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When you are out in the sun all day, you might end up with a tan on one arm and not the other, around the neck and shoulders leaving unwanted t-shirt lines, or in any way that looks (quite frankly) unsightly. And you probably think it will stay that way forever. Most people will just get out of the sun and stay indoors, but that isn’t a solution for you. Lucky, there are plenty of ways to get rid of that old farmers’ tan.

Exfoliate Daily

The natural method of removing a tan is to exfoliate on a daily basis. This removes layers of dead skin cells to reveal new skin that isn’t as tanned. There are a number of ways that you can exfoliate your skin. You can choose to do it physically with a loofah or using a gentle wash that scrubs away layers.

However, once you get rid of old layers, you should remember to be more careful when going out in the sun again i.e. protect it with sunblock, long sleeves or cut down on afternoon gardening. This is because your skin is very sensitive at this point, making it highly susceptible to sun damage.

Prepare a Natural Lightening Serum

Using all-natural ingredients like rose water, cucumber, and lemon juice, you can prepare a serum to reduce your tan over time. It will take some time to work, but you’ll be impressed with the results. Mix equal parts of cucumber extract, lemon juice and rose water in a bowl and add to a bottle if you want to prepare a batch.

Apply it generously to the affected area but make sure to keep the remaining mixture in the fridge and not to store it for longer than a few days. Also, apply it once you are indoors but not before you step outside for gardening, since lemon can irritate your skin when you are exposed to sunlight.

Use Aloe

Aloe is an effective remedy for soothing the skin and reducing your tan. Instead of chemical-based aloe vera gels, I recommend using the real thing, which shouldn’t be difficult to do, considering that we’re all farmers here. Aloe plants are easy to keep and maintain at home so it won’t be hard to replenish and hydrate your skin after a day on the farm.

Cut small pieces of aloe and remove the skin to expose the inner gel. Use this gel on the parts of your body that have a tan, and repeat it as part of a self-care routine daily. Not only will you have an evened out skin tone, but your skin will look better, compared to how rough it can get when you’re farming every day.

I know these remedies are pretty basic and while there are plenty of other ways, I rely on the above-mentioned methods because it doesn’t take up a lot of energy or time to do. Once you’ve successfully gotten rid of your tan, remember to lessen sun exposure by wearing breathable sleeves on your arms, a hat, gloves and sun block for your face.

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Alpaca Health: Five Common Behaviors You Need to Know

Alpacas are easy animals for inexperienced ranchers to raise. If you can feed, water, and clean up after your herd every day, you’ll be covering 95% of their needs. Health problems are rare, but some can be extremely serious. This list of five common behaviors in alpacas breaks down dangerous symptoms that require an immediate veterinarian visit and normal actions that can be safely ignored.

Ataxia (Stumbling)

If you see an alpaca in your herd stumbling, walking with an odd limp, or struggling to control their movement, you should call a veterinarian right away. This inability to coordinate their limbs, called ataxia, can be a symptom of a meningeal worm infection. Without treatment, meningeal worms move to an animal’s brain and begin destroying tissue, eventually leading to death. The natural host for this parasite is white-tailed deer, which are native to almost the entire United States. Deer droppings contain the parasite, and snails bring the worms out of the woods and into your pasture. Infections are especially common during wet weather, so keep a close eye on your alpaca herd’s health on rainy days and immediately afterwards.

Diarrhea

Many different parasites can cause diarrhea, so most veterinarians will want to conduct a fecal test to determine the best course of treatment. Over several days, diarrhea can lead to dehydration and possible death; crias are at a higher risk than adult alpacas. If you notice an alpaca with diarrhea, monitor it carefully and call your preferred veterinarian if the symptom continues for more than 24 hours.

Foaming at the Mouth

Alpacas exhibit odd behaviors after eating clover or alfalfa. They love these plants and can’t stop themselves from eating too much at once. If you see alpacas foaming at the mouth, lying down and stretching their back legs, or biting at their sides, they are likely recovering from devouring a large patch of clover or alfalfa. Because alpacas graze in the same areas, you may see this behavior in multiple animals. Do not be alarmed.

Stretching the Neck

Large pieces of food can become stuck in an alpaca’s esophagus. In this situation, the animal will stretch out their neck repeatedly and may appear to be choking. Do not interfere with this process; the object will be removed with a few hours. If you notice this behavior in one of your alpacas, do not feed them grain for the remainder of the day because their esophagus is already irritated.

Lying Down

Every experienced alpaca owner can remember bringing their herd home, gazing contentedly out the kitchen window, and panicking when they saw several of their new alpacas keeled over on the ground. They also remember how relieved they felt when they realized that this was normal behavior for alpacas. You might see your herd sprawled out on their side sleeping, rolling around on their back in dirt mounds, or lying down with their legs tucked under them. None of these behaviors are cause for alarm.

Overall, alpacas are stoic animals. They will hide any symptoms or pain they are experiencing. You must carefully monitor your herd’s normal behavior and watch for unusual activity. If a social animal begins hiding from the rest of the herd or a glutton stops eating grain, you should pay special attention to them. As you learn more about your animals, you will be able to distinguish normal behaviors from potential symptoms. The more time you spend with your new friends, the better you’ll be able to ensure their long-term health.

by Christina Schneider, MPH


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