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Illnesses Aa-Az

[Acne]   [Allergies]   [Anemia]   [Asthma]   [Athlete's Foot]   [Attention Deficit Disorder]  


General Information:

cne is a common problem that occurs because of increasing hormones, oil production, and the actions of bacteria. While it usually begins at puberty, acne can occur at any age in life.  It varies a lot in severity from noninflammatory whiteheads to cystic abscesses of the face. Only the severest forms lead to scarring.

There are many myths about acne. Foods and sexual activity have nothing to do with bringing on "attacks." Washing your face is good for hygienic reasons, but is usually not effective in helping bad cases of acne. Inherited oiliness to the skin and hormonal influences are the main causes of acne. Irritants such as makeup, oil in the hair, hair spray, among other things, will make acne worse.


  1. Wash your face twice a day which will clear the excess oils.
  2. Shampoo your hair every other day to minimize worsening acne on your forehead.
  3. If you use makeup, use a  hypoallergenic variety and only in small amounts.
  4. Your doctor may give you a 2-3 week treatment with an oral antibiotic which will markedly improve the acne. However, the antibiotics can only be used for a short time without side-effects resulting.
  5. Benzyl peroxide is an over-the-counter drying agent which also kills bacteria. You should put this on your face at bedtime and then wash it off in the morning. Fair-skinned people may have more difficulty with this medicine which can be irritating to the skin. Some redness for the first 3-4 weeks is normal.
  6. A prescribed antibiotic solution applied to your skin twice a day helps keep the numbers of the bacteria lower and decreases inflammation of your skin.
  7. Do not rub the skin hard since it irritates the opening of the oil glands. Do not squeeze pimples hard because this may cause them to spread or even cause bacteria to get in your blood. Warm soaks will usually open pimples when they are "ripe." You may use a sterile needle to open the pimple and squeeze gently if the warm soak does not work.
  8. Sun exposure should be avoided while on the antibiotic tetracycline because irritation to the skin often develops.

Call Your Doctor 1. You have reactions to any of your acne drugs.
2. You have a sudden increase in number or size of your pimples.
3. You develop a large boil under the skin which is tender and lumpy; this needs to be treated more aggressively.



General Information:

Allergies are caused by an over-active immune system leading to various symptoms,  especially runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and hives brought on by exposure to certain allergy-causing agents such as dust, pollen, and animal dander. Babies seldom have allergies until after 6 months of age (a milk allergy may be an exception) since their immune system is weak.

The 4 Main Areas of Allergies:

  1. Inhalants (dust, animal dander, smoke, pollen, molds, feathers, etc.)
  2. Contact irritants (chemicals, aerosols, chlorine, plants, poison ivy, etc.)
  3. Foods (especially milk, eggs, wheat, citrus, tomatoes, chocolate, fish, nuts, and strawberries).
  4. Medicines (almost any medication, but the penicillins are the most frequent problems).

The Following May Be Helpful for Your Child with Allergies:

  1. Keep his bedroom clean and dust free. Keep dust collectors, such as mini-blinds, books, and stuffed animals, out of the bedroom. Vacuum or damp mop frequently. Keep pets out of his bedroom and if possible out of your home. An electrostatic filter attached to the main blower may filter out pollen and dust. Avoid smoking in your home and replace moldy carpet. Mattress and pillow encasings sold in medical supply stores can keep allergic substances from being forced into the air.
  2. Avoid irritants such as aerosols, talcum powder, smoke, paint, and chlorine. Have your teenage daughter use hypoallergenic makeup. Many children will react to grasses or plants while mowing or playing in the grass.
  3. Avoid giving your child foods (or only give small portions) to which he is allergic.
  4. Avoid known allergies to medicines and keep a record of her reaction and the name of the medicine (saying, "the pink, liquid" is not helpful to identify the medicine).
  5. Have him take a shower or bath to wash away allergens after engaging in dirty activities such as mowing the lawn, cleaning the attic, washing the dog, etc.
  6. Keep her indoors as much as possible when the pollen count is high.


