Prevent Scars with Proper Wound Care

Cuts, scrapes, and minor wounds are a part of life, but lasting scars don’t have to be. Learn how to care for your wounds and prevent scars.

What Exactly Is A Scar?

When skin is injured, our body produces extra collagen in an effort to repair the wound as fast as possible. This fibrous healing tissue replaces normal skin, and becomes what we refer to as a scar. Most scars are flat and pale, though some may be raised (known as hypertrophic and keloid scars). The appearance of a scar depends on factors such as the size, shape, and location of the wound and the thickness and color of your skin. While some scarring is inevitable, there are some simple ways you can prevent and lessen lasting marks.

Follow These Wound Care Steps To Prevent Scars

  1. Know when to see a doctor. Wide-set or deep cuts may need stitches. If your wound is deep, painful, or becomes infected, head into our clinic as soon as possible. The key to preventing scars is treating wounds early. Our medical team can quickly evaluate and treat your injury to help you heal faster and minimize scarring. Make sure to follow your provider’s advice on follow-up care and when to get stitches removed.
  2. Keep the wound clean, moist, and covered. Wash your wound daily, using water, a soft wash cloth, and mild soap. After cleaning, apply petroleum jelly or Aquaphor, and a fresh bandage. This hydrates the wound to promote healing, and also protects it from germs and infection. Properly caring for your wound will allow your body to heal with less work and less scarring.
  3. Be patient. Wounds take many months to fully heal.  Avoid using hydrogen peroxide (it actually slows tissue growth), never pick scabs, and always wear sunscreen to prevent discoloration and further skin damage.  A simple, natural healing process is your best bet!

When you need fast treatment for minor cuts and wounds, head into our clinic. We can evaluate your injury and perform stitches, X-rays, and tetanus shots on-site, with no appointment necessary.

Back to School: Common Classroom Illnesses

The start of the school year brings with it new teachers, full backpacks, and plenty of homework. Unfortunately, it also brings an increased risk of illness for your children. Kids in school spend more time indoors, in close proximity to one another, sharing supplies, toys, — and infections. Learn about the common classroom illnesses that your kids might come home with, and how to care for them.

Pinkeye (conjunctivitis)

Pinkeye –or conjunctivitis– is one of the most common eye infections in children. It is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the transparent membrane that lines the eyelid and covers the white of the eyeball. Pinkeye is most often the result of a virus, and can be very contagious; outbreaks sweep through schools and playgrounds.

Pinkeye symptoms include the hallmark pink or red appearance of the eye, along with eye itchiness, pain, swelling, and/or a feeling of sand in the eye. Discharge from the eye and tearing are also common. If you suspect your child has pinkeye, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the spread of the infection to others, and help ease symptoms. Visit our clinic at the first signs of symptoms of pinkeye.

Flu

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that occurs seasonally, usually from October through May (the bulk of the school year.) The flu is spread through tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Symptoms come on suddenly, can be mild to severe, and include fever, body aches, decreased appetite, headache, and severe exhaustion. The illness can lead to serious complications, especially in young children. If your little one develops symptoms, head into our clinic for a proper diagnosis and fast treatment.

To prevent flu, make sure your family receives the annual flu vaccine and teach your child good hygiene habits such as covering coughs and sneezes and frequent handwashing.

Common Cold

The common cold is usually the result of rhinoviruses. These viruses spread through the air and close personal contact, and kids are more susceptible than adults. If your child comes down with a cold, they’ll likely be sneezy, and suffering from a runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, body aches, and a headache. They may also develop a mild fever. There is no cure for a cold. Just make sure your little one gets some rest and drinks plenty of fluids.

Strep Throat

Strep throat is a contagious infection of the throat and tonsils caused by group A streptococcus bacteria. These bacteria spread easily through airborne droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Kids can get strep by breathing in these droplets, touching a surface where they are present, or by sharing food or drinks with someone who is sick.

