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6 Summer Skin Care Tips

It is finally warm outside and feeling like summer! But with the beautiful warm weather, also comes the potential for skin damage from the sun. Skin damage builds up over time and you don’t start over every summer. Here are some important tips to keep in mind as you start enjoying the summer weather.

  1. Wear sunscreen every day.

This one may seem obvious, but whether you’re heading to a full day at the pool or just taking the dog on a walk, make sure to always protect your skin! Dermatologists recommend wearing sunscreen every single day for maximum sun protection.

  1. Stay hydrated.

Drinking water all day has more benefits than one. It’ll keep you feeling healthy, and keep your skin healthy as well! Hydrated skin is far less susceptible to damage than dry skin.

  1. Always wear sunglasses.

The skin around your eyes is the most sensitive to sunlight. Getting in the habit of putting on sunglasses every time you go outside will help prevent sun damage and the possibility of skin cancer. They also protect the eyes themselves from UV rays to avoid chances of cataracts.

  1. Take a cool shower.

Taking a hot shower after spending time in the sun can further skin damage. Next time you come inside from a day at the lake or a dip in the pool, make sure you’re rinsing off with a cool shower.

  1. Wear a hat.

Wearing a wide-brimmed hat can protect against skin damage to the face, which is the most vulnerable place on the body for skin damage. Protect against future wrinkles and grab a hat before heading out the door this summer.

  1. Take in lots of Vitamin C and Vitamin E.

Many dermatologists argue that a combination of Vitamins C and E can help reduce the potential of sunburn. Try a salad with berries (Vitamin C) and nuts (Vitamin E) before the next time you go out in the sun!

Follow these tips and you’re in for a great summer! Check out the infographic below for a quick “cheat sheet” for protecting your skin.

Do you have a favorite summer skin care tip to share? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

Top 3 Ways To Encourage Physical Activity In Your Child This Summer

When it comes to fostering healthy habits in children, parents — especially busy parents — understand just how hard it can be to keep kids entertained and physically active during the summer months. The summer months, however, are exactly when you must focus (or re-focus) your efforts on teaching your children healthy eating and physical activity habits, as these are the months that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that children are most prone to inactivity and obesity.

Childhood obesity is considered an American epidemic and affects over 12 million children (1 in every 6 children). For obese children, there’s an increased risk of the following health problems:

  • High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Bone and joint problems
  • Type 2 diabetes

Obese children are also at an increased risk of being bullied and, therefore, suffering from depression, but they’re also more likely to grow up to be an obese adult, which can increase their risk of suffering from a wider range of health problems associated with obesity.

While building healthy eating and physical habits, early on in childhood, is an ideal way to ensure your child grows up as healthy as possible, we understand just how hard it can be to keep children entertained and physically active during the summer months. All it takes, however, is a little planning and creativity. Here are three great ways to keep your child active throughout the summer break:

  1.    Enroll Kids In Summer Camp

Enrolling your child in summer camps or programs often exposes them to consistent physical activity throughout the summer. In fact, studies have found that day campers averaged 11,916 steps per day when at camp, while residential campers averaged about 19,699 per day (and these numbers actually exceed physical activity recommendations set by United States Health and Human Services). Additionally, summer camps introduce your child to a wide variety of activities that assist in providing the social and intellectual development your child needs.

  1.    Set An Example

As a parent, your child looks up to you and the example that you set. Partaking in physical activities together can aid in motivating your child to be active. Instead of instructing your child to go play outside in order to get some peace and quiet, try joining them instead. Whether it’s going for a walk, playing sports at the park, or going for a bike ride, engaging in physical activities together is physically beneficial for both you and your child.

  1.    Limit Screen Time

Technology can be an intriguing thing for children, as well as adults. Whether it’s an iPad, a television, or an Xbox, electronics have the ability to take up hours of your child’s day. With technology being in almost every aspect of our lives today, making your child choose to play outside over sitting in front of a screen can be challenging. If you are having trouble reducing screen time, here are a few tips:

  • Do not use screen time as a reward.
  • Try to limit your own screen time when you are in family settings (make it a rule that everyone puts down their phone or tablet during family time).
  • Create a screen-free bedroom for your child.
  • Do not resort to screen time when trying to occupy your child in the car.
  • Set time limits for screen-time.
  • Present other activities to your child.

