What's Going Around

By: Lauren Evans Email
By: Lauren Evans Email

Ear infections are keeping Dr. Margo Ferguson at Allegiance Family Medicine-Cascade Ridge busy this week.

They are most common in young children.

Symptoms include: mild to severe earache, fever, fluid coming from the ear, swollen outer ear and reduced hearing ability.

Babies may pull at their ears; kids may feel like the ears are plugged.

To treat an ear infection, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics, a pain reliever, or ear drops.

At home, a warm washcloth over the ear and rest may also decrease symptoms.

In Lansing, Certified Physician Assistant Dan Moore at Ingham Internal Medicine and Pediatric Associates, a partner of Ingham Regional, is seeing several cases of poison ivy and poison oak this week.

The telltale sign is an itchy, red, raised rash that often appears in lines or streaks. It 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 water. You should also wash your clothes.

An oral antihistamine or topical hydro cortisone cream can help relieve symptoms.

Try not to scratch.

It's a common misconception that poison ivy is contagious- the rash itself is not. It is the spreading of the plant oil that is contagious, which is why it's so important to wash the irritant off the skin as soon as possible.

A serious case of poison ivy should be treated by a doctor. You should see a doctor if you have swelling of the face, mouth, neck or eyelids; if the rash is widespread across the body, or if the rash shows signs of infection.

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