Signs of strep include a sore and scratchy throat, difficulty swallowing, headache and fever. Your child’s tonsils may appear red and swollen, sometimes with white patches, along with tiny red spots at the back of the mouth and swollen lymph nodes in the front of the neck. If your child is suffering from any symptoms that may indicate strep, it’s important to see a medical provider. Untreated strep throat can cause serious complications such as kidney inflammation and rheumatic fever.

As a parent, it’s difficult to see your child not feeling well. But, childhood illnesses are inevitable. Teach your kids healthy habits, keep track of their symptoms, and remember that our medical team is here to care for your family!

How to Prevent Common Sports Injuries

Sports are an amazing way to get exercise, be social, and improve your overall well-being. But every time you step onto the field, you run the risk of injury. Collisions, poor technique, overuse, or simply, bad luck can leave you with a serious medical issue.

Common sports injuries include:

  • Sprains: A sudden twist or fall can put too much stress on your joint, causing the ligaments to overextend or tear.
  • Muscle Strains: running, jumping, throwing, slips, and lifting heavy objects can all lead your muscle or tendon to stretch either suddenly or too much.
  • Fractures (Broken Bones): a collision in contact sports or landing wrong from a fall can lead to an acute fracture. Repetitive impact such as running or jumping can also cause stress fractures.
  • Knee Injuries: acute, sudden trauma, chronic overuse, or a combination of the two can lead to a variety of problems in the knee, the body’s most complex joint.
  • Shin Splints: improper shoes, high intensity workouts, or exercising without stretching can lead to aching shins due to too much stress on the shin bone and its connective tissues.
  • Dislocations: force from a hit or fall can push the bones in a joint out of alignment. Finger, hand, and shoulder dislocations are the most common bones affected.

While some sports injuries are bound to happen, many common sports injuries are preventable. Take the following steps to reduce your risk:

  1. Don’t try to do too much, too soon. Build up your endurance and increase the intensity as your fitness improves. A little pre-participation training can help build muscle and reduce overuse injuries.
  2. Always begin activity with a gentle warm-up to increase blood flow to the muscles and improve your flexibility. Cool-down with some light stretching.
  3. Make sure the playing field is safe and well-maintained. Watch for sprinklers, holes, and other tripping hazards.
  4. Wear protective gear that is appropriate to your sport – helmets, shin guards, knee pads, etc. Clothes and shoes that fit properly are also important!
  5. Learn the correct form and techniques involved in your sport.
  6. Ensure children in team sports are matched on skill level, weight and physical maturity. All children should have a sports physical before starting a new activity.

If you suffer a sports injury, know that our medical team is available to care for you 7 days a week.

Simply walk in to receive fast, affordable treatment for sprains, strains, fractures, pain, and dislocations. We can also refer you to a specialist if medically necessary and help coordinate your care.

Did you know there are different types of headaches?

Whether your headache is throbbing, squeezing, mild, or severe, one feeling is universal: you want it to go away!

types of headachesWhen it comes to any pain in the head region, most of us will label it as “just a headache”, take an over-the-counter pain reliever, and move on with our day. But, headaches are much more complicated than this! There are over 100 types of headaches, each with its own unique causes, symptoms, and remedies. Learn about the most common types of headaches so that the next time head pain strikes, you can get a more specific diagnosis, and a better treatment plan.

Headaches fall into two many categories: primary and secondary.

A primary headache occurs because of the headache condition itself, and is not due to an underlying disease. The most common primary headaches include:

  • Migraine: A severe, throbbing headache that usually occurs on one side of the head. Symptoms include muscle tension, nausea, and vomiting, as well as increased sensitivity to light and sound.
  • Cluster Headaches: A series of relatively short, but intensely painful headaches that occur everyday for weeks or months at a time. Sufferers experience one sided pain, usually centered around one eye, and symptoms such as, red or teary eyes, runny or stuffy nose, flushing or sweating of the face or a sense of agitation.
  • Tension Headache: Head pain that is dull and aching, and feels like a tight band around the head.

