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7 Tips To Prevent Swimmer's Ear

by Statcare Urgent Medical Care

What is Swimmer's Ear?

Swimmer’s ear (otitis externa) is an infection of the ear canal, which is a slender channel about one-inch long that leads from the outer ear to the eardrum. Symptoms of swimmer’s ear can include pain, redness, and swelling of the ear canal and an itchy feeling in the ear. Pain when tugging the earlobe, or when chewing food, is also a symptom. Some patients report temporary hearing loss or their ears feeling “full.” Patients may experience symptoms differently and at different levels of severity. It is important to note that swimmer’s ear is different from a middle ear infection, which is common in young children.

What Causes Swimmer's Ear?

Swimmer’s ear is an infection that occurs when water remains trapped in the ear canal. This moist environment is ideal for the growth of bacteria, and, in rare cases, fungus. Some patients get swimmer’s ear from swimming, although it can happen from bathing, showering, or even sweating. A lack of earwax due to aggressive cleaning with cotton swabs or small objects can cause swimmer’s ear. Earwax limits the growth of bacteria and is a natural barrier to moisture. Skin conditions such as eczema, and chemicals from hairspray or dyes, can also prompt swimmer’s ear.

7 Tips For Preventing Swimmer's Ear

  1. Never put anything in the ear canal (cotton swabs, paper clips, liquids or even your finger). This can damage or irritate the skin.
  2. Leave ear wax in the canal.
  3. Do not use ear plugs. They can irritate the ear canal.
  4. If you swim or surf, use a bathing cap to keep water out of your ears.
  5. Keep your ears as dry as possible. Use a towel to dry your ears well after swimming or showering. 
  6. Help the water run out of your ears by turning your head to each side and pulling the earlobe in different directions. 
  7. Blow dry your ears on a low setting, holding the dryer 12 inches away.

If you or a family member experience any of the above symptoms, walk-in to any of our clinics for an evaluation and talk to our health care providers. No appointment is necessary at our clinics and you’ll only wait minutes to be seen. You can call ahead at (855) 9 FOR DOC and let us know you’re on the way or you can check in online.

Protect Yourself Against Lyme Disease This Summer

by Statcare Urgent Medical Care

As the weather warms up, you and your family will probably be spending more time enjoying the great outdoors. After all, the summer brings more opportunities for you to camp, hike, swim and bike. Before going outside, though, be sure to protect yourself from Lyme disease this summer.

In 2015, 95% of confirmed Lyme disease cases were reported from 14 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is caused by bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, the infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks; laboratory testing is helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics.

What can you do to protect yourself?

You can decrease the chances of being bitten by a tick with a few precautions.

  1. Avoid tick infested areas. This is especially important in May, June and July. Many local health departments and park or extension services will have information regarding these areas.
  2. If you are in a tick-infested area, walk in the center of trails to avoid contact with overgrown grass.
  3. Use insect repellent. Spray repellent containing a 20%-30% concentration of DEET on clothes and on exposed skin.
  4. You can also treat clothes (especially pants, socks and shoes) with permethrin, which kills ticks on contact. Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
  5. Permethrin can also be used on tents and some camping gear. 
  6. Always check for ticks after being outdoors, even in your own yard.
  7. Remove attached ticks with tweezers. Avoid crushing the tick's body. Grasp the tick firmly and as close to the skin as possible. Cleanse the area with an antiseptic.
  8. Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within 2 hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you.
  9. After being outdoors, dry clothing in a hot dryer for 10 minutes to kill any ticks that are attached to clothing.

Source: CDC

If you think that you may be ill from a tick bite, you should see a healthcare provider to diagnose your illness. Statcare Urgent Medical Care is a great option for tick prevention advice, Lyme Disease testing and treatment. No appointment is necessary at our clinics and you’ll only wait minutes to be seen. You can call ahead at (855) 9 FOR DOC and let us know you’re on the way or you can check in online.

Don't Wait: Nip Your Allergies In The Bud Now

by Statcare Urgent Medical Care

Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, affects approximately 20 percent of people of all ages. The most common symptoms include nasal itching, watery nasal discharge, sneezing, itchy red eyes and sore throat.

It is caused by a nasal reaction to small airborne particles called allergens (substances that cause an allergic reaction). In some people, these particles also cause reactions in the lungs (asthma) and eyes (allergic conjunctivitis). One of the first steps in treating any allergic condition is to avoid or minimize exposure to the allergens that cause the condition.

Identifying The Allergen

There are four major categories of allergens that trigger allergic rhinitis:

  • Pollen (spring and summer - trees, grass; fall - ragweed)
  • Insects (house dust mites, cockroaches)
  • Animal allergens (skin, fur, feathers, saliva)
  • Molds

Tips to Avoid Each Type of Allergens


  1. Close the windows of your car and home.
  2. Use air conditioners to filter the air during times of peak symptoms.
  3. Use a mask while grass cutting or wood cutting.
  4. Avoid irritants like dust and fumes.
  5. Take a shower before bed. This removes allergens from hair and skin and can help reduce contamination of the bedding.
  6. Over-the-counter saline sprays and rinses can be used after being outdoors to wash away allergens from the nasal lining.


  1. Exposure to dust mites can be reduced by encasing pillows, mattresses, box springs, comforters, and furniture in mite-impermeable barriers.
  2. Wash sheets and blankets weekly in warm water with detergent and dry them in a dryer.
  3. Vacuum with a vacuum cleaner equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
  4. Dust regularly.
  5. Don't sleep on upholstered furniture (e.g., couches).
  6. Reduce the amount of clutter in the room.
  7. Clean carpets and drapes regularly.
  8. It may be necessary to use pest control methods.
  9. Keep food and trash in covered containers, clean food scraps from the floor and counter-tops.
  10. Seal cracks in the walls, door and floors.

