Sexually transmitted infections



Sexually transimitted infections

Overview


Sexually transmitted infections (or STIs) are infections that can be caught or passed on when you have unprotected sex, or close sexual contact, with another person who already has an STI.

Using a condom for all types of sex is the best way to avoid STIs and HIV. Vaccines can prevent certain STIs like genital warts and hepatitis B. Reducing the number of sexual partners you have and not mixing alcohol, drugs and sex also means you’re less likely to get infected.


Here are the common STIs


Chlamydia


People spread STDs through sexual contact.


Chlamydia is an STD caused by Chlamydia trachomatis (C. trachomatis). This bacterium only infects humans. Chlamydia is the most common infectious cause of genital and eye diseases globally. It is also the most common bacterial STD.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2015, nearly 3 percent of girls aged 15 to 19 years had chlamydia.


Women with chlamydia do not usually show symptoms. Any symptoms are usually non-specific and may include:




If a person does not receive treatment for chlamydia, it may lead to the following symptoms:
  • · pelvic pain
  • · painful sexual intercourse, either intermittently or every time
  • · bleeding between periods


Chancroid



Chancroid is also known as soft chancre and ulcus molle. It is a bacterial infection caused by called streptobacillus Haemophilus ducreyi. The infection causes painful sores on the genitals and is only spread through sexual contact.


This infection is more common in developing nations, especially among commercial sex workers and some lower socioeconomic groups. This is due to the lack of access to healthcare services, the stigma attached to seeking help, a lack of sufficient sexual health education, and other factors.


In 2015, just 11 cases of chancroid were reported in the United States. Chancroid increases the risk of contracting HIV, and HIV increases the risk of contracting chancroid.


Within 1 day to 2 weeks of acquiring the infection, the patient develops a bump that turns into an ulcer within a day. The ulcer can be from 1/8 of an inch to 2 inches across. It will be very painful and may have well-defined, undermined borders and a yellowish-gray material at its base.


If the base of the ulcer is grazed, it will typically bleed. In some cases, the lymph nodes swell and become painful.


Women often have at least four ulcers, while men usually have just one. Males tend to have fewer and less severe symptoms. The ulcers typically appear at the groove at the back of the glans penis in uncircumcised males, or, in females, on the labia minora or fourchette.


Chancroid is treated with a 7-day course of erythromycin, a single oral dose of azithromycin, or a single dose of ceftriaxone.


Crabs, or pubic lice



Pubic lice manifestations are primarily spread through sexual contact. Pets do not play any part in the transmission of human lice.


The lice attach to the pubic hair, and may also be sometimes found in the armpits, mustache, beard, eyelashes, and eyebrows. They feed on human blood.


The common term "crabs" comes from the crab-like appearance of the lice.


Genital herpes


This STD is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). The virus affects the skin, cervix, genitals, and some other parts of the body. There are two types:


  1. · HSV-1, also known as herpes type 1
  2. · HSV-2, also known as herpes type 2


Herpes is a chronic condition. A significant number of individuals with herpes never show symptoms and do not know about their herpes status.


HSV is easily transmissible from human to human through direct contact. Most commonly, transmission of type 2 HSV occurs through vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Type 1 is more commonly transmitted from shared straws, utensils, and surfaces.


In most cases, the virus remains dormant after entering the human body and shows no symptoms.


The symptoms associated with genital herpes, if they do occur, may include:


  • blisters and ulceration on the cervix
  • · vaginal discharge
  • · pain on urinating
  • · fever
  • · generally feeling unwell
  • · cold sores around the mouth in type 1 HSV


Also, red blisters may occur on the external genital area, rectum, thighs, and buttocks. These can be painful, especially if they burst and leave ulcers.


Hepatitis B


Hepatitis B can permanently damage the liver.


The hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes this STD.


It is transmitted through contact with infected semen, blood, and other bodily fluids. HBV is passed on in the following ways:


  • · unprotected sex
  • · using an unsterilized syringe
  • · being accidentally pricked by a sharp object
  • · drinking infected breast milk
  • · being bitten by a person with hepatitis B



The liver swells, and an individual can experience serious liver damage as a result of HBV. This can eventually lead to cancer, and the disease can sometimes become chronic. Blood donation centers always check to make sure that any donors do not have hepatitis B.


Trichomoniasis


Trichomoniasis is a common STD that can affect both sexes. However, women are more likely to experience symptoms. The infection is caused by a single-celled protozoan parasite, Trichomonas vaginalis.


For women, the vagina is the most common site of infection, while for men it is the urethra. Transmission may occur either by sexual intercourse or vulva-to-vulva contact.


While women may acquire the infection from either male or female sexual partners, men nearly always become infected from having sex with women.


Symptoms of trichomoniasis include:


  • · vaginal odor
  • · vaginal discharge
  • · pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse
  • · pain when urinating


A woman with trichomoniasis is more likely to acquire HIV once exposed to the virus. A woman with trichomoniasis and HIV is also more likely to transmit HIV virus onto other sexual partners


HIV and AIDS


A person cannot transmit HIV if a viral load cannot be detected in the blood.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) attacks the immune system, leaving its host much more vulnerable to infections and diseases. If the virus is left untreated, the susceptibility to infection worsens.


