Author Archives: Catherine Elizabeth Moyer

Just Girls – Odors, Bumps and Everything Inbetween

Hello ladies. We’ve all been there when something changes “down there” and the great unknown can leave you feeling worried as well as uncomfortable. I know how to take care of you at Express Healthcare, whether you think you may be pregnant or you’re concerned about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). Here are a few things you should know about your body and how you can be better at listening to it.

Appearance

First and foremost, everyone looks different. You are a stunning, gorgeous woman, exactly the way you were made. Love your body and it will love you back.

Here is a diagram of your basic anatomy. Keep in mind, there are many variations to a woman’s appearance.

women basic anatomy

Shaving

It’s bikini season! The last thing you want are those painful red bumps that you get after shaving. This is a common result of shaving coarse hair found in your groin and armpits. This is most likely due to folliculitis, an infection of the hair follicle. There are some over-the-counter products that may provide relief or prevent these bumps. Here are some handy tips:

  • wash before and after with antibacterial soap, such as Hibiclens
  • use a fresh, sharp shaving razor
  • just trim! no need to shave all the way down to the skin
  • after, use a product that has “rubbing alcohol” in the ingredients
  • or try a little over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream, do not use more than twice a day

If these simple tricks do not help, you may have developed an infection that can be treated at our urgent care.

Douching and Discharge

Douching is a practice I discourage to all of my patients. Douching can disrupt the pH of your vagina and can leave you susceptible to an infection such as bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection. Over-the-counter tests for these problems are not reliable nor are they accurate. Having a discharge is very normal, for all women. If you are having a change in your normal discharge or odor, there may be something else going on that needs medical attention.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

These types of infections can wreak havoc on our bodies by causing Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), infertility, cervical cancer and other complications. If you have had multiple partners or have a new partner, don’t hesitate – you should be tested.

Annual Well-Woman Exam

Just like your yearly check-up, you should have a yearly female check-up in addition. This exam generally includes a Pap Smear and a breast exam. A Pap Smear is recommended beginning at the age of 21, if you are sexually active. It is so important to have your annual well-woman check-up every year. You can utilize this visit with your primary care doctor or gynecologist to discuss contraceptives or any questions you have about your sexual health or well-being

I hope I’ve answered some of your questions. Feel welcome to walk-in or make an appointment to address any concerns you might have. You know where to find us at Express Healthcare in College Park and Greenbelt, MD!

Guidelines for Responding to Mental Health Crisis

Feeling under the weather? Blue? Not quite yourself? You may have a mental health disorder.

Mental health can be quite the taboo topic. It’s frowned upon in the military. It makes us feel uneasy regarding the possibility of school shootings or random acts of violence. It can be difficult to face for those that have survived suicide attempts. It can be unbearable for those that have lost a loved one that took their own life or passed away unexpectedly.

Mental health encompasses many facets such as mood and personality disorders. The truth of the matter is, no matter who you are you can still benefit from some form of mental healthcare. Whether that means you have a friend you can always talk to or you find your therapy in art and music or you need a professional counselor and psychiatrist to guide you.

mental health

Here is some info about common issues that you may find helpful.

Depression

Depression is a powerful thing. It can consume us. Do you believe you have a depressed mood? Have decreased sleep? Decreased interest in activities? Guilt of worthlessness? Decreased energy? Concentration difficulties? Changes in appetite or weight loss? Feel agitated? Suicidal thoughts? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you need to address these symptoms with your primary care physician or psychiatrist.

Anxiety

The pressure is on. Get into the best school. Make straight A’s. Always win. Never lose. Have the perfect spouse. Dog. Car. Child. Wardrobe. House. Job. Life.

Feeling nervous. Sweaty. Hyperventilate. Don’t like crowds. Can’t sleep. Full of worry. Obsessed with negativity.

There are many causes of anxiety. The first thing to understand is that anxiety is a totally normal emotion. It makes us competitive and alert. It makes you a better person, until it doesn’t. If you suffer from severe anxiety that has become debilitating, that doesn’t mean you should let it get the best of you. Talk to someone today, see a professional like your doctor and get some solid advice.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

SAD is a form of depression that comes and goes depending on the time of year. Mostly commonly, symptoms start in late fall and fade in the spring/summer. Theses symptoms include:

  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Having a bigger appetite than usual, especially for sweet or starchy foods, like pastries or rice
  • Gaining weight
  • Becoming cranky or irritable
  • Having trouble with relationships, especially with feeling rejected

SAD is a condition that can be treated. If you feel like these symptoms describe you, you’ve overcome the first step and have recognized there is a problem. Discuss your concerns the next time you see your primary care physician or psychiatrist.

