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Celebrate the modern medical miracle that is immunization: It’s National Infant Immunization Week!

Most of us here at MacArthur Medical Center are parents, and as parents we would do ANYTHING to keep our children safe. One of the most important things we can do to protect our children, even when we’re not with them, is to ensure that they are properly immunized on time and in compliance with the immunization schedule set by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Read more

Busted! Explaining common vaccine myths

Flim-flam, woo, pseudoscience … there are many names for wrong information. In this article we are going to tackle a real beast, a scary monster that roams the World Wide Web and makes its way into all corners of our communities – Vaccine myths! *screams*

I spent some time snooping the Facebook comment sections and pages sporting vaccine misunderstanding, misinformation, and myths. Here are some of the most common myths and the reasons why you shouldn’t believe them.

I got the flu vaccine and got the flu from it!

No you didn’t. The flu vaccine does not contain the live flu virus and you cannot get the flu from it. Ever. Period. What may be happening to people is they have an immune reaction (which means the vaccine is working) to the shot and are showing minor symptoms such as redness or soreness at the injection site, fever, aches and pains. This is not the flu. It is also possible that people are literally sick with something (another virus like the common cold, perhaps) and it just so happens to coincide with the time they get a vaccine – in their minds the vaccine caused the sickness.

I have never gotten the vaccine (for anything) and haven’t been sick.

Lucky you! Most people get sick at some point in their lives. The flu, COVID, measles, whatever it might be, you’re not only more likely to get sick without the protection from the vaccine, but you are more likely to spread it to others – like the sweet elderly gentleman across the street, or the newborn baby who hasn’t received their full vaccine schedule yet. They may not be so lucky as to never get sick.

Many vaccines contain chemicals and toxic ingredients.

This is actually kind of true, but it’s not bad. First, everything is chemicals – water is a chemical called Dihydrogen Monoxide – you are chemicals, I am chemicals, the air is a chemical. Secondly, everything is technically toxic. All chemicals (which is everything) is toxic at certain doses. So, yes, water is toxic if you drink too much. Vaccines do contain ingredients such as arsenic and formaldehyde – those are in fact toxic at the right dose. The amount of these chemicals (or any chemical) in a single dose of a vaccine isn’t enough to be toxic. A person actually eats more arsenic in an apple or more formaldehyde in a pear than they would get from a vaccine dose. Remember, when it comes to chemicals – nothing is ever “chemical-free”, and it’s not the chemical that is dangerous, it’s the dose. Trust the science and the chemists who know each chemical and at which dose it is harmful.

Natural immunity is better than a vaccine.

No. Natural immunity to many common, dangerous illness that are typically mitigated through vaccination is not something you want. Becoming naturally immune to measles means you may have to live with infertility. Natural immunity to COVID, may mean you live with neurological or cardiovascular disadvantages the rest of your life. Natural immunity to chicken pox may mean you suffer from Shingles when you’re an adult. Natural immunity to polio may mean you no longer have the use of your legs. This natural immunity also means that while you’re sick, you’re spreading a dangerous disease to your friends, family, and community. Vaccines help you build immunity without risking life.

Vaccines cause autism.

I can’t believe this is still around. Millions of dollars have been spent debunking this doozy. There is unequivocally zero evidence (and hundreds of studies) that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that autism is not caused by vaccination. Unfortunately, many well-liked celebrities profited from these statements. The physician who originally made the claim no longer has a medical license.

When it comes to vaccination, leave the research to the professionals (you know, those people who have spent their whole careers studying vaccines and contagious diseases) and stay out of the comment section. If you have concerns or questions about vaccines, always reach out to a medical professional. The providers at MacArthur Medical Center Pediatrics will take time to help you understand why vaccines really are a good idea, and help you navigate common misconceptions.

Written by Erin Cox, Practice Manager at MacArthur Medical Center, reviewed by Dr. Nehal Shah.

Blog Author: Erin Cox- Practice Manager 

Main Blog Photo By: Eugene Zvonkov

 

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TEENAGE PIMPLE POPPING; RESIST THE URGE TO POP THAT ZIT

Skin care is the key to adolescent acne frustrations.

Facetime, Houseparty, Tik Tok, and Zoom meetings. Our teenagers are always online, and they want their face to look good on screen. One of the side effects of online school and the stay-at-home order is increased concerns about acne.

Our pediatric office has many acne advice requests, as young people notice the skin blemishes in their HI-Def-selfie world.

There are a lot of myths about acne. Your grandmother will tell you its all in the diet. Believe it or not, acne is not caused by eating too much chocolate or greasy food.

Acne breakouts occur due to a combination of factors such as spikes in certain hormones, clogged pores in the skin, and common but mostly mild skin infections.

How can I fix acne on my own?

The best way to prevent acne is to take care of your skin. Clean and healthy skin is more resistant to pimply outbreaks.

1. Wash your face. Use warm water and cleanser specifically designed for the face. Harsh soaps and scrubs may damage the skin and make acne worse.

2. Do not pick, squeeze, or pop pimples.

3. Avoid oil-based skin products and make-up. One easy trick is to choose a moisturizer with the words “non-comedogenic” on the label.

4. Try an over the counter medication.

5. Be skeptical of online and television advertising highlighting magic cures and overnight remedies.

Photo by andriano_cz Istock by Getty

 

Don’t Pop that pimple

Pimples are so tempting. They stare at you in the mirror, almost begging to be popped. Don’t do it. Resist the urge to squeeze it until it bursts. Pimple popping is one of the worst things you can do as it damages the underlying skin.

Damaged skin can lead to scarring and worsen the skin’s appearance.

Acne medications can help

At the first sign of an acne breakout of acne is first noticed, you can try over the counter products like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. These products help to clean the skin and remove debris from pores.

It is always a good idea to start off trying a little of these products on small skin areas. Acne medication can cause skin irritation and, occasionally, an adverse reaction.

If these over the counter solutions do not yield positive results, schedule an evaluation with your pediatric healthcare provider for an assessment. There are multiple medications that your pediatrician can prescribe based on the type and severity of acne.

  1. Retinoids-These medications help unclog pores.
  2. Prescription strength salicylic acid– These medications remove dead layers of skin and unclog pores.
  3. Antibiotics- Antibiotics improve acne by reducing inflammation and killing the bacteria, causing pimples.
  4. Birth control pills-Some females benefit from oral contraceptive pills, which reduce the hormonal effects on acne.

A pediatric appointment either in person or by using telemedicine technology can provide a massive lift in self-esteem, allowing our youth to embrace the prom, graduation, or even their next Zoom gathering.

Thank you to BeingWell for publishing this article on Medium

Blog Author: Dr. Agboola O. Fatiregun

Main Blog Photo By: dima_sidelnikov Istock by Getty

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