HIV can be found in semen, blood, breast milk, and vaginal and rectal fluids. HIV can be transmitted through blood-to-blood contact, sexual contact, breast-feeding, childbirth, the sharing of equipment to inject drugs, such as needles and syringes, and, in rare instances, blood transfusions.


With treatment, the amount of the virus present within the body can be reduced to an undetectable level. This means the amount of HIV virus within the blood is at such low levels that it cannot be detected in blood tests. It also means that HIV cannot be transmitted to other people. A person with undetectable HIV must continue to take their treatment as normal, as the virus is being managed, not cured.


If HIV progresses without treatment and reaches stage 3, known as AIDS, it can be fatal. However, modern medicine means that HIV need not reduce life expectancy.


Human papillomavirus (HPV)


Human papillomavirus is a name for a group of viruses that affect the skin and mucous membranes, such as the throat, cervix, anus, and mouth.


There are over 100 types of HPV, of which, about 40 can affect the genital areas. These types may also transmit to the mouth and throat.


HPV infection can lead to:


  • · Abnormal cell growth and alteration within the cervix, significantly increasing the risk of cervical cancer
  • · Genital warts


The majority of individuals with HPV have no symptoms and are unaware. HPV is so common in the U.S. that almost every sexually active man and woman will transmit the virus during their lifetime.


HPV is most commonly transmitted through vaginal or anal sex, oral sex, and genital-to-genital contact. People with an HPV virus but no signs and symptoms can still infect others.


A woman who is pregnant and has HPV might transmit the virus to her baby during childbirth, although this is very rare.


Vaccination is the best way to prevent HPV.


Molluscum contagiosum



Molluscum contagiosum is a contagious, viral skin infection.


There are four types:
  1. · MCV-1, the most common type
  2. · MCV-2, the most commonly sexually transmitted type
  3. · MCV-3
  4. · MCV-4


When the virus infects young children, it is not considered an STD.


Symptoms include small, round bumps and indents on the skin. If left untreated, the bumps usually go away, but this can take up to 2 years. A doctor can remove the bumps with chemicals, an electrical current, or by freezing them. There are some prescription medicines that will eventually get rid of the growths.


Scabies


Scabies is a contagious skin condition caused by Sarcoptes scabiei, a tiny mite. They burrow into the skin and lay their eggs.


A person with scabies develops a skin rash and experiences intense itchiness. People with scabies are often unaware of their condition for several weeks after initial infection, which means scabies infestations spread rapidly.


The cause of scabies is unknown, although some believe poor living conditions and a lack of personal hygiene are linked to the condition. However, there is no scientific proof of this.


Scabies is most commonly transmitted through close body contact, such as holding hands for a long time or sexual intercourse. Hugging or simply shaking hands with a person who has scabies is unlikely to lead to transmission.


The scabies mite cannot jump or fly. However, it can survive for 1 to 2 days after leaving the human body. This means that sharing clothes or bedding with a person who has scabies increases the risk of infection.


However, prolonged physical contact, as is likely to occur during sexual intercourse, is the most common route of transmission.


Symptoms of scabies may not occur for several weeks after initial transmission and may include:


  • · A skin rash: The scabies mite leaves small red spots, known as burrow marks. They look like tiny insect bites, and some people may think it is eczema. Burrow marks typically appear as a small line of at least four tiny spots and appear around the area of the elbows, wrists, and in between the toes and fingers. Women experience this rash around the nipples and men near the genitals.
  • · Intense itching: This gets worse at night or after taking a hot shower.
  • · Sores: After scratching the rash, the area can become inflamed, and crusty sores may develop.


Less commonly, the rash may appear on the buttocks, ankles, armpits, genitalia, groin, scalp, neck, face, head, shoulders, waist, soles of the feet, lower leg, and knees.


Syphilis



Syphilis is the result of Treponema pallidum, a bacterium. It is transmitted by sexual contact, and the person passing on the infection will have a syphilitic lesion. A woman who is pregnant and also has syphilis can pass on this STD to her baby, which can result in stillbirth or serious congenital deformities.


There is an incubation period of between 9 and 90 days after initial infection before the symptoms of the disease occur, with an average incubation period of 21 days. Each stage of syphilis has characteristic signs and symptoms. Some people with syphilis show no symptoms, while others may experience more mild presentations.


For some people with the condition, even if symptoms resolve, the bacterium is still in the body and can cause serious health problems later on.


Gonorrhea



This sexually transmitted bacterial infection usually attacks the mucous membranes. It is also known as the clap or the drip.


The bacterium, which is highly contagious, stays in the warmer and moister cavities of the body.


The majority of women with gonorrhea show no signs or symptoms. If left untreated, females may develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Males may develop inflammation of the prostate gland, urethra, or epididymis.


The disease is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The bacteria can survive in the vagina, penis, mouth, rectum, or eye. They can be transmitted during sexual contact.


As soon as a person contracts gonorrhea, they risk spreading the bacteria to other parts of the body. An individual may accidentally rub their eye and spread the infection. This prolongs the treatment period. A woman who is pregnant can pass the infection on to the infant during childbirth.


Symptoms of gonorrhea may occur between 2 to 10 days after initial infection, in some cases, it may take 30 days. Some people experience very mild symptoms that lead to mistaking gonorrhea for a different condition, such as a yeast infection.


