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Dr. Smith's Helpful Tips

November's Tip

Published 11/01/2017

While the common cold is usually a nuisance, it can lead to other problems.  Most colds should pass in 4-5 days provided you rest, however if the linger this may be indicative of another problem.  When you have a cold be sure to rest (take time out of work if possible), drink plenty of fluids and use some vitamin C.  Also do your best to decongest.  Medicines like guaifenesin help liquefy mucous to clear it.  Be careful of pseudoephedrine as it can cause hypertension, insomnia and anxiety! 

If your cold lingers past 1 week, you may have developed a secondary problem.  Sinusitis, bronchitis and ear infections can result, as well as pneumonia if you are unlucky.  Seek medical attention of you feel these conditions have developed!

Tip for September and October

Published 09/01/2017

Dog bites can be serious and if you get one here are some tips.  If it’s your own animal and you know the dog has been acting normally and has its shots you do not need to worry about rabies, although you will need to be seen for care.  If it is not your dog but you know the owner, you can find out the dog’s vaccination status from their vet.  If it is an unknown dog the medical attention is very important.

Usually dog bites are not sewn being puncture wound but it is sometimes possible.  You will need a tetanus shot if you are due for one and usually an antibiotic (Augmentin) is prescribed.  Depending on the situation we will contact animal control and report the incident so they can evaluate the animal for rabies.  If rabies is a high risk you will need follow up at the ER or with the department of animal control for rabies vaccine shots.

Tip for July and August

Published 07/01/2017

Wound care is important but there are some common misconceptions regarding it.  Use of peroxide is common but often done for too long.  Peroxide is a free radical and is toxic to most cells.  As such it is an excellent wound sterilizer and should be used right after a cut.  However afterwards its continued use can be toxic to the very cells that close the wound and thus it will disrupt wound healing.

Use bacitracin, Neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment after the initial sterilization of the wound.  Keep it loosely covered to prevent maceration (that puffy white skin that develops) and improve wound healing.