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Shingles

Shingles is a disease that affects your nerves. It can cause burning, shooting pain, tingling, and/or itching, as well as a rash and blisters.

You may recall having chickenpox as a child. Shingles is caused by the same virus, the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). After you recover from chickenpox, the virus continues to live in some of your nerve cells. It is usually inactive, so you don’t even know it’s there.

In fact, most adults live with VZV in their bodies and never get shingles. But, for about one in three adults, the virus will become active again. Instead of causing another case of chickenpox, it produces shingles. We do not totally understand what makes the virus go from inactive to active.

Having shingles doesn’t mean you have any other underlying disease.

Everyone who has had chickenpox has VZV in their body and is at risk for getting shingles. Right now, there is no way of knowing who will get the disease. But, some things make it more likely:

  • Advanced age. The risk of getting shingles increases as you age. People may have a harder time fighting off infections as they get older. About half of all shingles cases are in adults age 60 or older. The chance of getting shingles becomes much greater by age 70.
  • Trouble fighting infections. Your immune system is the part of your body that responds to infections. Age can affect your immune system. So can an HIV infectioncancer, cancer treatments, too much sun, or organ transplant drugs. Even stress or a cold can weaken your immune system for a short time. These all can put you at risk for shingles.

Can You Catch Shingles?

Shingles is not contagious. You can’t catch it from someone. But, you can catch chickenpox from someone with shingles. So, if you’ve never had chickenpox, try to stay away from anyone who has shingles.

If you have shingles, try to stay away from anyone who has not had chickenpox or who might have a weak immune system.

What Are the Symptoms of Shingles?

Usually, shingles develops only on one side of the body or face and in a small area rather than all over. The most common place for shingles is a band that goes around one side of your waistline.

Week 1 to than days later

Shingles on one side of the face 

How Long Does Shingles Last?

Most cases of shingles last three to five weeks. Shingles follows a pattern:

  • The first sign is often burning or tingling pain; sometimes, it includes numbness or itching on one side of the body.
  • Somewhere between one and five days after the tingling or burning feeling on the skin, a red rash will appear.
  • A few days later, the rash will turn into fluid-filled blisters.
  • About a week to 10 days after that, the blisters dry up and crust over.
  • A couple of weeks later, the scabs clear up.

Most people get shingles only one time. But, it is possible to have it more than once.

Long-Term Pain and Other Lasting Problems

After the shingles rash goes away, some people may be left with ongoing pain called post-herpetic neuralgia or PHN. The pain is felt in the area where the rash had been. For some people, PHN is the longest lasting and worst part of shingles. The older you are when you get shingles, the greater your chance of developing PHN.

The PHN pain can cause depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and weight loss. Some people with PHN find it hard to go about their daily activities, like dressing, cooking, and eating. Talk with your doctor if you have any of these problems.

There are medicines that may help with PHN. Steroids may lessen the pain and shorten the time you’re sick. Analgesics, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants may also reduce the pain. Usually, PHN will get better over time.

Some people have other problems that last after shingles has cleared up. For example, the blisters caused by shingles can become infected. They may also leave a scar. It is important to keep the area clean and try not to scratch the blisters. Your doctor can prescribe an antibiotic treatment if needed.

See your doctor right away if you notice blisters on your face—this is an urgent problem. Blisters near or in the eye can cause lasting eye damage or blindness. Hearing loss, a brief paralysis of the face, or, very rarely, swelling of the brain (encephalitis) can also occur.

Have a Rash? Go to the Doctor

If you think you might have shingles, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. It’s important to see your doctor no later than three days after the rash starts. The doctor will confirm whether or not you have shingles and can make a treatment plan. If you have a condition that weakens the immune system, the doctor may give you a shingles test. The shingles test can also help doctors diagnose shingles in people who don’t have a rash. Although there is no cure for shingles, early treatment with drugs that fight the virus can help the blisters dry up faster and limit severe pain. Shingles can often be treated at home. People with shingles rarely need to stay in a hospital.

Should You Get the Shingles Vaccine?