The Time For Physical Activity Is Now

Keeping your child active during the summer requires effort and mindfulness. However, physical activity plays a vital role in your child’s health and development. Although the summer days are less structured, your child’s physical activity does not have to decline. Sign them up for that cool summer camp, go on that walk together, and get their eyes off the screens this summer — we promise, you’ll all love (and benefit from) it.

 

Does My Bee Sting Need Medical Attention?

With the weather warming up, we will all be spending more time outdoors. With the change in season, though, comes the increase in flying insects. While some are pleasant, like butterflies and ladybugs, other insects like mosquitoes and bees are decidedly less enjoyable to come into contact with. When it comes to bee stings, they are painful but generally harmless; however, some instances do require medical attention. To avoid dangerous allergic reactions to bee stings, it’s important to understand the difference between normal bee sting reactions and those that are more severe.

Mild Bee Sting Reactions

When a bee stings you, they inject their venom into the sting site. This results in instant, sharp pain and minor swelling. Minor pain will usually continue (the stinging sensation we associate with bee stings), and sometimes the skin can appear white where the stinger injected venom. After a bee sting, you should always remove the stinger and attached venom sack; however, stay away from using tweezers. Using tweezers to remove the stinger can inject more venom into the wound, so simply use a clean fingernail or a clean credit card to scrape the stinger away.

Moderate Bee Sting Reactions

Some people may have a more severe reaction to a bee sting that is still considered normal and safe. A very large, swollen welt and extreme redness may appear around the sting site over the 48 hours following the actual bee sting. As long as the reaction is confined to the sting site and does not spread to other areas of the body, no medical attention is necessary. These moderate reactions tend to resolve themselves within five to ten days.

Dangerous Bee Sting Reactions

If the reaction to your bee sting becomes severe and starts spreading outside of the sting site, it’s time to visit the emergency room. While a small number of people who are stung by bees develop a severe allergy, allergic reactions to bee stings are potentially life-threatening and require immediate emergency medical attention. Severe allergy to bee stings, also known as anaphylaxis, presents itself through:

  • Skin reactions, such as hives, itching, and flushed sweaty, or pale skin
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the lips, throat, and tongue
  • Weak, rapid pulse
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Loss of consciousness

If you are experiencing any of these severe bee sting symptoms, you should call 911 and seek immediate medical attention at the ER. If your airway begins to close, or something else emergent happens, they will be most prepared to help you breathe or stabilize the situation. Use a prescribed emergency epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen, Auvi-Q, others) immediately and as directed by your doctor.

If you develop anaphylaxis after a bee sting, you have a 30% to 60% chance of developing it again after your next sting. Be sure to talk to your doctor during warmer months about immunotherapy (AKA: allergy shots) to prevent dangerous bee sting situations in the future.

Treat Bee Stings at First Care Clinics

If you’ve been stung by a bee, apply a cold pack to reduce pain and swelling. Take an oral antihistamine, like Benadryl or Zyrtec, to continue reducing minor reactions (be aware that certain antihistamines will make you drowsy, so plan to stay home or get a driver if you need to leave). If your sting is presenting mild to moderate symptoms, visit First Care Clinics for speedy care — with a fraction of the wait time and cost of the ER, First Care Clinics’ qualified staff will have you in and out in no time. Contact us for locations or more information.

(Those suffering from severe bee sting reactions, such as anaphylaxis, should call 911 and seek immediate medical attention at the ER.)

4 Fast Facts About Ear Infections

It’s almost May, and while we may be approaching the tail end of flu season, sinuses, colds, and allergies remain in full swing. Ear infections are extremely common this time of year, especially in young children. In fact, they are the leading cause of trips to the pediatrician, accounting for 30 million doctor visits a year in the United States. That’s why we’re bringing you four things you need to know about ear infections so you can be prepared the next time you or your child is experiencing an earache. Let’s get started.