Males may experience the following symptoms:
  • · burning during urination
  • · testicular pain or swelling
  • · a green, white, or yellow discharge from the penis
  • Females are less likely to show symptoms, but if they do, these may include:
  • · spotting after sexual intercourse
  • · swelling of the vulva, or vulvitis
  • · irregular bleeding between periods
  • · pink eye, or conjunctivitis
  • · pain in the pelvic area
  • · burning or pain during urination


If the rectum becomes infected, a person with gonorrhea may experience anal itching, painful bowel movements, and sometimes discharge. When transmission occurs as a result of oral sex, there may be a burning sensation in the throat and swollen glands.


Prevention


Condoms can help prevent the spread of STDs.


Sex using a condom is the safest way to prevent the spread of STDs. Condoms are known as barrier contraceptives, due to their presentation of a physical barrier to microbes.


For each oral, vaginal, or anal sex act, use a new latex condom. Condoms are available to purchase online.


Avoid using an oil-based lubricant, such as petroleum jelly, when using a latex condom. Non-barrier forms of contraception, such as oral contraceptives or intrauterine devices, do nothing to protect people from sexually transmitted infections.


Here are other steps you can take to reduce the risk of an STD:



  • · Abstinence: Abstaining from any sexual act is the most effective way to avoid an STD.
  • · Monogamy to one uninfected partner: A long-term, monogamous relationship with one person who is not infected can reduce the risk of contracting an STD.
  • · Vaccinations: There are vaccinations that can protect an individual from eventually developing some types of cancer that are caused by HPV and hepatitis B.
  • · Check for infections: Before sexual intercourse with a new partner, check that the partner and yourself have no STDs.
  • · Drink alcohol in moderation: People who have consumed too much alcohol are more likely to engage in risky behavior. Avoid using recreational drugs, which may also affect judgment.
  • · Explain you want safe sex: Before engaging in any sexual act with a new partner, communicate that you would only consider safe sex.
  • · Education: Parents, schools, and society need to teach children about the importance of safe sex, and explain how to prevent becoming infected with an STD, including information relevant to the LGBTQ community.

Treatment of Impetigo

impetigo

Overview

What is impetigo? Impetigo  is a common and highly contagious skin infection that mainly affects infants and children. Impetigo usually appears as red sores on the face, especially around a child's nose and mouth, and on hands and feet. The sores burst and develop honey-colored crusts.
Treatment with antibiotics is generally recommended to help prevent the spread of impetigo to others. It's important to keep your child home from school or day care until he or she is no longer contagious — usually 24 hours after you begin antibiotic treatment.

Read also:Herpes zoster
Symptoms
    Classic signs and symptoms of impetigo involve red sores that quickly rupture, ooze for a few days and then form a yellowish-brown crust. The sores usually occur around the nose and mouth but can be spread to other areas of the body by fingers, clothing and towels. Itching and soreness are generally mild.
    A less common form of the disorder, called bullous impetigo, may feature larger blisters that occur on the trunk of infants and young children.
    A more serious form of impetigo, called ecthyma, penetrates deeper into the skin — causing painful fluid- or pus-filled sores that turn into deep ulcers.

    When to see a doctor

    If you suspect that you or your child has impetigo, consult your family doctor, your child's pediatrician or a dermatologist.

    Causes

    You're exposed to the bacteria that cause impetigo when you come into contact with the sores of someone who's infected or with items they've touched — such as clothing, bed linen, towels and even toys.

    Risk factors

    Factors that increase the risk of impetigo include:
    • Age. Impetigo most commonly occurs in children ages 2 to 5.
    • Crowded conditions. Impetigo spreads easily in schools and child care settings.
    • Warm, humid weather. Impetigo infections are more common in summer.
    • Certain sports. Participation in sports that involve skin-to-skin contact, such as football or wrestling, increases your risk of developing impetigo.
    • Broken skin. The bacteria that cause impetigo often enter your skin through a small skin injury, insect bite or rash.
    Adults and people with diabetes or a weakened immune system are more likely to develop ecthyma.

    Complications

    Impetigo typically isn't dangerous. And the sores in mild forms of the infection generally heal without scarring.
    Rarely, complications of impetigo include:
    • Cellulitis. This potentially serious infection affects the tissues underlying your skin and eventually may spread to your lymph nodes and bloodstream. Untreated cellulitis can quickly become life-threatening.
    • Kidney problems. One of the types of bacteria that cause impetigo can also damage your kidneys.
    • Scarring. The ulcers associated with ecthyma can leave scars.

    Prevention

    Keeping skin clean is the best way to keep it healthy. It's important to wash cuts, scrapes, insect bites and other wounds right away.
    To help prevent impetigo from spreading to others:
    • Gently wash the affected areas with mild soap and running water and then cover lightly with gauze.
    • Wash an infected person's clothes, linens and towels every day and don't share them with anyone else in your family.
    • Wear gloves when applying antibiotic ointment and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
    • Cut an infected child's nails short to prevent damage from scratching.
    • Wash hands frequently.
    • Keep your child home until your doctor says he or she isn't contagious.

    Diagnosis

    Doctors usually diagnose impetigo by looking at the distinctive sores. Lab tests generally aren't necessary.
    If the sores don't clear, even with antibiotic treatment, your doctor may take a sample of the liquid produced by a sore and test it to see what types of antibiotics might work best on it. Some types of the bacteria that cause impetigo have become resistant to certain antibiotic drugs.