The shingles vaccine is safe and easy, and it may keep you from getting shingles and PHN. Healthy adults age 50 and older should get vaccinated with a shingles vaccine called Shingrix, which is given in two doses. Zostavax, a previous shingles vaccine, is no longer available in the United States.

You should try to get the second dose of Shingrix between two and six months after you get the first dose. If your doctor or pharmacist is out of Shingrix, you can use the Vaccine Finder to help find other providers who have Shingrix. You can also contact pharmacies in your area and ask to be put on a waiting list for Shingrix. If it’s been more than six months since you got the first dose, you should get the second dose as soon as possible. You don’t need to get a first dose again.

You should get Shingrix even if you have already had shingles, received Zostavax, or don’t remember having had chickenpox. However, you should not get a vaccine if you have a fever or illness, have a weakened immune system, or have had an allergic reaction to Shingrix. Check with your doctor if you are not sure what to do.

You can get the shingles vaccine at your doctor’s office and at some pharmacies. All Medicare Part D plans and most private health insurance plans will cover the cost.

What Can You Do About Shingles?

If you have shingles, here are some tips that might help you feel better:

  • Get plenty of rest and eat well-balanced meals.
  • Try simple exercises like stretching or walking. Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
  • Apply a cool washcloth to your blisters to ease the pain and help dry the blisters.
  • Do things that take your mind off your pain. For example, watch TV, read, talk with friends, listen to relaxing music, or work on a hobby you like.
  • Avoid stress. It can make the pain worse.
  • Wear loose-fitting, natural-fiber clothing.
  • Take an oatmeal bath or use calamine lotion to see if it soothes your skin.
  • Share your feelings about your pain with family and friends. Ask for their understanding.

Also, you can limit spreading the virus by:

  • Keeping the rash covered
  • Not touching or scratching the rash
  • Washing your hands often

Most people have some of the following shingles symptoms:

  • Burning, tingling, or numbness of the skin
  • Feeling sick—chills, fever, upset stomach, or headache
  • Fluid-filled blisters
  • Skin that is sensitive to touch
  • Mild itching to strong pain

Depending on where shingles develops, it could also cause symptoms like hiccups or even loss of vision.

For some people, the symptoms of shingles are mild. They might just have some itching. For others, shingles can cause intense pain that can be felt from the gentlest touch or breeze.

How Long Does Shingles Last?

Most cases of shingles last three to five weeks. Shingles follows a pattern:

  • The first sign is often burning or tingling pain; sometimes, it includes numbness or itching on one side of the body.
  • Somewhere between one and five days after the tingling or burning feeling on the skin, a red rash will appear.
  • A few days later, the rash will turn into fluid-filled blisters.
  • About a week to 10 days after that, the blisters dry up and crust over.
  • A couple of weeks later, the scabs clear up.

Most people get shingles only one time. But, it is possible to have it more than once.

QUOTE FOR THURSDAY:

“We’re talking sexually transmitted diseases, which are at an all-time high for the sixth consecutive year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said in a new report released Tuesday, day three of National STD Awareness Week.

For 2019, health departments across the U.S. reported 1.8 million cases of chlamydia, an almost 20% increase since 2015; 616,392 cases of gonorrhea, more than 50% higher than 2015, and 129,813 cases of all stages of syphilis, a whopping 70% increase, the CDC said. In total there were more than 2.5 million reported cases of those three, most commonly reported STDs for that year.”

MSN News

Part II Untreated STDs and tips on Prevention of STDs!

Untreated STDs

While most STDs and STIs are curable, cases that are left untreated can pose a host of complications. In recent years, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis have been making a comeback, leading to:

  • An increase of babies born with syphilis
  • A higher risk of infertility
  • A greater risk of getting or giving HIV
  • The possible development of untreatable gonorrhea
  • Unknowingly spreading the disease or infection to others

Some people with STDs and STIs will exhibit symptoms that signal there’s a problem. However, there are many cases that won’t present symptoms but are still contagious, making it very easy to infect others.

