Sun Exposure First Med Urgent Care

Sun Exposure Myths Revealed in Time for Summer: Part 2

First Med Urgent Care: Sun exposure

As we get into the heat of the summer and continue more and more outdoor activities, we are forced to evaluate the long-term effects this sun exposure has on our skin. As we have established, times have changed since our ancestors did all they could to stay fair. Our society exhibits beauty through tan skin, so we spend hours basking without a second thought of future ramifications. We are not here to pass judgement if you do enjoy the feelings that accompanies sun exposure, but just be aware of the common misnomers associates with your favorite summer pastime.

Last week we talked about Sun Exposure Myth #1, which was the misunderstanding that base tans will protect us from the sun’s damaging rays, and Sun Exposure Myth #2 that applying sunscreen once will do the trick. We revealed the truth behind these myths.

Let’s take a look at a few more:

Sun Exposure #3: Tanning Beds are a safe alternative to tanning

Studies are showing that skin cancer from indoor tanning is more common than lung cancer from smoking. Indoor tanners are “74% more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors (Skin Cancer Foundation 2014).”

Sun Exposure #4: I have naturally dark skin, so I am safe from skin damage.

While darker skin carries a naturally higher protection than lighter skin, darker skinned individuals are not completely in the clear and are still susceptible to skin damage from the sun. Sunscreen is still highly recommended.

Sun Exposure # 5: I can’t get a sunburn on a cloudy day.

One full day of playing outside on a cloudy day without sunscreen will show you just how false this statement is. Cloud coverage does not block or prevent UVB or UVA rays from penetrating your skin. In fact, you are more likely to be burned on a cloudy day for several reason. First of all, on an overcast day, individuals are more likely to extend their outside activities without the application of sunscreen. Secondly, if your chosen activity is centered around water or sand, the suns rays are being reflected by 85%, so continual reapplication of sunscreen is incredibly necessary and beneficial to the health of your skin.

Ignorance is not bliss and prevention is the key. While we may not be able to fix any damage already done, we can move forward and do all we can to safe-guard our skin from here on out.

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). The Burning Truth: A Base Tan Is Not a Safe Tan. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/burningtruth/base_tan_not_safe_tan.htm

Skin Cancer Foundation. (2014). Tanning Is Not Part of a Healthy Lifestyle. Retrieved from http://www.skincancer.org/healthy-lifestyle/tanning

Sun Exposure First Med Urgent Care

Sun Exposure Myths Revealed in Time for Summer: Part 1

First Med Urgent Care: Sun exposure

Times have changed since the early 1800’s when individuals wanted softer lighter skin and would do anything they could to maintain its integrity. Those who spent their days in the shade under parasols and long sleeves would have gasped at the thought of paying to lay in a machine that would tan our beautiful porcelain skin. In the early 1900’s Hollywood bombshells set the stage for a drastic culture shift in the skin department. Fashion designer Coco Chanel is actually believed to be the pioneer of cosmetic tanning when she apparently scored her first tan accidently from a sunburn. The story says that her fans soon caught on and tanning became all the rage. Coco’s bronzed skin coupled with the new found benefits of sun exposure, had people coming out of the shade to bask in the sun, and thus, sunbathing was born.

With our modern days discoveries; we are finding that those southern belles may have had the right idea. We’ve discovered that our desire to be dark, in many cases, comes with a cost. That cost is premature age spots, a leathery appearance, and worst of all, skin cancer.

So, now that we know, what can we do?

First of all, we can dispel the myths that surround excess sun exposure so our false sense of security does not cause long-term damage.

Sun Exposure Myth #1: My base tan will provide me with protection for the rest of the summer!

Most of us have grown up hearing that a base tan is some kind of immunity against getting a sunburn. This is just not the case. According to the CDC, “A tan is the body’s response to injury from UV rays, showing that damage has been done. A ‘base tan’ only provides a sun protection factor (SPF) of about 3 or less, which does little to protect you from future UV exposure (CDC, 2014).

Sun Exposure #2: As long as I start the day with sunscreen, I am safe from UVB and UVA rays.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundations, “Reapplication of sunscreen is just as important as putting it on in the first place, so reapply the same amount every two hours. Sunscreens should also be reapplied immediately after swimming, toweling off, or sweating a great deal (Skin Cancer Foundation, 2014).”

