What's Going Around

By: Lauren Evans Email
By: Lauren Evans Email

We begin in Lansing, where Dr. Thomas Stout at Mount Hope Community Medical Center is treating winter itch.

Symptoms include: itchy, dry skin and cracks and fissures in the skin that may bleed if winter itch is very severe.

To treat it, apply moisturizers daily right after bathing or showering.

Use a humidifier to put moisture into the air.

Cleanse your skin, but don't take too many long, hot showers.

Protect yourself from the wind.

Be sure you're drinking plenty of clear, non-caffeinated fluids.

If winter itch is severe, see a doctor.

Dr. Stout also says a grab bag of upper-respiratory infections, including sinus infections, are going around.

Symptoms include: thick, yellow, foul-smelling nasal discharge; facial pressure or pain; headache; nasal obstruction; congestion; post-nasal drip; and a cold that won't go away.

You might also have a fever or cough.

A sinus infection is diagnosed after a physical exam.

Your doctor may prescribe medication, including antibiotics.

Decongestants may help decrease swelling in your sinuses and nasal passages.

Steam and hot showers might help, too.

Nurse Practitioner Jena King at Allegiance Family Medicine in Mason is treating the common cold.

Symptoms include: scratchy, sore throat; headache; runny nose; congestion; cough and fatigue.

You may also have a low-grade fever.

Taking over-the-counter medicines may help you feel better.

Be sure to rest, and drink plenty of fluids.

Using a humidifier may also help with symptoms.

It usually takes seven to 10 days for symptoms to go away.

The common cold is a virus, so antibiotics are not effective in treating it.

If you're immuno-compromised, or have a chronic illness like asthma, watch your symptoms closely and call your doctor if it seems like your symptoms are getting worse.


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  • by Julie Location: Parma, MI on Mar 1, 2010 at 11:30 AM
    We discontinued using anti-bacterial soap and hand sanitizer at our home and the dry, cracked, painful skin problems completely went away. Discontinue using hand sanitizers (which contain alcohol) and buy gentle hand and body cleansers (avoid antibacterial which is not proven to be more effective than regular soap and water)and you will notice a big difference. We also sent a gentle hand cleanser with our son to use at school and requested that he not use hand sanitizer. His hands were very red, dry and sore with some painful small cracks and they are completely fine now.
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