    Treatment

    Impetigo typically is treated with an antibiotic ointment or cream that you apply directly to the sores. You may need to first soak the affected area in warm water or use wet compresses to help remove the scabs so the antibiotic can penetrate the skin.
    If you have more than just a few impetigo sores, your doctor might recommend antibiotic drugs that can be taken by mouth. Be sure to finish the entire course of medication even if the sores are healed. This helps prevent the infection from recurring and makes antibiotic resistance less likely.

    Lifestyle and home remedies

    For minor infections that haven't spread to other areas, you could try treating the sores with an over-the-counter antibiotic cream or ointment that contains bacitracin. Placing a nonstick bandage over the area can help prevent the sores from spreading.
    impetigo

    Best treatment of Wounds


     wounds

    Overview


    A wound is a break in the skin, the first line of defense against infection. Minor wounds include cuts, scrapes, and puncture wounds. Other examples include incisions (clean cuts), lacerations (jagged, irregular cuts), diabetic ulcers, and burns.
    While most minor wounds heal easily, some can develop into open sores that can become seriously infected. You may be able to treat minor wounds at home by washing the area with clean water and applying a bandage. But you should seek emergency care for any animal or human bite or a cut greater than ½ inch long where you can see fat, muscle, or bone.

    Signs and Symptoms

    The following signs and symptoms often accompany wounds:
    • Bleeding or oozing of blood
    • Redness
    • Swelling
    • Pain and tenderness
    • Heat
    • Possible fever with infection
    • Not being able to use or move the affected area
    • Oozing pus, foul smell (in infected wounds only)

    What Causes It?

    Accidents or injuries usually cause wounds, but can they can have any of the following causes:
    • Surgery
    • Heat or chemical burn
    • Temperature extremes (frostbite)
    • Radiation

    Who is Most At Risk?

    You may be at higher risk for wounds if you have these characteristics:
    • Age. Older people are at higher risk
    • Poor general health
    • Steroid use
    • Radiation and chemotherapy
    • Diabetes
    • Smoking

    What to Expect at Your Provider's Office

    If you receive a serious wound, you should get emergency treatment right away. The doctor will determine the extent and severity of the injury, whether it is likely to get infected, and anything that might complicate treatment. Your health care provider may also order laboratory tests, such as a blood test and urinalysis, as well as a culture to check for bacteria in the wound. You may need stitches, as well as a tetanus shot or a tetanus booster.

    Treatment Options

    Prevention

    Most wounds are caused by accidents. Make your home safe by removing any objects that might cause trips or falls, keep the water heater at 120 degrees, keep knives and hot pots and pans away from the edge of counters, and pay close attention when using knives. If you get a cut or wound, carefully cleaning and bandaging it can usually prevent infection and other complications.

    Treatment Plan

    Wound healing is most successful in a moist, clean, and warm environment. Some wounds, such as minor cuts and scrapes, can be treated at home. Stop the bleeding with direct pressure, and clean the wound with water. You DO NOT need soap or hydrogen peroxide. Apply an antibiotic cream, then cover the wound with an adhesive bandage. Change the bandage every day, or when it gets wet. If any redness spreads from the wound after 2 days, or if you see a yellow drainage from the wound, see your doctor immediately.
    Other wounds can be serious. Get emergency care immediately if the wound will not stop bleeding or spurts blood. You should also get immediate care if the wound is from an animal or human bite, or if there is a serious puncture wound. If an object (such as a nail or fishhook) is still stuck in the wound, DO NOT take it out. Apply pressure to the wound to stop bleeding, and go to the hospital.
    Some serious wounds may need a skin graft, where a piece of skin is cut from a healthy part of the body and used to heal the damaged area.wounds treatment
    Your health care provider will determine whether the wound can be closed immediately with stitches, or whether it should be kept open because of contamination. Infected wounds are not closed until the wound has been successfully treated.

    Drug Therapies

    Your provider may prescribe the following medications:
    • Analgesics, or pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
    • Antiseptics to clean contaminated wounds
    • Antibiotics for infections or sepsis, caused by disease-causing bacteria accompanied by a strong odor
    • Medicated dressings
    • Corticosteroids
    • A tetanus shot

    Surgical and Other Procedures

    Severe wounds may need surgery. This may involve cutting away burned tissue and removing contaminated tissue, skin grafting, and draining wound abscesses (pus surrounded by inflamed tissue).

    Complementary and Alternative Therapies

    You can use complementary and alternative therapies (CAM) for minor household injuries or after more serious injuries have gotten medical attention. If you have any question about whether your wound is serious, call your doctor before using CAM therapies. Never apply any herb or supplement to any open wound without a doctor's supervision.

