Types of Back Pain and What They Mean

Back pain can be annoying or completely incapacitating. Since spine health is particularly vital to everyday function and mobility, you’ll want to closely monitor your back pain to accurately relay your symptoms to a doctor.

Here is a brief breakdown of the types of back pain symptoms you can have and what they might mean.

Acute, Subacute and Chronic Pain

If you are experiencing back pain, track how long your symptoms last. This information can help doctors diagnose the issue you may be dealing with.

Here are the three major types of pain according to the longevity of symptoms.

Acute Pain

Acute pain, or short-term pain, can last anywhere from a day up to four weeks. You can typically attribute acute pain to a specific event or injury, such as lifting a heavy box, falling down or bending the wrong way while doing yardwork.

Most often, acute pain will resolve itself as the muscles heal or the swelling goes down. However, you may want to visit the doctor depending on the severity of the pain and whether it’s interfering with your everyday life.

Subacute Pain

Subacute pain lasts anywhere from four to 12 weeks. At this point, a preliminary doctor’s appointment is recommended to see if the problem will heal itself or if it is likely to cause chronic pain.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain lasts longer than 12 weeks. In some cases, this pain is stabbing and severe, and other times, it’s a constant dull ache or a series of flare-ups. If left untreated, chronic pain can be debilitating and negatively impact the psyche.

Unfortunately, the source of chronic pain is often difficult to diagnose. In the case of an obvious injury, chronic pain may persist even after your body heals the trauma. Sometimes, the pain cannot be traced to an obvious source, and the end goal becomes symptom management.

Specific Back Pain Symptoms

As you note your symptoms, you should also keep track of details such as:

  • The general feeling – Is the pain achy, dull, throbbing, stabbing, searing or electric?
  • Severity – Is the pain all-consuming? Does it subside with aspirin or ibuprofen?
  • Location – Is the pain located in the thoracic, middle or lower back? Does it radiate to other body parts?
  • Changes in pain – Does sitting, standing or lying down dull the pain (or make it worse)?
  • Mobility – Are you still able to walk? Can you transfer to a chair or bed easily?
  • Other symptoms – Do you also experience swelling, fever, numbness, chest tightness or incontinence?

Here are some common back pain symptoms and their usual causes.

Lower Back Spasms

Lower back spasms are painful contractions of the lower back muscles often caused by:

  • Repetitive motions like swinging a bat or lifting products onto shelves
  • Sudden strain on a weak back

Future spasms can be prevented by strengthening the back muscles through exercise, stretching and avoiding the movements that triggered the pain. You can usually mask current symptoms with over-the-counter pain medicine, heat and cold therapy, rest or prescription muscle relaxants.

However, sometimes back spasms are a symptom of a more serious problem like:

  • Facet joint osteoarthritis
  • Degenerative disk disease
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Herniated disk

In these cases, you will need to contact a doctor and undergo imaging tests.

Pain From Lower Back to Buttocks and Legs

If you have pain that originates in your lower back and radiates down one leg or all the way to your foot, you could have sciatica. Other symptoms may include numbness and tingling or worsening of symptoms when you sit down.

The word “sciatica” simply means that something is pressing on the sciatic nerve that runs from your spine down your leg. There are many underlying problems that can cause sciatica, such as:

  • Herniated disk
  • Degenerative disk disease
  • Isthmic spondylolisthesis
  • Degenerative spondylolisthesis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Tumor
  • Cyst

Both common and severe illnesses, like arthritis and cauda equina syndrome, can mimic the symptoms of sciatica, so you should not attempt to self-diagnose your issue.

Pain That Moves

Low-level or sharp pain with no clear source may not indicate a back problem at all. This phenomenon is called “referred pain,” a type of discomfort originating elsewhere in the body but felt in the spine, lower back or groin.

Referred pain happens when your brain can’t distinguish where pain signals are coming from. Thus, back pain that moves may be a symptom of:

  • Kidney stones
  • Gallstones
  • An enlarged prostate
  • Prostatitis
  • Prostate cancer
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm

Back Pain Diagnosis and Treatment at Complete Care

Sometimes back pain is so excruciating that you cannot wait weeks or months for an appointment with a specialist. If you’re struggling with pain and need help fast, Complete Care can help. Our physicians are fully equipped to handle both minor and major medical emergencies, including back injuries. We even have on-site ER imaging and lab testing so you get the answers you need right away.