Take Control of Your Health

Because STD testing is not standard in general wellness checks, it’s important to be direct with your healthcare provider in requesting tests. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is encouraging people to take action this month with the following:

  • Get Yourself Tested: Because these diseases can have a big impact on the lives of younger people, it’s important to get tested and encourage friends and partners to do the same. It’s also important to be educated so you can separate the facts from the rumors about STDs.
  • Test. Treat.: Talking about sex isn’t always easy for some. This specific campaign from the CDC encourages being open and honest about sexual health with both your sexual partner and physician. By speaking openly, your doctor can recommend certain tests and provide necessary treatment, and your partner can do the same.
  • Syphilis Strikes Back: Although syphilis is a risk for anyone, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment is particularly vital for pregnant women, newborn babies, and gay and bisexual men. These groups have seen the biggest increase in syphilis infections, so it’s important to do your part to reduce the numbers.
  • Treat Me Right: It’s important to have trust in your healthcare provider while also understanding how to be in control of your own personal health. Sexual health can be difficult to talk about, but if you have a physician you trust, these conversations can be much simpler.

TIps in preventing STD’s:

1-Do not have sex but not realistic for many!

2-Prevention! This is the most obvious and effective way to avoid the transmission of STDs. As we just mentioned, many STDs are spread via the exchange of bodily fluids. You actually need to swap a lot of bodily fluids, however, meaning that a kiss isn’t likely to spread anything more serious than herpes. And even if you were to swallow a little blood after biting a lip too hard, it’s highly unlikely that would be enough to transmit HIV (though we don’t recommend testing the theory!).

3.Sometimes, something as simple as taking a shower after sex can be an effective way to reduce your likelihood of catching an STD. This can help to remove bacteria and other causes of illness off of your body, as well as removing fluids that might still be lingering.

Just make sure to bring your own towel!  Be discrete in how you approach this to avoid offending your partner.

And the same goes for some other strategies. It’s up to you then to decide how you want to proceed. But if nothing else, make sure to use a condom. Even if it is an awkward thing to bring up at the moment.

4-Maintain good health and if not feeling well when this time is approached (sex engagement) hold off for both sides.

5-If you have any reason to worry after having sex, then you should always get yourself checked with a doctor.

6-Ask about your partner’s history when first having sex.

7-Think it’s awkward asking your potential partner if they brought protection? Well then try stopping them before sex to ask how many previous partners they’ve had, if they knew all of them first, and whether they’ve been checked for STDs previously.

So, no, this isn’t always going to be a viable strategy. But in cases where you feel comfortable with the other party, or if you’re keen to be as careful as you possibly can be: this can be a good option.

8-Be wise in choosing who you have sex with.

This goes without saying, but choosing your partners carefully is always wise. While you should never judge a book by its cover, and while anyone could be carrying an STD, there are certainly some warning signs that you can look out for.

If someone has had a lot of sexual partners for instance, then they are more likely to have an STD. If they don’t suggest protection prior to sex, then it suggests that they probably would have had sex with other people unprotected.

QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

“April is recognized as Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Awareness Month and brings attention to the nearly 20 million new STDs that occur in the United States each year. While STDs affect all racial and ethnic groups, American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations are affected at a higher rate.

In November 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its latest Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance Report  , showing the highest rates of STDs in 20 years. The report identifies that in 2015, AI/ANs had the second highest rates for both chlamydia and gonorrhea infections, and AI/AN women had the second highest primary and secondary syphilis rates among all race groups. Reports of congenital syphilis (CS), a disease that occurs when a mother with syphilis passes the infection on to her baby during pregnancy, is particularly concerning among AI/ANs.”

Indian Health Service
The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

 

STDs Month Awareness!

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have been known to mankind for centuries. Before the advent of modern medicine, people’s lack of awareness and understanding of STDs contributed to the widespread transmission of the infections while few or no treatments were available to treat the conditions.

A large number of infections can be transmitted sexually. Some STDs carry obvious symptoms. Common STD symptoms include:

  • rashes
  • pain during sex or urination
  • abnormal discharge
  • sores, bumps, or blisters

However, many people with STDs have no symptoms. Some STDs often lie dormant for years. According to the Mayo Clinic, asymptomatic STDs are so common that many people with STDs have no idea they are infected. They may pass on an STD to one or more partners without knowing it. They may also suffer internal damage while the STD remains untreated.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), STDs such as syphilis and HIV can have severe consequences if left untreated. Even common diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause problems if undiagnosed for long periods of time.