    Nutrition

    Some nutritional supplements may help wounds heal, although not all have good scientific studies behind them. If you are having surgery, DO NOT take any herbs or supplements without your doctor's supervision. Lower the dose or stop use when your wound has healed.
    • Beta-carotene or vitamin A to promote healthy scar tissue. Ask your doctor to help you determine the right dose. DO NOT take high doses of vitamin A if you are pregnant, trying to conceive, or have liver disease. Talk to your doctor before taking vitamin A if you are scheduled to have surgery.
    • Vitamin C helps the body make collagen and is essential to wound healing because it helps the body form new tissue. Lower dose if diarrhea develops. Vitamin C supplements may interact with other medications, including chemotherapy drugs, estrogen, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
    • Vitamin E promotes healing. May be used on the skin once the wound has healed and new skin has formed. Higher doses may help heal burns. Talk to your doctor before taking vitamin E if you are scheduled to have surgery. Vitamin E may interact with a number of medications. Vitamin E may increase the risk of bleeding. If you take blood thinners, ask your doctor before taking vitamin E.
    • Zinc stimulates wound healing. You can also apply zinc to the skin in a cream to speed wound healing. DO NOT apply to open wounds. If you take zinc long term, ask your doctor if you also need to take copper. Very high doses of zinc may suppress your immune system. Some studies have found that high doses of zinc are linked to an increased risk of some cancers.
    • B complex vitamins, including B1 (thiamine) and B5 (pantothenic acid), may aid wound healing and skin health.
    • Bromelain, an enzyme that comes from pineapple, has reduced post-surgical swelling, bruising, healing time, and pain in some studies. Bromelain may increase the risk of bleeding. If you take blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin) or aspirin, ask your doctor before taking bromelain. People who are allergic to pineapple should not take bromelain.
    • Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate may help heal wounds by encouraging the repair of connective tissue in the body, but studies are needed to be sure. If you have asthma or diabetes, ask your doctor before taking glucosamine. Glucosamine and chondroitin can increase the risk of bleeding, especially if you already take blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin) or clopidogrel (Plavix). Some doctors think glucosamine might interfere with some medications used to treat cancer. It may also interact with acetaminophen (Tylenol) and some diabetes drugs. Ask your doctor before taking glucosamine and chondroitin.
    • L-arginine has been used to improve healing time in after surgery. It has also been applied to the skin to help heal wounds. Use caution if you are prone to herpes outbreaks, and talk to your doctor. If you have asthma, take medication for high blood pressure, or use Viagra, ask your doctor before taking arginine.
    • Honey has been used on the skin as a dressing after surgery, and some studies suggest it helps wounds heal without becoming infected. It should be used on minor wounds only. Talk to your doctor before using honey on minor wounds, and DO NOT apply honey to an open wound.

    Herbs

    Certain herbal remedies may offer relief from symptoms and help wounds heal faster. Herbs are generally available as dried extracts (pills, capsules, or tablets), teas, or tinctures (alcohol extraction, unless otherwise noted). People with a history of alcoholism should not take tinctures. Dose for teas is 1 heaping tsp. per cup of water steeped for 10 minutes (roots need 20 minutes), unless otherwise noted.
    Applied to skin
    Never apply herbs to open wounds unless under a doctor's supervision.
    • Aloe (Aloe vera), as a cream or gel. Aloe has been used traditionally to treat minor wounds and burns, but scientific studies about its effectiveness are mixed. In one study, aloe seemed to extend the time nneded for surgical wounds to heal.
    • Calendula (Calendula officinalis), or pot marigold, as an ointment or a tea applied topically. To make tea from tincture, use 1/2 to 1 tsp. diluted in 1/4 cup water. You can also steep 1 tsp. of flowers in one cup of boiling water for 15 minutes, then strain and cool. Test skin first for any allergic reaction.
    • Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) as a topical ointment to help wounds heal and fight inflammation.
    • Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) as oil or cream. Apply 2 times per day to reduce inflammation. DO NOT use tea tree oil to treat burns.
    • Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) as a cream containing 1% of the herb, to help heal wounds.
    • Chamomile (Matricaria recutita or Chamaemelum nobile), as an ointment or cream, to help heal wounds.
    • Echinacea or coneflower (Echinacea spp.) as a gel or ointment containing 15% of the juice of the herb.
    • Slippery elm bark (Ulmus rubra or fulva) as a poultice. Mix 1 tsp. dried powder in one of cup of boiling water. Cool and apply to a clean, soft cloth. Place on affected area.
    Taken by mouth
    • Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is an anti-inflammatory that makes the effects of bromelain stronger. Like bromelain, turmeric may increase the risk of bleeding. If you take blood-thinning medications such as warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), or aspirin, ask your doctor before taking turmeric.
    • Gotu kola helps the body repair connective tissue and heal wounds, and prevents scars from growing larger. DO NOT take gotu kola if you have high blood pressure or experience anxiety. DO NOT take gotu kola if you have hepatitis or liver disease. Gotu kola may interfere with the way your body metabolizes medications. Talk with your doctor.
    • Echinacea and goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), used together, may help protect against infection. People with autoimmune diseases, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, should not take echinacea. People with high blood pressure, liver disease, or heart disease should ask their doctor before taking goldenseal. In fact, both of these herbs interact with a number of medicaitons. Speak with your doctor prior to using these herbs if you also take medication.
    • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is another herb with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It may help with wound healing, however, scientific studies are lacking. Be sure you do not have an allergy to dandelion, and avoid taking the herb if you have liver or gallbladder disease, diabetes, or kidney disease, or if you take blood-thinning medication. Dandelion can interact with many other medications, including lithium, so ask your doctor before taking it.wounds treatment
    • Pycnogenol (Pinus pinaster), an extract of the bark of a particular type of pine tree, helps promote skin health. People with autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, or those who take drugs to suppress their immune systems, should not take pycnogenol.

