What's Going Around

In Lansing, Dan Moore, certified physician assistant at Ingham Internal Medicine and Pediatric Associates, a partner of Ingham Regional, is treating poison ivy this week.

Symptoms include an itchy, red, raised rash that often appears in lines or streaks.

The rash forms blisters that break open and ooze clear fluid.

You may also have localized swelling and a feeling of warmth at the exposed area.

Most cases of poison ivy can be treated at home.

Wash the irritant off the skin as soon as possible with soap and hot water and wash your clothes.

An oral antihistamine can help relieve symptoms, as well as topical hydro-cortisone cream and calamine lotion.

Cool, moist compresses can help to relieve itch and make the blisters dry out.

A serious case of poison ivy should be seen by a doctor.

Mr. Moore is also seeing dry skin problems.

Symptoms include: skin tightness, especially after being in water; skin that appears dehydrated, skin that feels and looks rough and itching.

You may also have slight to severe flaking, scaling, peeling or cracking.

Treating dry skin is important because extensively dry skin can lead to dermatitis, a more severe inflammation of the skin.

Try to limit yourself to a single 5- or 10-minute warm shower or bath a day. Long showers dry out the skin even more.

Use a gentle cleanser or shower gel with moisturizer and choose unscented, soap-free, or mild soap cleansers instead of harsh cleansers.

You should also moisturize while skin is moist.

Most cases of dry skin respond well to lifestyle and home remedies.

See your doctor if your skin doesn't improve, if dry skin is accompanied by redness, or if you have open sores or infections from scratching. You should also consult a physician if you have large areas of scaling or peeling skin.


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