  • Ear infections are caused by a fluid buildup in the middle ear.

The middle ear is supposed to be well ventilated by air to keep the ear dry. When there’s fluid in it, however, the airflow is blocked, making the area damp and warm — an ideal breeding ground for germs.

This issue is more common in children due to the fact that a child’s middle ear is often too soft and narrow; therefore, it has a harder time staying open.

  • Symptoms of ear infections will vary from children to adults.

According to WebMD.com, the symptoms of an ear infection in adults are:

  • Earache (in the form of either a sharp, sudden pain or a dull, continuous pain)
  • A sharp, stabbing pain followed by warm drainage from the ear canal
  • A feeling of fullness in the ear
  • Muffled hearing
  • Ear drainage

The symptoms of an ear infection in children are:

  • Tugging or pulling at the ear
  • Poor sleep
  • Fever
  • Irritability
  • Ear drainage
  • Crying at night when lying down
  • Low appetite
  1. There are several natural remedies that will help with the pain until you’re able to see a healthcare professional.

Ear pain is very uncomfortable, and it is certainly difficult to see your child in pain. Until you can get in to see a healthcare professional, try out these home remedies to help with the pain.

  • Place a warm compress over the affected ear.
  • Try an over-the-counter pain reliever like Tylenol or Advil. Avoid giving your child aspirin due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome.
  • Gargling salt water may help clear the Eustachian tubes.
  • Try to avoid lying down as often as possible in order to help drain your middle ear.
  1. Your local First Care Clinic can provide timely treatment for you or your little one.

At First Care, ear infections are one of the most common ailments we treat — especially around this time of year. Our staff is dedicated to bringing you the highest quality care in the timeliest of manners, so you can get on your way to feeling better as quickly as possible. For an ear infection, this would include reviewing your or your child’s symptoms and a simple look inside the ear with an otoscope to determine the appropriate treatment.

Click here to find your local clinic, and feel free to leave your favorite earache home remedy below in the comments.

Allergies or a Cold: What’s Got You Sick?

There’s a reason people say they’re “under the weather” when they aren’t feeling their best. Now that it’s officially springtime, allergy season is in full swing. Sneezes, stuffy noses, and itchiness are becoming more prominent, but not all sniffles are the same — it can be hard to determine the cause of your symptoms. The early signs of a cold and the onset seasonal allergies can be very similar, so how can you tell what’s got you sick?

Check out our infographic below to help you figure it out!

Concussion Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment

Head injuries are scary and not something to be taken lightly. Even something that might seem like a minor fall or bump can have serious impacts on your health, so it’s important to take any harm to your head or neck very seriously. When it comes to types of brain injuries, the most common and least severe is a concussion. A concussion occurs when your brain is jostled within your skull, resulting in bruising to the soft tissue, injury to blood vessels, and potential nerve damage.

Concussion Signs and Symptoms

If you’ve recently sustained any bumps to the head, a concussion is a possible side effect. While you might not have any cuts or bruises to the exterior of your head, there could possibly be something more serious going on internally. It’s important to seek medical attention if you’ve recently taken a hard hit to the head and are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Confusion or dazed feeling
  • Clumsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light and/or sound
  • Sluggishness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Personality or behavior changes
  • Memory loss

Concussion Treatment

When it comes to your health, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. It’s no different with a concussion; if you believe you have sustained a traumatic head injury, seek medical attention as quickly as possible. The severity of your concussion will greatly constitute the treatment plan your doctor chooses, so catching it early is important as well. For grade 1 and grade 2 concussions, doctors normally recommend waiting until symptoms are completely gone before returning to any physical activity.

For more serious concussions, grade 3, your doctor will first evaluate your memory and concentration skills. Next, he or she will check your coordination and reflexes before potentially ordering an MRI or CT scan to rule out any internal bleeding or further head injury. After assessing the severity of your concussion, your doctor will work with you to develop an appropriate course of action.