    Homeopathy

    Before prescribing a remedy, homeopaths take into account a person's constitutional type, includes your physical, emotional, and psychological makeup. An experienced homeopath assesses all of these factors when determining the most appropriate treatment for each individual.
    Some of the most common acute remedies for wounds are:
    • Arnica, for bruised feeling and grief or shock from trauma. It should be taken immediately after injury and repeated several times throughout the day for 1 to 2 days after injury.
    • Calendula, for wounds where the skin is broken but there are no other symptoms
    • Staphysagria, for pain from lacerations or surgical incisions
    • Symphytum, for wounds which penetrate to the bone
    • Ledum, for puncture wounds
    • Urtica, for burns
    • Hypericum, for injuries and trauma to nerves
    • Wala, for keloids

    Prognosis and Possible Complications

    Most minor wounds heal quickly. For more severe wounds, the prognosis depends on the extent of the wound, as well as any infection that might develop.
    There are several complications associated with wounds:
    • Infection
    • An overgrowth of scar tissue, called keloid scar tissue
    • Gangrene, tissue death that may require amputation
    • Bleeding, sepsis, and tetanus (a potentially fatal infection) are other complications that can occur.

    Following Up


    Check for signs of bleeding, discoloration, or swelling in and around the wound. Tell your health care provider if you have fever, increasing pain, or develop drainage, which may mean an infection. wounds treatment

    Skin cancer causes and treatment


     skin cancer

    Overview


    Skin cancer is usually a result of too much sun exposure. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. Many types of skin cancer are both preventable and treatable. There are 5 different types of skin cancer:
    • Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form, accounting for 90% of all skin cancers. It starts in the basal cells, at the bottom of the outer skin layer. This skin cancer is caused by long-term exposure to sunlight. It is the most easily treated.
    • Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. It starts in the outer skin layer and eventually penetrates the underlying tissue if left untreated. It is easily treated when found early, but in a small percentage of cases, this cancer spreads to other parts of the body.
    • Malignant melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer, and it is responsible for the most deaths. However, it can be cured if it is diagnosed and removed early. Melanoma starts in moles or other growths on normal skin.
    • Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is caused by a virus in the herpes family. This aggressive AIDS-related form affects about one-third of people with AIDS. A more slow-growing form occurs in elderly men of Italian or Jewish ancestry.
    Most skin cancers occur on parts of the body that are repeatedly exposed to the sun, including the head, neck, face, ears, hands, forearms, shoulders, back, lower legs, and chests of men.

    Signs and Symptoms

    Basal cell carcinoma:
    • Shiny bump that is pearly or translucent
    • Flat, flesh-colored lesion appearing anywhere on the body
    Squamous cell carcinoma:
    • Hard, red nodule on face, lips, ears, neck, hands, arms
    • Flat lesion with scaly surface
    Melanoma:
    • Change in color, size, shape or texture of a mole
    • Skin lesion with irregular borders
    • Growth of an existing skin lesion
    • Large brown spot with darker speckles
    • Hard, dome-shaped bumps anywhere on your body
    The only way to know for sure whether a mole or spot on your skin is cancer is to have a doctor look at it.

    What Causes It?

    Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. Skin cancer may also be due to genetics or radiation treatments. A virus causes Kaposi sarcoma.

    Who is Most at Risk?

    People at risk for developing skin cancer may have the following conditions or characteristics:
    • Fair skin
    • Spend a lot of time outdoors in work or leisure activities
    • History of sunburn
    • Family history of skin cancer
    • Many moles, freckles, or birthmarks
    • Over age 40
    • Large dark-colored birthmark, known as congenital melanocytic nevus
    • Pre-cancerous skin lesions, such as actinic keratosis
    • HIV-positive. A specific risk for Kaposi sarcoma.
    • Excessive sun exposure during childhood

    What to Expect at Your Provider's Office

    Your doctor will examine your skin for new, changed, or unusual moles. Your doctor may use a dermatoscope, which is for close examination of skin growths. If your doctor suspects cancer, you will undergo a biopsy (where your doctor takes a sample of the skin). A biopsy can confirm whether or not you have skin cancer.

    Treatment Options

    Prevention

    In most cases, you can prevent skin cancer. If you are at high risk, stay out of the sun. When you have to be in the sun, protect yourself by covering up, wearing a hat, and applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and reapply liberally. Check your skin regularly for new or changing moles. You should also have regular skin cancer screenings with your primary health care provider or dermatologist.

    Treatment Plan

    The primary goals of treatment are to remove the cancerous growth and stop the spread of the disease.

    Drug Therapies

    In cases where cancer is found only in the top layer of skin, you may receive topical creams or lotions containing chemotherapy drugs. Melanoma that is deep or has spread and AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma may be treated with chemotherapy.

    Surgical and Other Procedures

    Most skin cancer can be surgically removed. Cryotherapy (freezing), topical chemotherapy, or radiation can also treat most skin cancer. If the cancer is on or close to the skin's surface, you may receive photodynamic therapy (laser).

    Complementary and Alternative Therapies

    Alternative treatments are aimed at preventing rather than treating skin cancer. Some CAM treatments may reduce the side effects of conventional treatments, such as chemotherapy.
    You should never rely on alternative therapies alone for treating skin cancer. Make sure all of your doctors know if you plan to use any CAM therapies along with conventional cancer treatments. Some CAM therapies can interfere with conventional cancer therapies.

