Treating skin of color

First of a three-part series

Most skin diseases occur in people of all nationalities, regardless of their skin color. Particular problems encountered in the skin are more common in people with different hues of skin, and sometimes a disorder seems more prominent because it affects skin color. This column and the two that follow will consider these problems and their treatments.

Skin tones
Variations in human skin tone

Variations in skin color

Skin color is determined by cells called melanocytes. Melanocytes are specialized cells within the skin that produce a pigment known as melanin. Melanin is produced and stored within special structures known as melanosomes, contained in the melanocytes.

The melanocytes make up only a small percentage of overall skin cells. In fact, only two to three percent of all skin cells are melanocytes. The variation in skin color we see across all people is determined by the type and amount of melanin produced by the melanocytes.

All people inherently have the same number of melanocytes. A recent theory indicates that the differences in skin color are really a reflection of the skin’s ability to protect against ultraviolet radiation.

Persons living closer to the equator produce more melanin because the ultraviolet radiation is more intense and ultraviolet protection is required by the human body. Groups of people living further away from the equator produce less melanin, resulting in lighter skin color.

One reason treating pigmented skin can be somewhat tricky is that traditional textbooks have had only black and white photographs. Additionally, many lesions have been described as red, pink, salmon, or fawn-colored. This certainly is true in Caucasian skin; indeed, many of the textbooks that were written had this as the majority patient type.

However, in tan, brown, or dark-brown skin, inflammation can look grey, copper, or violaceous in color. Additionally, certain conditions will have a slightly different presentation in pigmented skin.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation

Melanocytes can either stop producing color or produce excessive color in cases of inflammation. Generally, in children, the cells stop producing color, especially in irritation of the diaper area. (I explain to parents that the cells tend to go to sleep.)

It is very common for a child of color to have a very light area of post-inflammatory hypopigmentation. This is where the inflammation of diaper irritation causes the melanocytes to stop producing color, leaving light or white patches.

With the appropriate treatment, the color almost always returns to normal within a few weeks. In older patients, inflammation can lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This is most commonly seen in areas where acne blemishes heal, leaving a dark spot behind. These, too, will fade with time; however, it can be quite persistent.

Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a skin condition that occurs in all people, but it is most noticeable in patients with tan, brown, or dark-brown skin. I believe that vitiligo is really the end stage of several different disorders.

In some disorders, the melanocytes are attacked by the immune system, and they die. In other conditions, the melanocytes are pre-programmed to die early. No matter what the cause, ultimately, patches of vitiligo are white spots devoid of melanin.

Because these areas lack natural protection, vitiliginous patients must wear sunscreens to prevent ultraviolet radiation exposure and subsequent cancer later in life. In the majority of cases, vitiligo is probably the result of an auto-immune or inflammatory attack on melanocytes.

In these cases, topical anti-inflammatories and phototherapy, most notably narrow-band ultraviolet B, tend to be most effective. We have a success rate of approximately 75 percent in our clinic. In the remaining cases, these are probably related to a genetic program in the melanocytes where they die prematurely. Usually, with the appropriate treatment, signs of vitiligo can be reversed in one to two months.

Pityriasis alba

Pityriasis alba is a condition where white patches occur on the arms, trunk and, most notably, on the face. This is a widespread condition seen primarily in adolescent patients of color. It is a result of very mild irritation and/or eczema leading to post-inflammatory hypopigmentation where the melanocytes temporarily stop producing color.

Gentle topical anti-inflammatory lotions, mild cleansing bars, and ultra- moisturizing lotions can be used to treat pityriasis alba. The loss of color in this condition is usually only temporary and is most notably seen on the cheeks of adolescents.

Dermatosis papulosa nigra

This most commonly occurs in African American patients. Some people call them “flesh moles,” “Bill Cosby spots,” “Morgan Freeman spots,” and, more recently, “Condoleezza Rice spots.”

It tends to occur slightly more frequently in women than in men. These are tan to brown to black, raised papules that can occur on the forehead, cheeks, and neck. Under the microscope, they resemble other benign growths known as seborrheic keratoses.

We use a unique surgical technique in our clinic that can achieve excellent results in treating dermatosis papulosa nigra. Indications for treatment can be pain, itching, irritation, and cosmetic reasons.

