What Is a Boil?
Boil is a skin infection that starts in a hair follicle or oil gland. Also referred to as a skin abscess, it is a localized infection deep in the skin. A boil generally starts as a reddened, tender area. Over time, the area becomes firm and hard. Eventually, the center of the abscess softens and becomes filled with infection-fighting white blood cells that the body sends via the bloodstream to eradicate the infection. This collection of white blood cells, bacteria, and proteins is known as pus. Finally, the pus “forms a head,” which can be surgically opened or spontaneously drain out through the surface of the skin.
A boil starts as a hard, red, painful lump usually less than an inch in size. Over the next few days, the lump becomes softer, larger, and more painful. Soon a pocket of pus forms on the top of the boil. Signs of a severe infection are
Where Do Boils Form?
The most common places for boils to appear are on the
When a boil is formed over the eye lashes is called as STY.
Additional Causes of Boils
The skin is an essential part of our immune defense against materials and microbes that are foreign to our body. Any break in the skin, such as a cut or scrape, can develop into an abscess (boil) should it then become infected with bacteria.
Folliculitis/ Reddish rashesCould Be an Early Warning:
Folliculitis is an inflammation or infection of the hair follicles. This condition can develop into a boil and appears as numerous small red or pink little bumps at the hair follicles. Infection of the hair follicles can occur when the skin is disrupted or inflamed due to a number of conditions, including acne, skin wounds or injuries, friction from clothing, excessive sweating, or exposure to toxins.
What Are the Types of Boils?
There are several different types of boils. Another name for a boil is furuncle. Among these are
- hidradenitissuppurativa (seen in the armpit or groin),
- pilonidal cyst,
What Is the Treatment for a Boil?
Most simple boils can be treated at home. Ideally, the treatment should begin as soon as a boil is noticed since early treatment may prevent later complications. The primary treatment for most boils is heat application, usually with hot soaks or hot packs. Heat application increases the circulation to the area and allows the body to better fight off the infection by bringing antibodies and white blood cells to the site of infection. Do not pop the boil with a needle. This usually results in making the infection worse.
When Should I Seek Medical Attention?
You should call your doctor and seek medical attention if:
- the boil is located on your face, near your spine, or near your anus;
- a boil is getting larger;
- the pain is severe;
- you have a fever;
- the skin around the boil turns red or red streaks appear;
- you have a heart murmur, diabetes, any problem with your immune system, or use
What Can Be Done to Prevent Boils (Abscesses)?
Good hygiene and the regular use of antibacterial soaps can help to prevent bacteria from building up on the skin. This can reduce the chance for hair follicles to become infected and prevent the formation of boils. Your health-care practitioner may recommend special cleansers such as pHisoderm to further reduce the bacteria on the skin. When hair follicles on the back of the arms or around the thighs are continually inflamed, regular use of an abrasive brush (loofah brush) in the shower can be used to break up oil plugs and other buildup around hair follicles.
What Can Be Done to Prevent More Serious Boils and Abscesses?
Pilonidal cysts can be prevented by avoiding continuous direct pressure or irritation of the buttock area when a local hair follicle becomes inflamed. Regular soap and hot water cleaning and drying can be helpful. For acne and hidradenitissuppurativa, antibiotics may be required on a long-term basis to prevent recurrent abscess formation. Finally, surgery may occasionally be needed, especially for hidradenitissuppurativa or pilonidal cysts that recur. For pilonidal cysts, surgically removing the outer shell of the cyst is important to clear the boil. For hidradenitissuppurativa, extensive involvement can require plastic surgery.
Posted on 11th May 2015 - By admin - 2834 Comments
What is Nosebleed?
A nosebleed is loss of blood from the tissue lining the nose. Bleeding most often occurs in one nostril only.
Nosebleeds are very common in Summers. In children due to collisions while playing or falls and in infants if there is a foreign body inserted by the child. In elderly with uncontrolled Blood Pressures,, in Accidents and in some bleeding disorders, overuse of decongestant nasal sprays.
