Tag Archives: wash your hands

Impetigo: What You Need to Know

Impetigo is a bacterial skin infection more common in children than adults. It’s highly contagious and is more common during the warm, humid months of the year. While impetigo isn’t serious, it is unpleasant to deal with. Here’s what you need to know.

Recognizing Impetigo

Impetigo occurs in two forms: Bullous and Non-bullous. Non-bullous impetigo is more common and is caused by the Staphylococcus (staph) and Streptococcus (strep) strains of bacteria.

MedicineNet offers a comparison and photos of both types of Impetigo.

Impetigo can often look like other types of skin rashes, including poison ivy, chicken pox, and eczema. A culture test can determine whether or not a rash is impetigo if visual observation doesn’t suffice.

Causes and Prevention

Insect bites and flesh wounds can lead to impetigo, especially if they are not kept clean or “left alone.” For example, scratching mosquito bites (especially with dirty nails!) is one way a lot of people become infected. Animal bites can also lead to impetigo quite easily without proper wound care. And of course, impetigo is very contagious between humans.

It can be difficult to keep impetigo from spreading, as it’s highly contagious – especially among family members or anyone else in close quarters. Skin to skin contact, or even contact with the same towels or bedding can spread the infection. Children can also easily spread the infection to other families in day care centers, schools, and swimming pools. It’s good to stay home if you have this rash to avoid infecting others.

Routine hand washing is an important preventative measure, as with most types of infections!

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Avoiding the Flu – Easily Overlooked Areas

Every year like clockwork, a new strain of the Influenza virus makes its rounds, leading many people to take precautions against illness. Some get the flu shot, while others rely on more natural preventative measures.

Whether you take either of these approaches, one thing everyone needs to pay attention to is good hygiene. Practicing good hygiene can have a significant impact on inhibiting the spread of illness.

Aside from the basic practices of hand washing and staying home when sick, don’t overlook these commonly ignored sources of contamination during flu season:

  •  Avoiding the Flu   Easily Overlooked Areas

    Germs at your fingertips!

    Clean the knick-knacks. When you stop to think about it, there are a lot of little items we touch and use every day that don’t always get cleaned on a regular basis! Remote controls, car keys, your cell phone and electronics all harbor a lot of germs when they aren’t cleaned often.

  • Toys. Similarly, your kids’ toys should be cleaned on a regular basis or the germs will thrive. Involve your kids to teach them the importance of good hygiene.
  • School supplies. It’s well known among parents that illness spreads like wildfire in schools. During flu season, take extra care to avoid bringing home the bug on your kids’ school stuff. Clean out the backpack and wipe down books and supplies regularly.
  • I make it a rule that when we come home we wipe our shoes on our antimicrobial treated  doormat, put our coats and hats away and go wash our hands with soap and water.  That includes guests too.  It really helps.
  • Shop smart. Even sick people need to eat – that’s why grocery stores are an incredibly easy place to contract an illness. Wipe down your shopping cart with antibacterial cloths, wash your grocery bags often and as always, wash your food before you eat it!
  • Give the car a good clean. Vehicles are often neglected when it comes to cleaning, so take the opportunity to give it a thorough clean – there’s no better time than when an illness is going around.
  • Do not share utensils or drinking glasses. Eating in public places? Ask the waiter for a cup of boiling water and let the utensils soak for a minute or two and wipe down before using.  Why risk the obvious.  A little action and awareness can go along way in keeping the family healthy all winter long.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Want Clean Indoor Air? Just Say No to Indoor Smoking!

 Want Clean Indoor Air? Just Say No to Indoor Smoking!

smoking effects all of the people and pets around you.

It’s impossible to deny the dangers associated with smoking cigarettes for both smokers and the people around them. We all know that secondhand smoke is harmful, but less obvious is just how easy it is to pollute your indoor air with cigarettes. Just one or two cigarettes will do significant damage. Even if no one in your immediate family smokes, it’s critical to set boundaries with visitors that might be smokers.

Those who are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of secondhand smoke are small children and the elderly. While it can be awkward and feel confrontational to set these boundaries – especially with certain family members! – you protect the health of your whole family by doing so.