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Treating skin of color part 2

Second of a three-part series

Most skin diseases occur in people of all nationalities, regardless of their skin color. Particular problems encountered in the skin are more common in people with different hues of skin, and sometimes a disorder seems more prominent because it affects skin color. This column continues from last week our consideration of these problems and their treatments.

Acne

When treating persons of color, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (brown spots after the acne blemishes have healed) and active acne need to be differentiated. It is important to note that when one is treating acne, the brown spots that occur afterward are only residual effects, not active acne.

SEE ALSO: Treating skin of color Part 1

I usually employ a combination therapy when I am treating acne to achieve optimal results. This usually involves topical treatments, oral treatments, laser treatments and, in persons of color, topical lightening agents. These can include retinol, anti-inflammatory agents, and the bleaching agents kogic acid and hydroquinone.

I also discuss with patients the difference between active inflammatory, bumps, and the flat, brown spots left behind.

Dry or “ashy” skin

This is a problem seen in all patients, but when one has tan, brown, or dark-brown skin, dry skin tends to turn silvery white. This phenomenon is often referred to as having “ashy” skin.

I believe the most important component of any skin care program is a gentle, non-detergent cleanser and an ultra-moisturizing lotion. I recommend the lotion be applied immediately after patting the skin dry after a bath or shower.

This seals in the moisture achieved from the shower, and the appropriate moisturizing lotion can provide continuous moisture and protection throughout the day. Often, two or three days of this program can completely reverse dry or “ashy” skin.

Keloids

keloids

Throughout evolution, our skin has become quite skillful at repairing any sites of injury or damage. Once the integrity of the skin barrier has been interrupted, invaders such as bacteria, fungus and virus can penetrate the skin and essential bodily fluids can leak out. As a result, the skin’s repair system is rapid and complete.

Cells known as fibroblasts migrate into the area and produce protein to fill in the hole. The primary component of the repair product is collagen, and that is what makes up a scar.

Unfortunately, in some cases, and commonly in African Americans, the fibroblasts receive the signal to come in and repair the defect, but they do not get the message to turn off. As a result, too much collagen is produced, and the scar can become thick and hard.

When the collagen presses on nearby sensory nerves, the keloidal scar can also produce tenderness, pain, and extreme itching. The difference between hypertrophic and keloidal scars is that hypertrophic scars usually stay right at the site of injury, whereas keloids can actually spread and invade normal surrounding skin.

In our clinic, we use an aggressive six-month program to treat keloids effectively. It is one thing to remove a keloid surgically, yet it is another thing to keep it from coming back. Remember, the development of a keloid is a response to injury. By surgically removing a keloid, the skin is being re-injured — and that area has already shown it can form a keloid.

We perform regular treatments every two to four weeks over six months, including anti-inflammatory injections, topical silicone-based preparations, pressure dressings, and laser treatments to prevent the return of keloids.

Acne keloidalis nuchae

neck treatment

This condition is also known as folliculitis keloidalis nuchae, where small, very itchy bumps can occur at the nape of the neck. This is most commonly seen in African American patients, but to a lesser degree it can affect all patients.

It is most commonly seen in men, but can also be seen in women. Many male patients believe this is a result of a barbershop treatment where the barber had unclean clippers. This is entirely untrue, and I have seen many cases that develop without any previous haircuts.

One theory is that this condition is a result of a deep fungal infection. However, in my experience, I have performed many biopsies and analyzed cultures for fungus and special histology stains, but I have not yet identified a fungus infection. I believe this condition is just an anatomic and genetic variant, with itchy bumps developing from very mild irritation in this particular anatomic location.

Smaller bumps can be treated very effectively with a combination of topical and oral anti-inflammatory medication. In many cases, a short course can provide long-term results. Often a surgical approach is required if the lesions are too large. Nevertheless, the condition can be managed quite well.

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Presentation: Celebrating Minnesota’s African American Photographers and Artists

Saturday February 17, 2018

This presentation will take place at the Minneapolis Hennepin County Library, 300 Nicollet Mall.

Presenters include: Olivia Crutchfield, Bruce Palaggi, Gilbert Baldwin and Dr. Charles Crutchfield III.

The time of this event is 11 am – 1 pm.

The George Scott Trio will provide entertainment, and refreshment will be served. The Pollination Project Foundation will sponsor entertainment and refreshments.

Spotlight on Minnesota’s Black Community Project  

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The news on sexually transmitted diseases in America is shocking

Here’s what you should know to be safe

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that are spread from one person to another during sexual acts. These include vaginal, anal and oral sex. STDs are common, and their occurrence is on the rise.