If you have a stable pattern of headache over many months or years, it is most likely a primary headache condition. Head into our clinic for a proper diagnosis. Our medical team can provide medication and recommend lifestyle changes to help you manage your pain.

A headache is secondary when it is a symptom of another disease or condition. There are a multitude of conditions that can affect the pain-sensitive nerves in the head and lead to secondary headaches. Common conditions and diseases that cause secondary headaches include:

  • Concussion
  • Dehydration
  • Dental problems
  • Ear infection (middle ear)
  • Fever
  • Flu
  • Glaucoma
  • Hangovers
  • High blood pressure
  • Medications to treat other disorders
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Overuse of pain medication
  • Panic attacks and panic disorder
  • Pressure from tight headgear
  • Sinus infection

As well as more serious, life-threatening conditions, such as:

  • Brain aneurysm
  • Brain tumor
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Encephalitis (brain inflammation)
  • Meningitis
  • Stroke

The American Migraine Foundation provides this helpful list of warning signs to help determine if your headache is caused by an underlying condition.

Seek emergency help for:

  • Abrupt, severe headache
  • Headache with a fever, stiff neck, mental confusion, seizures, double vision, weakness, numbness or speaking difficulties
  • Headache after a head injury, especially if the headache gets worse

In other instances, simply walk into our clinic.

Our friendly medical team can evaluate your head pain, assess additional symptoms, and recommend a treatment plan to help you find relief. Headaches are common, but you don’t have to live with the pain. Let us help you better understand and treat your headaches.

A UTI or an STI? The Trouble with Similar Symptoms

uti or an sti - photo of bathroom stallIf you’re making frequent –and painful– trips to the bathroom, you might assume you have a urinary tract infection. But, there are other conditions that cause pelvic pain and trouble with urination, most notably, sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea.

So, how can you tell if you’re suffering due to a UTI or an STI?

It’s difficult to differentiate a UTI from an STI based on symptoms alone, since both cause burning during urination, pelvic pain, and a frequent, sudden urge to urinate. However, if you also have vaginal symptoms such as discharge, bleeding and/or irregular periods, and are sexually active, it may suggest an STI. Make sure to talk to your doctor about your specific symptoms and risk factors for these types of infections.

The only way to determine exactly what kind of infection you are dealing with is to head to the doctor for testing.

Why it’s important to seek treatment

Urinary Tract Infections occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply in the bladder. In most cases, UTIs can be successfully treated with a short course of antibiotics and symptoms will clear up within a few days of treatment. However, when left untreated, urinary tract infections can lead to serious complications including recurrent infections, kidney disease, and even sepsis.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are bacterial infections that spread through sexual intercouse and develop in the reproductive organs, the urethra, throat, and rectum. Both infections are curable and are treated with antibiotics. Untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause permanent health problems such as pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and increased risk of HIV.

If you think you have a UTI or an STI, visit our clinic today. With onsite lab testing, our compassionate providers can determine the cause of your symptoms and provide you with an appropriate treatment plan.

Stop Your Seasonal Allergies Before They Start

If you suffer from seasonal allergic rhinitis (AKA hay fever), then you know the symptoms are downright miserable. The constant sneezing, runny nose, and itchiness make it difficult to deal with even the most simple daily tasks. This spring, learn the best way to stop your seasonal allergies before they start.

Understanding Hay Fever

Hay fever is caused by pollen carried in the air during different times of the year, and spring, with so many trees and plants in bloom, tends to be a heavy-hitter. Trees, weeds, and grasses release pollen to fertilize other plants. When someone with an allergy inhales this pollen, their immune system perceives an intruder and reacts by releasing histamine into the bloodstream to attack it. This response triggers symptoms such as:

  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Itchy eyes and nose
  • Dark circles under the eyes

How can I prevent seasonal allergies?