Bereavement

Mourning a lost love one or living with a terminal illness is a one-day-at-a-time process that simply takes time. There are 5 basics stages of grief, here is what to expect if you or a loved one are dealing with this type of issue:

  1. Denial — trying to shut out the reality or magnitude of his/her situation, and begin to develop a false, preferable reality.
  2. Anger — Why me? Who is to blame? Why would God let this happen?
    Anger can manifest itself in different ways. People can be angry with themselves, or with others, or at a higher power, and especially those who are close to them.
  3. Bargaining — I’ll do anything for a few more years. I will give my life savings if…
    The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow undo or avoid a cause of grief.
  4. Depression — I’m going to die soon so what’s the point? I miss my loved one, why go on?
    This process allows the grieving person to disconnect from things of love and affection, possibly in an attempt to avoid further trauma. It is natural to feel sadness, regret, fear, and uncertainty when going through this stage. Feeling those emotions shows that the person has begun to accept the situation. Oftentimes, this is the ideal path to take, to find closure and make their ways to the fifth step, Acceptance.
  5. Acceptance — It’s going to be okay. I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.
    In this last stage, individuals begin to come to terms with their situation. This typically comes with a calm, retrospective view for the individual, and a stable mindset.

Grief is a normal part of the process. However, complicated or prolonged grief is not. If you are having any suicidal/homicidal thoughts or if this process takes more than 6 months, you must seek professional help immediately.

Therapy

Therapy is an integral part of our lives. Exercise is therapeutic. Music. Art. Cooking. Laughing. Writing. Intellect. Sex. Relationships. We need these things. Yet, sometimes, it’s not enough and you may benefit from seeing a professional.

Too often we realize our best friends really aren’t great counselors. For example, have you ever tried to talk to a friend about something important that was going on in your life and they answer “me too!” and relates your problem to their life? This can make you feel invalidated and you may not ever be able to resolve the issue you have. A professional counselor is trained to help you deal with your most personal and private issues. Seeing a counselor or therapist may drastically change your outlook on life and can help you heal, no matter what you may be dealing with.

If you are contemplating suicide, tell someone. Get the help you need.

I hope you’ve found some of the info in this blog helpful. Let me know which topics you would like more posts about!

Tips for a Safe, Healthy Memorial Day

Healthy Tips Memorial Day

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May. It was formerly known as Decoration Day and commemorates all men and women, who have died in military service for the United States.

This holiday is one of our favorites, and not just because it is the unofficial start of the summer season. It’s the time to shed our winter attire for our favorite shorts and tanks and spend some time with family, friends and to honor those who have served our country. Whether you’ll be swimming or grilling, here is some information to keep you happy and healthy:

Fun in the Sun: Protect yourself and your family from harmful UV rays with a quality sunscreen. I would recommend using a product that contains at least SPF 50 for the face and SPF 30 for the body. Remember to apply frequently or hourly if you will be swimming and sweating. The repercussions of having two or more blistering sunburns in your lifetime will significantly raise your risk of skin cancer and skin aging. Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It keeps you hydrated as well as protects you from the environment, love it wisely!

What is a quality sunscreen? UV radiation from the sun comes in the form of UVA and UVB. Selecting a “full-spectrum” product will guarantee protection from these harmful rays. These products will contain ingredients such as zinc oxide, avobenzone or ecamsule. For children, only products with zinc oxide are recommended.

If you do get sunburned, at what point would you need to visit us at Express Healthcare? Some sunburns can be as severe as a second degree burn. If you find your sunburn to be especially painful, this may be the case for you and you may be at risk for dehydration and infection. If your sunburn is mild and not very bothersome, you may be able to treat yourself at home. Here are some things you can do:

– Apply an emollient three times a day. Choose a moisturizer that is bland (no fragrance or dyes) and without alcohol, such as CeraVe.

– Aloe Vera! Apply to the affected areas as much as you want.

– Cool Compresses or baths with or without colloidal oatmeal. Use a clean, cold, damp washcloth and apply to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time. Also, you can take a cool oatmeal bath using products such as Aveeno that are available at any drugstore.

All of these techniques will promote skin healing. It is important to avoid the sun until your sunburn has completely resolved. Do not use petroleum jelly, such as Vasoline, unless directed by your healthcare provider.

Stay Hydrated: The combination of dehydration, heat, and consuming alcohol can be detrimental to your health. Young children and the elderly may be especially susceptible to the summer heat. Make sure to stay cool and keep your ice chest full of water and sports drinks and skip the sugary beverages.

Symptoms such as dizziness, headache, nausea, fatigue, loss of consciousness are all signs that you need to seek treatment with health professionals such as at our urgent care, Express Healthcare which will open on Memorial day at College Park location.

Swimming and Water Sports: Never leave children unattended in or near water, no matter how experienced you believe they are at swimming. Make sure you are prepared with the proper equipment such as life jackets, first aid kits, and a cell phone to call 9-1-1. One tool you may find to be a useful resource is the First Aid Kit app by the American Red Cross.

Grilling Light: Time to break out the grill! Not only is grilled food absolutely delicious, it can be quite healthy too. Pick out lots of fresh vegetables to skewer or to wrap in foil for that great grilled flavor. Season your food with low-sodium seasonings such as Mrs. Dash’s tasty seasoning items. We all love burgers and hotdogs, but choosing proteins such as salmon or chicken breast instead of red or processed meat is a great alternative that still taste great on a whole wheat bun! Always remember to keep your grill at a safe distance from flammables and children.

Everyone at Express Healthcare and Med-Ped Health Care wishes you a fun, safe holiday as you celebrate this day in remembrance of those who have served and sacrificed.