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). The Burning Truth: A Base Tan Is Not a Safe Tan. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/burningtruth/base_tan_not_safe_tan.htm

Skin Cancer Foundation. (2014). Tanning Is Not Part of a Healthy Lifestyle. Retrieved from http://www.skincancer.org/healthy-lifestyle/tanning

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Tornadoes- urgent care

Remembering The Oklahoma Tornadoes Of May 2013

First Med Urgent Care: 2013 Tornadoes

It is hard to believe that one year has passed since the lives of so many Oklahomans’ lives were changed by the Oklahoma tornadoes of 2013. We were all affected in one way or another; many of you lost your homes, lost belongings, lost friends and family members.Although, they say, time brings much healing, the one year anniversary of this tragic event shows that it can also be emotionally draining.Our hearts go out to each of you at this difficult time of remembrance and mourning. Please reach out to those you love and those who love you for comfort, strength, and support. You are stronger than you will ever know!

This year has been a different story, but while we are grateful for the mild spring, we should still stay mindful of potential dangers storms can present. Take all measures to be prepared ahead of time. We believe it is better to have a game plan and not need it, than to need a game plan and not have.

If a tornado struck, where would you go? Storm shelter? Local church? Your workplace? No matter where you decide to seek shelter, have it in mind now and make sure your family is made aware. If you do not have a place in mind that you could go to right now, you and your family are at potential risk. While being new in a neighborhood can be intimidating, it is not an excuse. Ask your new neighbors. Ask local businesses. Whatever you do, work out your plan of action now, do not wait until you are in a panic.

If your plan is to outrun the storm, think again. If you recall last year, the week after the May 20th tornado, some Oklahomans hit the highways to get out of the storms path. With congested roads, the storm shifted, leaving hundreds of individuals fearful in their cars with nothing to do but wait in traffic; unaware of the fact that they were directly in the path of the tornado. This particular tornado showed us that, despite having the best weather team in the US, storms have a mind of their own and mother nature is unpredictable.

Practice the art of calm now. Staying calm in a stressful and terrifying situation can mean the difference in life and death. Being able to evaluate the situation and make decisions based on sound reasoning, allows you to make the best decisions to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Advanced planning will make it much easier to keep a level head.

Whether you were touched by the storms directly or heard about someone’s experience, we all will never forget the tornados of 2013. Looking back on tragedy is often painful, but can urge us to move forward and never take for granted the days we have been given. Although so many lost material possessions, may those who survived the storm serve as a reminder that life is precious.

Mom- urgent care

Honoring Moms

First Med Urgent Care: Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day being this past Sunday we wanted to give a shout out to moms concerning our health.

Moms are special women who, from day one, have been looking out for us, guiding us, and instilling in us certain values and life instructions. Mothers in general have a history of being the ones teaching us many lessons in life, among those, are lessons to keep us safe and well.

Lesson One: Wash your hands!

We probably all remember coming in from playing outside, attempting to sit down at the dinner table to eat, and hearing the famous words, “Go wash your hands!” This would usually be followed by our protest, “But Mom!!” which would be immediately shut down.

Back then, it was hard to see if, but Mom was right. Hand washing is one of the biggest ways to prevent the spread of germs and diseases. As children we encountered so many opportunities to catch the common cold, the flu, stomach bugs, and so much more. As adults, we are still at risk. and ignorance is no longer bliss. We know from our experiences what failure to wash our hands can bring. Why risk it?

Lesson Two: Go to bed!

How horrible was that first night of Spring daylight savings? Do you remember that time you heard other kids playing outside in the sunlight as your mom told you it was bedtime? Bedtime used to seem like a punishment, but as we get older, we find so much more value in rest, and miss the much dreaded naptime. Studies have shown that sleep reduces stress, repairs your body, helps regulate a healthy weight, keeps your heart healthy, stabilizes your mood, reduces the risk of diabetes, and reduces stress. Once again, mom wins.

Lesson Three: Eat your veggies!

Sitting there at the table with a plate of veggies staring back at you is pretty intimidating for a kid, but now that we are adults we know that Mom’s quest to eat veggies was not that of a mean tyrant. Once again, Mom was looking out for us. According to choosemyplate.gov, not only does eating veggies reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease, veggies bringing our bodies those key nutrients it craves. Potassium, dietary fiber, folic acid, vitamin A and C, are only a few of those ingredients to good health.