  1. Antihistamines (Benadryl, Dimetapp, Triaminic, etc.) will help with some of his symptoms.
  2. Tavist is a nonprescription antihistamine that is not likely to make him sleepy.
  3. Claritin and Allegra are prescription antihistamines that are not likely to make her sleepy.
  4. Treat his asthma with any signs of wheezing or excessive coughing.
  5. Allergy testing should not usually be done before 3 or 4 years of age and only if his symptoms are not controlled with medication.
  6. For a child who is extremely allergic, giving preventive antihistimines every day during allergy season usually works much better than waiting to give her medicines until she is severely ill.


General Information:

Anemia is a decrease in the oxygen-carrying substance hemoglobin which is found in red blood cells. Anemia may cause paleness, weakness, a rapid pulse, or shortness of breath with exercise. It does not cause white patches on the face, loss of appetite,  or tooth grinding.

Anemia results from (1) loss of blood (as with intestinal bleeding or heavy menstrual periods), (2) failure to make enough blood (as in iron deficiency, lead poisoning, or infections), or (3) destruction of red blood cells (as in sickle cell disease). Most babies are slightly anemic between 2 and 3 months of age at which time they begin making a lot of new blood cells.

By far the most common cause of anemia in children is iron deficiency anemia, which often occurs between 9 and 24 months of age. This is so common, that most doctors will treat your anemic child with iron vitamins and perform other tests only if his anemia does not improve.


  1. Give your child the prescribed iron supplement exactly as indicated; too much iron can be harmful to her.  Do not give her the iron supplement with milk since the iron will not be absorbed as well. Her stool may become darker while on the medicine. Her teeth may also become stained if they are not rinsed or brushed after she takes her medicine.
  2. If you are breast-feeding, take a vitamin and iron supplement. If you are bottle-feeding, give him an iron-fortified formula.
  3. Do not give her cows' milk before 12 months of age.
  4. Stop his bottle feeding at 12 months of age, and do not let him drink an excessive amount of milk in place of iron-rich foods.
  5. Good sources of iron include: liver, meat, egg yolks, green and yellow vegetables, yellow  fruits, whole grains, iron-fortified cereals, raisins, beans, and nuts. For babies, mixing her infant cereal with juice increases her iron absorption.

Call Your Doctor 1. His persistent anemia is accompanied by other serious symptoms such as bowel or bladder trouble, frequent infections, or easy bleeding.

2. She has a family history of severe anemia, removal of the spleen, or exposure to lead (as in renovating old homes or working in a factory that produces or works with lead).


General Information:

Asthma is a type of allergic illness that can begin as early as 6 months or at any later age. The symptoms in your child might include coughing, wheezing, increased respiratory rate, chest pain, and fear. You should be suspicious that he might have asthma if there is a family history of asthma or allergies, he has a cough that lasts longer than his usual colds, he develops rapid breathing or cough with exercise, or his cough becomes worse during cold weather.

Your child's asthma can worsen at almost any time but high pollen, smoke, animal dander, exercise, cold air, change in the weather, an emotional time, or eating foods can bring it on. When she is young, viral colds are the most likely factor to bring on her asthma attack.

Mild cases of asthma are difficult to diagnose because your child may hardly ever wheeze.  The only symptom you may see is frequent coughing. Most asthmatics will get worse at night because it is cooler, their cough is not as effective lying down, and their mucous tends to build up resulting in plugging of some of the smaller airways.


The severity of asthma varies greatly and treatment will depend on his response to various medicines.

While at home:

  1. Give your child her medicine consistently.
  2. Do not run out of his medicine; doctors will usually refill asthma medicines by phone.
  3. Have your child drink lots of fluid which will keep her mucous thinner.
  4. Keep him quiet and warm.
  5. Give her no milk before bed since this may thicken her mucous.

When you bring your child to the office:

a. After an asthma attack, your doctor may give your child inhaled drugs.
b. The dosage of his medication may be changed or an additional medication prescribed.
c. Please know the name and dosage of the medication she is on.

Call Your Doctor 1. His symptoms become worse despite his medicine.