The nose contains many small blood vessels that bleed easily. Air moving through the nose can dry and irritate the membranes lining the inside of the nose. Crusts can form that bleed when irritated and are tried to be removed forcibly.
Most nosebleeds occur on the front of the nasal septum. This is the piece of the tissue that separates the two sides of the nose. This type of nosebleed can be easy for a trained professional to stop. Less commonly, nosebleeds may occur higher on the septum or deeper in the nose. Such nosebleeds may be harder to control. However, nosebleeds are rarely life-threatening. Kindly see the diagram given below for your perusal to know the structure of the nose as it looks from inside.
- Not put any finger inside
- Avoid Very cold or dry air
- Blowing the nose very hard, or picking the nose
- Injury to nose, including a broken nose, or an object stuck in the nose
- Stop frequent use of nasal Decors
- Cocaine use.
To stop a nosebleed:
- Sit down and gently squeeze the soft portion of the nose between your thumb and finger (so that the nostrils are closed) for a full 10 minutes.
- Lean forward & try to split the blood and breathe through your mouth.
- Wait at least 15 minutes before checking if the bleeding has stopped. Be sure to allow enough time for the bleeding to stop, is possible with ice compresses.
“LYING DOWN WITH A NOSEBLEED IS NOT RECOMMENDED”. You should avoid sniffing or blowing your nose for several hours after a nosebleed. If bleeding persists, a nasal spray decongestant (Afrin, NeoSynephrine) can sometimes be used to close off small vessels and control bleeding.
Things you can do to prevent frequent nosebleeds include:
- Keep the home cool and use a vaporizer to add moisture to the inside air.
- Use nasal saline spray and water-soluble jelly (such as Ayr gel) to prevent nasal linings from drying out in the winter.
When to Contact a Medical Professional:
Get emergency care if:
- Bleeding does not stop after 20 minutes.
- It starts feeling dizzy/Giddiness & Sweating.
Non emergency care if:
- You or your child has repeated nosebleeds
- Nosebleeds are occurring often
The diagnosis of a nosebleed is generally self-evident and apparent upon seeing the patient, though some individuals may not have any active bleeding by the time they arrive to seek medical care. More importantly, however, your health care practitioner will need to locate the source of bleeding and determine whether the person has an anterior or posterior nosebleed. Furthermore, other less common causes of nosebleeds may need to be sought depending upon the individual’s medical history and the findings on the physical exam
- To examine the nose, the health care practitioner will place medicated packs in the nostrils.
Posted on 28th April 2015 - By admin - 43 Comments
What Is abdominal Pain?
The abdomen is an anatomical area that is bounded by the lower margin of the ribs and diaphragm above, the pelvic bone (pubic ramus) below, and the flanks on each side. Although abdominal pain can arise from the tissues of the abdominal wall that surround the abdominal cavity (such as the skin and abdominal wall muscles), the term abdominal pain generally is used to describe pain originating from organs within the abdominal cavity. Organs of the abdomen include the stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas. Abdominal pain can range in intensity from a mild stomach ache to severe acute pain. The pain is often nonspecific and can be caused by a variety of conditions.
Abdominal Pains mainly classified into:
- Upper Abdomen : Usually Stomach and pertaining to liver and Gall Bladder
- Middle abdomen : Usually pertaining to Kidneys and Intestines, umbilical hernia
- Lower abdomen: Usually pertaining to Urinary tract, Appendix, intestines and in females Uterus.
- Generalized whole abdomen: Pertaining to Intestinal Obstruction, Hernias, Acidity and generalized bloating
Almost everyone has pain in the abdomen at some point. Most of the time, it is not serious.
How bad your pain is does not always reflect the seriousness of the condition causing the pain.
For example, you might have very bad abdominal pain if you have gas or stomach cramps due to viral gastroenteritis.
However, life-threatening conditions, such as colon cancer or early appendicitis, may only cause mild pain or no pain.
Other ways to describe pain in your abdomen include:
- Generalized pain: This means that you feel it in more than half of your belly. This type of pain is more typical for a stomach virus, indigestion, or gas. If the pain becomes more severe, it may be caused by a blockage of the intestines.