Shoot for Clean Indoor Air – The Dangers of Secondhand Smoke
There are some pretty alarming statistics linked to secondhand smoke alone:

  • 20-30% increased risk of heart disease
  • 20-30% increased risk of lung cancer
  • Increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome for babies exposed to secondhand smoke
  • More frequent ear infections in children exposed to secondhand smoke
  • Increased risk of ADHD in children exposed to tobacco smoke

Designating an Ideal Smoking Area

 Want Clean Indoor Air? Just Say No to Indoor Smoking!

A Japanese designated smoking area.

Contrary to what some people believe, opening a window does not eliminate the risks of indoor smoking in the home or vehicle. In an ideal world, no one would smoke cigarettes at all. Until that day comes, it’s wise to have a designated area for smokers to go. The ideal place is an area that diminishes the risk of others being exposed to the secondhand smoke.

The following guidelines from the EPA can help you determine where that might be near your home:

  • Should not be near any entryways, windows, or air ducts into the home.
  • Should not be near anywhere children play.
  • If outdoors, should not be anywhere where airflow directly affects entryways or windows.
  • If indoors, such as a shed or detached garage, should be well ventilated. Consider adding a smoke-reducing air purifier to indoor smoking areas.

Steps to Reduce Third Hand Smoke
It’s important to reduce exposure to third hand smoke as well. Third hand smoke is the residue left on a person’s body and clothes after smoking. We’ve all had that experience where you’re standing next to someone and you just know they are a smoker or spend a lot of time with one! That’s third hand smoke at work.

To lower that chances of third hand smoke entering the home, ask guests to wash their hands when they come in from smoking. Also, consider keeping a coat hanger just outside the door by the doormat rather than inside, to lessen the amount of third hand smoke enters the home on clothing.

Setting these boundaries with your family or other people in your life might not be the most fun thing in the world to do, but your home will be a much healthier place to be when all is said and done!

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Why Wash Your Hands? The Importance of Hand Washing

 Why Wash Your Hands? The Importance of Hand Washing

The brave and forward thinking Dr. who discovered that washing hands reduces deaths and infections

I was searching around the internet about a year ago and wondered who the first person was that figured out we should wash our hands to reduce the spread of germs.  I also figured out why the popular brand of hand sanitizer is called Purell.  I came across this story and wanted to share it with you to expand on and explain the importance of hand washing.

In 1847, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis pioneered the prevention of transmission of disease by washing hands (Prophylaxis), reducing the mortality rate due to Puerperal Fever from 12% to almost ZERO by enforcing the washing of hands with chlorinated lime.

At the time, Dr. Semmelweis’ hypothesis was considered extreme and was widely rejected and ridiculed. When he refused to compromise his beliefs, the hospital that employed him was pressured into terminating his clinical privileges. Semmelweis’ sole “crime” was that he proposed a contrarian idea to current thinking, which directly challenged the (incorrect) current medical theories of his time.

Despite the continued ridicule, hostility, and unemployment, Dr. Semmelweis tirelessly promoted his theory, sometimes denouncing physicians who refused to wash their hands as irresponsible murderers. His contemporaries eventually concluded that he was crazy and, in 1865, committed him to a mental institution where he was beaten to death by guards.

 Why Wash Your Hands? The Importance of Hand Washing

Proved the germ theory of disease

Dr. Semmelweis’s theory was considered irrelevant, until Louis Pasteur connected germs to disease, and Prophylaxis is now considered standard practice around the world. The 1800s medical community’s refusal to consider his theories earlier clearly resulted in the continued unnecessary spread of disease and death throughout the world.

Backward and reactionary thinking did not die with Dr. Semmelweis in 1865. Highly qualified and competent physicians, scientists, healthcare personnel, and government employees continue to suffer similar retaliation throughout the United States, which is why organizations like Semmelweis Society International and the Alliance for Patient Safety participated in the recent Whistleblower Week in Washington.

The Semmelweis Society International annually recognizes individual Healthcare Providers, Researchers, and associated personnel, who have regularly challenged the status quo, who have reported issues, often controversial issues, regarding patient health and safety. Semmelweis Awardees have often had to endure the tyranny of threats and retaliation, and actual financial ruination, in some cases. Without these courageous individuals, progress and innovation in medicine, public service, and industry is inhibited, or negated.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.