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Bacterial Infections Tips

Maintaining Proper Vaginal Health!

Dr. Prajakta Ahire 89% (39 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Thane
Maintaining Proper Vaginal Health!

The vagina is a tube-like muscular structure of the female genital tract that extends from the cervix to the vulva. It is a delicate organ which is prone to injuries and infections. Complications related to urination, menstruation and sexual intercourse- all affect the vaginal health. Here are five questions associated with vaginal problems that are commonly experienced but rarely discussed:

1. Why does it feel itchy before menstruation?

The hormonal cycle reduces the amount of estrogen secreted right before the period starts. This reduces the moisture content of the inner membranes of the vagina; the skin becomes thinner and slightly dry. This can cause itching. However, if the itching and burning sensation are too severe, it could be an infection and should be checked out.

2. What is the white discharge?
The greasy white discharge is due to the ovulation cycle. It usually occurs once a month because the amount of secretion increases right before ovulation. Some women may experience this discharge more frequently but it is nothing to worry about unless there is an unpleasant odor. Odorous discharge could be a sign of bacterial infection.

3. How often should you have a vaginal examination?
You should get a vaginal examination at least once a year. This is important for a general health assessment and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. If you are using birth control medication, there might be an irregularity in the hormonal cycles and this can lead to a number of conditions- another reason to get an annual vaginal examination.

4. Does it smell differently at different times?
It usually smells differently for every woman and even that unique smell changes with the cycles of ovulation and menstruation due to changes in the pH level of the vagina. The normal vaginal pH value is between 3.8 and 4.6. Before menstruation, it may smell acidic followed by a bitter smell for a few days after menstruation. It may also smell differently after a workout (due to sweat) or after sex (due to lubrication). However, a foul smell accompanied by discharge might be a cause for concern.

5. Why does it feel dry sometimes?
Vaginal dryness is normally experienced by women after the age of 45 or after pregnancy. However, dryness is also common just before menstruation. It also happens in women who use anti-allergy medications or birth control pills because they cause dryness in all the mucous membranes of the body.

4296 people found this helpful

Wounds And Bruises - How To Differentiate Them?

Dr. Tarun Jhamb 88% (20 ratings)
MD - Internal Medicine, MBBS
General Physician, Gurgaon
Wounds And Bruises - How To Differentiate Them?

Wounds and bruises are both injuries. However, they differ widely in terms of the causing factors, the nature of the injury, the pain they cause and the kind of treatment they require.

The following are a few of the myriad ways in which the two injuries differ from each other:

1. A wound causes quick damage - the skin tissue is cut or punctured while a bruise (also called a closed wound) is where the skin is not torn.
2. A wound is usually caused by a sharp object but bruises are the results of blunt force or trauma.
3. A wound almost certainly bleeds due to ruptured tissue and blood vessels. Blunt injury also damages the blood capillaries of the skin and causes blood to accumulate under the skin tissue, creating a dark patch of skin. Blood vessels can also break due to lifting of heavy objects or overexertion of muscles.
4. A wound carries the risk of infection because the skin is open but a bruise does not get infected.
5. A wound has a burning or stinging sensation but a bruise is characterized by swelling and a blunt throbbing pain.
6. A wound can be healed by antiseptic and antibiotic medication. Large wounds need to be closed by stitching them up to avoid severe infection. On the other hand, a bruise usually heals by itself. A cold compress and pain killers may be used to ease discomfort. Heat can be applied to the injured spot to normalize the blood flow and dissolve the blood clot.
7. A wound can lead to complications like bacterial infections or the healing might be delayed by chronic diseases like diabetes. In case of a bruise, it usually does not cause complications but if there's a blunt injury to sensitive areas like the head, the tailbone or the eyes, medical attention is advised.
8. Wounds and bruises can also be differentiated on the basis of their subtypes. The different types of wounds are:

a. Incision (sharp objects cutting the dermis layer of skin)
b. Abrasion (the epithelial tissue is scraped off)
c. Avulsion (a body structure is torn off)
d. Penetration (a sharp object causes an entry and an exit wound)
e. Puncture (only an entry wound caused by a sharp object)

The different types of bruises are:

a. Hematoma (blood pools under the skin)
b. Purpura(tiny spots of blood on the inside of the mouth)
c. Contusion (similar to hematoma and caused by external trauma)
d. Crush injury (caused due to a large amount of force on the body part for a long time)

5149 people found this helpful

Treatment For Pilonidal Sinus!

MS Ayurveda
Ayurvedic Doctor, Jammu
Treatment For Pilonidal Sinus!