Concussion Diagnosis at First Care Clinics

First Care Clinics value customer experience and convenience over all else. We are fully equipped to help diagnose and treat a wide range of injuries and ailments and are often cheaper and quicker than traditional emergency rooms. Our goal is to provide you and your family with top-of-the-line medical care that won’t break the bank or add stress to your schedule today. Contact us today or visit our website to find a location near you.

 

What You Need to Know About Chest Pain

Chest pain can come in a variety of forms: sharp, dull, burning, concentrated, or widespread. Chest pain can have many causes — the most serious, of course, being a heart attack. However, the tricky thing about this kind of pain is that it can stem from dozens of different issues, making it hard to tell what’s going on without seeing a healthcare professional.

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease accounts for about 1 in 3 deaths in the United States. That’s about 2,300 Americans daily, which is an average of 1 death every 38 seconds. It’s more important than ever to stay educated on heart health and warning signs; so, in honor of February being American Heart Month, we’re going over the different types of chest pain and when you should seek assistance from a medical professional.

While chest pain is typically related to the heart, it can often stem from problems in your lungs, esophagus, ribs, and other parts of the body. Here some causes and symptoms of chest pain, broken down by location:

Heart-Related Chest Pain

Every year, millions of Americans experiencing chest pain are seen by medical professionals, but only 20 percent of them are diagnosed with a heart attack. There are several heart-related causes of chest pain that are not caused by a heart attack, including Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), myocarditis, pericarditis, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, mitral valve prolapse, and more. Either way, if you’re experiencing these symptoms of heart-related chest pain, you’ll want to see a doctor as soon as possible:

  • Pressure, fullness, or tightness in the chest
  • Pain that radiates to the back, neck, shoulders, jaw, and one or both arms
  • Irregular pain: chest pain that gets worse with activity, goes away and comes back, or varies with intensity
  • Chest pain that lasts longer than a few minutes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness, weakness, nausea, and/or vomiting

Warning signs of a heart attack include squeezing and/or pressure in the center of the chest, shortness of breath, sudden nausea, heat flashes or cold sweats, unusual fatigue, or pain or any other atypical feelings in your arms, jaw, and back. If you suspect that you may be having a heart attack, go to your nearest emergency room.

Other Causes of Chest Pain

Chest pain may also be caused by different structures in the chest other than the heart or vessels, including:

  • Starting at the skin, certain rashes such as shingles can cause pain
  • Inflammation of the chest wall, the muscles, bones, and joints, from such things as cough may cause pain
  • Lung and bronchial infections such as pneumonia can cause chest pain
  • Reflux in the esophagus and even gas in the upper intestines can be felt as significant chest pain

First Care urgent care clinics are prepared to evaluate and manage a variety of conditions such as these.

When should you see a healthcare professional?

It’s always a good idea quickly to see a medical professional if you have chest pain lasting longer than a few minutes — there are so many different causes of chest pain that are hard to identify, so you don’t want to take the risk in case the cause of your pain is life-threatening. In the case that your pain is emergent, or you suspect you are having a heart attack, it’s best to seek emergency medical help immediately.  

For further information, check out the American Heart Association website, or reach out to us at First Care to learn more about how we can help.

Urgent Care: How It Works

Trying something new when it comes to your health can be scary; you never know if you’re visiting a quack or a legitimate professional. That’s no reason to avoid urgent care clinics, though. More often than not, urgent care clinics are cheaper than the emergency room, provide more applicable care with shorter wait times, and there is no appointment needed; however, if you don’t understand exactly how urgent care clinics work, you might be hesitant to try one.

Find a First Care Clinic Near You

The first step is finding an urgent care clinic near you. At First Care, we have locations throughout Kentucky and Indiana. Kentucky and Indiana residents can rest assured they are close by any of our emergency care clinics. First Care is also frequently adding new locations, so check back on our website often.