For immediate treatment, visit the Complete Care nearest you.

Ten Texas No-Nos

Want to blend in the next time you visit the Lone Star State? Then don’t do these things.

Click here to see our locations.

things not to do in texas

Is It an Ankle Sprain? Probably Not!

Ankle and foot fractures and tendon injuries are often misdiagnosed as ankle sprains. This can lead to inadequate treatment, which increases the chance of long-term injury and reinjury.

If your foot and ankle are hurting you and you aren’t sure why, make sure you go into your doctor’s appointment understanding the many possible causes of your pain. Here are the four most common fractures and tendon injuries that are mistaken for sprains.

Fifth Metatarsal Fractures

Fifth metatarsal fractures are easily missed because they are similar to lateral ankle sprains. The chance of misdiagnosis is also high because isolated ankle radiographs don’t effectively evaluate the fifth metatarsal.

There are three different types of fifth metatarsal fractures.

Avulsion Fracture 

Caused by the pull of the plantar aponeurosis and the peroneus brevis tendon at the tuberosity of the bone. A small piece of the bone is pulled away from the main portion by a tendon or ligament. Avulsion fractures typically happen as the result of an inversion ankle injury (rolling the ankle out so the sole faces inward).

Jones Fracture

Happens at the bases of the fourth and fifth metatarsal between the toe and shaft. Jones fractures are most often caused by excessive adductive force being applied to the forefoot on the plantar flexed ankle (when toes are pointed down) or by repeated motion, which puts stress on the bone.

Spiral or Oblique Shaft Fracture

Also known as a diaphyseal stress fracture, this occurs closer to the fifth toe and may result in displacement due to instability. The injury usually happens after a sudden increase in walking or running.

Symptoms and Treatment

People with a fifth metatarsal fracture usually have tenderness when the area of injury is palpated. Acute injuries will be accompanied by ecchymosis and edema (bruising and swelling). A doctor will diagnose the injury after a physical exam and X-rays.

Nonsurgical treatments usually include:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation
  • Bone stimulation
  • Cast

Navicular Fractures

The navicular bone is the bone on the top of the midfoot. The central third of the bone doesn’t have many blood vessels, making it susceptible to stress injuries during repetitive foot strikes. Track and field athletes see this type of foot injury most often.

Patients with a navicular stress fracture typically experience a gradual onset of midfoot pain while working out. An examination will frequently reveal tenderness on palpation over the top side of the navicular. While active inversion and passive eversion (rolling ankle inward) might be painful, bruising and swelling are typically absent.

A navicular fracture can be diagnosed by a physical exam and other tests, including:

  • CT scan
  • Bone scan
  • MRI scan
  • X-ray

This type of fracture is frequently treated through nonsurgical means, usually with a cast to hold the bones in place. In rare cases, the fracture is severe enough to call for surgery.

Talar Dome Lesions

The talus is commonly injured during an ankle sprain. This injury may cause persistent pain even after the sprain has healed. Disruption of the cartilage overlaying the talar dome is the cause of most talar injuries. Subtle talus fractures might also result from an acute ankle injury.

  • Osteochondral lesions – associated with dull ankle pain deep within the area of a prior ankle injury. A physical exam of osteochondral lesions will frequently show an ankle joint effusion (fluid accumulation) with contained tenderness around the joint. An MRI is recommended for evaluating lesions as ankle radiographs often lack the sensitivity to catch them.
  • Fractures of the talar dome – can be medial or lateral and are usually the result of inversion ankle injuries. Like with osteochondral lesions, radiographs may fail to identify the fracture. CT scans should be used to better evaluate the fracture.
  • Tarsal coalition – incomplete separation of the bones, which occasionally involves the calcaneus and talus. You may have a tarsal coalition if you’re experiencing persistent pain after a sprain. During the physical exam, your doctor will look for decreased range of motion in the transverse or subtalar tarsal joint. While radiographs can identify the coalition, a CT or MRI scan will provide the clearest image.