Pilonidal Sinus is the small channel in your skin near the tailbone that may sometimes be filled with pus or fluid. This accumulated pus leads to the formation of abscess or cyst. Pilonidal cysts occur near the coccyx or tailbone, right at the top of the buttock crease. Pilonidal sinus consists of dirt, hair and debris that penetrates your skin, becomes embedded and thereby causes infection. Once the cyst gets infected, you may see blood or pus oozing out of the channel, which causes severe pain.
Pilonidal sinus usually affects men and young adults (after puberty). This type of skin disease is mostly observed in people who sit for a prolonged period, such as desk-job workers, truck drivers etc.

What are the causes and symptoms? 
Doctors suggest pilonidal sinus or cysts is caused due to factors such as - hormonal changes during puberty, friction resulting from wearing tight clothes, prolonged sitting, hair growth etc. The hair growing in the region is forced to burrow back beneath your skin. In certain cases, the patient may develop multiple sinuses which connect under the skin.

The signs and symptoms of pilonidal sinus include-

• Pain when standing or sitting for long
• Swelling of the cyst
• Redness and soreness around the affected skin
• Formation of multiple holes (sinus tracts) in the skin
• Foul odor
• Blood or pus oozing out of the abscess
• Hair sticking out of the lesion
Pilonidal sinus can be embarrassing and painful if left untreated for long.

What is the treatment for this condition?
Pilonidal sinus usually goes away on its own, without medical intervention. However, if the cyst becomes infected, it may have to be operated or drained. The commonly used treatment procedures are-

• Conservative treatment - if the condition is diagnosed at an early stage, your doctor will prescribe a broad-spectrum antibiotic to treat a broad range of bacterial infection. This will relieve you from the pain and discomfort resulting from infection.

• Lancing - this procedure involves using a scalpel to open the abscess. Your doctor will give you an anaesthetic prior to the operation. The channel is then cleaned properly to drain out blood, pus or hair. The wound is packed with a sterile dressing and left to heal. It usually takes about a month for the wound to heal, after which no further treatment is required.

• Phenol injections - for this procedure, first and foremost, your doctor will give you anaesthetic so that you don’t feel any pain. A chemical compound known as Phenol is injected into the cyst. Phenol acts as an antiseptic and is used to harden and eventually close the lesion. This procedure needs to be repeated multiple times to achieve the desired result.

Surgery - if the pilonidal sinus tends to recur, or if you develop multiple sinus tracts, the most preferred choice of treatment is surgery. The surgeon will open the lesion, remove the debris and pus, and then suture the wound. You will be given an anaesthetic prior to the surgery, and once the treatment is done, you will need to change the dressing more often.
If you suffer from pilonidal sinus, you will also need to maintain good hygiene. Make sure you clean and wash the area with a mild soap, and rinse properly. If your job requires you to sit for a prolonged period, take a break in between your work. Avoid wearing skin tight clothes. Adopting these measures will help prevent the occurrence of pilonidal sinus.

4996 people found this helpful

Prostate Gland - All You Should Be Knowing!

Dr. Pranav Chhajed 89% (188 ratings)
M. Ch. (Urology), MS General Surgery, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Urologist, Nashik
Prostate Gland - All You Should Be Knowing!

The prostate gland is a male reproductive organ at the base of the urinary bladder and urethra is a thin tube that carries urine out of the penis. It runs through the prostate gland. A fluid produced by this gland helps to carry sperms produced by the testes outside during intercourse.

Cause of urinary problems in men:

Men experience urinary symptoms either due to inflammation of the prostate gland or prostatitis or symptoms may be the result of a blockage of the passage due to enlargement of the prostate gland.

Symptoms of urinary problems:

Urinary symptoms commonly experienced with prostate problems include;

  1. The need to urinate frequently during the night.
  2. Urinating more often during the day.
  3. Urinary urgency is the urge to urinate can be so strong and sudden that one may not reach the toilet in time.
  4. The urine stream is slow to start.
  5. Urine dribbling for some time after finishing urination.
  6. A sensation that the bladder is not fully emptied after urination.
  7. A lack of force to the urine flow, which makes directing the stream difficult.
  8. The sensation of needing to go again soon after urinating

Treatment:

  1. A long course of antibacterial medication (for bacterial prostatitis) is prescribed because infection is difficult to get rid of, the antibacterial medication will need to be taken for many weeks.
  2. Medication to improve urine flow and other symptoms (for obstruction caused by an enlarged prostate).
  3. Surgical procedures (for blockage caused by an enlarged prostate), such as Transurethral Resection of the prostate(TURP), Laser Resection of prostate, Transurethral Incision of the prostate(TUIP).
  4. Prostatic massage is also very effective in the management of chronic prostatitis.