The best way to control hay fever is to avoid the allergens that cause it. And while it may be difficult to completely avoid pollen, you can actively monitor the pollen count in your area and limit outdoor exposure when counts are high. The National Allergy Bureau now offers a helpful online tool that reports on pollen counts for specific trees, grasses, weeds and mold spores throughout the country. Check your local pollen count now »

Staying aware of the pollen counts can also make your allergy medications more effective. Antihistamine medications work best when taken preemptively. If you take your medication before you come into contact with pollen, it can prevent the release of histamine and stop your symptoms in their tracks.

Antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal steroids can all help manage hay fever allergies. Talk to a doctor to learn which medication is right for you.

If you suffer from spring allergies, visit our clinic today. Our medical team can prescribe allergy medications and offer helpful advice on how to keep your hay fever under control.

U.R.I. = Upper Respiratory Infection or Un Real Inconvenience?

illustration of man with upper respiratory infection


If you’ve got a runny nose, an aching throat, and a cough that won’t quit, you can probably blame it on an upper respiratory infection (URI). URIs are one of the most common reasons people visit the doctor, especially in fall and winter. Educate yourself on the illness, and learn ways to battle the miserable symptoms associated with it.

What is an upper respiratory infection?

An upper respiratory infection is a term used to describe a contagious infection of the upper respiratory tract (the nose, throat, airways, sinuses, and ears). Most URIs are viral illnesses, though some are caused by bacteria. The common cold, sinusitis, and bronchitis all types of upper respiratory infections.

What are the symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, and how long will they last?

Symptoms of an upper respiratory infection are caused by inflammation of the mucous membranes in your upper respiratory tract. They include runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, cough, and mucus production. Fever, headache, fatigue, and wheezing are also common.

How do you treat an upper respiratory infection?

If a bacteria is causing your upper respiratory infection, a doctor can prescribe antibiotics to treat it. However, antibiotics are ineffective for viral URIs. In these instances, treatment is focused on alleviating symptoms.

If your symptoms are severe or long lasting, it’s important to seek medical help. Secondary bacterial infections may develop, and require treatment. Head to the doctor ASAP if you experience:

  • A fever greater than 101 F for more than two days 
  • Shortness of breath, pain or tightness in your chest, wheezing
  • A painful cough that worsens, or lasts longer than two weeks
  • A bad sore throat that worsens, or lasts longer than three days
  • Swollen glands in your neck that aren’t going away
  • Pain in your face or teeth that does not improve
  • A long-lasting, or severe headache
  • A rash
  • Persistent abdominal pain
  • Significant drowsiness or confusion

Walk into our clinic any day, any time, no appointment needed for prompt, affordable treatment of an upper respiratory infection. With x-rays, lab testing, and an amazing medical team on staff, we’re here to help you feel better.

Bronchitis vs. Pneumonia: Common Signs of Each and What to Do to Feel Better

bronchitis vs pneumoniaExperiencing coughing and chest discomfort? Could it be bronchitis? Or is it pneumonia? While the two illnesses share similar symptoms, they require different treatment plans, and a correct diagnosis is key to help you start feeling better. Learn how to tell the difference between the two conditions.

Acute Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis is generally viral in nature and often develops after an upper respiratory illness, such as cold or flu. The condition is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes (the airways of the lungs), which leads to excess mucus production and coughing. Symptoms include:

  • Cough, with or without mucus production
  • Soreness or discomfort in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Mild fever and chills
  • Headache and body aches

Acute bronchitis will usually go away on its own and antibiotics are not recommended for treatment. To feel better, get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids. Most symptoms will subside within a week, though your cough may persist for several weeks.

Pneumonia

Pneumonia feels similar to bronchitis, but is a much more serious illness. It is an infection of the alveoli– the air sacs in the lungs that transfer oxygen to the bloodstream. The alveoli become inflamed and may fill with fluid or pus. Because the condition affects your oxygen supply, it can severely compromise the organs and tissues in your body.

