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What to do when something bit or stung you – Part II

In our last article, we gave tips and warnings about bees and wasps, fire ants and sand flies. This time, we’re escaping the heat and open spaces of picnics and beaches to head for some tree cover. The truth is that there are different things to be worried about when you’re taking a hike in the woods. Here are some other bugs you should be on the lookout for this summer and what to do about them if you should meet them.

Ticks

Ticks are one of the most common source of bites in humans. They like warm, moist areas of the body, which makes them so risky when you’re camping. Unlike other bugs, ticks remain attached to you after they bite you so that they can continue to suck your blood.

The bite itself is generally harmless, although you should try to remove the tick as quickly and completely as possible. However, ticks are notorious for carrying disease – Lyme disease being among them, and frequently misdiagnosed. If you are allergic to ticks, you’ll see problems around the bite – a burning sensation, itching, etc., which can be relieved with hydrocortisone cream. If you have a more severe reaction, then it’s time to stop into our Spring Hill walk in clinic to take quick action.

As mentioned, though, the worst part of ticks is not the bite – but the potential disease. If, in the weeks following your camping trip or walk through the woods, you notice a rash, neck stiffness, nausea, weakness or a number of other symptoms, you should come immediately to our urgent care center in Spring Hill for treatment, which may include an antibiotic.

Spiders

Although we hear a lot about black widow and brown recluse spiders, they are actually quite rare. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention, though. If you get bit by a spider, most of the time it is harmless, if annoying. You should treat it by washing it and using an antibiotic ointment if you suspect it was a brown recluse. Otherwise, keep the affected area elevated and apply a cool compress to reduce swelling.

If you suspect you were bit by a black widow or if your bite isn’t healing, stop into our Spring Hill walk in clinic for immediate treatment.

Mosquitoes

These dastardly insects are so small yet so dangerous – in fact, we can say they are the most dangerous insect in the world because they transmit so many diseases! Of course, your neighborhood mosquito is more likely to cause you annoyance than malaria, but you should still be aware of diseases like West Nile virus and, more recently, Zika virus.

That’s why it’s best to always stay protected, i.e., wear light colors and insect repellent, and to eliminate mosquito hotspots if possible, i.e., no birdbaths, poorly maintained landscaping ponds, and improper drainage in your backyard. If you do get bit by a mosquito, you’ll most likely just be a bit itchy; if you have a lot of bites, e.g., from sleeping in the backyard or playing outside at dusk,, you may want to pick up some calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream to cut down on the itching.

If you have unusual persistent symptoms, like headaches, body aches, diarrhea or rash, or worse – neck stiffness, vision loss or disorientation, come into our urgent care center in Spring Hill immediately to be checked for West Nile.

LifeGuard Urgent Care – Urgent Care Spring Hill

LifeGuard Urgent Care is open 7 days a week, 8am-8pm to serve you when you need it – before you head to work or after that weekend BBQ. If you suspect you have been bitten by something and you are having an adverse reaction, stop in, no appointment necessary, to get it checked out.

 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider.

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What to do when something bit or stung you – Part I

Now that school is out and the weather is hot, everyone is heading outdoors. But every hour spent outdoors – while healthy! – raises your risk of interacting with a bug. Whether it’s mosquitoes, spiders, bees and wasps, or sand gnats, you are likely to get bit or stung at least once this summer.

 

Most bites and stings won’t be anything but irritating, but in some cases they can cause real problems. Here’s what to look for and what to do if you have a close encounter with a bug.

Bee and wasp stings

Many people are allergic to bee and wasp venom, but they don’t know it because they’ve never been stung. That’s because bees and wasps sting only when they perceive a threat. If you stay away from them, you will lower your risk of getting stung.

If, however, they’re making your picnic a real drag, remember these tips for avoiding bees:

  1. Don’t wear fragrances – and that includes scented lotions and hair spray.
  2. Avoid wearing flower patterns – you don’t want the bee to come on to you, thinking you’re in need of pollinating
  3. If possible, don’t serve sweet drinks in cans or partially closed containers – if the bee can get into drink, and you take a drink, you’re looking at a sting!

If you do get stung and it begins swelling or you break out into hives, come immediately to our Spring Hill Urgent Care Center for treatment.

Fire ants

Getting ants in your home is no walk in the park, but fire ants are a different beast altogether. If you happen to disrupt a fire ant hill, you are looking at multiple stings, since each ant can sting more than once.

The best way to avoid fire ant stings is to eliminate fire ants and avoid disrupting anthills. But sometimes when you are mowing the lawn or discovering the backyard, you’ll encounter them anyway.