    Nutrition

    Eating certain foods may help protect against skin cancer. It is hard to test the role of food in preventing skin cancer, but several studies have looked at antioxidants (including vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc, and vitamin A), folic acid, fats, and proteins, and a variety of whole foods. While results are not clear, antioxidants may offer some protection from skin cancer. Foods such as fish, beans, carrots, chard, pumpkin, cabbage, broccoli, and vegetables containing beta-carotene and vitamin C may also help protect skin. Studies on animals suggest that substances found in foods, such as soy and flaxseed, may help fight cancer in general, and may help prevent the spread of melanoma from one part of the body to another.
    Other substances found in plants may help protect your skin from sun-related damage:
    • Apigenin, a flavonoid found in vegetables and fruits, including broccoli, celery, onions, tomatoes, apples, cherries, and grapes, and in tea and wine
    • Curcumin, found in the spice turmeric
    • Resveratrol, found in grape skins, red wine, pistachios, and peanuts
    • Quercetin, a flavonoid found in apples and onions
    • Burgund mare, an extract obtained from red grape seeds
    Selenium has been promoted as an antioxidant that might help prevent skin cancer. One study, however, suggests that selenium might actually increase the risk of developing squamous cell cancer. Talk to your doctor before taking a selenium supplement. Niacin (vitamin B5), too, may help prevent skin cancer. More research is needed.
    If you have skin cancer, you should always talk with your doctor before taking any supplements or making dietary changes. Some supplements, or possibly even some foods, may interfere with some drugs used to treat cancer.

    Herbs

    The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider. Many herbs and herbal combinations are used to prevent and treat cancer in general. However, you should never use herbs alone to treat any kind of cancer. Remember that certain herbs and supplements can change the way medications, including chemotherapy, act in your body. Make sure you tell your conventional and alternative providers about all the supplements, therapies, and medications you are using. DO NOT take any herbs or supplements without first talking to your oncologist.
    • Green tea (Camellia sinensis) contains polyphenols, chemicals that are potent antioxidants. Antioxidants get rid of particles in the body called free radicals, which damage DNA. Researchers think free radicals may play a role in cancer. The main polyphenol in green tea is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Scientific studies suggest that EGCG and other green tea polyphenols may prevent skin tumors from starting or growing. Because green tea contains caffeine, it may interact with several medications, and may not be safe for people with certain medical conditions, and for pregnant women. Ask your doctor before taking a green tea supplement or having more than one cup of tea per day.
    • Other herbs with antioxidant and skin-protecting effects include bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)milk thistle (Silybum marianum)ginger (Zingiber officinale), and hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata). Although there are no scientific studies on using these herbs to treat skin cancer, they have been used traditionally to protect the skin. Each of these herbs may interact with other medications, including blood-thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin), and may not be safe for someone with another medical condition. Ask your doctor before taking any of them.
    • For Kaposi sarcoma, some naturopaths recommend a paste made from lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) cream, several drops of Hoxsey-like formula, a mixture of herbs and potassium iodide, and powdered turmeric. DO NOT use this mixture without your doctor's supervision.

    Homeopathy

    Many people with cancer use homeopathy as an additional therapy, along with conventional medicine. An experienced homeopath considers your individual case and recommend treatments that address both your underlying condition and any symptoms you may be having.

    Acupuncture

    While acupuncture is not used as a treatment for cancer itself, evidence suggests it can help relieve symptoms, such as the nausea and vomiting that often come with chemotherapy. Some studies have indicated that acupuncture may help reduce pain and shortness of breath.
    Acupuncture needles should never be used on an area of skin where there is cancer.
    Acupressure, which is a treatment that uses pressing on specific points on the body rather than needling acupuncture points, has also helped control breathlessness. Acupressure is a technique that you can learn and use to treat yourself.
    Some acupuncturists prefer to wait until the person has finished conventional medical cancer therapy. Others will provide acupuncture or herbal therapy during chemotherapy or radiation.
    Acupuncturists treat cancer patients based on an individualized assessment of the excesses and deficiencies of qi located in various meridians. In many cases of cancer-related symptoms, a qi deficiency is usually detected in the spleen or kidney meridians.

    Prognosis/Possible Complications

    The outlook (prognosis) varies, depending on the type of skin cancer being treated:
    • Basal cell carcinoma: generally has an excellent outlook when conventional treatment is used.
    • Squamous cell carcinoma: excellent outlook when small lesions are removed early and completely.
    • Malignant melanoma: 5-year survival is almost 100% for very superficial lesions removed early. However, thick lesions and melanoma that has spread to other organs have a poor outlook.
    • Kaposi sarcoma: good outlook for superficial lesions of the slow-growing form in elderly people of Italian or Jewish ancestry. The course of AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma depends on the status of the person's immune system.

    Following Up

    See your health care provider regularly for screenings to check for a recurrence of skin cancer.


    Treatment and causes of Roseola

     roseola infantum

    Overview

    Roseola is a viral infection that commonly occurs in children, and is usually not a serious illness. Most cases happen between the ages of 6 months to 3 years of age. Nearly one-third of children have had roseola by the time they are 2.
    Roseola often starts with a high fever, usually followed by a distinctive rash just as the fever breaks. High fever can cause complications, so parents should watch their children's temperatures carefully and keep in contact with their pediatricians.
    Treatment is usually aimed at bringing down the fever and making sure the child stays hydrated. Children are usually better within a week. Adults can sometimes get roseola, too.

