On 11:33 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
We have all heard of the nasty stuff, but what can you do to prevent it, and treat it?
The first step is learning to identify what Poison Ivy looks like, so you can avoid it. Since poison Ivy takes on many different appearances, it can be a bit tricky. The old saying of "leaves of three" does ring true. So learn its appearance and avoid it! Below are some pictures of how Poison Ivy may look.


If you are looking to do some yard work in an area that possible has Poison Ivy, cover up, from head to toe.   If you are going to be attempting to cut or remove the Poison Ivy in any way, also wear a face mask.


If your think you have been exposed, before the rash starts, immediately wash yourself in a COLD shower, to try and remove the oil before it soaks in.  Wipe down all of your shoes with Alcohol, wash all of your clothes twice in hot water.

Remember that pets cannot have a reaction from Poison Ivy, but they can carry the oil on their skin or fur.  So if they have been in areas with Poison Ivy, you should cover up, and bathe them immediately, as to not spread the oil around your home.


The rash that appears is typically linear, or in patches.  It is red with small blisters.
If the rash does appear, the treatment focuses on the reduction of symptoms(itching) and letting time pass for it to resolve on its own.  Some self-treatment methods are baths or showers, antihistamines,  Calamine lotion, or OTC Hydrocortisone cream.




 
Any of the following should prompt you to seek medical care:

  • Rash covering large areas of your body
  • Rash involving your face, particularly your eyes or mouth
  • Swelling of eyes or mouth
  • Shortness of breath, chest pain, or burning in chest
  • Rash is persistent despite over the counter remedies
On 9:06 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
 
To continue the Summer Ailments series, next is the all too common bites and stings.You can be bitten by a variety of insects including midges, mosquitoes, horseflies, fleas, lice and ants and some people react worse to bites and stings than others.
 
The site of the bite may appear red and swell or be itchy. This reaction is an allergic response to a chemical injected into the skin by the insect when it bites and cause a great deal of misery.
Stings from wasps, bees and jellyfish can also be very painful and cause a red itchy rash. Plants such as nettles can also irritate the skin, leaving a red mottled rash. Although the redness and swelling usually clear quickly, again, some people are very sensitive to stings and can develop a severe allergic reaction. This can cause swelling of the face, difficulty in breathing and dizziness, and it is vital to get medical help immediately.
 
Treatment
If a bee or a wasp stings you, the sting is often left behind. This should be removed immediately by scraping the skin with the blade of a knife or a fingernail. Do not squeeze the skin because this will only push more of the sting under your skin.
 
 
Bites and stings should be kept clean, and an antiseptic cream applied to stop an infection developing. And, however tempting, insect bites should not be scratched as this may increase the risk of infection.
A wide range of sprays, creams and lotions can be used to ease a bite or sting. These contain ingredients such as hydrocortisone to clear up the redness and lidocaine or benzocaine to ease the pain. Painkillers such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin can also be used to reduce the pain. A cold compress can be applied to bee and wasp stings and is very soothing. If you are bitten on the ankles or lower legs and experience swelling, raise your legs on a stool or coffee table.
 
CAUTION: If you have a very severe reaction - difficulty in breathing, dizziness, vomiting or swelling of the face - seek medical help immediately.



Prevention: What can you do to prevent bites?
  • Use insect repellent to protect yourself from insect bites, especially when sitting outside on summer evenings
  • If you know you are particularly susceptible and/or sensitive to insect bites, cover your arms and legs when outside
  • Avoid eating sweet, sticky food, or drinking sugary drinks when outside in the summer as these attract insects.
On 8:04 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care


Before we write about "When a cut requires stitches:, here's a small list on the type of wounds you may/may not encounter.

Types of Wounds

Wounds that cause a break in the skin are called open wounds. These are the types of wounds that may require stitches. Closed wounds do not have a break in the skin and are identified by swelling and bruises.
There are several types of open wounds:
  • Lacerations. This is what we are thinking of when we say "cuts." Lacerations are simple breaks in the skin.
  • Incisions. Surgical wounds, which are usually made by a scalpel. These are similar to lacerations, but have very smooth edges.
  • Punctures. It's hard to tell a puncture from a laceration if the item that made the wound is big enough. Lacerations tear through the skin, while punctures go in and come back out. If the item that made the puncture is still imbedded, it's called an impaled object.
  • Avulsions. These are torn sections of skin, either a flap open on three sides or torn away completely.
  • Abrasions. These are scratches. The difference between an abrasion and an avulsion is the depth. Abrasions leave the skin mostly intact, while avulsions remove the skin entirely.

On 11:03 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
Did You Know? Food Poisoning is a Common Summer Ailment. This is because, some foods are not properly cleaned or taken care of and sit in the summer heat before being consumed.

 
 Food poisoning is a common, usually mild, but sometimes deadly illness. Typical symptoms include: 
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal
  • Cramping
  • Diarrhea
These symptoms occur suddenly (within 48 hours) after consuming a contaminated food or drink. Depending on the contaminant, fever and chills, bloody stools, dehydration, and nervous system damage may follow. These symptoms may affect one person or a group of people who ate the same thing (called an outbreak).
 
Did You Also Know? 1 in 6 people become sick from eating contaminated food. In 2001, the CDC estimated that food poisoning causes about 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and up to 3,000 deaths each year.
 
 
Salmonella remained the top cause of foodborne illness last year. The second most common cause of illness was Campylobacter (a bacterium that causes acute diarrhea), which increased 14%. Campylobacter lives on live chickens and can taint meat during slaughter; it can also be found in raw, unpasteurized milk. Chicken and ground beef top a list of "risky meat."
 
 

Exams and Tests

Your health care provider will examine you for signs of food poisoning, such as pain in the stomach and signs your body does not have as much water and fluids as it should.
Tests may be done on your stools or the food you have eaten to find out what type of germ is causing your symptoms. However, tests may not always find the cause of the diarrhea.
In more serious cases, your health care provider may order a sigmoidoscopy. A thin, hollow tube with a light on the end is placed in the anus to look for the source of bleeding or infection.
 

Treatment

You will usually get better in a couple of days. The goal is to make you feel better and make sure your body has the proper amount of fluids.
Getting enough fluids and learning what to eat will help keep you or your child comfortable. You may need to:
  • Manage the diarrhea
  • Control nausea and vomiting
  • Get plenty of rest