The bad news is that STDs can cause dangerous health problems. The good news is that getting tested for STDs is easy, and most STDs are easy to treat.

The best way to prevent getting an STD is not to have sex. If you are sexually active, the chances of getting an STD are markedly reduced by properly using latex condoms or dental dams during sex. If you are monogamous, get tested and, if clear, remain so.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced that the number of cases of syphilis and gonorrhea has increased dramatically over the past few years. In fact, both diseases are up almost 20 percent.

In the United States, we have the highest incidence of STDs of any Western industrialized country in the world. This article will limit discussion of STDs to syphilis and gonorrhea.

Gonorrhea is an STD caused by infection with the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It prefers to infect warm, moist areas of the body, including the urethra, vagina, rectum, throat, eyes, and female reproductive structures.

Syphilis is an STD caused by an infection with the bacteria Treponema pallidum. In addition to being spread during sexual contact, syphilis can also be spread from either an infected mother to a developing fetus during pregnancy or to the baby during exposure to the birth canal at the time of delivery. Syphilis can have severe and devastating health consequences if left untreated.

Experts say that the increase in the incidence of STDs is a result of several factors, making up almost a “perfect storm.” One significant factor is funding, pure and simple.

Both state and federal programs aimed at educating the public on STD prevention have been cut back across the board. As a result, the public is less aware of, and more likely to contract, STDs.

One of the biggest proponents of STD education, testing and treatment is Planned Parenthood. Of note, most Planned Parenthood patients are women, but they also treat men. Politically, there are groups that are calling for cuts in funding for Planned Parenthood. Decreased funding will directly affect STD screening and treatment for a vast group of citizens.

Additionally, there are many STD clinics that are run by state health departments that can be negatively influenced by state funding cuts. In fact, many state-funded STD clinics have already closed their doors.

These health department-associated specialty clinics are so important because many at-risk people are ashamed to discuss their health concerns and status with their family doctor, or they don’t have the financial resources to seek testing and treatment from traditional avenues or clinics. These clinics can provide confidential screening and no-cost therapies for patients and are critical in reducing the spread of STDs.

As mentioned earlier, some STDs are without symptoms. Because of this, fewer people are getting tested for STDs, and healthcare providers are not as thorough questioning patients about sexual histories, practices, and precautions. As a result, they are also not doing subsequent STD screening tests as frequently. By not picking up active STD cases, they can spread further.

Additionally, HIV-AIDS, with the effective new treatments, has commonly been re-recognized to be a chronic medical condition rather than the “death sentence” it once was. As a result, the “scare factor” of contracting STDs has inappropriately diminished.

In evaluating the STD increase, one notices that the numbers are rising in all patient groups. With this in mind, community disparities are also noted. For instance, groups with explosive increases include Southerners, Black and Latino women, young adults, and men.

Dramatic STD increases are also recognized in the group of men who have sex with other men; that is, in the gay community. Even with large STD rate increases in these specific groups, the STD incidence rate appears to be up everywhere.

There are very significant consequences in not treating STDs, more so in women, but still with unwanted results in all people. Untreated STDs can lead to infertility, cervical and penile cancer, neurologic disease, and even death. In pregnant women, it can be spread to babies in utero, with striking health effects, including heart problems.

Sex is still a taboo topic in most of America. Talking openly and honestly about sexual practices and issues surrounding sexual health is still difficult for most people, even with their doctors. These attitudes need to change, and patients need better education and improved access to STD screening, testing, and treatment.

The good news is that testing for STDs is simple, and most treatments are incredibly effective.

Reference: NPR.org

If you are concerned about having an STD or want educational materials, contact your doctor, a local Planned Parenthood Clinic, or in Minnesota visit www.RedDoorClinic.org.

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The 101 dirtiest things we touch

Protect yourself from getting sick: Disinfect items and wash your hands

It is no surprise that our world is filled with millions of germs. Some germs are both wanted and important. In fact, we have populations of germs that live on our skin and inside our bodies that are essential for life. This group of microbes and germs is collectively called a microbiome and will be the subject of a future article.

Unfortunately, many germs are not essential to us and are downright dangerous for our health. The most important thing you can do for good health is to wash your hands on a regular basis.

