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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Bit about Blood Pressure

It's relativity straight forward, but most often we can be unfamiliar with the terminology used when doctors talk about blood pressure. Two of those terms, Systolic and Diastolic, are the most important! They are elements used to calculate your blood pressure, but what do they mean?

According to the ASA (American Heart Association) Blood Pressure is just what it sounds. It is the amount of pressure that the circulating blood in your body, puts on the walls of your blood vessels.

With each beat of your heart, the amount of pressure that your blood exerts can vary. These amounts are defined as a minimum and maximum amount of pressure. 

  • The term Systolic defines the maximum amount of pressure. It measures the pressure that the flow of blood excretes against the artery with each heart beat when the blood is being pumped.
  • The term Diastolic defines the minimum about of pressure. It measures the pressure that the flow of blood exerts in the artery while the heart is at rest. (This means the moment right after the heart has pumped the blood, until it moves and pumps the blood again. Aka: The heart beat.) 
So, now you have a better idea of what your doctor means when they mention Systolic and Diastolic pressure.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

You need a shot of B12!

....Well maybe...are you feeling sluggish or tired?

It could be any number of things. Or it could that you might have a B12 deficiency. You can always check, by having a blood test done to test your B12 levels, and then getting a shot of  B12  for a boost of energy.

A little information on the vitamin! 

Basically,  B12  is a water-soluble vitamin that helps your body to produce red blood cells.  It plays an important part in maintaining your brain and your nervous systems functionality. It even affects the synthesis of your DNA.

Interestingly enough, B12 cannot be produced naturally in animals, plants, fungus or humans. Only specific bacteria and archaea ( microbes which are physically similar to bacteria but posses a different gene structure) are able to synthesis this Vitamin. If a natural food (like Salmon) contains B12  , it is because it has bacteria that live in a symbiotic relationship with it, thus producing the vitamin for the plant or animal. This is known as Bacterial Symbiosis.

This vitamin is often produced through industrial means, by a process called bacterial fermentation-synthesis. Making it more widely available for distribution as an additive to food, drinks, pills, and even in injections!

 File:B12 methylcobalamin.jpg

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Flu Season is Peaking!

Flu Season

Flu season is coming to a close, and according to U.S. Department of Health, the peak months in the United States are in January and February, but can occur as early as October and as late as May.

How the Flu Spreads

It's believed that the flu can spread  from coughs, sneezes or simple conversations where droplets of water can be sprayed from the infected persons mouth or nose, to yours. It's also possible to contact the flu virus by touching a surface that has the flu virus on it, and then touching your eyes, mouth or nose.

Arm Yourself Against the Flu

One of the best defenses against the flu is the vaccine.
New York Doctors Urgent Care offers Free Flu Vaccines at our West Village and Murray Hill locations, for the 2013-2014 flu season. No strings attached!  It's not too late to get one now.

United States. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Flu.gov. Http://www.flu.gov/about_the_flu/seasonal/, n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2014.

Monday, October 28, 2013

FACT: Ringworm is NOT a worm, but a fungal skin infection

What Is Ringworm?

Ringworm is a common fungal skin infection otherwise known as tinea. Ringworm most commonly affects the skin on the body (tinea corporis), the scalp (tinea capitis), the feet (tinea pedis, or athlete's foot), or the groin (tinea cruris, or jock itch). It often forms a ring-shaped rash. It can have a red center or normal skin tone inside the ring. Other rashes can look like ringworm, including spider bites, nummular eczema, and Lyme disease, a more serious infection that produces a bull's-eye shaped rash. These require different treatments, so it's important to consult a medical professional.
What Causes Ringworm?
Certain fungi can help the body, but the dermatophyte type that cause ringworm irritate the skin instead. These fungi live off the dead tissues of your skin, hair, and nails. Dermatophytes thrive in warm, moist areas, such as the skin folds of the groin area or between the toes. You’re at greater risk of getting ringworm if you sweat excessively or have minor injuries to your skin, scalp, or nails.
Ringworm of the Body (Tinea Corporis)
There are several types of ringworm (tinea) that can affect different parts of the body. When fungus affects the skin of the body, it often produces itchy, red, raised, scaly patches that may blister and ooze. The patches often have sharply defined edges. They are often redder around the outside with normal skin tone in the center, creating the appearance of a ring. Your skin may also appear unusually dark or light.
Ringworm of the Scalp (Tinea Capitis)
Ringworm of the scalp commonly affects children in late childhood or adolescence. This condition may spread in schools. Tinea capitis often appears as patchy, scaling bald spots on the scalp.
Ringworm of the Foot (Tinea Pedis)
Tinea pedis is an extremely common skin disorder, also known as athlete's foot.  This fungal infection may cause scaling and inflammation in the toe webs, especially the one between the fourth and fifth toes. Other symptoms include itching, burning, redness, and stinging on the soles of the feet.