- Localized pain: This is pain found in only one area of your belly. It is more likely to be a sign of a problem in an organ, such as the appendix, gallbladder, or stomach.
- Cramp-like pain: This type of pain is not serious most of the time. It is likely to be due to gas and bloating, and is often followed by diarrhea. More worrisome signs include pain that occurs more often, lasts than 24 hours, or occurs with a fever.
- Colicky pain: This type of pain comes in waves. It very often starts and ends suddenly, and is often severe. Kidney stones and gallstones are common causes of this type of belly pain.
Many different conditions can cause abdominal pain. The key is to know when you need to get immediate medical care. Sometimes you may only need to call a doctor if your symptoms continue.
Less serious causes of abdominal pain include:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Food allergies or intolerance (such as lactose intolerance)
- Food poisoning
- Stomach flu
Other possible causes include:
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm (bulging and weakening of the major artery in the body)
- Bowel blockage or obstruction
- Cancer of the stomach, colon (large bowel), and other organs
- Cholecystitis(inflammation of the gallbladder) with or without gallstones
- Decreased blood supply to the intestines (ischemic bowel)
- Diverticulitis (inflammation and infection of the colon)
- Heartburn, indigestion, or gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)
- Kidney stones
- Pancreatitis (swelling or infection of the pancreas)
You can try the following home care steps to ease mild abdominal pain:
- Sip water or other clear fluids. You may have sports drinks in small amounts. (People with diabetes must check their blood sugar often and adjust their medicines as needed).
- Avoid solid food for the first few hours.
- If you have been vomiting, wait 6 hours, and then eat small amounts of mild foods such as rice, applesauce, or crackers. Avoid dairy products.
- If the pain is high up in your abdomen and occurs after meals, antacids may help, especially if you feel heartburn or indigestion. Avoid citrus, high-fat foods, fried or greasy foods, tomato products, caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated beverages.
- Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory medications, and narcotic pain pills unless your health care provider prescribes them. If you know that your pain is not related to your liver, you can try acetaminophen (Tylenol).
These additional steps may help prevent some types of abdominal pain:
- Drink plenty of water each day.
- Eat small meals more frequently.
- Exercise regularly.
- Limit foods that produce gas.
- Make sure that your meals are well-balanced and high in fiber. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
When to Contact a Medical Professional :
Get medical help right away or call your local emergency number (such as 911) if you:
- Are currently being treated for cancer
- Are unable to pass stool, especially if you are also vomiting
- Are vomiting blood or have blood in your stool (especially if maroon or dark, tarry black)
- Have chest, neck, or shoulder pain
- Have sudden, sharp abdominal pain
- Have pain in, or between, your shoulder blades with nausea
- Have tenderness in your belly, or your belly is rigid and hard to the touch
- Are pregnant or could be pregnant
- Had a recent injury to your abdomen
- Have difficulty breathing
Call your doctor if you have:
- Abdominal discomfort that lasts 1 week or longer
- Abdominal pain that does not improve in 24 – 48 hours, or becomes more severe and frequent and occurs with nausea and vomiting
- Bloating that persists for more than 2 days
- Burning sensation when you urinate or frequent urination
- Diarrhea for more than 5 days
- Fever (over 100°F for adults or 100.4°F for children) with your pain
- Prolonged poor appetite
- Prolonged vaginal bleeding
- Unexplained weight loss
Investigations that would aid diagnosis include
- Blood tests including full blood count, electrolytes, urea, creatinine, liver function tests, pregnancy test, amylaseand lipase.
- Imaging including erect abdomen, X-ray KUB
- An electrocardiograph to rule out a heart attack which can occasionally present as abdominal pain
- Ultrasound X – Ray
- Computed Tomographyof the abdomen/pelvis
- Endoscopyand colonoscopy/MRI.
Posted on 23rd April 2015 - By admin - 45 Comments
What is Migraine?