Many of these germs live on ordinary, everyday objects that we use all the time. Some of the items around us we would expect to be dirty. Some of the other things around us may be very dirty, and the list of them may come as a complete surprise.

Even if you are not a total germaphobe, when we look at the list of 101 of the dirtiest things we encounter and touch every day, it should make us more motivated to wash our hands regularly.

The List

  1. Airports security bins
  2. Armrests at public places like theatres, doctor’s offices, lecture halls, airplanes and other forms of public transportation (including the food trays that are stored in airplane armrests)
  3. Appliance control knobs
  4. ATM buttons
  5. Banisters at home and in stairwells
  6. Bar games (pinball buttons, video game buttons, darts, hockey game handles, etc.)
  7. Bathtubs
  8. Bathroom door handles, especially inside, leading out
  9. Bathroom sink faucet handles
  10. Bowling balls (free loaners at the alley) 
  11. Car interior controls, including shifter knobs, radio, climate control, and touchscreens
  12. Car seatbelts (insertion parts)
  13. Carpeting
  14. Casino dice
  15. Cell phones
  16. Children’s toys
  17. Coffee mugs at restaurants
  18. Coffee pot handles and all things commonly touched in the office break room
  19. Computer keyboard
  20. Computer mouse
  21. Copy and fax machine buttons
  22. Credit cards
  23. Crosswalk buttons
  24. CPAP masks and keypad
  25. Diaper changing stations
  26. Doorknobs
  27. Door handles
  28. Doorbell buttons
  29. Drinking glasses at bars and restaurants
  30. Drinking fountains
  31. Elevator buttons
  32. Escalator handrails
  33. Eyeglasses
  34. Fruit (like limes) squeezed into cocktails, beer and other drinks. Often, the bartenders are in a hurry and grab the lime or other fruit slices with their bare hands. Then they squeeze and drop the fruit down into your drink. The germs from their fingers are now on the fruit that is floating in your drink or Mexican beer. As one person said, it is the same as going into the bar and asking the bartender if you can lick their fingers. Oh my!
  35. Gaming controls
  36. Garage remote controls in our cars and on the garage wall
  37. Gas pump handles
  38. Grill handles
  39. Hairbrush handles
  40. Handles on subways and trams that are used to hold on to when the vehicle is moving
  41. Handshakes
  42. Hearing aids and eyeglass frames
  43. Hot tubs
  44. Hot and cold-water dispenser knobs/levers
  45. Hotel room telephones
  46. Keys
  47. Kitchen sink
  48. Kitchen sink sponges and towels
  49. Kitchen towels
  50. Laundry. Use bleach on whites, hot water washes, and long hot, dry cycles
  51. Light switches
  52. Litter boxes
  53. Locker door handles at the gym
  54. Loofa sponges
  55. Lunch boxes
  56. Magazines in reception rooms
  57. McDonald’s play areas
  58. McDonald’s play area plastic balls
  59. Money, including coins and paper
  60. Mailbox handles
  61. Microwave keypads
  62. Office telephones and telephone receivers
  63. Paper towel dispenser levers
  64. Parking meters
  65. Pens on a cord or chain (like at the bank) or the stylus pen at the credit card signing station
  66. Pet toys
  67. Pet dishes
  68. Pet leashes
  69. Playground equipment, inside and outside
  70. Poles on subways and trams that are used to hold on to when the vehicle is moving
  71. Public bathrooms: inside stall latches
  72. Purses
  73. Railings in stairways
  74. Refrigerator door handles
  75. Restaurant menus
  76. Restaurant salt and pepper shakers and table condiment containers
  77. Restaurant table tops — especially if wiped down with a sponge or cloth from the same tub of water used over and over, or the sponge or cloth is used repeatedly on all tables.
  78. Restaurant utensils and dishes, including shared utensils to serve food at buffets. Studies have shown that almost all restaurant silverware has detectable amounts of norovirus, E. coli, and Listeria.
  79. Security door keypads
  80. Security system alarm programming pads
  81. Self-checkout stands at the store
  82. Shoes, especially the bottoms
  83. Slot machine buttons
  84. Soap dispenser buttons
  85. Sports balls (basketballs, volleyballs, footballs, etc.)
  86. Sports equipment at the gym, inclkudindf bikes, treadmills, weights)
  87. Steering wheels (cars)
  88. Stove and oven control knobs
  89. Shopping cart handles
  90. Shower handles
  91. Testers (e.g. make up) and sample jars at stores
  92. Toilet seats
  93. Toilet flush handles/levers
  94. Toothbrush and toothbrush holders
  95. Touchscreens
  96. TV remote controls
  97. Urinal flush handles
  98. Vending machine button
  99. Wallets
  100. Water bottles that are regularly refilled
  101. Straps on subways and trams that are used to hold on to when the vehicle is moving

Many of the things around us can and should be cleaned on a regular basis. Most things should be cleaned daily or weekly. Use a commercial disinfectant spray or wipe according to directions. For cell phones, use a microfiber cloth and a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol solution.