Treatment depend on how severe the talar dome lesion is. If the area is stable, nonsurgical treatment options can be considered, like:

  • An ankle brace
  • Immobilization
  • Oral medications
  • Physical therapy

Peroneal Tendon Injuries

Peroneal tendon injuries include subluxation, strains, dislocation and tears of one or both peroneal tendons. This is often caused by ankle inversion, similarly to an uncomplicated sprain. Untreated peroneal tendon injuries may cause subsequent ankle instability.

People with peroneal tendon injuries may report a “pop” at the time of injury and a “snapping” sound during athletic activities. Pain is most likely located behind the lateral malleolus and causes posterolateral ankle pain, weakness and swelling with tenderness along the peroneal tendons.

Radiographs can help doctors identify an isolated injury to the tendon. However, an MRI provides the best imaging for peroneal tendons and the stabilizing retinaculum, while a CT scan provides detailed bone anatomy when subtle fractures are suspected.

Emergency Services in Texas and Colorado Springs at Complete Care

Whether you think you have a sprain or a more serious ankle injury, the qualified medical professionals at Complete Care can help. Each of our locations is fully equipped to treat patients of all ages. Our Urgent Care walk-in emergency room facilities across Texas and Colorado springs are open 24 hours for your emergency needs.

For more information, contact us online!

What Is an Abscess and What Causes It?

More commonly referred to as a boil, a skin abscess is typically harmless and goes away with at-home treatments. If left untreated, however, there are cases in which an abscess can lead to serious, potentially life-threatening complications.

What Is an Abscess?

Abscesses are bumps that appear within or below the skin’s surface and are usually filled with pus or translucent fluid. They may appear on any part of the body. However, the most common locations are:

  • Back
  • Face
  • Chest
  • Buttocks
  • Groin
  • Underarm

Skin abscesses are often easy to identify by touch and when visibly surrounded by a pink or dark red area. At first glance, an abscess looks like it could be a pimple. However, the longer it remains, the more it grows to more closely resemble a cyst. Depending on the abscess’s cause, some symptoms may present themselves, including:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Lesions
  • Inflammation
  • Fluid drainage
  • Bump that is warm to the touch


Abscess Causes

Bacteria known as Staphylococcus is the most common cause of skin abscesses. You’re at an increased risk for a staph infection if you have:

  • Close contact with an infected individual
  • A chronic skin disease
  • Diabetes
  • A weakened immune system
  • Poor hygiene habits

Staph infections can turn deadly if the germs spread to other areas of your body or enter your bloodstream, joints, bones, lungs or heart.

Abscesses may also emerge when a hair follicle is trapped and unable to break through the skin. These infected follicles (folliculitis) also occur after spending time in an inadequately chlorinated pool or hot tub.

Without proper medical attention, some abscesses cause deadly or long-lasting complications, including:

  • Spread of infection
  • Blood poisoning (sepsis)
  • Infection of the heart’s inner lining (endocarditis)
  • Development of new abscesses
  • Tissue death, such as gangrene
  • Acute bone infection (osteomyelitis)

Abscess Treatment

An abscess smaller than 1 cm may respond to at-home remedies like applying heat to the area with a warm compress. If the abscess does not respond to this treatment, medical attention may be necessary.

Antibiotics

Acute cases of skin abscesses are generally treated with antibiotics like dicloxacillin or cephalexin, especially if you have any of these symptoms:

  • An abscess on the face
  • Cellulitis
  • Multiple abscesses
  • A compromised immune system

In the case of an abscess caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), your doctor may prescribe alternative antibiotics like clindamycin or doxycycline to treat the infection.

Abscess Drainage

If at-home treatments fail to heal the abscess, your doctor may drain it by applying a numbing medication to the area and cutting the abscess open to allow the fluid to drain. Your doctor will pack the wound with surgical material to prevent the abscess from reoccurring and prescribe antibiotics to protect the wound from infection.

Once you receive proper treatment, the abscess shouldn’t return.

How to Prevent an Abscess

It’s not always possible to prevent a skin abscess from developing. However, there are a few things you can do to minimize your risk:

  • Take care to avoid accidently cutting yourself when shaving
  • Clean all cuts and scrapes with soap, water and antibacterial ointment
  • Keep your cuts and wounds bandaged
  • Regularly wash your hands
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as razors, makeup and athletic equipment

Emergency Services at Complete Care in Texas and Colorado Springs

Whether you’re experiencing an immediate emergency like appendicitis or are concerned about a stubborn abscess, Complete Care treats it all. Our emergency rooms are equipped with knowledgeable staff 24/7 so you can receive immediate treatment.

