Athlete’s foot, known medically as “tinea pedis”, is one of the most common skin infections encountered in primary care practices. With bare feet and wet public areas for summer fun, athlete’s foot shows up more this time of year. This infection is caused by a fungus that can grow on skin, nails or even hair. As the fungus grows and spreads, there is typically a red edged border, with the central area clearing and looking like normal skin. On the feet, however, the fungus causes an itchy red rash with thick scaling, cracking, and redness between the toes and … Read more
July is here already, so before you know it, our kids will be headed back to school. Why am I bringing this somber fact up on July 1st, in the very heart of summer? Because part of back-to-school preparation is that doctor check up, complete with the mountain of forms your child’s school has sent you. Whether your baby is starting pre-K or headed off to graduate school, our educational institutions rightly want to protect their students’ health, including reducing the spread of preventable, communicable diseases with vaccinations. Prioritize calling your family doctor RIGHT NOW and get your kids appointments … Read more
I think we all know (or at least, assume) that eating more fruits and vegetables is a healthy choice. I have yet to find the person who thinks eating vegetables is BAD for you, although I do have many patients who are afraid that eating fruits will worsen their diabetes. With the recent media focus on the risks of eating red meat (and the link to increased risk of developing diabetes), many people are taking a critical look at their diet and wondering what to do.
My honest recommendation for the majority of us is to simply increase the color … Read more
Last week, the media was abuzz with a recent study: Changes in Red Meat Consumption and Subsequent Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, published in JAMA. Since my last post was addressing knowing your diabetes risk, this is a nice follow up, so I will jump on the bandwagon.
The study involved several separate groups: over 26,000 men in the Health Professionals Follow Up Study, nearly 50,000 women in the Nurses Health Study and around 74,000 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II. Dietary choices were tracked with validated food records updated every four years.
What did they find?… Read more
Although the internet is packed with misleading and erroneous medical advice, there certainly are a great number of medically accurate and helpful sites as well. Today I stumbled across an excellent tool to help people quickly assess their risk for DIABETES on the American Diabetes Association website:
The Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test. Their catch phrase is “It’s Fast. It’s Free. It’s Easy.”- and it IS all that!
The numbers of people being diagnosed with type 2 (adult onset) diabetes in this country are staggering. There are nearly 2 MILLION new cases of diabetes being diagnosed each year in … Read more
Lovely topic, isn’t it? But if you’ve got a persistent case of diarrhea, it’s possible you picked up a parasite called Giardia during a summer swim. Giardia is transmitted by swallowing contaminated water (typically during a swim) or from other fecal-oral transmission (such as poor hand washing after changing baby diapers or using the restroom), or rarely, from contaminated food. Even if you are not a pool-water-mouth-squirter, it is very easy to accidentally swallow water while swimming- especially in a race! And diapered babies are supposed to be limited to a “baby pool” for a good reason, but think how … Read more
Speaking of melanoma (yesterday’s blog), it’s time for another review about the basics of sunscreens. Which one is the best? Sprays are so fast and convenient- but do they work? Which ingredients matter?
Let’s start with SPF. What does it mean? Sun Protection Factor is a measure of a sunscreen’s ability to protect the wearer against UV radiation from UVB. Note that the sun produces both UVA and UVB, and BOTH cause damage that can lead to skin cancers. Right now, though, the SPF only addresses the UVB protection. So, SPF means that compared to bare skin, the sunscreen … Read more
Swimming season has arrived, and patients often ask me about whether or not you can catch this or that disease from a swimming pool or hot tub. First of all, let me assure you that no, you cannot catch STI’s (sexually transmitted infections) directly from a hot tub…as long as all you are doing in the hot tub is enjoying the water. There are, however, diseases that can be contracted from swimming pools – typically from accidentally swallowing the pool water. How does that happen? Easily, especially for kids and adults who play around with getting mouthfuls of pool water … Read more
In yesterday’s blog I touched on a pet peeve of mine, asking people to NOT put Q-tips in their ears. Inevitably, the next question is, “but Doctor, if I can’t use q-tips, how can I clean out my ears?”
The answer is two-fold:
Number One- most ears don’t need to be “cleaned out”.
Number Two- when you do have an ear wax build up, flush them out with a bulb syringe.
Ear canals, like many other parts of our body, are self-cleaning. The ear wax (cerumen) is made up of dead skin cells, hair, and other debris that enters the … Read more