In medieval times, syphilis and gonorrhoea were two of the most prevalent STDs in Europe.

Some STDs can have severe, life-changing consequences; syphilis, for example, can eventually cause progressive destruction of the brain and spinal cord, leading to mental dysfunction and hallucinations, speech problems and general paresis.

It’s kind of puzzling that sexually transmitted diseases are so prevalent—particularly when you consider that you have to get pretty up close and personal to contract one. An STD is characterized by any disease that is spread by one partner to another via sexual contact, and that can be orally, vaginally, anally, or via hand to genital contact. Regardless, they are spread when one partner passes the disease-causing organism on to the other. Obviously, preventing STD transmission is first and foremost by practicing safe sex (PREVENTION) and not enough do it in America for some crazy reason hurting themselves and other people. However, if you think you might have contracted one of the most common STDs, recognizing the disease is imperative for swift treatment and preventing further spreading.

Top venereal diseases in the USA:

1-Gonorrhea

The Centers for Disease Control estimate that 700,000 new cases of Gonorrhea, or the “clap”, crop up every year. This long-term STD that is spread bacterially, affecting a female’s cervix, a male’s urethra, or the throat in both sexes, which means that it’s transmitted by vaginal, oral, and anal sex. The symptoms of gonorrhea are pretty subtle; the most noticeable being burning when urinating or a yellowish penile discharge in men.

2-Hepatitis

Sexually transmitted hepatitis is hepatitis B (or HBV), which afflicts more than 1.25 million individuals in the U.S. even though there is a vaccine. If left untreated, a Hep B infection will scar and damage the liver, causing cirrhosis and liver cancer. Unfortunately, over half of those affected show no symptoms, but those who do suffer muscle pain and fatigue, yellowing of the eyes (or jaundice), nausea, and a distended stomach.

3-Syphilis

Syphilis is a particularly sneaky STD that caused by a type bacterial infection of the genital tract, known as Treponema Pallidum. Syphilis is transmitted when direct contact is made between the small, painless sores on the mouth, rectum, vagina, or around the genitals in areas not protected by latex condoms. It can also be transmitted via infected mother to her baby during pregnancy. When there are no sores, the disease is still present. Syphilis symptoms are rare, however, the most telling are sores or lesions on and around the genitals, as well as hair loss, sore throat, fever; headache; and a white patchy skin rash.

4- Chlamydia

Like Gonorrhea, Chlamydia affects a man’s penile urethra and a woman’s cervix. However, oftentimes those who’ve contracted Chlamydia don’t show symptoms for months or even years, which explains why it’s the most common and rampant STD. If you do show symptoms, you’ll feel pain during intercourse and have a discolored, thick discharge from the vagina or penis. Transmitted via sexual penetration with an affected partner, using latex condoms can prevent transmission of this curable STD.

 5. Crabs

If you feel a creepy-crawly, itchy sensation in your genitals, you may have crabs (or public lice). They show themselves as visible eggs or lice in the coarse hair of the genital region (even if you shave it off), and they can spread to the armpits and eyebrows if left untreated. Typically transmitted via sexual contact, crabs can also be passed via contact with infested linens or clothing.

6. Human Papilloma Virus

Human Papilloma Virus (or HPV) is currently the most wide spread STD. It affects roughly three-quarters of the sexually active population and a staggering one-quarter of sexually active women, which is why there is a North American vaccine to protect young women from certain types of HPV that are linked to genital warts and cervical cancer. HPV is transmitted through genital contact—via vaginal and anal sex, and also oral sex and genital-to-genital contact. Most times HPV doesn’t show any symptoms until it’s far advanced, but genital warts as well as RRP, a condition where warts grow in the throat and eventually cause breathing difficulties are common.

7. Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis, or BV, is not always considered an STD even though it typically afflicts those of child-bearing age with multiple or new sex partners. BV occurs when healthy bacteria in the vagina overgrow and become imbalanced, causing burning and itching around the vagina and a thick, grey discharge with a strong fishy odor. Antibiotics will quickly clear up bouts of BV, but it can reoccur, leaving the victim prone to pelvic inflammatory disease, other STDs, and premature births (if pregnant).

 8. Herpes

Painful sores or lesions on your mouth or genitals may indicate herpes, a viral STD that comes in two forms HSV1 (herpes of the mouth) and HSV2 (herpes of the genitals). Herpes is transmitted skin-to-skin—for instance, from genital to genital, mouth to genital, or mouth to mouth contact with an infected individual, even when they don’t have visible sores. Even though herpes symptoms be treated with antibiotics, the virus never goes away and reoccurs typically 2 to 4 times per year.

9. Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis, or “trich”, often masks itself as a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis (BV) in women with similar symptoms—including a thick, grey discharge, offensive vaginal odor, pain or burning intercourse, and itchiness. A parasitic trichomonas vaginalis infection affects the urethra and the vagina in women. It can be transmitted back and forth between sex partners (man to woman and woman to woman) via vaginal intercourse and contact. However, most men typically don’t have any symptoms.

10. HIV

HIV is transmitted via the exchange of body fluids—such as semen, vaginal secretions, blood, or breast milk. Within a month or 2 of contracting HIV, about 40 to 90-percent of those afflicted suffer from flu-like symptoms including fever, fatigue, achy muscles, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, headache, skin rash, dry cough, nausea, rapid weight loss, night sweats, frequent yeast infections (for women), cold sores, and eventually, pneumonia. Luckily, many individuals who are diagnosed early can live a long, productive life with HIV thanks to a combination of highly active anti-retroviral drug therapy, which prevents to progression to AIDS.

Other STDs

Other, less common, STDs include:

  • chancroid
  • lymphogranuloma venereum
  • molluscum contagiosum
  • scabies

America choose prevention regarding these diseases before getting them or you will self inflict a big headache in your life that will not fully go away!  Why have it when you can prevent it and why be a person who can spread it in this country; it is all up to you.  Hope you make the right choice and if you do end up with it get treatment and help yourself and no one will do it for you.

 

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY:

“National Humor Month was conceived as a means to heighten public awareness of the therapeutic value of humor. Laughter and joy – the benchmarks of humor – lead to improved well-being, boosted morale, increased communication skills, and an enriched quality of life.

It’s no coincidence that the month begins with April Fool’s Day, a day which has sanctioned frivolity and amusement for hundreds of years.”

humormonth.com

National Humor Month – Laughter, Health and how it helps our lives.

 

EVER FEELING RUN DOWN?

Try laughing more. Some researchers think laughter just might be the best medicine, helping you feel better and putting that spring back in your step. “I believe that if people can get more laughter in their lives, they are a lot better off,” says Steve Wilson, MA, CSP, a psychologist and laugh therapist. “They might be healthier too.”

Recommended Related to Mind, Body, Spirit How to Get the Life You Want By Kristyn Kusek Lewis’s point of view she says:   You’ve been putting it off forever — that secret dream to start a business, write a book, run a marathon…. Whatever your desire, ignoring it means denying who you really are. And don’t you deserve better? Here, your no-excuses, no-regrets guide to answering the voice in your head that says, “I want more.” Ask yourself: Are you ready to finally tackle the burden or bad habit that’s been dragging you down? You’re many things—maybe a wife and mom, prized employee,… Read the How to Get the Life You Want article > > Yet researchers aren’t sure if it’s actually the act of laughing that makes people feel better. A good sense of humor, a positive attitude, and the support of friends and family might play a role, too.

“The definitive research into the potential health benefits of laughter just hasn’t been done yet,” says Robert R. Provine, professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and author of Laughter: A Scientific Investigation. But while we don’t know for sure that laughter helps people feel better, it certainly isn’t hurting. Continue reading below…

Laughter Therapy: What Happens When We Laugh? We change physiologically when we laugh. We stretch muscles throughout our face and body, our pulse and blood pressure go up, and we breathe faster, sending more oxygen to our tissues. People who believe in the benefits of laughter say it can be like a mild workout — and may offer some of the same advantages as a workout. “The effects of laughter and exercise are very similar,” says Wilson. “Combining laughter and movement, like waving your arms, is a great way to boost your heart rate.”

