Advice from Doctor Bennion

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By contactus@wyoskindoc.com
August 06, 2018
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It appears that there is a mini-epidemic of hand-foot and mouth disease in Casper.  The cause of this illness is viral usually involving coxsackie or enteroviruses.  It begins with tender vesicles on the tongue, gingiva and the lining of the mouth.  Usually it occurs in children under 15 but it can occur in anyone. There is a mild fever and as the disease progresses small grey vesicles develop on the hands and feet.  The eruption can occur on the buttocks especially in infants and small children who wear diapers.  The treatment is supportive with no medication found to be curative.  There have been reports of acyclovir helping but no formal studies have been done to determine if acyclovir has an effect on this disease.  It is contagious and appears to be spread via the oral fecal route,  wash your hands after coming in contact with an infected person.  

By contactus@wyoskindoc.com
January 31, 2018
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There has been an ongoing mythical campaign against the use of vaccines.  Experience with all vaccines over the many decades of use have demonstrated that the protective effects of vaccines far outweighs any possible risks of getting vaccinated against an infectious agent.  This winter this years flu type, H3N2, has killed 30 kids and more adults.  Typically the deaths from flu in the US number in the tens of thousands. The most recent story was of a teenage boy who was healthy who started coughing and died within a week--he hadn't been vaccinated.  This year's vaccine has protective effects on both H1N1 and H3N2 influenza.  Each year the vaccine is produced to cover the virus that is most prevalent in that year.  Usually the types change so if one gets vaccinated each year there will be more protection than if you only get vaccinated occasionally.  There are some super bad flu types waiting in the wings; a bird flu(H7N9) in Asia which is resistant to tamiflu and very deadly has been recently identified.  Vaccination over years will probably give you some protection against these very virulent flu viruses.  And getting vaccinated not only protects you but those around you such as family members.  So get vaccinated--its safe and effective and protects you and those you love from a potentially lethal disease.  More about vaccines for warts and shingles later. 

By contactus@wyoskindoc.com
January 22, 2018
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    It seems that aesthetic clinics are showing up on every corner. Along with them comes the enticing “bargain deals.” Botox and fillers for cheap, facials for next to nothing, the pull can be tempting. But ask yourself, “Is it worth the risk?”

    Cheap treatments never mean best treatments especially when it comes to an asset as important as your face. A good provider will consult with you about your skin concerns and then take a medical approach that is right for your specific skin needs. When it comes to proper skin treatments, one shoe does not fit all. If you find yourself in a clinic that does not consult with you and listen to your concerns, hand tailoring a regimen suited JUST FOR YOU, take your business elsewhere.

    The most important thing to ask yourself before getting any procedure done is, “What are the credentials of this provider?” With something as important as your face, the individual to whom you entrust it to should be one that has several things, proper credentialing, licensure, experience, and positive results. There seems to be an abundance of inexperienced individuals doing procedures. Don’t fall for it! Discounting your face is not worth the risk.

 

By contactus@wyoskindoc.com
October 31, 2017
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As we get older many of us develop new "moles" which are scaly and brown.  The concern of most of my patients is whether or not these are dangerous.  Most pigmented nevi or moles which are not dangerous develop in childhood and can change or grow in the first 30 years of life.  However beyond the age of thirty, people should not be developing new moles.  The one exception are moles that develop in women who are pregnant.  Regardless, new moles developing after the age of 30 should be examined to ensure that they are not premalignant or melanomas.  The one pigmented "mole" that occurs commonly in older individuals and is not dangerous is a Seborrheic Keratosis or SK for short.
SK's are benign lesions that are hereditary and have no potential to turn into cancer.  They are very common and increase in number as one gets older.  They can be white, tan, brown or black but they all have a characteristic that is different from moles.  That characteristic is scaliness.  If you scratch them they are scaly and crusty.  Typically scratching will cause small "chunks" to come off them.  Moles usually don't have this scaliness.  SK's can be removed with freezing so if they become itchy, get in the way of your clothing, or make you look like a witch; we can remove them at our clinic.
By contactus@wyoskindoc.com
June 14, 2017
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New studies shed light on how best to avoid mosquitos and their nasty bites.

 

 

Summer in Wyoming is here and so are the mosquitos.  They are at the lake, in backyards in town and just about everywhere in the county.  And they can spread serious diseases such as the West Nile Virus, Equine Encephalitis, bird flu virus which are in Wyoming and Zika virus, yellow fever virus, and malaria.  There are avoidance methods which help to decrease attacks without chemicals. Mosquitos find you by body scent, heat, CO2 and appearance.  Mosquito repellents don’t really repel but confuses the mosquito’s tracking of targets.  They are attracted to larger dark objects so wearing light clothing helps.  They are rarely encountered during the day in direct sunlight.  They hang out in shadowy areas in forests and other shaded areas, so avoid these areas.  They usually are most active between dusk and dawn so avoid going out without some protection during this time.

 

The easiest protection is wearing loosely fitting long sleeved shirts and long pants.  There are sprays that are specifically for clothing and kill mosquitos when they land on treated areas.  They contain permethrin which remains in the clothing for several washings

 

DEET has been the standard chemical repellant for years but it has drawbacks.  Recent studies suggest the only effective concentration is 100%(repels 66% of mosquitos).  In this concentration there are worries about absorption through the skin and nerve/brain toxicity, especially in children.

 

Recent studies suggest there are safer and more effective methods of repelling mosquitos.

One is a clip-on by OFF! Which contains metofluthrin and works the best at repelling mosquitos(repels 73% of mosquitos).

 

The second-best repellent is lemon eucalyptus oil(repels 70% of mosquitos).  There are several brands including Repel, and Cutter.  It is very safe to use, doesn’t have the toxicity of DEET and it is more effective.

 

Other much less effective sprays include Skin-so-soft( repels 21%), Cutter advanced spray and other sprays containing picaridin, any DEET spray less than 100% concentration(repels 31% on average), and other herbal sprays(repels 40%).