    Signs and Symptoms

    • Sudden high fever (103 to 106°F [39.4 to 41.1°C]), which usually lasts 3 to 5 days. Your child will probably remain alert in spite of the fever.
    • High fever can cause febrile seizures. Although these seizures usually are not harmful and go away when the fever goes down, you should take your child to the emergency room if they have a seizure.
    • A rash appears as the fever goes away and lasts 3 to 4 days. It may look like measles or rubella, with small rose-colored bumps. Some of the bumps may have a white ring around them. The rash usually appears first on the trunk of the body. It may spread to the neck, arms, and legs, but rarely on the face.
    • Fatigue, irritability, decreased appetite, runny nose, and swollen eyelids.
    • Breathing problems, ear infections, and diarrhea can also occur.

    What Causes It?

    Roseola is caused by 2 kinds of herpes viruses. The most common one is herpes virus 6 (HHV-6). Herpes virus 7 can also cause roseola. These are not the same herpes viruses that cause cold sores or genital herpes.
    Roseola is spread through saliva and respiratory secretions, so coughing and sneezing can spread the virus. The incubation period is 5 to 15 days. It is contagious, whether or not the child has a rash.

    What to Expect at Your Doctor's Office

    Your child's doctor will look for the rash and may take blood to check for other conditions and complications. Your child's doctor will also take your child's temperature and talk to you about how to treat your child's roseola at home.

    Treatment Options

    There is no cure for roseola. Most treatments reduce fever, letting the infection run its course. Make sure your child drinks a lot of fluids to prevent dehydration. Water and other clear fluids are fine. You may want to use drinks that contain electrolytes, such as Pedialyte. Most children get better within a week.

    Drug Therapies

    • Your doctor may suggest giving children's acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to bring down the fever. DO NOT give your child aspirin. Children under 18 should never take aspirin because of the risk of Reye syndrome, a potentially fatal condition.
    • Phenobarbital is sometimes given for seizures.
    • For people with weakened immune systems, a doctor may prescribe the antiviral medication ganciclovir (Cytovene).

    Complementary and Alternative Therapies

    Herbal teas may help reduce fever. Always ask your pediatrician before giving any herb or supplement to a child. Vitamins and herbs can interact with other medications. This is why it is crucial to talk to your pediatrician first.
    To determine a child's dose for herb teas, ask your pediatrician. For some herb teas, the mother may drink them to treat breastfeeding babies. Always check with your pediatrician before using herbs while breastfeeding.

    Nutrition and Supplements

    Your child should get plenty of rest and fluids.
    These nutrients are often used to help strengthen the immune system and fight infection. The right dose varies depending on the age and weight of the child. Ask your pediatrician to help you find the right dose, and do not give any of these vitamins or supplements to a child without your pediatrician's approval.
    • Vitamin C may help fight a viral infection.
    • Zinc may increase immune system activity.
    • Selenium may help children recover more quickly from viral infections.
    • Vitamin E helps support the immune system.

    Herbs

    Herbs are a way to strengthen and tone the body's systems. As with any therapy, you should work with your doctor to diagnose your problem before starting treatment. You may use herbs as dried extracts (capsules, powders, or teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts).
    To determine the right dose for a child, ask your pediatrician. Always ask your doctor before giving herbs to a child. Some herbs can interact with other medications or cause allergies and might not be safe for your child to take.
    These herbs are often used to reduce fever:
    • Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
    • Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
    • Elder (Sambucus nigra)
    • Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) -- People with allergies to ragweed may be sensitive to chamomile
    Use equal parts of the above herbs to brew a tea. If you are breastfeeding, you can drink 1 cup, 3 to 4 times per day to pass the benefits along to your baby (under your doctor's guidance).
    Garlic and ginger tea. With 1 to 3 cloves of garlic (Allium sativum) and 1 to 3 slices of fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale) may help stimulate the immune system and prevent upper respiratory infections. You can add lemon and a sweetener for flavor. DO NOT give honey to children under 2 years old.

    Homeopathy

    Few studies have examined the effectiveness of specific homeopathic remedies. Professional homeopaths, however, may recommend one or more of the following treatments for roseola based on their knowledge and clinical experience. Before prescribing a remedy, homeopaths take into account a person's constitutional type, includes your physical, emotional, and intellectual makeup. An experienced homeopath assesses all of these factors when determining the most appropriate remedy for a particular individual.
    • Aconitum. For children who have a sudden high fever, especially when the fever is accompanied by restless anxiety. This remedy is best when used very early in disease, before a rash appears.
    • Belladonna. For children who have a sudden high fever that rises during the night and is accompanied by flushed face and red lips. The skin tends to be hot to the touch, but extremities feel cold. Children for whom this remedy is appropriate tend to be very agitated and may even be delirious.
    • Arsenicum album. For children whose fever increases between midnight and 2 am, and who are fidgety and have pain in their legs.
    • Pulsatilla. For children who have fever and chills that are worse in warm rooms, but better in fresh air. Symptoms tend to be less intense than for the other remedies listed.

    Acupuncture

    Acupressure for children may be calming and help reduce the fever.

    Massage

    Gentle massage may help your child feel better. A foot massage may help. However, some children will not want to be touched.

    Following Up

    Most children get well within about a week with no problems. If your child has a seizure, call your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.

    Special Considerations


    Avoiding infected children is the only way to prevent roseola. There is no vaccine.

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