For most people, it will be enough to ice the affected area, take an antihistamine and smear hydrocortisone cream on the bites. If that doesn’t help or if the affected area begins swelling, a trip to our urgent care center in Spring Hill will be necessary.

Sand gnats

A unique problem to beaches, sandflies, aka sand fleas or sand gnats, can cause a great trip to go awry. That’s because sand fly bites hurt!

The best way to avoid sand fly bites, unfortunately, is to cover up – not always a treat on the beach. So if you do get bit, make sure you give the affected area a little TLC – smearing on hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion. And don’t itch! It just makes it worse.

If your sand fly bites aren’t clearing up after a few days or you’re seeing other unusual symptoms, drop into our Spring Hill Urgent Care Center. Unfortunately, since they bite, these creatures can pass on diseases to their victims.

These are only three potential sources of bug bites – stay tuned for our next article, where we will go over a few other buggy issues. Remember that if you see anything unusual around the bite, it begins swelling, or the bites don’t seem to be going away, you should stop into LifeGuard urgent care center in Spring Hill for immediate treatment. We are open 7 days a week to serve you when you need it.

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When something seems off “down there”

spring hill walk in clinic

If you are like most people, your only concerns about going to the bathroom are whether the toilet is clean and if there is enough toilet paper. But sometimes, you may ask yourself why not much is coming out, despite the urge to urinate. Or perhaps you look in the toilet afterwards and see it is cloudy or – gasp! – pink or red. If you’re not feeling 100% down there, there could be many reasons for it, but the main reason is a urinary tract infection, or UTI.

 

In this article, we’ll learn about UTIs, how to prevent them, and what to do if you get one.

 

Urinary Tract and Bladder Infections

 

The urinary tract includes your urethra, bladder, ureter and kidneys. If harmful bacteria make it into any of those, they grow and multiply – causing the symptoms mentioned above, and more. Women are more susceptible than men, due to their anatomy. UTIs are most frequently caused by E. coli, which is present in our gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It is important to know that they most commonly begin in the urethra (urethritis) or bladder (cystitis), and that they have several typical symptoms:

 

  • An urge to urinate constantly, despite there not being much urine
  • Burning during urination
  • Cloudy urine
  • Discolored urine (pink, red, or brown, indicating blood in the urine)
  • Pelvic pain

 

There are other infections and problems which present with similar symptoms, so if you are experience any of the above, stop in to our Spring Hill walk in clinic to get a full diagnosis.

 

An ounce of prevention

Whether you’ve never had a UTI or you get them frequently, there are some steps you can take which will minimize your risk.

 

  1. Drink plenty of fluids. This is not only healthy for your body generally and digestive system in particular, it’s excellent for your urinary tract. Frequent (but not excessive) urination ensures that anything potentially harmful isn’t sticking around for long.
  2. Beware of your wipe. Since the bidet hasn’t taken off in the US, we have to be more careful about our hygiene. Wiping from front to back ensures that there is minimal chance of E. coli from the GI tract making its way to the urethra.
  3. Use the bathroom after sexual intercourse. Although you may not feel an urge to urinate, it is worth trying, to ensure that you’re flushing out any foreign fluids from the area.
  4. Beware of what you use down there. Whether it’s your choice of birth control or your chosen sanitary product for that time of the month, be aware that increased interaction with foreign substances or irritants can increase your chances of UTI.

 

Treatment – Urinary Tract Infection

When you stop into our Spring Hill walk in clinic and meet with the doctor, he or she will most likely have you give a urine sample. Analyzing the sample will ensure a diagnosis the majority of the time. Because we have a lab on-site, we can quickly determine what the problem is. If it is a UTI, the most common treatment is antibiotics. If you are prescribed antibiotics, it is necessary to take them the full course, even if you begin to feel better after 2-3 days. This is because it’s necessary to ensure all harmful bacteria have been eliminated – and to prevent them from mutating into something worse.

 

It is also worth supplementing your diet with natural probiotics like sauerkraut and unsweetened yogurt, or a prescription probiotic. These will ensure that good bacteria aren’t destroyed during the antibiotic treatment, making you more susceptible to yeast infection and other complications.

 

If you have recurring UTIs, you may need a different approach to treatment. In the case that you experience something “not right” after finishing antibiotics, you can once again stop into our Spring Hill walk in clinic – no appointment necessary – and we will determine a new strategy for diagnosis and treatment.

 

LifeGuard Urgent Care

If you live in the Spring Hill area, we encourage you to pay us a visit and discuss your symptoms. We are open seven days per week with no appointment necessary. Simply show up, and we will take care of you. To learn about other services that we provide, visit our website.

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