• Category Archives Health Guide
  • Six Things You Should Know about Rashes

    child rashes.shutterstock_123958123Chances are that your child will develop at least one mysterious bump, welt or break-out in his or her childhood. While common, rashes may not be always benign. It’s a good idea to ask your child’s pediatrician to look at a rash and determine whether treatment (or just observation) is necessary.

    Usually, nothing is better than seeing the rash up close and in person; however, I can get clues over the phone to help me determine the possible cause and significance of a rash. Below, I’ve listed 6 questions I ask about a rash, which I hope can help you be better prepared when you call the doctor’s office.

    1.  Is there a fever?

    Fevers that accompany rashes may indicate an infection. The most common causes of rashes associated with fevers are viral infections. Viral illnesses such as Hand-Foot-Mouth disease or Fifth disease have a characteristic appearance and usually do not require any specific treatment (besides fever reducers as needed). Bacterial infections, such as cellulitis or strep throat, are less common but generally require some form of treatment, such as antibiotics.

    2.  Is the rash only on one area or in multiple places?

    Localized rashes are more consistent with direct irritants like diaper rash or contact dermatitis from poison ivy. A head-to-toe rash is more likely to occur from a systemic exposure like a virus or an allergic reaction to foods or oral medications.

    3.  Is it itchy, painful or “just there”? 

    For rashes without symptoms like itchiness or pain, my recommendation is usually to leave them alone. I discourage parents from putting lotions or other topical forms of treatment on them.

    An asymptomatic, all-over rash can follow a viral infection. For example, roseola is a red rash that shows up after a fever is gone. While generalized and impressive-looking, roseola is not contagious or a cause of concern once the rash appears.

    An example of a symptomatic, itchy rash is eczema or atopic dermatitis. Eczema looks like red, blotchy, scaly patches on the cheeks, neck, crook of the elbows and back of the knees.

    An example of a local, “just-there” rash is ringworm. This rash presents as round lesions with a raised, red border and a lighter, scaly center.

    4.  If it’s a red rash, is it “blanchable”?

    “Blanchable” means “turns white when pressing on it.” If you push on a red rash and the skin turns lighter momentarily, then it’s blanchable. This feature distinguishes a rash from a bruise because a bruise will not blanch. Non-blanchable rashes can be associated with bleeding underneath the skin either from injury or a clotting deficiency and can be more serious.

    5.  Are the eyes, mouth or joints also involved?

    The rash might be a clue to an issue beyond the skin, such as an inflammatory or allergic condition. I always ask if the white part of the eyes is red or if the inside of the mouth has swelling, blisters or bumps.

    6.  Is the rash new or has it been there for a while?

    If it started a few days ago, it’s acute. Chronic rashes have been there or have come and gone over some time frame. Chronic rashes may have evolved – by scratching, treatment or other means. In that case, I would want to know how it looked in the very beginning and how its appearance has changed over time.


  • Health Industry Fails to Meet Requirements

      One of President Obamas plans to slash nationwide costs has fallen short for a second time. The proposed $2 trillion savings suggestion that was announced and praised a a small number of months ago has fallen short by several hundred billion dollars. Health industry officials in spite of everything claimed achievement in producing solid propositions in time for a deadline put in place by the President where they promised to reduce their own costs to assist his outline for health care reform.

    Obama required a progress report by early June and the main five industry groups and one labor association gave it yesterday. They sent the President a letter along with a sequence of cost-savings proposals in which they claimed they may perhaps rack up $1 trillion to $1.7 trillion in savings over a decade. What youve seen is the coming as one of some really unlikely bedfellows and it really is very important. This is a very important mutual attempt, said Dr. Nancy Nielsen, president of the American Medical Association.

    Funds that are being planned include: $150 billion to $180 billion from additional-efficient use of health care services, $350 billion to $850 billion from better managing chronic illnesses, and $500 billion to $700 billion by way of administrative and business improvements such as standardizing claim forms.

    Insurers, doctors, hospitals, drug manufacturers, medical device manufacturers and a leading health care union, which collect the major group under examination here, indicated that savings could be more significant due to the fact they were conventional in their estimates; some of the ideas in their plan hadnt been considered enough to be quantified.

    White House health spokeswoman Linda Douglass claimed the White House was looking over the propositions. She commented, It is significant that these groups, some of which opposed reorganization in the past, are now at the table with the president acknowledging that we must reform health care this year. Undoubtedly, they are in agreement with the president that it is possible to significantly decrease the growth rate of health care expenditures that is overwhelming families, companies, governments and is stifling economic growth.

    Health care industry leaders did not think much of the malfunction to hit the $2 trillion proposal. Some stated the claimed savings were just the beginning, at the same time as others stated that they had never agreed to reach $2 trillion on their own in the first place. They challenge that they agreed to contribute in an industry-wide effort only to slow increases in the industry. The president asked for a progress report on June 1 so we decided to meet that deadline, said Karen Ignagni, head of Americas Health Insurance Plans.

    The groups did not attempt to determine how much of the savings would grow to the federal government, rather than to the health care organization all together.

    Im cynical that these proposals will add up to anywhere near $2 trillion, said Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. In the governmental process, propositions rise or descend based on what the Congressional Budget Office does.