Just Walk In: No Appointment Necessary

At urgent care clinics like First Care, no appointment is necessary to be seen by our medical professionals. All of our employees are highly trained and up to date with any special credentialing and training requirements. Our state of the art equipment and medical facilities are guaranteed for functionality and cleanliness, so you never have to worry about trading convenience for quality of care. At First Care Clinics, we provide you with top of the line, cutting-edge medical care.

Provide Your Insurance Card and Photo ID

First Care Urgent Care Clinics accept most all forms of major insurance, and any urgent care copay is significantly less than those of the ER. While we handle the billing process for you, you should contact your insurance provider to be sure of any potential cost savings available for your individual plan. You should also bring with you the following: payment for copay, any parental authorization forms, a list of your current medications, a list of any past surgeries, and a list of any allergies.

No insurance? No problem!

Insurance is not required at First Care. We offer incredibly affordable rates compared to hospitals and emergency rooms.

Get Better Faster at First Care Clinics

First Care visits typically last under an hour, which means you can quickly get on with the rest of your day. We understand your busy schedule and are passionate about providing friendly, quality care in the most efficient way possible. Visit any of our locations today or contact us to learn more.

Urgent Care and Walk-In Medical Services by First Care Clinics

Sometimes you have a medical problem that isn’t as life-threatening as a heart attack but still can’t wait for an appointment with your primary care physician. For illness or injury that can’t wait, but doesn’t exactly constitute a trip to the emergency room, urgent care clinics are the way to go. Not only will you save hours in the hospital waiting room, you’ll probably save thousands on emergency room bills as well.

First Care: Urgent Care and Walk-In Clinics Throughout Kentucky and Indiana

First Care Clinics are fully equipped to help patients with urgent, walk-in, and occupational medical services. Found throughout Kentucky and Indiana, our urgent care clinics are open seven days a week, and no appointment is necessary to see one of our nurse practitioners. Multiple exam rooms, on-site lab testing, and digital x-ray capabilities make it easy for us to diagnose and treat you as quickly as possible (the wait times at First Care Clinics are usually less than an hour), but we can also save you money. The average cost of a visit to a First Care Clinic ranges from $35-$100. Conversely, an ER visit could cost $1,900 or more depending on where you go and what services are performed — and that’s without being admitted to the hospital. Likewise, a new uninsured patient appointment to a primary care doctor could be costly — averaging around $160 — but that will vary greatly depending on the severity of your visit, what labs are performed, what state you live in, and your type of insurance.

Emergency Care Services at First Care Clinics

Going to the emergency room is costly — almost seven times more than a primary care visit or going to an urgent care center, according to this 2012 report by the National Center for Health Statistics — especially when your medical condition isn’t life threatening or doesn’t require immediate stabilization. In the United States, 63% of the 128 million ER visits a year, in fact, aren’t life-threatening emergencies, and only 11% of those ER visits result in a hospital admission. The result of these unnecessary ER visits includes the rising cost of healthcare and longer wait times for those actually experiencing life-threatening or traumatic medical issues.

Rather than go to the ER for non-life-threatening emergencies or minor injuries, (like sprains, or evaluation of flu symptoms, or simply being in need of care after regular office hours), find your nearest urgent care clinic. From common illness and injury to diagnostic care and occupational medicine, First Care Clinics are prepared to have you on the way to feeling better. When patients get the right care in the right setting, everyone wins.

*If you or someone near you is experiencing a life-threatening medical emergency or a severe injury, please seek help at your nearest emergency room.