Symptoms of migraine can occur a while before the headache, immediately before the headache, during the headache and after the headache. Although not all migraines are the same, typical symptoms include:
- Moderate to severe pain, usually confined to one side of the head, but switching in successive migraines
- Pulsing and throbbing head pain
- Increasing pain during physical activity
- Inability to perform regular activities due to pain
- Increased sensitivity to light and sound.
- Allergies and allergic reactions
- Bright lights, loud noises and certain odors or perfumes
- Physical or emotional stress
- Changes in sleep patterns or irregular sleep
- Smoking or exposure to smoke
- Skipping meals or fasting
- Menstrual cycle fluctuations, birth control pills, hormone fluctuations during menopause onset
- Tension headaches
- Foods containing tyramine (red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken livers, figs, and some beans), monosodium glutamate (MSG), or nitrates (like bacon, hot dogs and salami)
- Other foods such as chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, avocado, banana, citrus, onions, dairy products and fermented or pickled foods.
Triggers do not always cause migraines and avoiding triggers does not always prevent migraines.
Posted on 8th April 2015 - By admin - 222 Comments
What is Heat Stroke/Sun Stroke?
Heat stroke, also known as sunstroke, is a serious medical condition and a medical emergency, when the body’s temperature rises too high as a result of excessive heat exposure. The body loses its ability to cool itself and overheats.
When a person’s body temperature is greater than 40.6°C (105.1°F), and this is caused by environmental heat exposure with poor thermoregulation (temperature control) this results to heat stroke.
Working or exercising in hot conditions or weather and without drinking enough fluids is the main cause of heat stroke.
People with the following conditions are especially prone to heat stroke:
- chronic illnesses like heart disease
- older age
- Parkinson’s disease
- uncontrolled diabetes
- use of certain medications such as diuretics and antihistamines
- use of some psychoactive drugs such as alcohol and cocaine
Heavy clothing and some skin conditions can also contribute to the occurrence of heat stroke.
The hallmark symptom of heat stroke is a core body temperature above 105 degrees Fahrenheit. But fainting may be the first sign.
Other symptoms may include:
- High body temperature
- Throbbing headache
- Dizziness and light-headedness
- Lack of sweating despite the heat
- Red, hot, and dry skin
- Muscle weakness or cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggering
- Age. Your ability to cope with extreme heat depends of the strength of your central nervous system. In the very young, the central nervous system is not fully developed, and in adults over 65, the central nervous system begins to deteriorate, which makes your body less able to cope with changes in body temperature. Both age groups usually have difficulty remaining hydrated, which also increases risk.
- Exertion in hot weather. Military training and participating in sports, such as football, in hot weather are among the situations that can lead to heatstroke.
- Sudden exposure to hot weather. You may be more susceptible to heat-related illness if you’re exposed to a sudden increase in temperature, such as during an early-summer heat wave or travel to a hotter climate. Limit activity for at least several days to allow yourself to acclimate to the change. However, you may still have an increased risk of heatstroke until you’ve experienced several weeks of higher temperatures.
- A lack of air conditioning. Fans may make you feel better, but during sustained hot weather, air conditioning is the most effective way to cool down and lower humidity.
- Certain medications. Some medications affect your body’s ability to stay hydrated and respond to heat. Be especially careful in hot weather if you take medications that narrow your blood vessels (vasoconstrictors), regulate your blood pressure by blocking adrenaline (beta blockers), rid your body of sodium and water (diuretics), or reduce psychiatric symptoms (antidepressants or antipsychotics).
Stimulants for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and illegal stimulants such as amphetamines and cocaine also make you more vulnerable to heatstroke.
- Certain health conditions. Certain chronic illnesses, such as heart or lung disease, might increase your risk of heatstroke. So can being obese, being sedentary and having a history of previous heatstroke.
Heatstroke can result in a number of complications, depending on how long the body temperature is high. Severe complications include:
- Vital organ damage.Without a quick response to lower body temperature, heatstroke can cause your brain or other vital organs to swell, possibly resulting in permanent damage.
- Without prompt and adequate treatment, heatstroke can be fatal.