Ringworm of the Groin (Tinea Cruris)
Tinea of the groin (jock itch) tends to have a reddish-brown color and may extend from the folds of the groin down onto one or both thighs. Jock itch occurs mostly in adult men and adolescent boys. (Other conditions that can mimic tinea cruris include yeast infections, psoriasis, and intertrigo.) Jock itch may occur due to sweating, hot and humid weather, or friction from wearing tight clothes.

Ringworm of the Beard (Tinea Barbae)
Ringworm of the bearded area of the face and neck, with swellings and marked crusting, sometimes causes the hair to break off. In the days when men went to the barber daily for a shave, tinea barbae was called barber's itch.
Ringworm of the Face (Tinea Faciei)
Ringworm on the face outside of the beard area is called tinea faciei. On the face, ringworm is rarely ring-shaped. Characteristically, it causes red, scaly patches with indistinct edges.
 Ringworm of the Hand (Tinea Manus)
Ringworm may involve the hands, particularly the palms and the spaces between the fingers. It typically causes thickening (hyperkeratosis) of these areas, often on only one hand. Tinea manus is a common companion of tinea pedis (ringworm of the feet). It is also called tinea manuum, ringworm of the nails

Spreads on Contact

Ringworm is highly contagious and can be spread multiple ways.
  • You can get it from an infected person, animal, object, and even soil.
  • Heat and moisture help fungi grow and thrive, which makes them more common in areas where you sweat.
  • Fungi also grows in skin folds such as those in the groin or between the toes.
Catching Ringworm From Pets
Ringworm is an example of a zoonotic disease (transmitted from animals to humans). Cats are among the most commonly affected animals. If a cat has ringworm, a person in the house often gets the infection. Dogs, cows, goats, pigs, and horses can also spread ringworm to humans. People catch ringworm from touching the animals, or touching their  bedding, grooming items, saddles, carpeting, etc.
 How Is Ringworm Diagnosed?
Sometimes, the diagnosis of ringworm is obvious from its location and appearance. Otherwise, doctors can test skin scrapings for tinea fungus.
How Is Ringworm Treated?
Ringworm can be treated with antifungal creams containing clotrimazole (Cruex, Lotrimin), miconazole (Desenex, Monistat-Derm), ketoconazole (Nizoral), and terbinafine (Lamisil). In cases of severe or resistant infections on the scalp or nails, doctors may prescribe oral medicines.
Tips for Preventing Ringworm
Ringworm is difficult to prevent, but here are tips to reduce your risk
  • Don't share clothing, sports gear, towels, or sheets.
  • Wear slippers in locker rooms and public pool & bathing areas.
  • Shower after any sport that includes skin-to-skin contact.
  • Wear loose-fitting cotton clothing. Change your socks and underwear at least once a day.
  • Keep skin clean and dry. Dry yourself completely after showering.
  • If you have athlete's foot, put your socks on before your underwear to prevent spreading to your groin.
  • Take your pet to the vet if it has patches of missing hair, which could be a sign of a fungal infection.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tips for Pregnant Women: In case of Hurricane

As some of you may now, New York will be hit with a heads up forecast that midweek this week we may be seeing heavy rainfall remnants of a tropical system moving into the Gulf of Mexico.

Here are Tips for Pregnant Women in case the above occurs. Hurricane season is especially stressful for pregnant woman and to help reduce the stress, and aid in the preparation for a hurricane, a list of helpful suggestions has been provided. The more prepared you are the more comfortable and safe you will be.

