On 11:01 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
Summer may not be the first season you think of when it comes to being under the weather, but the warm months can lead to infections, viruses, and heat-influenced disease. To continue the New York Doctors Urgent Care series of Common Summer Ailments here is another: E-Coli.

Source: Bacteria found in sewage-contaminated lakes and other water
Symptoms: Sudden, severe and bloody diarrhea. Also, fever, gas, loss of appetite, and stomach cramping. Symptoms develop 24 to 72 hours after infection.
Treatment: None. Sickness disappears in a few days.
Most cases of these illnesses are fairly mild, but some can lead to serious complications -- and very rarely, death. Being aware of the causes and signs can help you protect you, your kids, and others -- and ensure your summer fun.

On 12:13 PM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
Though we are now in the month of August and Fall is soon to come, there are plenty more Common Summer Ailments to be discussed; such as: Swimmer's Ear.

Swimmer's ear (also called otitis externa) is an infection started by bacteria in the water left inside the ear after swimming. If you spend a lot of time swimming, especially in water with high levels of bacteria, you’re at risk for swimmer’s ear. Children are more likely to get it because they have a narrow ear canal.

Swimmer’s ear can start with discomfort. As symptoms get worse, they can get downright painful. Symptoms include:
• Itching in the ear canal
• Redness inside the ear
• Fluid in the ear
• Feeling of fullness inside the ear
• Muffled hearing
• Increasing pain, especially when wiggling the earlobe

If you notice you or someone you know states: “I can’t hear you” more frequently than normal, it’s good to see a doctor to try to stop the infection from getting worse. Worse could turn into something serious. Fever. Pain radiating in the face, neck and head. An infection that blocks the ear canal. Quite simply, the water left over in your ears after swimming can put you in the emergency room.

Other risk factors for swimmer’s ear include irritants such as aggressive cleaning of the ear canal with cotton swabs or sticking other objects in the ear, using a swimming cap that traps moisture or using hair sprays that get into the ear. People who overproduce earwax are also more vulnerable to swimmer’s ear.

 To avoid swimmer’s ear, keep your ears dry. After swimming, showering, bathing – anytime the inside of the ear is wet or saturated – tilt and shake your head to drain the water from the ears. You can use a hair dryer to dry out ears; just set the heat to low and keep the heat source far enough away from the skin to avoid causing any burns. You can also:
  • Keep from sticking objects into ear, even cotton swabs.
  • Avoid excessive earplug use and remove hearing aids often to keep earwax from building up and being pushed into the ear canal.
  • Consider using over the counter eardrops after water exposure to prevent swimmer’s ear.
  • Consider seeing an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor) to discuss other solutions if they are prone to swimmer’s ear symptoms.
On 2:01 PM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
The summer sun can also affect our skin. Humidity and heat can create an inflammation known as heat rash, an uncomfortable condition caused by blocked sweat glands. The best way to avoid or reduce its occurrence is to keep as cool as possible, expose the affected area to air and wear light cotton clothing. Excessive sweating in the humid weather results in bacterial infections that are characterized by tiny red bumps or blisters on the skin. It is an itchy rash that generally occurs on that part of the skin where the sweat accumulates- like the forehead and the back. Though you may experience intense itching on the inflamed areas, it is important to resist the urge to scratch as it may lead to infection.

 How to prevent it?

Have cool showers and wear soft loose cotton clothes. It is advised to wear light pastel colored clothes as they absorb fewer sunrays in comparison to dark colored clothes. Avoid remaining outdoors when the temperatures are at their peak (11am to 4 pm).

How to treat it?

 Be in a cooler place and apply calamine lotion on the body after bath. Apply a paste made from sandalwood powder and rose water is also very soothing to the skin.

 Natural remedies to soothe heat rash include:
  • Mixing one cup of baking soda and four drops of lavender oil and adding this mixture to a tepid bath.
  • Applying chilled chamomile tea topically to the area.
On 10:01 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
As stated in our previous post, sometimes it's hard to tell if an open wound is in need of stitches, which will help the cut heal properly and reduce scarring. If you're not sure whether or not it deserves stitching and want to save yourself an unnecessary trip to the hospital if it doesn't, here are some helpful tips and methods you can use to find out if your open wound is really in need of serious medical attention.
  • Most importantly, try to stop the bleeding . Use a clean cloth or slightly damp paper towel, and apply firm pressure to the open wound for about 5 minutes. Remove to check if it's still bleeding.
  • If it's bleeding uncontrollably, do not proceed to any other steps and go to the hospital immediately. If the open wound stops bleeding, continue reading.
Carefully analyze the open wound:
  • Is the open wound caused by a puncture from an object? Usually puncture wounds go into the skin and come back out or the item that caused the puncture can still be in the skin. This is called an "impaled object". Puncture wounds have more of a hole rather than a spread break in the skin like lacerations do.

  • Lacerations are similar to puncture wounds since they both cause a break in the skin, but lacerations typically have length and depth unlike puncture wounds. Lacerations are what is commonly known to us as a "cut".

  • Is it an accidentally re-opened surgical wound? Surgical wounds are caused by scalpels and are similar to lacerations, but the edges of the skin aren't as ragged and uneven. More in fact, smoothly cut.
  • Is the open wound an avulsion? Avulsions are caused by skin being torn in sections, flaps or numerous areas torn away completely with no skin.
  • Is it an abrasion? Abrasions are scratches, scrapes or minor cuts that go no deeper than the epidermis, the top layer of skin. However, determining if it needs stitching is the depth of the abrasions. If it's a deep cut, then it would be a laceration or can be an avulsion, depending on the shape.
  • Now that you've got a good idea of what kind of wound you have, evaluate if the open wound needs stitching. Here are three ways to do so:

  • Look at the depth of the open wound. Is the open wound deep enough to where you can see yellow, fatty tissue? Is bone exposed? Is there a lot of flesh exposed? Is the wound more than 1/4 inch (6 mm) deep? If so, the wound can be eligible for stitching.
  • Look at the width. Can the wound be pulled together easily or pinched together with ease? Usually a bandage and gauze can do this for you, and the wound can scab over in less than 12 hours by itself to start healing. However, if the wound is too wide to be held together with bandaging easily, then it will need stitching as this will pull the skin together so it can heal correctly.
  • Look at the location of the open wound. If the open wound is located on a specific area of the body where there is a lot of movement involved, it will most likely need stitching to prevent re-opening of the wound caused by movement and stretching of the skin. For example, an open wound on the legs or fingers (especially where joints connect) would be eligible for stitches whereas an open wound on the forehead would not really need stitching. However, the other two steps apply and should all be taken into consideration together, even if it's a cut on the forehead. Depth and length play a big part in the determining of stitching also. Keep this in mind.
  • How long has it been since you have had a tetanus shot? Tetanus shots last no longer than 5 years and then you'll have to be re-vaccinated. If it's been longer than 5 years since you've had a tetanus shot, go to the hospital. While you are at the hospital, you can have the doctor evaluate the cut also to see if it will need stitching.
  • There are also numerous types of wounds that should always immediately have the attention of a doctor such as: Animal or human bites
  • Debris that are unable to be removed from the wound. Puncture wounds also qualify for this if the object cannot be removed without help from medical specialists.
  • Uncontrollable bleeding. If so, immediately call an ambulance.
  • If you or the victim is diabetic.

  • Edges of the wound cannot be closed together.
Help and images from Wikihow.com