use when cooking. Gustaf Dalen was a Nobel prize winning scientist who was the chief engineer at the Swedish Aga company. Aga’s were first introduced to the UK in 1929.

Of course, ovens are now much more sophisticated now than they were. For all your commercial catering needs and Convection Ovens, visit The microwave was discovered in 1946 as a method for cooking and in 1946, the idea of the microwave oven was patented. Microwaves work in a different way by using microwave radiation to bother the food molecules causing friction and then heat.

There have been many different types of oven, for example:

  • Earth Oven – a pit heated with smoldering ash, long cooking times but historically used by many cultures and are a sign looked for by archaeologists as evidence of early human civilisation.
  • Ceramic Ovens – constructed of clay mainly but different forms depend on culture. Called a Tandoor in India but also used widely in Italy as a brick oven for baking pizza. It is thought to date back to Roman times.
  • Gas Oven – it is thought the first use of such an oven was in 1802 at a dinner party, however, they weren’t commercially produced until 1834.
  • Masonry Oven – these consist of a baking chamber of fireproof brick, concrete, stone or clay and are associated with bread making or pizza but in the past were used for anything that needed cooking.


E-cigarettes and Oral Health

E-cigarettes are now the most popular form of nicotine substitute. While E-cigarettes contain no tobacco (the substance responsible for causing many of the health issues experienced by smokers) they do contain other chemicals, nicotine and flavouring agents. It is well known that smoking has a negative impact on oral health, but as E-cigarette usage increases, so does the understanding of the damage they can cause to your mouth.


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Mouth and Throat Cancer

It is well known that using E-cigarettes is significantly safer than using a traditional cigarette. Smoking can and does cause a number of very serious health issues, not just to the smoker but also to those who are around them, so switching from tobacco to e-cigarettes substantially reduces these risks. Using vapour products does not come without side effects, however. Studies have also shown that using E-cigarettes can increase the chances of a person developing throat or mouth cancer, although it should be noted that the likelihood of developing throat or mouth cancer whilst using vapours is significantly lower than when using traditional cigarettes.

Cell Death

The vapour from E-cigarettes causes a high rate of cell death in the mouth, resulting in gum disease, problems with saliva production, and a decrease in oral hygiene. Flavoured vapours cause greater damage to the gum line than plain vapours, and it is thought that menthol flavoured vapours increase cell death significantly more than any other vapour. Cell death is directly linked to tooth loss and decay.

Gum Disease

E-cigarettes have been known to cause oral hygiene problems leading to – in some cases – quite severe gum disease. Gum disease is characterised by swollen, bleeding and tender gums. If untreated, the gum line can recede quite dramatically and will result in multiple tooth loss. Gum disease can also cause other health complications such as abscesses if the sores in the mouth were to get infected. If you choose to use E-cigarettes it is important that you see a dentist regularly to check for signs of gum disease. As well as tooth loss, gum disease can also cause movement of the teeth over time, which can be corrected by wearing clear braces. You can get clear braces in Dublin in many good dentists such as

If you should choose to use E-cigarettes, it is important that you receive regular oral health check-ups.

Food Hygiene Tips for Businesses

Food hygiene is an important issue for people both experienced and just starting out in the catering industry. And with savvy customers increasingly aware of the standards businesses should adhere to, it has never been more vital to ensure good practice is in place at all times.

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Keep It Clean

Establishments need to be inspection-ready at all times, and one way to do this is to ensure all personnel are aware of what is expected of them.

All staff should get into the habit of cleaning and clearing work surfaces as they go, rather than allowing mess to build up throughout the day, and they should also be aware of which products to use for each problem. In addition to this, all staff should wash their hands when entering and leaving the food preparation area in order to keep standards high.

Get the Right Equipment

With customers more and more aware of a company’s food hygiene standards, businesses must make sure they have the correct tools to do the job well.

Investing in a range of chopping boards and knives which are allocated to different food stuffs can prevent a major danger of food preparation: cross-contamination. Away from food preparation itself, using separate sponges, cloths and mops for cleaning different areas can also prevent the potential spread of harmful bacteria.

Food Storage

Looking after all food products and storing them in the correct type of commercial refrigeration can really make a difference when it comes to effective food hygiene.