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Newly approved drug a trail-blazing approach to cancer treatment

The FDA just approved a new revolutionary drug for the treatment of cancer. The medication, Vitrakvi (larotrectinib), is unique in that it treats the geneticbasis of what is driving cancer and not the type of cancer once it hasdeveloped.

The mutation that causes cells to become cancerous is found in many different types of cancers. So, this new treatment is not just for one cancer but may treat many different types of cancer. This is avant-garde thinking.

Vitrakvi (larotrectinib) is manufactured by Bayer and is available in pill and liquid forms. It can treat cancers in children and adults, but it isn’t cheap. For adults, the medicine is just under $400,000 per year. In children, the cost is about $135,000 per year.

How does Vitrakvi (larotrectinib) work?

This drug works by blocking a specific mutated enzyme (tyrosine kinase) in cancer cells. When present, this defective enzyme causes cancerous growth in many different types of cancer.

Why is it revolutionary?

Vitrakvi (larotrectinib)is one of the first drugs of its kind that focuses on treating the genetic basis of cancer, not just the type of cancer. That is, it goes after the switch that turns a normal cell into a cancerous cell.

By analogy, there are many types of car manufacturers. Instead of trying to treat a single entity, like a Chevy or a Ford or Honda, this medicine focuses on treating the force that makes the cars go — the engine!

As a result, this radical approach has the potential of treating many kinds of cancers (all cars have engines) rather than a specific type of cancer (Chevy, Ford or Honda). This groundbreaking approach has a much broader potential in the war against cancer. By developing the ability to stop the engine of any car, there is the potential of stopping many different types of cars from running, which supports the analogy of fighting many kinds of cancer.

Since it is FDA-approved, will insurance cover it?

Yes and no. The drug has a broad appeal and the benefit of treating both children and adults.  Unfortunately, the price tag is astronomical.

Medicare and Medicaid are not covering the medication yet, but it is hopeful that they will.  If they do, third-party payers usually follow suit, but once again, due to cost, any and all insurances may have restrictions, limitations, and only partial coverage. Insurance coverage, of course, will improve as the price comes down.

If someone has cancer, how do they discover if this medicine will work for them?

The appeal of this medication is that it works in many different cancers both in children and adults. This fact, by itself, is remarkable and substantial.

Unfortunately, the type of genetic mutation that drives these cancers represents only a small percentage of overall cancers, probably less than five percent. So, it certainly won’t work in all cancers. But when it does work — and it has already helped many patients in the tests and trials — some patients have experienced remarkable results.

We currently don’t know which cancers will respond. Fortunately, tests will be available to see if a person’s cancer is responsive to this new treatment. A person’s cancer will be mapped for mutations. Once the mutations are discovered, any available medications that attack that mutation can be employed.

Hopefully, over time, we will build a bigger and bigger army of medicines that attack a wide variety of genetic mutations that cause a wide range of cancers located anywhere in the body. Unfortunately, these tests are new, expensive and challenging. They will very likely get better and less costly on a rapid and regular basis. Regardless, people should get tested, because we now have a revolutionary and effective treatment for select cancer patients.

The future of cancer treatment

Vitrakvi (larotrectinib) is the first medication designed specifically to attack cancers based on the gene mutations that make them malignant and not where they occur in the body or the type of tissue the cancer comes from. We will no longer treat the tissue where cancer comes from; we will address the DNA mutation that causes a cancer in the first place.

Calling a cancer by the mutation that causes it and not the tissue or organ it comes from, such as breast or prostate cancer, is a trail-blazing approach in the treatment of cancer. It now shifts our thinking and focus when it comes to treating and curing cancer. This new view is the future of cancer treatment.

We no longer need to consider or call cancer the name based on its tissue type. We will now look at cancers based on the gene mutations that drive them. These very mutations can then be detected, and drugs can be designed and selected to attack the mutations.