No appointments are necessary, so you can count on being accommodated without the wait times of traditional health care facilities. Find the Complete Care location nearest you by visiting us online.

Top 7 Important Water Safety Tips

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the USA Swimming Foundation, at least 163 children under the age of 15 fatally drowned in swimming pools or spas during the summer of 2017. In Texas alone, there were 14 fatal drownings.

Despite numerous prevention methods, drowning has become the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States for children between 1 and 14 years old. Keep your children safe near the pool by following these swimming safety tips.

  1. Maintain Active Supervision

Children should never swim unsupervised no matter where they are. Accidental drowning can happen within a matter of seconds. A good general rule is maintaining “touch supervision” by keeping your child within your reach while they are swimming – even when lifeguards are present.

Be diligent in avoiding distractions while children are anywhere near or in the water. Any adult in charge of supervising children should never consume alcohol while doing so.

  1. Don’t Rely on Swimming Aids

You should not use pool floaties or inflatable water wings in lieu of a life jacket and active adult supervision. While these toys are fun for children, they are not reliable enough to use as safety equipment.

  1. Learn CPR

Nearly every community offers CPR training programs for all ages. Often, local hospitals and fire and recreational departments offer these trainings for free. In today’s hectic world, taking the time to learn these skills can easily be pushed to the back burner, but the knowledge will better equip you to protect others around water.

  1. Educate Your Kids About Safe Swimming

Enroll your family members in age-appropriate swimming lessons each summer to help them improve their water safety knowledge and swimming abilities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), research has shown that participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce a child’s risk of drowning.

Ensure your child has learned the five most important water survival skills, which include:

  • Returning to the surface after fully immersing themselves in the water
  • Floating or treading water for one minute
  • Turning in a full circle and finding an exit
  • Swimming 25 yards to exit the water
  • Exiting the pool without using the ladder

Do not allow your children to swim in open waters until they have become strong swimmers. Swimming in lakes or oceans is not the same as swimming in a pool. Remind them that when in open water, they need to be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.

  1. Use the Buddy System

Encouraging your child to swim with a buddy is an excellent drowning prevention method because it ensures that an extra set of eyes are on them. Never trust young children to take care of each other in water, though – adult supervision is still paramount in these situations.

  1. Prevent Unsupervised Pool Access

Barriers such as pool fences play a significant role in preventing children from accessing the pool area without adult supervision. The ideal fence should be at least 4 feet tall, feature a self-closing gate and hover no more than 4 inches above the ground.

Removing pool toys from the deck will also reduce the likelihood that children will try to gain access to the pool while not under supervision.

  1. Avoid Diving Headfirst

Discourage your children from diving headfirst into shallow, murky or unknown waters. Doing so can lead to life-threatening injuries or drowning. The underwater environment of every lake, ocean or pond is different, so if you are unfamiliar with the water, play it safe by entering feet first.

Water Safety Tips for Adults

Unintentional drowning deaths aren’t exclusive to children. While the previously mentioned tips can help adults as well, there is still more they can do, like:

  • Avoiding alcohol when swimming, as it impairs judgement and motor functions
  • Having a phone handy in case of emergency
  • Keeping a safety kit nearby
  • Staying away from pool drains
  • Never swimming in polluted water

Emergency Drowning Treatment at Complete Care

With convenient locations in Colorado Springs and throughout Texas, Complete Care is there with emergency medical services when you need them. We don’t have the notoriously long wait times of hospital-based ERs. Your emergency becomes our emergency the moment you walk through the door.

Our medical professionals are ready to provide you and your family with the highest quality care possible. Locate the Complete Care nearest you by visiting us online today!

Why Do My Eyes Hurt?

From dry weather to foreign objects, many things can irritate your eyes. Irritated eyes can be a mere annoyance or a sign of a larger problem, so you don’t want to ignore your symptoms.

Here are the top five things that could be bothering your eyes and some solutions for quick relief.