Animal Allergens:

  1. If you are found to be allergic to a pet, the most effective option is to remove the pet from the home. Limiting an animal to a certain area in the house is not effective because allergens are carried on clothing or spread in the air.
  2. Clean carpets, sofas, curtain and bedding regularly.


  1. To reduce the growth of mold at home, it is necessary to remove existing mold and also to reduce humidity to prevent future growth of mold. Humidity can be reduced by removing sources of standing water and persistent dampness.
  2. Remove house plants, fix leaky plumbing, correct sinks and showers that do not drain completely.
  3. Remove bathroom carpeting that is exposed to steam and moisture.
  4. Use exhaust fans in the bathroom when bathing.
  5. Dehumidify damp areas to levels below 50%.
  6. Indoor garbage pails should be regularly disinfected.
  7. Old books, newspapers and clothing should be discarded or donated rather than stored.
  8. Water damaged carpets and wall or ceiling boards should be thrown out.

We offer blood allergy testing at all our clinics. With the lab-work, you will be able to determine what kind of substances could be your specific triggers. Tests can be done for common allergens such as plant pollen, molds, dust mites, animal dander an various foods such as peanuts, eggs, wheat, shellfish and milk. Walk-in to any of our clinics and talk to our providers. No appointment is necessary at our clinics and you’ll only wait minutes to be seen. You can call ahead at (855) 9 FOR DOC and let us know you’re on the way or you can check in online.

5 Tips For Eating Healthy This Easter

by Statcare Urgent Medical Care

Easter is a meaningful holiday for many of us and also a time to celebrate family and the coming of spring. Food definitely becomes a focus of this holiday. You can make the best of healthy eating by planning ahead and turning your efforts towards making the most of your time with family.

  1. Eat a balanced, whole food breakfast. For example, eat boiled/scrambled eggs along with some sauteed vegetables. Protein-packed smoothie could be an add on as well.
  2. Go for a walk. Get up 15 minutes earlier and be active in some way to set the tone for the day. You could also go for a walk after your Easter dinner with some family members. 
  3. Stay hydrated. Often times, headaches begin when we become dehydrated and we eat foods that are high in sodium. Drinking plenty of water can balance out the extra sodium content and maintain our electrolyte balance.
  4. Stick to the basics. Offer to bring something you would like to eat or stick to the basics of protein and veggies for dinner.
  5. Save the goodies for after the meal. Easter candy such as jelly beans and cream-filled Easter eggs are definitely not the most ideal, nutritious food. Plan what you're going to have in advance, stick with it and avoid eating anything that wasn't on your list.

Most of all have fun!  Enjoy the holiday with others and that alone surpasses wanting to eat.

Do I Need Stitches? Find Out How To Tell

by Statcare Urgent Medical Care

What is a laceration?

Lacerations are cuts on the skin. While incisions are cuts produced by a sharp object such as glass or a razor, lacerations are blunter and irregular.  Not all lacerations need stitches. In fact, small lacerations can be cared for right at home.

Home Care

Small lacerations can be cleaned at home and covered with a clean gauze and tape if they fit the following criteria:

  • the bleeding stops in 10 minutes or less.
  • the cut is not on the face (especially on the mouth or near the eyes).
  • the cut is small and not very deep (not more than 1/4 inch deep).

If your wound does not fit this description, you might need stitches. Stitches are not only necessary to stop the bleeding, but they also help speed up healing and prevent infections. Your risk of infection increases the longer the wound remains open. Most wounds that require closure should be stitched, stapled or closed with skin adhesives within 6 to 8 hours after the injury. Some wounds that require treatment can be closed as long as 24 hours after the injury.

If you have diabetes, chronic kidney failure or a suppressed immune system, your wounds might not heal as fast or as well as other people, so you might need stitches even if it is a small laceration. When in doubt, come to any of our clinics and speak to our health care providers.

Getting Stitches

Sutures (or stitches) are the most common method used to close up a laceration. Non-dissolvable sutures made of nylon or polypropylene material are used to close the outer layer of wounds. Dissolvable sutures made of polyglycolic and polygalactic acid are used to close deeper layers of skin and tissue.

Signs that a cut requires stitches:

  • Deep enough to exposure the yellow subcutaneous fatty tissue, muscle or bone.
  • Gaping open so that you can't easily use gentle pressure to press the edges together.
  • Located on or across a joint (concern for damaged nerves, tendons/ligaments).
  • The result of an animal or human bite.
  • A result of a foreign body impaling the area.
  • Made by a high-pressure impact from a projectile like a bullet.
  • Contaminated or resulting from a very dirty or rusty object.
  • Bleeding profusely.
  • On a cosmetically significant area, such as the face, lips, eyelids.
  • On or near the genitalia.

You may also need a tetanus vaccine booster.

Removal of Stitches

Most stitches are removed within 10 days and as soon as five days in areas like the face, where the blood supply is rich - which makes healing faster. The longer the stitches are left in, the higher the risk of scarring. The main goal of stitches is to help your wound heal, so if they need to stay in place for a longer period of time, the health care provider may choose to do that. Stitches are easy to remove with surgical scissors. After the stitches are removed, the area will be examined by the healthcare provider to ensure that it's healing properly and that it is properly closed. Although you might be tempted to remove the stitches at home, it's safer if you return to the clinic for this. It's easy to re-injure the area - or even cause an infection -if you're not careful. This will result in a feeling of general illness, and may require antibiotics for you to get well.

Walk-in to any of our clinics and talk to our providers. No appointment is necessary at our clinics and you’ll only wait minutes to be seen. You can call ahead at (855) 9 FOR DOC and let us know you’re on the way or you can check in online.

Sources: CDCCleveland Clinic



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