Attacking the genetic cause of malignancy has been the Holy Grail for cancer treatment, and we are now about to sip from the cup. The future has never been brighter for the war on cancer.

Related content:

New advances in the war on cancer: living cell therapy

What is cancer?

Good news: we are winning the war on cancer

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Katlyn H., CMA, Answers 5 Questions – Crutchfield Dermatology Skin & MediSpa

Crutchfield Dermatology spa esthatician
Katlyn H.
Favorite TV show? The Good Life Favorite skin care product? Neostrata Smooth Surface Daily peel pads followed by Dr. Crutchfield’s Natural Face Cream! If there’s one thing you wish people did for their skin, what would it be? Stop worrying too much about what you’re cleansing with and just keep it simple. Cleanse WELL to give your skin a good base before putting anything on your skin and never skip a moisturizer! When and why did you decide to enter the Dermatology World? 5 years ago I started my Career as a Medical Assistant and it was pure luck that I ended up here, but I cannot imagine not working with skin now! What’s your favorite Treatment and why? HydraFacial because it is simply great for anyone. The afterglow and fresh feeling is addicting! What are my beauty must haves in your purse?  Jane iredale Lip drink lip balm in color “flirt” and Aquaphor ointment for additional lip moisture!
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All About Colds

How to lessen their frequency and ease their symptoms

It’s that season again — cold season! Let’s talk about what a cold is, how to prevent them, and how to treat them.

A cold is a viral infection of your sinuses/nasal passages and throat. Sometimes it can spread into your deep throat and cause bronchitis.

There are over 99 different viruses that can cause a cold. Because colds often affect the nasal passages, most of the viruses that cause colds are “rhinoviruses”; the term “rhino” means “nose.”

There is no cure for colds, so one must let a cold “run its course.” Most colds last about four to seven days.

The difference between a cold and the flu is that colds are not as severe, don’t produce high fevers, and don’t cause significant tiredness or fatigue. There are measures one can take to prevent the number of colds one gets and to treat the symptoms if a cold develops.

Common cold symptoms

  • Stuffy nose
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • May have mild fever
  • May have mild fatigue-tiredness
  • Nasal pressure
  • Watery eyes

Prevention

The best way to treat a cold is to prevent it in the first place. Some things that help to prevent colds include:

  • Hand washing. This is the most important thing you can do to prevent colds. Wash hands for at least 30 seconds. Some people sing “Happy Birthday” silently, twice, as a timing device as they wash their hands.
  • Get a flu shot or mist every year.
  • Don’t touch the faucet handles or doorknobs in public restrooms. Use a towel to turn the water off and your elbow to open the door.
  • If a sink is not available, use hand sanitizing gels.
  • Don’t cough into your hand; cough into your elbow.
  • Don’t touch your food with your hands; use eating utensils.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Eat healthy, including a daily multivitamin.
  • Clean commonly encountered surfaces regularly with disinfectant sprays. This includes bathroom surfaces, cell phones, doorknobs, refrigerator handles, steering wheels, and other commonly touched door handles.

Treatment

There is no cure for the common cold, so reducing aggravating symptoms is the goal. Because colds are caused by a virus, classic antibacterial antibiotics are useless. The following are steps to reduce symptoms:

  • Take a pain reliever such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen or aspirin. Talk to your doctor before giving any child with cold symptoms a fever aspirin; unwanted side effects can occur.
  • Use nasal decongestant sprays. These work well to ease breathing but should only be used for two or three days. If used too long, the user can develop dependence.
  • Use cough medicines. This includes throat lozenges and liquid syrups. These will make you feel better, but they won’t resolve a cold any sooner.
  • Drink lots of fluids. Sports-like drinks, fruit juices, and warm tea and broths work well.  Chicken soup has been proven to make cold sufferers feel much better. Avoid alcoholic beverages or anything that can cause dehydration.
  • Take Vitamin C. 1000 milligrams a day for three to five days has been reported to be helpful.
  • Calm the throat. For sore throats, gargling with warm salt water or throat lozenges works well.
  • Get plenty of rest. Don’t over-extend yourself; allow your body’s immune system to strengthen and fight back.

We all get colds. It is a part of living. Hopefully, this information will lessen their frequency and symptoms. Remember, if you are concerned about any illness, contact your doctor immediately.

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