Before the Hurricane:

The following suggestions will serve as guidelines to help you prepare for a hurricane or other disaster:

• Medications:

- Prepare a current list of all prescriptions and prenatal vitamins you are taking. Put this list in sealable plastic bag then in a secure place among the belongings you plan to take with you if you leave your home.
- Bring at least a two week supply of all medications with you if you choose to relocate or go to a shelter during a storm.
- When possible, always bring medications in their original prescription bottle. In an emergency, an emergency decree allowing pharmacies to refill medications may be made, but you must have the original bottle.
- Place your medications in a sealable plastic bag to keep them dry and protect the information on the label in case you need to obtain refills.
- Make sure you have an additional supply of equipment needed to administer medications. For example, if you are diabetic bring your insulin, testing equipment, and supplies; while those with asthma may need a nebulizer.

• Call your Physician

- Communicate with your health care provider’s office to let them know where you will be; if you plan to leave town bring a copy of your medical records including prenatal record, immunizations, and current medications with you.
 - Make sure that your health care provider has a current telephone number of where you will be staying.
- If you had or are having complications in your pregnancy, check with your health care provider to discuss whether it is safe for you to leave prior to the storm or if it would be better for you to go to a hospital or general shelter during the storm.
- If you have a chronic medical condition or pregnancy related complication and decide to leave town, it will be extremely important to bring your current medications, your recently updated medical record information, and the name and telephone number of your health care provider to assure proper treatment should you need it.
- If you choose to go to a hospital shelter you will need to bring a few personal items, but remember space is usually limited. Check in advance to see who may come with you to the hospital shelter and which supplies you will need to bring. Call the hospital in advance to make sure they have room and that this is where your doctor wants you to go.

• If you go to a hospital shelter or general shelter during the storm:

- Do not go to the hospital shelter or general shelter until you know that they are accepting people. Call the hospital or general shelter in advance to verify that you can take shelter there; if you go, please follow the directions for that shelter.
- Ask the hospital or general shelter if you should bring food and water. They may recommend that you bring bottled water, non-perishable snacks, and/or money to buy food.
- Bring all medications that you are taking as well as your prenatal vitamins. If possible, they should be in the original bottle.
- Bring the following items unless the hospital or shelter facility gives you other directions: Blanket, pillow, sleeping bag, and any toiletries, flashlight, batteries, something to help pass the time, any additional items the hospital or shelter recommend that you to bring.

After the Hurricane
Once the hurricane has past, there will be a period of cleanup and recovery. This is the time when you must be very careful not to become dehydrated and/or over-tired. Dehydration can be a contributing factor to premature labor. To prevent dehydration and exhaustion follow these suggestions:

• Drink plenty of water or beverages that do not contain alcohol or caffeine.
• Take a cool shower or sponge bath and try to stay in the shade or an air conditioned area if possible. If you have to be outside in the heat, bring water and an umbrella to provide shade.
• Do not lift heavy objects.
• Be sure you do not over tire yourself, take frequent rests.
• Try to eat a healthy diet as soon as possible.
• Keep all doctor appointments.

If you are concerned about the condition of your baby or yourself contact your health care provider or emergency room immediately. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Distinguishing a Burn: Minor to Serious

When faced with a burn, distinguishing it can be difficult; ranging from a minor burn to a serious burn, the first step is to determine the extent of damage to body tissues. There are three burn classifications: first-degree burn, second-degree burn and third-degree burn.

This burn is the least serious of burns. Whereas only the outer layer of skin is burned, but not all the way through. 
  • The skin is usually red
  • Often there is swelling
  • Pain sometimes is present
You can treat a first-degree burn as a minor burn unless it involves substantial portions of the hands, feet, face, groin or buttocks, or a major joint, which requires emergency medical attention.


This is when the first layer of skin has been burned through and the second layer of skin (dermis) also is burned, the injury is called a second-degree burn.
  • Blisters develop
  • Skin takes on an intensely reddened, splotchy appearance
  • There is severe pain and swelling.
If the second-degree burn is no larger than 3 inches in diameter, treat it as a minor burn. If the burned area is larger or if the burn is on the hands, feet, face, groin or buttocks, or over a major joint, treat it as a major burn and get medical help immediately.