When you are preparing food, it is important that chilled products are not kept out of the fridge for a prolonged amount of time, and keeping a close eye on sell-by and use-by dates is vital too. Investing in products such as those available from commercial refrigeration suppliers can leave businesses safe in the knowledge that all foods are being kept at the right temperature at all times.

Careful Cooking

Lastly, anyone preparing food should be aware of the importance of cooking items correctly. This is especially important when it comes to certain types of meat that must be cooked through perfectly in order to prevent bacteria affecting the customers.

Following these rules and keeping standards high can lead to happy customers, knowledgeable staff and an all-important good reputation.

The different types of garden offices

If you would love an office space of your own but cannot afford to upgrade your property, a garden office is the ideal solution. No longer just a glorified shed, garden offices come in a range of shapes and sizes from the conventional to the cutting edge. In addition, they will add value to your property of as much as 5 per cent, according to property experts. Continue reading “The different types of garden offices”

How ultrafast laser light is helping to join ‘non-joinable’ materials together

Lasers have always been a key device within the manufacturing process. Considering their diverse use, such as joining the smallest of microparts together to cutting sheet metal, it’s no wonder that development into new techniques using laser is an ongoing process.

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When joining two metals together, it makes sense to use metal bonding adhesive in some circumstances. However, joining two materials together such as glass and metal becomes much more of a challenge. Older methods used for joining different materials together incorporate a thin layer of adhesive (or even soldering) in between parts that need to go together, but this is always difficult to achieve accurate results.

According to the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), a new technique called ultrashort pulsed lasers is under development, which will bond two ‘non joinable’ materials together.

How does ultrafast laser light work?

The most recent methods developed operate by emitting a succession of laser pulses, which are ultrafast, directly at one area. The energy which is created is then beamed at the borders of the two materials. At the same time, there is a high degree of control over the area where the heat is exchanged, which means that this method can bond two materials together that have different expansion levels.

If you still need to join two metals together, that is easily done by metal to metal adhesive, which is available from sites such as CT1 Ltd (

Complications when using ultrafast laser light

Generally, the process is quite straightforward, but difficulties can arise when a balance cannot be achieved between the absorption of the radiation on both materials. The other issue to consider is that the laser light needs to remain stable long enough to form a bond between the two substances.

The size of the gap is a big consideration, because the permanent bond can only be formed between both materials if it isn’t too large. The ultrafast laser light works so quickly that if the gap is too big, welding or bonding cannot occur. This does present some limitations, so when using this method, the operator must ensure that the gap is small enough to stop any of the light escaping through the materials.

Looking towards the future, the focus will certainly be on creating stronger bonds with laser light.

5 ways to brighten up the darkest of interiors

Winter is a notoriously dark and dismal time of year, so it’s important to brighten your home up as much as possible.

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With research in Psychology Today suggesting that as many as 10-20% of people may suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), too much darkness can have a very real impact on mood. This article explores the best ways to increase the amount of natural light in your home and brighten up those dark nooks and crannies, with a few simple tricks that won’t break the bank.

Reflective Surfaces

Adding reflective or shiny surfaces to the walls in your home instantly brightens rooms up. The obvious choice would be a mirror, but smaller accessories such as brass doorknobs, silver photo frames, candlesticks and glass or metalic ornaments can also have the desired effect. A mirror really is the best tool in this technique though, and bigger is usually better. Pick a thick mirror (the thicker the glass the more reflective power it has) and position it in an entry way, above a fireplace or in a dining area. With so many styles of mirror on the market, ranging from contemporary to traditional, you will be sure to find something to match your existing interior design.

Window Dressings

The fastest way to sap light from a room is to dress you windows with dark, heavy curtains. Experts specialising in windows and doors in Dublin recommend ditching the dark drapes in favour of sheer, light fabrics that will breathe light into a room rather than absorbing it. If you are worried about privacy then consider installing shutters.


We’ve already touched on how reflective surfaces can enhance the light in a space, and glass is a great tool for doing this internally. Glass doors and door panels will allow light to travel from room to room, while glass table tops prevent light from being swallowed up by furniture. Clear, tinted or frosted glass windows ( are also a great tool for enhancing light even in more private spaces.


Dark rooms should be decorated in a way that will brighten them up, so opt for pale neutrals such as creams and grey. Painting or tiling your flooring a light colour will also open up a room, or you can just lay a large, light coloured rug.