2. She has severe vomiting which keeps her from keeping her medicine down.

3. He has increased effort in breathing causing his ribs to show more prominently.


General Information:

Athlete's foot is a superficial fungal infection of the skin of the feet that mainly occurs in teenagers. It usually occurs between the toes, but can spread to other areas of the foot. It causes an itchy, burning rash with raw weeping areas. It often is associated with an unpleasant foot odor.


  1. Buy Tinactin or Micatin from the drugstore; these normally work as well as any prescription.
  2. After a shower or after gently washing the feet dry thoroughly especially between the toes. Then apply the medicine two to three times a day to the affected area and beyond.
  3. It will take two to three weeks for the rash to clear up.
  4. Continue to use the medicine for one to two weeks after the rash has cleared since some of the fungus often remains alive in the area for that long.
  5. While treating the rash, keep your feet as dry as possible since the fungus thrives in warm, moist areas. Go barefoot or wear sandals as much as possible.
  6. Wear cotton socks which are quite absorbent and change them once or twice a day.
  7. Dry your feet thoroughly after showers.
  8. Wash tennis shoes and spray disinfectant inside leather shoes.
  9. Athlete's foot is not very contagious and a person infected can continue to play sports and participate in P.E.

Call Your Doctor 1. The rash has not improved in one week.

2. The rash is not completely cured in one month.

3. Pus or more extensive sores or redness start appearing on your foot.


Attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder or AD(H)D is a neurological problem where children have difficulty concentrating on school work, homework, chores, or other tasks. While a large variation exists in the activity and concentrating ability of all children, kids with ADD are more extreme.

Because of their lack of attention or inability to focus on work, these children usually have relatively poor grades compared to their capabilities, get in trouble often, frequently cannot control their impulses, and usually appear "hyper" much of the time. It is clear from recent scientific work that children with ADD have an imbalance in some of the chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters).

It is also true that ADD is diagnosed too often and is somewhat a fad for some doctors, parents, and teachers who hope that a "pill" can cure an unruly child. A child who has not received consistent discipline, lives in a chaotic home, or has other major stresses in his life may appear "hyperactive." Some medical conditions such as deafness or learning disabilities can also masquerade as ADD.

Signs to Look for in a Child Suspected of ADD:

  1. He is more often a boy than a girl and he often has other family members with similar difficulties.
  2. She has poor grades compared to her intellectual ability.
  3. He is consistently in trouble at home and school although he really wants to be good.
  4. She cannot sit still at the table even though she is eating her favorite meal.
  5. He has an inability to sit still during board games, reading, or play time.
  6. She forgets instructions often within minutes of being told them.
  7. He seems to be day-dreaming all the time.
  8. She seems to become frustrated very easily particularly while trying to follow your instructions.
  9. He is a child who is not defiant but constantly getting in trouble.
  10. She is an older child who claims she is trying but simply cannot finish her homework.
  11. To an extreme degree, he acts impulsively without considering the consequences of his actions.

Ways to Diagnose ADD:

  1. No simple test exists to prove your child has ADD.
  2. Usually ADD is diagnosed by a combination of parent and teacher descriptions, a physical exam, an interview of your child, observation of your child, and sometimes psychological testing.
  3. Psychological testing of your child can support the diagnosis of ADD, but is often expensive.
  4. Sometimes a trial of medication for your child is used to determine if his attention and hyperactivity problems dramatically improve.


  1. Provide firm discipline and clear boundaries on his behavior.
  2. Provide a relatively rigid schedule and structure; frequent, unexpected events can make matters worse.
  3. Provide a smaller class size for more individual attention for her, if possible.
  4. Provide assignments for him at school and home that can be completed in a short period of time.
  5. Try a medication for your child such as Ritalin which is usually the effective and very safe.



The information contained within this website is no substitution for timely medical care.

Feel free to copy the information on this web site and give to friends and family. Contact Dr. Glenn Wood at
Carousel Pediatrics (512) 744-6000 We are located at 7112 Ed Bluestein Blvd., #100 - Austin, TX 78723

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