Allergies

Your eyes are the first to let you know when it’s allergy season. Eye allergies share symptoms with some eye diseases, which makes accurate diagnosis difficult. You could be suffering from allergic conjunctivitis if your eyes are:

  • Itchy
  • Swollen
  • Red
  • Watery
  • Burning

Allergic conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the membrane that covers the whites of your eyes. Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (SAC) is the most common type of eye allergy. People typically experience symptoms during seasonal changes depending on the type of pollen in the air.

You can avoid seasonal allergy irritation by making small changes to your home and behavior, including:

  • Wearing protective eyewear while outdoors to keep pollen out of your eyes
  • Washing your hands after being around animals
  • Keeping windows closed during high pollen seasons
  • Using filtered air conditioning in your car and home
  • Buying bedding that limits exposure to dust mites
  • Running a dehumidifier to regulate mold

Some temporary solutions are:

  • Allergy pills or shots
  • Artificial tears
  • Over-the-counter decongestant eye drops
  • Non-sedating oral antihistamines
  • A cool compress to soothe itching

Less common types of allergic conjunctivitis include:

  • Perennial allergic conjunctivitis – occurs year-round, usually in response to indoor allergies like mold and dust mites
  • Vernal keratoconjunctivitis – most often affects young males, especially in warmer weather
  • Atopic keratoconjunctivitis – results from the overproduction of antibodies, most often impacts teenage and young adult males

Contact Lenses

Whether you’re new to contacts or you’ve been wearing them for years, you have probably felt some level of contact-related discomfort. If you don’t take care of your contact lenses, they can irritate your eyes and make them drier in the long run. Common types of contact irritation are:

Contact Allergic Conjunctivitis

Proteins in your tears can bind to the surface of your contact lenses and irritate your eyes. Symptoms include:

  • Itching
  • Discomfort
  • Mucous discharge
  • Redness

Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis

This is a more severe form of contact allergic conjunctivitis. Individual fluid sacs form in the upper lining of the inner eyelid, causing symptoms like:

  • Blurred vision
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Itching
  • Mucous discharge
  • Puffiness
  • Poor tolerance for wearing contact lenses
  • Tearing

Other causes of contact-related eye irritation are improper fit and wearing lenses for too long. If your eyes are already red and irritated, do not wear your contacts. Be sure to disinfect your contacts and replace them as suggested. If dry, irritated eyes persist, consider a different type of lens.

Foreign Objects

Micro objects like dirt, sand and sawdust can accidently enter the eye and cause irritation. If a foreign object makes contact with the eye, it can scratch the cornea or conjunctiva. While these injuries are usually minor and the substances can’t get lost behind the eyeball, you may experience infection or vision loss.

Some symptoms of foreign objects in the eye are:

  • Excessive blinking
  • Extreme tearing
  • Pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Pressure
  • Redness or bloodshot eyes

If something feels stuck in your eye, try to wash it with water. Do not rub or put pressure on your eye. Keep your eyes closed and visit a doctor if the pain persists.

Infection

Bacterial viruses often cause eye irritation. Infection typically starts in one eye and can spread to the other or infect people you are in close contact with. Some common types of eye infections are:

  • Pink eye – infection of your conjunctiva, usually gives eye a pink tint
  • Keratitis – infection of your cornea caused by bacteria in water
  • Stye – painful red bump at the base of the eyelashes or under the eyelid
  • Fungal eye infection – typically caused by your eye being scratched by a plant
  • Uveitis – infection of the middle layer of your eye

Old makeup and extended wear contacts are more likely to give you an infection. Symptoms are similar to allergy-caused irritation: blurred vision, sensitivity to light, pain and redness.

Depending on the infection, you may need eyelid creams, oral prescriptions or eyedrops. Use a cool compress to relieve itchiness.

Medical Conditions

There are numerous medical conditions that cause eye irritation as a side effect due to the disease itself or the medication prescribed. Conditions like Sjögren’s syndrome, blepharitis and rheumatoid arthritis all cause dry eye. Some other symptoms include:

  • Feeling like something is in your eye
  • Crusted over eyelids/lashes
  • Flakes at the bases of lashes
  • Eyelashes that grow in the wrong direction
  • Redness and itching

Other conditions like glaucoma are eye-specific and cause actual damage within the eye, which results in irritation. Sinus infections can cause pressure buildup and create irritation that way.