Common Illnesses

You don’t plan when to get sick, but when you do, it can be hard to book an immediate or same-day appointment with your primary care physician. At First Care Clinics, same-day urgent-care services aren’t a problem. No appointment is necessary; we’re open for walk-ins seven days a week and until 8pm. When you can’t afford to wait a few days for treatment, but you aren’t experiencing a life-threatening emergency, First Care Clinics are prepared to treat any of the following illnesses:

  • Allergies and Minor Allergic Reactions
  • Cold and Flu
  • Cough and Bronchitis
  • Dehydration and Heat Exhaustion
  • Ear Infections and Ear Wax Removal
  • Eye Infections, Pink Eye, and Styes
  • Migraines and Headaches
  • Nausea, Vomiting, and Diarrhea
  • Rashes and Poison Ivy
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Sinus Infections
  • Skin Conditions
  • Sore Throat and Strep Throat
  • Upset Stomach
  • Urinary Tract and Bladder Infections

Common Injuries

Unless you’re bleeding uncontrollably or have a protruding broken bone, most common injuries can be treated at any First Care Clinic. If you’re unsure of whether or not your injury requires emergency care, however, it’s always best to air on the side of caution. If your injury is too minor for a trip to the ER, though, First Care has you covered. First Care Clinics’ urgent care teams are prepared to treat any of the following common injuries:

  • Bites
  • Burns, Cuts, and Scrapes
  • Eye and Ear Injuries
  • Foreign Object and Splinter Removal
  • Fractures and Dislocations
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Insect and Bee Stings
  • Sprains and Strains

Diagnostic Care

At First Care, we understand how frustrating it is to have to wait for off-site laboratory testing results, which is why we have on-site testing at all First Care Clinics. From x-rays to EKG’s, we are fully prepared to provide any of the following diagnostic procedures:

  • Blood Glucose
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • H. pylori Test
  • Mononucleosis (Mono) Test
  • Onsite Digital X-ray
  • Rapid Flu and Step Test
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Test
  • Urinalysis
  • Urine Pregnancy Test

Occupational Medicine

First Care Clinics provide quick, convenient occupational health solutions to get you on your way as quickly as possible. From pre-employment screenings to injuries on the job, First Care Clinics provide any of the following occupational services:

  • Drug and Alcohol Screens
  • Employment Physicals and Exams
  • Lab Testing
  • TB Skin Testing
  • Workers’ Compensation

Let First Care Clinics Help You

First Care Clinics are devoted to delivering top-notch, reliable healthcare through impeccable customer service, convenience, and affordability. With First Care, you’ll never worry that you’re trading quality for affordability, as we’re always committed to bringing you the best possible care. Contact us today to learn more about our urgent care services, or find a First Care Clinic near you.

Why Should You Go to Urgent Care?

So, you think you may have the flu. You’ve had chills, a fever, body aches, and congestion since yesterday…but it’s 6:30 pm on a Friday, you can’t get in to see your primary care physician, and it’s not urgent enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room. What do you do? You go to a walk-in urgent care clinic like First Care, receive a thorough evaluation of your flu symptoms, and get the care you need to start feeling well again!

What is urgent care?

Think of walk-in urgent care clinics as the level between the emergency room and visiting your primary care doctor. They focus on urgent needs, not emergent needs (like an emergency room provides), but not on chronic disease management that your primary care provider offers. Urgent care clinics are for when you’re too sick or injured to wait for your doctor, but it’s not life-threatening enough to go to the ER.

What are the benefits of going to an urgent care clinic?

First of all, it’s faster. Many people spend more than three hours in the ER during their visit, compared to an hour or less at an urgent care clinic. It’s also much cheaper than the emergency room — most urgent care visits cost between $35 and $100. Additionally, you don’t need an appointment — you can just walk right in and be on your way home in no time.

When can I go to urgent care?

First Care Clinics are open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm.

Where can I find an urgent care clinic near me?

First Care currently has 13 open urgent care clinics in Kentucky and Indiana. Find your clinic here: https://firstcareclinics.com

Kentucky Urgent Care Clinics:

  • Bardstown, KY
  • Corbin, KY
  • Danville, KY
  • Frankfort, KY
  • Henderson, KY
  • Hopkinsville, KY
  • London, KY
  • Madisonville, KY
  • Middlesboro, KY
  • Somerset, KY
  • Winchester, KY

Indiana Urgent Care Clinics:

  • Bedford, IN
  • Seymour, IN

Have any questions about what we can treat, payment options, insurance we accept, and more? Feel free to contact your local First Care clinic!