Tests and diagnosis:
- A blood testto check blood sodium or potassium and the content of gases in your blood to see if there’s been damage to your central nervous system
- A urine testto check the colour of your urine, because it’s usually darker if you have a heat-related condition, and to check your kidney function, which can be affected by heatstroke
- Muscle function teststo check for serious damage to your muscle tissue (rhabdomyolysis)
- X-rays and other imaging teststo check for damage to your internal organs
Heatstroke treatment centers on cooling your body to a normal temperature to prevent or reduce damage to your brain and vital organs. To do this, your doctor may take these steps:
- Immerse you in cold water.A bath of cold or ice water can quickly lower your temperature.
- Use evaporation cooling techniques.Some doctors prefer to use evaporation instead of immersion to lower your body temperature. In this technique, cool water is misted on your skin while warm air fanned over your body causes the water to evaporate, cooling the skin.
- Pack you with ice and cooling blankets.Another method is to wrap you in a special cooling blanket and apply ice packs to your groin, neck, back and armpits to lower your temperature.
- Give you medications to stop your shivering.If treatments to lower your body temperature make you shiver, your doctor may give you a muscle relaxant, such as a benzodiazepine. Shivering increases your body temperature, making treatment less effective.
Lifestyle and home remedies:
Home treatment isn’t sufficient for heatstroke. If you have signs or symptoms of heatstroke, seek emergency medical help. Others should take steps to cool you off while waiting for emergency help to arrive.
If you notice signs of heat-related illness, lower your body temperature and prevent your condition from progressing to heatstroke. In a lesser heat emergency, such as heat cramps or heat exhaustion, the following steps may lower your body temperature:
- Get to a shady or air-conditioned place.If you don’t have air conditioning at home, go someplace with air conditioning, such as the mall, Movie Theater or public library.
- Cool off with damp sheets and a fan.If you’re with someone who’s experiencing heat-related symptoms, cool the person by covering him or her with damp sheets or by spraying with cool water. Direct air onto the person with a fan.
- Take a cool shower or bath.If you’re outdoors and not near shelter, soaking in a cool pond or stream can help bring your temperature down.
- Rehydrate.Drink plenty of fluids. Also, because you lose salt through sweating, you can replenish salt and water with some sports drinks. If your doctor has restricted your fluid or salt intake, check with him or her to see how much you should drink and whether you should replace salt.
- Don’t drink sugary or alcoholic beverages to rehydrate.These drinks may interfere with your body’s ability to control your temperature. Also, very cold drinks can cause stomach cramps.
Heatstroke is predictable and preventable. Take these steps to prevent heatstroke during hot weather:
- Wear loosefitting, lightweight clothing.Wearing excess clothing or clothing that fits tightly won’t allow your body to cool properly.
- Protect against sunburn.Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself, so protect yourself outdoors with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you’re swimming or sweating.
- Drink plenty of fluids.Staying hydrated will help your body sweat and maintain a normal body temperature.
- Take extra precautions with certain medications.Be on the lookout for heat-related problems if you take medications that can affect your body’s ability to stay hydrated and dissipate heat.
- Never leave anyone in a parked car.This is a common cause of heat-related deaths in children. When parked in the sun, the temperature in your car can rise 20 degrees F (more than 6.7 C) in 10 minutes.It’s not safe to leave a person in a parked car in warm or hot weather, even if the windows are cracked or the car is in shade. When your car is parked, keep it locked to prevent a child from getting inside.
- Take it easy during the hottest parts of the day.If you can’t avoid strenuous activity in hot weather, drink fluids and rest frequently in a cool spot. Try to schedule exercise or physical labour for cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or evening.
- Get acclimated.Limit time spent working or exercising in heat until you’re conditioned to it. People who are not used to hot weather are especially susceptible to heat-related illness. It can take several weeks for your body to adjust to hot weather.
- Be cautious if you’re at increased risk.If you take medications or have a condition that increases your risk of heat-related problems, avoid the heat and act quickly if you notice symptoms of overheating. If you participate in a strenuous sporting event or activity in hot weather, make sure there are medical services available in case of a heat emergency.
Posted on 14th March 2015 - By admin - 21 Comments