A number of other procedures that have been developed to reduce urinary symptoms.

Medication for urinary problems:

Various medications to help ease your urinary problems, including;

  1. Medications to reduce the tone of the muscles of the urethra and prostate to minimize any obstruction to urine flow caused when these muscles contract.
  2. Medication to reduce the size of the prostate gland. These drugs work by blocking the action of male hormones produced by the prostate gland.
  3. Medications to relax the bladder, making unwanted contractions less likely and reducing the symptoms of urgency and frequency of urination.
  4. Over-the-counter medicine 'Saw Palmetto' (Serenoa repens) is used sometimes. This may help some men, especially if frequent urination at night is a problem. However, recent reviews of the evidence for using Saw Palmetto as a treatment for mild or moderate urinary symptoms did not show any improvement compared to no treatment, in men with BPH.
2194 people found this helpful

Folliculitis - Know Signs Of It!

MBBS, DNB
Dermatologist, Delhi
Folliculitis - Know Signs Of It!

Folliculitis is an ordinary dermatological condition which causes the hair follicles of the skin to be inflamed. This condition, which occurs due to both bacterial and fungal infection, causes small red or white pimples to form around the hair follicles. The infection, if left untreated, can spread and turn into rough, coarse sores which may take a long time to heal.

In some cases, folliculitis can be also caused by viruses and fungi which had perhaps penetrated the ingrown hairs causing subsequent inflammation. This condition is categorized and diagnosed as a superficial or deep infection depending on the amount of hair follicles involved. 

1. Causes:

-    Friction caused by shaving or tight - fitting clothes
-    Heat and sweat, due to prolonged exposure to the sun
-    Tightly wrapped bandages or dressings on the skin

2. Symptoms:

-    Clusters of tiny red or white bumps in and around the hair follicles
-    Reddened and inflamed skin
-    Itchy skin and rashes
-    Pus-filled blisters that may crust and later break
-    Swellings on the skin

3.Risk Factors:

Anyone, whether young or old, may develop folliculitis. But, there are certain factors that increases the risks of the condition. The following are some of them:
-    Conditions like HIV or AIDS that reduces the immunity in your body
-    Being obese
-    Medications and ointments with side effects
-    Improper shaving

Many a times, people ignore this condition, presuming that it will heal with time. But if left untreated, complications such as large itchy patches of skin, increased swelling and heightened inflammation of the hair follicles may occur. If the condition persists for too long, it is advisable that you consult a doctor.

4821 people found this helpful

Bacterial Vaginosis - Factors That Can Put You In Danger!

Dr. Ramya Rajasekhar M 88% (59 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Chennai
Bacterial Vaginosis - Factors That Can Put You In Danger!

Bacterial Vaginosis is a vaginal disorder, which is caused due to a bacterial infection, and is characterized by abnormal vaginal discharges and foul vaginal odor. This is a mild disorder, which persists for only a few days and it happens when the bad vaginal bacteria outnumber the good vaginal bacteria.

The common risk factors of Bacterial Vaginosis are:

  1. Multiple sex partners: If a woman has multiple sex partners or has intercourse with a new sex partner, she may be at a higher risk of contracting the disease. This happens because frequent intercourses disrupt the balance between good and bad vaginal bacteria.
  2. Lack of good bacteria: Lactobacilli bacteria is a type of good bacteria that help to maintain an overall acidity (pH) balance of the vaginal environment. This type of bacteria is produced by the vagina itself. Thus, if there is a lack of this type of bacteria, the risk of getting bacterial vaginosis will increase tremendously. You can try namyaa hygiene intimate wash to maintain the pH level of the vagina. It only contains natural herbs. 
  3. Douching: Douching refers to the activity of externalized cleaning of the vagina by rinsing it with water or some cleansing agent. The vagina is a self-regulatory organ, which can keep itself clean and there is no need to use external measures to clean the vagina.
  4. SmokingIt is a proven fact that smoking also leads to bacterial vaginosis. Smoking tends to add external harmful agents to your body, which indirectly affect the vagina by forcefully altering its acidity (pH) balance.
  5. Unprotected intercourse: Many times, sexual intercourse without a condom also leads to the disease. Under such a situation, the vagina comes in close and constant contact with external body parts of the partner and, thus, leads to the transmission of bacteria.
     
1365 people found this helpful

Hives - Know Signs Of It!