If you have a medical condition or are on long-term medication, ask your doctor if eye irritation is a side effect. If irritation persists, medications for chronic dry eye can be prescribed.

Preventing Eye Irritation

Many common substances can make your eyes itchy, like chlorinated pool water and tobacco smoke. Keep eyes moist by steering clear of these types of irritants. Give your eyes a break by replacing mascara often and not sharing makeup. Wear sunglasses outside and safety googles around machinery. Use a humidifier when your home feels too dry.

Keep Your Eyes Healthy With Complete Care

Whether your irritation is a one-time occurrence, seasonal or constant, your local Complete Care offers a variety of services that can help. Our experts have experience treating all eye emergencies and can get you in and out in no time with our advanced emergency medicine and short wait times.

For more information, contact us online today.

6 Beginner Yoga Mistakes to Avoid

Yoga is often touted as a pain-free, beginner-friendly exercise than can reduce stress and build muscle. Yet, the reality is – yoga can hurt!

In a 2018 study, 10 percent of participants reported yoga causing musculoskeletal pain, and 21 percent said it worsened prior injuries. You can reduce your chance of such injuries by avoiding these six common yoga mistakes.

Take a look at our emergency room services here.

Gymnastics Injuries That Could Land Your Child in Urgent Care or ER

Gymnasts go to great lengths to perform with grace. Each year, about 86,000 athletes are treated for a gymnastics related injury. Among female athletes, gymnastics is the riskiest sport behind cheerleading. See below for gymnastics injuries that can land your child in urgent care or the ER.

gymnastics injuries that can land your child in the ER

What Is a Nebulizer?

Asthma is one of the most common diseases, with one in 12 people having the condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control. One commonly prescribed asthma treatment is a nebulizer. The device uses the same medications as metered-dose inhalers (MDIs), and can be used for short-term and long-term asthma therapy.

Nebulizers can be more helpful than MDIs for some patients because they do not require deep breathing to be effective. Infants, young children and people prone to severe asthma attacks, for instance, often find medication from a nebulizer easier to inhale.

Nebulizers come in portable and tabletop varieties. Tabletop nebulizers are large and plug into a wall, while portable versions are about the size of a deck of cards, run on batteries or can be plugged into a car cigarette lighter.

How Does a Nebulizer Work?

Jet nebulizers, sometimes called atomizers, are the most common type. They include many components, including:

  • Base
  • Air compressor
  • Nebulizer cup
  • Mask or mouthpiece
  • Liquid medication
  • Compressor tubing

The air compressor releases pressurized oxygen into the compressor tubing and sends it through the liquid at a high velocity. This “atomizes” the liquid, converting it into an aerosol, which is then inhaled by the patient through the mask or mouthpiece.

Benefits of Using a Nebulizer

Asthma attacks cause the airway to become very narrow, making it highly difficult to take full breaths. For people who have issues using an MDI, passively inhaling the medicated mist from a nebulizer is easier, especially during an asthma attack. Nebulizers can also administer multiple medications at once in larger doses than MDIs, which is helpful for individuals with severe asthma.

How Do I Use a Nebulizer?

How you use your nebulizer will depend on your doctor’s instructions and the type of medication and device you are prescribed. In general, you will follow these steps:

  1. Set the base on a sturdy, flat surface
  2. Confirm the components are sterile
  3. Wash your hands with soap and water
  4. Prepare the liquid medication if it is not premeasured
  5. Place the liquid in the cup
  6. Turn compressor on and look for mist to confirm it is working
  7. Attach the mask or mouthpiece
  8. Sit straight up, and take slow, deep breaths
  9. Continue the treatment until the dose is finished

Nebulizer Maintenance

Your nebulizer must be cleaned regularly to prevent contamination. The process is simple – the nebulizer cup and mouthpiece/mask should be removed and washed in warm, soapy water and air-dried after each treatment. The pieces can be reconnected to the device after they dry. The tubing does not need to be cleaned but it should be replaced every so often.

It is recommended you disinfect your device every few days. This involves removing the cup and mouthpiece and soaking them in a solution that is one part vinegar and one part water for 20 minutes. Shake off the remaining water and allow the pieces to air-dry on a towel before reattaching.