One pioneer in laughter research, William Fry, claimed it took ten minutes on a rowing machine for his heart rate to reach the level it would after just one minute of hearty laughter. And laughter appears to burn calories, too.

Maciej Buchowski, a researcher from Vanderbilt University, conducted a small study in which he measured the amount of calories expended in laughing. It turned out that 10-15 minutes of laughter burned 50 calories. While the results are intriguing, don’t be too hasty in ditching that treadmill. One piece of chocolate has about 50 calories; at the rate of 50 calories per hour, losing one pound would require about 12 hours of concentrated laughter!

Laughter’s Effects on the Body In the last few decades, researchers have studied laughter’s effects on the body and turned up some potentially interesting information on how it affects us:

  • Blood flow – Researchers at the University of Maryland studied the effects on blood vessels when people were shown either comedies or dramas. After the screening, the blood vessels of the group who watched the comedy behaved normally — expanding and contracting easily. But the blood vessels in people who watched the drama tended to tense up, restricting blood flow.
  • Immune response – Increased stress is associated with decreased immune system response, says Provine. Some studies have shown that the ability to use humor may raise the level of infection-fighting antibodies in the body and boost the levels of immune cells, as well.
  • Blood sugar levels – One study of 19 people with diabetes looked at the effects of laughter on blood sugar levels. After eating, the group attended a tedious lecture. On the next day, the group ate the same meal and then watched a comedy. After the comedy, the group had lower blood sugar levels than they did after the lecture.
  • Relaxation and sleep – The focus on the benefits of laughter really began with Norman Cousin’s memoir, Anatomy of an Illness. Cousins, who was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, a painful spine condition, found that a diet of comedies, like Marx Brothers films and episodes of Candid Camera, helped him feel better. He said that ten minutes of laughter allowed him two hours of pain-free sleep.
  • Humor is infectious – The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.  Laughter is strong medicine for mind and body.
  • Laughter – is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.  With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.
  • Laughter – is good for your health.
  • Laughter – relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter boosts the immune system – Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.  Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart – Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

REFERENCES: 1.) Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. Last updated: April 2014.  HELPGUIDE.ORG 2)  By R. Morgan Griffin   WebMD Feature  Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD

QUOTE FOR WEEKEND:

“April is National Foot Health Awareness Month, which makes now the perfect time to get your feet back in shape. Just about everything you do during the day involves being on your feet. Keeping your feet, ankles, and lower legs healthy is the key to preventing unwanted pain and suffering.

Whether you suffer from; flat feet, hammertoes, bunion, ingrown nails, nail fungus, skin disorders, or an old sports injury, the physicians at Podiatry Associates can help.”

MVS Podiatry Associates (https://podiatryassociates.org/)

National Foot Health Awareness Month – slow heeling wounds and everyday care to feet..

   

Does it seem like a blister or sore on your foot takes forever to heal? For slow-healing wounds, remember the 50/30 rule: 50 percent healed after 30 days or check with your doctor.

People with chronic health problems (like diabetes, peripheral arterial disease and other vascular conditions) are at greater risk to develop a wound that won’t heal. Why?  It slows down oxygen blood supply due to thicker blood in the blood stream due to high glucose levels called hyperglycemia; or its due to a blockage starting from mild to moderate blockage to even complete blockage in the leg slowing down oxygenated blood supply or none that is suppose to  get below where the complete block is in the leg down to the feet.  The furthest from the heart is the feet so that will show the first in symptoms with a wound and work up the leg till the blockage or until the high glucose is in normal range if its hyperglycemia.  Until the problem is resolved the wound worsens.

That’s why it’s important to get medical attention before a wound becomes infected or causes serious health risks.

Wound care experts recommend people at risk for foot wounds choose proper footwear, eat a healthy diet and maintain healthy glucose levels to prevent chronic problems.  A podiatrist is the expert to see first.