Dr. Priyanka Gupta 91% (17 ratings)
M.D DERMATOLOGY, M.B.B.S
Dermatologist, Bhopal
Hives - Know Signs Of It!

‘Hives’, also known as urticaria, is the outbreak of pale red, swollen bumps on the body. It can occur on any part of the body including the face, back, arms or legs. It is a type of hypersensitivity reaction in which the cause for the reaction is idiopathic (unknown). Also, it can come in various shapes and sizes. Hives can be associated with redness, itching, and a burning and stinging sensation. These can last for more than a minute or even more than that; up to days.

What causes hives?
Most of the times, hives are idiopathic, i.e. the reason that causes this type of hypersensitivity reaction is unknown. The bumps are caused by the action of histamine that makes the plasma in the blood leak out of the small blood vessels. Histamine is a substance that is released from a specialized cell and is what causes allergic responses in general. There are three types of hives- namely, acute, chronic urticaria and physical urticaria. Acute urticaria is when the hives last for less than six weeks. Chronic urticaria occurs when the hives last for more than six weeks.

Physical urticaria refers to the condition when the hives are triggered due to causes such as heat, cold, sun exposure, sweating, pressure and exercise. Although, this condition is mainly idiopathic, there are common causes that may trigger this condition such as:

What are the symptoms of hives?
Hives are usually self-diagnosable. The various symptoms of urticaria are:

  1. Swollen red bumps known as wheals
  2. The red bumps can occur suddenly and subside all of a sudden as well
  3. “Blanching” which is characterized by the whitening of the swollen red part.
  4. They occur on any part of the body and can change shapes, and sizes. It can become larger or it can reduce in size; it can also move around in the body.
3956 people found this helpful

What Can You Do To Fight Antibiotic Resistance?

Dr. M Wali 86% (35 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Medicine, FACC, FRCP
Internal Medicine Specialist, Delhi
What Can You Do To Fight Antibiotic Resistance?

Ever been in a situation where a medicine you used to take regularly to deal with something, has suddenly stopped being effective? This is because of antibiotic resistance. This refers to the ability of bacteria to change their structure so as to resist the antibiotic. Thus, an illness that was once easily treatable is no longer affected by the same medicines and the bacteria causing the infection multiplies, thus worsening the condition.

How do bacteria develop antibiotic resistance?

When you take a drug, not all the bacteria present is affected equally. While some bacteria die out, others turn dormant. Repeated and improper use of antibiotics can lead multiplication of the dormant bacteria, which results in spreading of disease, instead of containing the same. One of the main causes of this is using strong antibiotics to treat minor viral illnesses.

What can you do to fight antibiotic resistance?

  • Follow your prescription: When taking a course of antibiotics, it is also essential to complete the course and not leave it midway just because you are feeling better. Antibiotics are also most effective when taken regularly. Hence, avoid skipping a dose in your treatment. Doing this does not completely cure the infection, but increases the bacteria's resistance to the drug.
  • Do not take someone else's medicine: Self medication can do more harm than good. Each drug attacks a particular combination of symptoms. Taking medication prescribed for someone else can increase the bacteria's resistance to antibiotics. It can also delay correct treatment, thus allowing your condition to worsen.
  • Discard the leftover medication: When stored for a long period of time, medicines lose their potency. Thus if you were to take them later, they would be less effective against the bacteria.
  • Do not take antibiotics for a viral infection: In any case, antibiotics to not address viruses and hence, the medicine will not have a beneficial effect on the virus. However, it can affect the bacteria present in your body by making it resistant to the drug.
  • Do not use antibiotics for an extended duration: Use of antibiotic for treating issues such as acne can contribute to antibiotic resistance. If you must take any such medication, ensure that you are being cared for by a healthcare professional. Most doctors will suggest giving your body breaks between antibiotic courses when it comes to long term medication.
  • Try natural remedies: Many common bacterial infections can be successfully treated naturally in their early stages. Aloe Vera, turmeric, garlic and tea tree oil are some of the natural cures for a range of bacterial infections. The biggest advantage of these natural cures is their lack of side effects.
6156 people found this helpful

Vaginal Douching - Is it Good?

Dr. Shanujeet Kaur 91% (34 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Chandigarh
Vaginal Douching - Is it Good?

Like many systems within the human body, the reproductive system is also a self maintaining one and performs many complex functions on its own. The female reproductive system is one such system and within it, the vagina is an especially good example. It is a self contained system wherein, the balance of the vaginal bacteria is maintained for proper health.