When storing, simply drape a clean cloth over the entire device, wipe away dust and debris as needed and put away your medication as directed – usually in the refrigerator.

Visit Complete Care for All Your Medical Needs

A nebulizer can help ease asthma symptoms and provide speedy relief during an asthma attack. However, if you are not near your nebulizer, you will need to seek immediate, professional medical attention. Complete Care’s emergency and urgent care facilities provide expert care without the long waits commonly found at hospitals.

We have locations in Colorado Springs and throughout Texas so you can rest assured there is a Complete Care near you. Find your nearest ER or urgent care location today!

What Is Rosacea and How Do You Treat It?

Rosacea is a skin condition that affects an estimated 16 million Americans. The condition is most commonly typified by redness of the skin and the appearance of small bumps. While doctors can suggest treatments and medicine to address symptoms, there are also steps that can be taken at home to promote healthier skin and reduce signs of rosacea.

Symptoms of Rosacea

The most noticeable symptom of rosacea is redness on the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin. If conditions go untreated, broken blood vessels might start to show through the skin. Up to 50 percent of people who suffer from rosacea also have eye problems like pain, swelling and redness from the broken blood vessels. Other symptoms include:

  • Stinging or burning sensation
  • Patches of dry, rough skin
  • Larger pores
  • Swollen, bulbous nose
  • Broken blood vessels and bumps on eyelids
  • Vision problems

What Triggers Rosacea

  • Alcohol
  • Intense exercise
  • Sunlight
  • Stress
  • Some medicines, including steroids or blood pressure drugs
  • Hot or spicy foods

What Causes Rosacea

While the causes aren’t completely known, some factors that play a role are:

  • Genetics – Rosacea often runs in families.
  • Blood vessels – Blood vessels prone to problems like sun damage can cause redness in the face.
  • Bacteria – While H. pylori normally live in the gut, there is some evidence that people with rosacea may have more of this bacteria in their bodies, although those studies are not conclusive. Having too much H. pylori prompts the release of excess gastrin, a digestive hormone that can cause flushed skin.

People Are More Likely to Get Rosacea If They:

  • Are between the ages of 30 and 50
  • Are a woman
  • Have light skin, blonde hair and blue eyes
  • Have family members with rosacea
  • Suffered from severe acne
  • Smoke

Treatments for Rosacea

While there isn’t a known cure for rosacea, there are many treatments that can help manage bumps, redness and other symptoms. Some medicines that might be prescribed are:

  • Azelaic acid – foam or gel that clears redness, swelling and bumps
  • Brimonidine (Mirvaso) – gel that tightens blood vessels and helps diminish redness
  • Isotretinoin (Amnesteem, Claravis and others) – acne drug that clears skin bumps
  • Metronidazole (Flagyl) and doxycyclineantibiotics that kill bacteria and reduce redness and swelling

It can take anywhere from weeks to months for the skin to improve using these medicines. There are also procedures doctors may recommend, including:

  • Electrocautery – electric current that eliminates damaged blood vessels
  • Dermabrasion – cosmetic treatment that removes the top layer of the skin

Skin Care for Rosacea

Keeping skin healthy is vital. Try to pinpoint what triggers an outbreak and avoid it. Some general tips to follow are:

  • Use gentle skin care products. Avoid creams and cleansers that include fragrance, alcohol, witch hazel and other harsh ingredients. Gently pat face dry after cleansing.
  • Use moisturizer. Keeping skin moisturized will help diminish dry patches, especially in cold or windy weather.
  • Put on sunscreen daily. SPF 30 and up is recommended. Add additional protection by wearing a wide-brimmed hat that covers the face.
  • Don’t forget to care for irritated eyes. Rosacea tends to make eyes red and irritated. Use a watered-down baby shampoo or eyelid cleaner to wash eyelids daily. A warm compress will help alleviate irritation.

Complete Care Is Your Best Choice for Your Medical Needs

No matter how mild symptoms may appear, if you think you may have rosacea, don’t hesitate to visit your nearest Complete Care urgent care location. Each urgent care facility is fully equipped to treat patients of all ages, including those experiencing rosacea or similar skin conditions.