Nearly 7 million people in the U.S. live with a chronic wound today. One in four suffers from diabetic foot ulcers. Chronic wounds can lead to infection, limb loss and even loss of life.

Follow this advice to keep feet healthy and happy during the holiday seasons.  Now we are in spring and than summer around the corner in what we will be dealing with for our feet.  Tips would be:

  • Moisturize – Dry winter air and cold temperatures, which we still get at this time with warmer in spring, can take a toll on skin. Moisturize feet daily to help avoid dry, cracked and irritated skin.  Than when there is summer weather; one perk of a beach-bound vacation is knowing that instead of snow soaking through your shoes or having your feet feeling toasty, you can lounge happily with your toes dangling in the warm weather, shoe-free with the sand at your feet. But also, the dream does come with its own set of tootsie troubles. “Even if you are just lying still on your back soaking up the rays, your feet are still vulnerable,” says American Podiatric Medical Association.  You can seriously sunburn your feet and no matter how upscale your hotel, athlete’s foot can lurk in all public pool areas.”
  • Exercise your feet – Stretching is a good way to avoid muscle cramps. Stave off toe cramps by raising, pointing and curling your toes for five seconds. Repeat 10 times. Rotating your ankles can also help relax feet. Cup your heel and turn each ankle slowly five times to loosen ankle joints.
  • Massage – Foot rubs not only feel good, they’re a great way to release tension, boost circulation and refresh skin after a long day on your feet. Take a few minutes to massage your feet at the end of a day of shopping and celebrating. Use lotion and take care of moisturizing at the same time!
  • Pedicure properly – Picture-perfect toes are part of a great holiday wardrobe for many women. Whether you do it yourself or go to a salon, be sure your pedicure is done properly. Never use a razor to remove dead skin – opt for a good pumice stone instead. Don’t cut cuticles; push them back gently with a rubber tool made for this purpose. Use toenail clippers with a straight edge to cut nails straight across.
  • Raise your legs – Feet and ankles can swell from sitting too long in one position (taking a long flight to grandma’s house for the holidays, for example) or if you’ve been on your feet all day (shopping, baking or cooking). Elevate your legs to reduce swelling. Lay or sit and lift your legs above your heart.
  • Wear smart shoes – OK, so you’ll never give up your sparkly high heels when it’s time for that special soiree. But for other holiday activities such as shopping, traveling or cooking, ditch the high heels. When you know you’ll be on your feet all day, wear comfortable shoes with good arch support and a padded sole. See which types of footwear have received the Seal of Acceptance and Seal of Approval for promoting foot health.
  • Get help – Feet shouldn’t hurt all the time. Persistent foot pain can be an indication of injury, irritation or illness. See a podiatrist if you experience pain; don’t wait until the holidays end.
  • In case of minor foot problems, be prepared with the following on-the-go foot gear:
    • Flip flops—for the pool, spa, hotel room, and airport security check points
    • Sterile bandages—for covering minor cuts and scrapes
    • Antibiotic cream—to treat any skin injury
    • Emollient-enriched cream—to hydrate feet
    • Blister pads or moleskin—to protect against blisters
    • Motrin or Advil (anti-inflammatory)—to ease tired, swollen feet
    • Toenail clippers—to keep toenails trimmed
    • Emery board—to smooth rough edges or broken nails
    • Pumice stone—to soften callused skin
    • Sunscreen—to protect against the scorching sun
    • Aloe vera or Silvadene cream—to relieve sunburns

Remember a podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM), a physician and surgeon who treats the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg.  Without a foot it is harder to get around and without feet a wheelchair pretty much!  So take care of your feet if you want to stay active on your feet to living a therapeutic life.

BE GOOD TO YOUR FEET!!

 

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

“People with autism often suffer from anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar illness, and other mental health issues. Sometime there is a biological predisposition to these; others may develop these conditions out of their constant struggle to cope with the world around them.  There are some of the many autism related disorders.”

Autism Connection of Pennsylvania-Luciana Randall, M.R.C., Executive Director, Autism Connection of PA Continuing Education (https://autismofpa.org/)