Douching:

Douching is a process that involves the cleaning out or washing of an internal cavity of a body, such as the anus or the vagina with the help of water and special nozzles. Vaginal douching has become prevalent among women, mostly due to aggressive marketing campaigns which claim that it helps to keep the vagina clean. It is estimated that in developed nations, one in four women perform douching regularly.

Is it any good?

Vaginal douching has been reviled by most medical professionals around the world. The consensus is that not only does vaginal douching have no benefits; it may also be harmful for your vagina in general. The vagina is an ecosystem wherein multiple types of organisms thrive, including bacteria and fungi. These organisms keep each other in check and maintain the health of the organ. These organisms help maintain the pH Levels (the alkaline to acidic radio) within the vagina. Douching may actually disrupt the balance and cause harm by destroying one type of micro-organisms and letting the other proliferate, thus causing infections and other problems.

Problems caused by vaginal douching

Douches, especially the ones found in the market, contain elements such as iodine, baking soda, vinegar and other chemicals that can make the delicate vaginal balance go haywire. Some of the disorders that can be caused by it are mentioned as follows:

  1. Yeast infections: This is due to the proliferation of the fungi known as ‘candida’ within the vagina. This fungus is present within the vagina, but douching can reduce the bacteria that counteract it, resulting in rapid growth. This is one of the most common infections of the vagina.
  2. Bacterial vaginosis: Similar to how yeast infections occur, in this case, harmful bacteria proliferate within the vagina. This is also a common vaginal infection and douching has been deemed as one of the leading causes for it.
  3. Pelvic inflammatory diseases: Douching pushes the bacteria of the vaginal canal into the cervix and the uterus, resulting in infections such as PID or pelvic inflammatory diseases (an infection in the reproductive organ in females).
  4. Pregnancy related problems: A myth has been floating around that if a woman performs douching after sexual intercourse, it will wash away the sperm and hence prevent her from getting pregnant. In fact, the reverse is true. Douching can often push the sperm up into the uterus causing pregnancy. Not only that, pregnancies caused in such a manner have higher chances of bearing complications such as ectopic pregnancies (a condition wherein the fertilized egg gets implanted outside one’s uterus), birth defects, etc.
  5. Irritation and vaginal dryness: Douching at the very least will result in the vagina turning dry as the natural mechanisms are disrupted. This results in irritation and itching.
3749 people found this helpful

Treating Urinary Infection - Know The Ways!

Dr. D.K. Agarwal 90% (211 ratings)
MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Nephrology, DNB (Nephrology)
Nephrologist, Delhi
Treating Urinary Infection - Know The Ways!

UTI, as urinary tract infections are often referred to, is one of the most common infections. In women, especially, every 1 in 2 women is affected by a UTI. The urinary tract starts from the kidneys to the urethra where urine is passed out. Given the rich concentration of minerals and toxic wastes, it is highly prone to multiple infections. Whichever part of the tract is affected, the symptoms and treatment are mostly the same.

Read on to know some of the most common symptoms and treatment options for these.

Symptoms-

  1. A burning sensation with urination
  2. Pain with urination
  3. Burning sensation or pain in the urethra or vagina
  4. Frequent urge to urinate, though not much urine is passed out
  5. The sense of incomplete emptying of the bladder
  6. Pain in the lower back on the sides of the spine
  7. Change in the urine characteristics color, smell, or appearance

Causes-

Most urinary tract infections are bacterial in nature, and these could find their way into the body in multiple ways. The most common is through the urethra, which could happen due to unclean toilet habits.
Women especially are advised to wipe the urethra after each toilet visit. The bacteria from the feces can also enter the urethra due to close proximity. Use of unclean public toilets is another reason for UTIs

Treatment:-

UTIs are very common infections and though there is nothing to worry, it should be cleared completely.

  1. Antibiotic course to get rid of the infection. Though you begin to feel better, the complete course should be completed to clear the infection.
  2. Following culture, testing to ensure the infection is cleared
  3. Improve water intake to get rid of the toxins
  4. Fever and pain to be controlled with medications
  5. Healthy hygiene habits to ensure clearing of infection

Follow up is needed with the Physician or the Nephrologist while having medication or there are chances of recurrent UTI.  The treatment for recurrent UTI can go for more than 3-8 weeks.

Prevention:-

Recurrent UTIs is a common problem, and the following can help prevent.

  1. Ensure complete emptying of the bladder
  2. Drink adequate water
  3. Safe toilet habits, including before and after sex
  4. Comfortable and clean underwear to prevent infection 
1919 people found this helpful
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