Symptoms vary based on your age, overall health, and what’s causing the infection, but generally include:

  • Cough, with or without mucus production
  • Sharp chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Fever, sweating and shaking chills
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

Adults age 65 and older may also experience:

  • Confusion or changes in mental awareness
  • Lower than normal body temperature

Treatment for pneumonia depends on your age, overall health, and the type and severity of the illness. Options include antibiotics, over-the-counter cough medicines and fever reducers/pain relievers.

If you’re experiencing symptoms that indicate pneumonia, head into our clinic today. Our medical team can help diagnose your illness and determine the best treatment plan to get you back to normal.

A Sore Throat or Strep Throat?

Your throat aches and the simple act of swallowing is suddenly painful. Is this a mild sore throat that will go away on its own, or a strep infection that needs antibiotics?

Learn when it’s time to see a doctor for sore throat symptoms.

There are many causes for a sore throat. Your pain could be the result of a virus, a bacteria, an allergen, or even an environmental factor, such as cigarette smoke. So, how can you tell what’s causing your sore throat?

Let’s take a look at the symptoms of a strep infection:

tea with lemon and ginger for sore throat

  • A sore throat that comes on suddenly
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Fever
  • Red, swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches
  • Tiny red spots on the roof of your mouth
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the front of your neck

Though less common, you may also experience a headache, nausea and vomiting, and/or a rash known as scarlet fever.

Strep throat symptoms generally do not include:

  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Hoarseness (abnormal voice changes that may sound breathy, raspy, or strained)
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)

These symptoms suggest that a virus is causing your throat pain.

If your symptoms do indicate strep, fear not. Our medical team is available to provide the testing and treatment you need to start feeling better. Walk in today for prompt, affordable care.

Stay Healthy and Safe this Holiday Season

While the winter holidays are a time of joy and celebration, the season is not without its pitfalls. Increased travel, family gatherings, and holiday decorations and gifts can bring unwanted stress, injury, and illness. Stay safe and healthy this season by following just a few simple precautions.

Travel Smart

Millions of Americans will find themselves on the road this December. Whether it’s flying cross-country to see family or driving across town to a holiday party, you’ll want to travel smart. Follow these tips to stay safe and healthy on-the-go.

  • Never drink and drive. Use a designated driver to help guests get home safely after a holiday party.
  • Don’t drive distracted. Put the phone away and don’t fiddle with the radio. Your complete attention should be on the road.
  • Pack healthy snacks. Whether gearing up for a flight or a road trip, you’re bound to be tempted by fast food and sugary snacks once en route. Keep water, fruit, and veggies handy to stave off hunger.
  • Fit in exercise. Go for a short jog at the rest stop or choose to walk to your airline gate. A little activity can go a long way for your health.
  • Buckle up. Always ensure that everyone in your vehicle is wearing a seatbelt, no matter the distance of the drive.
  • Wash your hands often. The Journal of Environmental Health Research found that you are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a plane than during normal daily life. Avoid touching surfaces as much as possible, practice good hand washing, and try not to touch your face.

Decorate and Give Safely

A holiday tradition like hanging string lights might seem harmless, but an estimated 15,000 injuries involving holiday decorating were seen in emergency rooms during the 2012 season. Take preventative measures to avoid unwanted injuries while decorating and gift-giving this season:

  • Make sure your tree is stable and away from candles and the fireplace.
  • Decorate the tree with children in mind. Keep fragile, breakable ornaments out of reach.
  • Ensure there are no exposed wires, excessive kinks, or loose connections in string light decorations.
  • Turn off tree lights and decorations when not in use.
  • Always use a proper step ladder. Don’t try to stand or balance on furniture while decorating.
  • Give safe, age-appropriate gifts. Small children can choke on small or removable parts.
  • Avoid toys with button batteries and be aware of their risk.

We wish you and your family a very happy, healthy and safe holiday season!

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