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Frequently I see patients who develop rashes or hives for unclear reasons. Unfortunately when people experience hives on nearly a daily basis, finding the cause is even harder than if the patient experienced them only infrequently. Even so, it is still important to visit the doctor to have an evaluation. During the doctor visit What I usually do when a patient comes in with hives is to first ask the patient if they have been using any new soaps, detergents or beauty products. Sometimes people can develop allergies or hives from these products. We also ask about any other changes in health such as unexplained weight loss, joint pains, night sweats. We will want to know how long the hives last and what they look like. One good thing to do is to take a picture of the hives and bring in that picture to the doctor. Although food allergy is rarely a cause of almost daily hives, we also ask if there is any relationship between eating s...
The beginning of summer kicks off the camping and hiking season, anxiously awaited by those who have endured a long cold winter. This year will likely prove to be one of the busier camping seasons as many Americans bypass more expensive vacations that involve pricey airline tickets or gas guzzling road trips. Emergency department staff will probably see a greater number of people with contact dermatitis caused by exposure to poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac. Many people have never seen poison ivy , or perhaps wouldn't recognize it if they saw it. Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac belong to the plant genus Toxicodendron (previously referred to as Rhus ). Toxicodendron means "poisonous tree." These plants have an oil-based substance in the resin on their leaves and in their stems and branches called urushiol that causes a delayed skin reaction in about 50% of people that contact it. Urushiol may cause severe contact dermatitis in people that have previousl...
Everyone tells us we should get regular exercise. I'd like to be able to say that I play a couple of games of squash every day. But I don't. I would, of course, if I just had my own squash court, so it's not really my fault. It might also help if I knew how to play squash.
That's just one of the many excuses I can come up with for not exercising. In case you've run out of excuses yourself, here are a couple of handy ideas.
1. In the winter: It's too cold. I might damage my lungs by going for a walk when it's 10 below zero.
2. In the summer: It's too hot. I might have a heart attack if I went for a walk when it's almost 100 with humidity of 90%.
3. When it's too hot or too cold, I'd go to the gym except that the closest gym is about 20 miles away, and I'm trying to save the planet by conserving gas.
4. I'm trying to form a Senior Lacrosse Team, but I can't seem to work up any enthusiasm among my friends.
5. I'd use my trea...
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