What's Going Around

We start in Michigan Center, where Dr. Rubina Shaikh at Allegiance Family Medicine is treating acute bronchitis.

Symptoms include: cough, low-grade fever, fatigue, muscle aches and mild wheezing. The cough is usually dry and hacking at first and later may be productive with clear or greenish or yellow mucus.

Symptoms usually clear up in two to three weeks, but the cough can last for up to four weeks.

To treat acute bronchitis, drink plenty of fluids, take an over-the-counter cough medicine with an expectorant if your doctor recommends it, and try cough drops or hard candies to soothe a sore throat. Most people don't need antibiotics.

In Lansing, Dan Moore, a physicians assistant at Ingham Internal Medicine and Pediatric Associates, a partner of Ingham Regional, is seeing a lot of people with dry skin known as winter itch.

It usually occurs on the face, lower legs, the backs of hands, and the arms.

Symptoms include: itchy, dry skin; cracks or fissures in the skin; and in severe cases, the skin may crack open and bleed.

Dry skin is due to lack of water, so make sure you drink plenty of fluids (at least eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day).

Apply moisturizer daily right after bathing and use a humidifier to help put moisture into the air. You can also try an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream.

It's also important to protect your skin from the wind and sun. Cover your face and use a petroleum-based lip balm.

If your winter itch is severe, with skin cracking and bleeding, or if it lasts for more than two weeks, see your doctor. He or she can prescribe a more robust, medicated moisturizing cream.


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