Cold weather can be hard on your skin. When your skin becomes dry, as often happens in the winter, it can easily crack and bleed. When caring for a cut or other wound, it might seem logical to apply an antibiotic cream or ointment from the store to fight off germs and prevent infection. However, these antibiotic creams and ointments can irritate your skin even more and cause a painful and/or itchy rash, called contact dermatitis.
“In addition to causing irritation and a rash, the widespread use of antibiotics — including in instances when they aren’t needed — has contributed to a major public health challenge known as antibiotic resistance,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Marcelyn Coley, MD, FAAD. “Antibiotic resistance occurs when germs, such as bacteria, develop the ability to survive the drugs designed to kill them. That means the germs continue to grow. This makes infections caused by antibiotic-resistant germs difficult — and sometimes impossible — to treat.”
Most minor cuts and wounds and even surgical wounds do not require antibiotics. The only time antibiotics are typically needed is in the case of an infection. Signs that a wound may be infected include pus; yellow or golden crusts; pain; red, purple or brown skin; swelling or warmth; red (in light skin) or brownish red (in dark skin) streaks; feeling very hot or cold; or having a fever.
The 3.5% of patients who arrived at the hospital with both kinds of infection were more likely to die. But the study suggests that faster testing and understanding of infection risk factors could help hospital teams figure out who those patients are – and spare the rest of their COVID-19 patients the risks that come with the overuse of antibiotics.
28% of antibiotics prescribed without evidence of a doctor office visit
Unnecessary antibiotic use increases antibiotic-resistant bacteria, renders drugs ineffective
Study raises questions about effectiveness of efforts to curb inappropriate antibiotic prescribing
Using Medicaid insurance claims between 2004 and 2013, the study evaluated 298 million antibiotic prescriptions filled by 53 million patients on Medicaid, the largest source of health care coverage in the U.S. It found 45% of Medicaid antibiotics were prescribed without any clear rationale: 17% of antibiotics were prescribed at an office visit during which no infection-related diagnosis was made, and 28% of antibiotic prescriptions were not associated with an office visit at all. Continue reading →
Must confess that my knowledge of fungal infections is nearly pristine. Don’t know the first thing about them. Following are some worthwhile tips from the Centers for Disease Control. Who knew?
Have you wondered about your chances of getting a fungal infection? Here are 10 questions you can use to understand fungal infections, learn how you can get sick, and know what you need to do to stay healthy.
Fungi are everywhere. There are millions of different species of fungi on Earth, but only about 300 of those are known to make people sick. Fungal infections are often caused by microscopic fungi that are common in the environment. Fungi live outdoors in soil and on plants and trees as well as on many indoor surfaces and on human skin.
Mild fungal skin infections can look like a rash and are very common. For example, ringworm is a skin infection that’s caused by a fungus, not a worm. Fungal infections in the lungs can be more serious and often cause symptoms that are similar to other illnesses, such as the flu or tuberculosis. Fungal meningitis and bloodstream infections are less common than skin and lung infections but can be life-threatening. Because the symptoms of fungal infections can be similar to other illnesses, proper diagnosis and treatment are often delayed. The more you know about fungal infections and your chances of getting one, the better prepared you can be to protect your health. Continue reading →
Scientists have long known that overuse of antibiotics can do more harm than good. For example, overuse can cause antibiotic resistance. But research into this phenomenon in oral health was uncharted territory. Continue reading →
Regular readers know that I have been doing home study from The Great Courses since I retired over 12 years ago. So far, I have studied, nutrition, neuroscience, the brain and increasing longevity to name a few. Also, I have shared what I learned on the blog. So, I am pleased to announce that I have just commenced with The Science of Natural Healing.
At this point I have listened to several of the lectures and am very impressed with Dr. Guarneri’s expertise. She came from regular medicine where she was surgically implanting over 700 stents a year in patient’s arteries. Through natural healing Dr. Guarneri has found what she considers to be a better way to prevent heart disease as well as myriad other diseases.
In lecture six, she talks about inflammation, nature’s way of protecting our bodies and how it is the root of many of our health problems. Inflammation is our body’s normal response to injury, infection, stress, foreign substances and irritations. Inflammation in our body presents itself in swelling, warmth, redness, pain. That is the body’s defense mechanism going to work so that healing can take place. However, in a situation where our body is under chronic attack, inflammation becomes damaging. Continue reading →