For minor burns, including first-degree burns and second-degree burns limited to an area no larger than 3 inches in diameter, take the following action:

  • Cool the burn. Hold the burned area under cool running water for 10 or 15 minutes or until the pain subsides. If this is impractical, immerse the burn in cool water or cool it with a cold compress. Cooling the burn reduces swelling by conducting heat away from the skin. Don't put ice on the burn.

  • Cover the burn with a sterile gauze bandage. Don't use fluffy cotton, or other material that may get lint in the wound. Wrap the gauze loosely to avoid putting pressure on burned skin. Bandaging keeps air off the burn, reduces pain and protects blistered skin.

  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. These include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Aleve) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others). Use caution when giving aspirin to children or teenagers. Though aspirin is approved for use in children older than age 2, children and teenagers recovering from chickenpox or flu-like symptoms should never take aspirin. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.

Minor burns usually heal without further treatment. They may heal with pigment changes. Watch for signs of infection, such as increased pain, redness, fever, swelling or oozing. If infection develops, seek medical help. Avoid re-injuring or tanning if the burns are less than a year old — doing so may cause more extensive pigmentation changes. Use sunscreen on the area for at least a year. 
  • Don't use ice. Putting ice directly on a burn can cause a person's body to become too cold and cause further damage to the wound.
  • Don't apply egg whites, butter or ointments to the burn. This could cause infection.
  • Don't break blisters. Broken blisters are more vulnerable to infection.
The most serious burns involve all layers of the skin and cause permanent tissue damage. Fat, muscle and even bone may be affected. Areas may be charred black or appear dry and white. Difficulty inhaling and exhaling, carbon monoxide poisoning, or other toxic effects may occur if smoke inhalation accompanies the burn.
For major burns, call 911 or emergency medical help. Until an emergency unit arrives, follow these steps:
  1. Don't remove burned clothing. However, do make sure the victim is no longer in contact with smoldering materials or exposed to smoke or heat.
  2. Don't immerse large severe burns in cold water. Doing so could cause a drop in body temperature (hypothermia) and deterioration of blood pressure and circulation (shock).
  3. Check for signs of circulation (breathing, coughing or movement). If there is no breathing or other sign of circulation, begin CPR.
  4. Elevate the burned body part or parts. Raise above heart level, when possible.
  5. Cover the area of the burn. Use a cool, moist, sterile bandage; clean, moist cloth; or moist cloth towels.
Get a tetanus shot. Burns are susceptible to tetanus. Doctors recommend you get a tetanus shot every 10 years. If your last shot was more than five years ago, your doctor may recommend a tetanus shot booster.

Help from mayoclinic.com

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ouch! Ice Burns do Exist

Most schools are back at it already. This means that the school athletes are back at work too and lots of injuries will soon happen: sprains, strains, etc.
The treatment recommendation for a sprain or strain is usually RICE which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.  Unfortunately, by using ice and placing the ice pack directly onto the skin can cause ice burn!
Yes, ice can burn the skin and cause frostbite as well. When treating an injury with ice you need to make sure that you put a towel or sheeting between the ice and your skin.  In some cases the ice burns look similar to a sunburn, and may not blister or cause any severe damage. You might realize you have an ice pack burn if you develop blisters, if your skin is yellowish-gray in color, or if it feels numb, itchy or painful with a burning sensation.

Treating Blisters
Blistering is a sign of an ice pack burn, just as with heat burns. Treating the blisters appropriately will help avoid infection and further complications. You may develop an open wound as a result of incorrect usage of an ice pack; treat the wound as you would any other, with antibiotic ointments, a barrier substance such as petroleum jelly, and gauze bandages to keep the area moist and free of infection. If the blistered area is large, you might need to change the dressings and re-apply first aid to the area for up to 10 days.
Professional Medical Attention

An ice pack burn or frostbitten area that does not begin to tingle, burn or regain a pinkish hue may be the sign of more extensive damage of the blood vessels and muscles underneath the skin. If the burned area stays numb with skin that feels hard and cold, you may need professional medical attention. Contact your family doctor to determine what course of action to take to avoid complications such as nerve damage and gangrene. Remember, ice is good for injuries but cannot be applied directly to the skin. 
For more information on ice burns you can visit our offices at:
205 Lexington Ave  New York, NY 10016,  13th St. Urgent Care
(212) 684-4700
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