We’ve always known that Mom was wise, but understanding just how wise, brings us an even deeper appreciation for her this past Mother’s Day!

Fire- urgent care

Fires Consume Our Health – Fires In Guthrie

First Med Urgent Care: Fires in Guthrie

Watching the news about the fires in Guthrie, Oklahoma, is heart-breaking. While some people have lost more than others, everyone is affected in some way. Along with the damage to homes, various structures, and around 3500 acres, people in the area have been exposed to high levels of smoke. This alone raises a number of health concerns.

First of all, anytime a person breathes a foreign substance into his or her lungs, oxygenating the body sufficiently becomes difficult. As cars run on gas, we as humans, are fuelled by oxygen. Fires consume our readily available oxygen meaning that with it goes our bodies ability to metabolize food, eliminate hazardous toxins, and regenerate cells. The loss of oxygen means our brains lose the ability to process information, and our organs no longer function properly. Our bodies can go weeks without food or water, but we can only survive minutes without oxygen. Eating, thinking, walking, sleeping, and talking, are all functions that without oxygen we would no longer be able to do. While the majority of the Guthrie community are not exposed to a lethal amounts of oxygen deficiency, other health issue can still occur.

Another residual health concern is the inhalation of fine particles and gas that come from the burned mater. The particles become part of our air getting into our eyes and our respiratory system. This can cause allergy like symptoms such as runny nose, itching/burning eyes, coughing and wheezing. These symptoms can then turn into more serious illnesses such as bronchitis, heart problems, lung diseases, and in extreme cases premature death. Healthy individuals are not at as high of a risk of developing the more serious long-term complications. Those who already suffer from COPD and asthma, along with the elderly and young children, need to stay in tune with their bodies should intervention become necessary. We strongly suggest that these individuals have their rescue inhalers around in instances where breathing becomes difficult. For anyone experiencing difficulty breathing, you may benefit from a breathing treatment, which we administer at any of our First Med locations.

Our hearts go out to those who have lost their land, homes, and especially the family who lost their loved one. To prevent any further harm, please make sure you are taking every effort to stay well until the smoke clears. Use common sense, and if you or anyone you know experiences shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, periods of passing out, and feelings of extreme fatigued, seek medical attention immediately.

urgent care- spring

Spring is in full swing in OKC

First Med Urgent Care: Spring has come!

It always seems to take forever to make it through the last few weeks of winter. Now that the weather has warmed up we can expect changes, some good and some not so good.

1. Allergies – We are treating several new patients weekly who are suffering from seasonal allergies. If that sounds like you be sure to stop by one of our 5 location to get some relief.

2. Warmer Temperatures – It’s still quite brisk in the mornings and evenings, but throughout the day it gets quite beautiful. Be sure to open your windows and let the fresh air in. This is a great way to save on energy bills and to blow out stagnant air that has been sitting all winter long.

3. Severe Storms – With the weather warming we know all to well in Oklahoma that it will soon bring heavy thunder storms and tornados. Be sure to have an emergency plan with you family. It would be a good idea to have a severe storm drill to make sure everyone in your household is ready.

4. Working Outdoors – With the warmer weather and rain brings the need to mow the lawn and tend to the garden. If you are planning on getting out soon be sure to use the appropriate safety gear for the task at hand. (Gloves, Safety Glasses, etc)

Here at First Med Urgent Care we wish you a happy and safe spring. For more helpful information on this season download our free eBook – Click Here!

ice-and-snow-melt- urgent care

Closing Early Due to weather

First Med Urgent Care: Closing early

Sunday, March 2nd: All Clinic locations are closing at 3:15 p.m. today, Sunday March 2nd, due to weather.We will reopen Monday, March 3rd, at 9:30 a.m. We hope you and your family stay safe and warm.

Flu shot image- urgent care

Flu Death Count in Oklahoma is up to 25

First Med Urgent Care: Flu update

The state Health Department has confirmed that 25 Oklahoman’s have died due to the flu, including two children. Since the end of September 819 people have been hospitalized. Health officials state that there is still time to get a flu shot. Protect yourself and your family aas soon as possible. For more information, see the attached Oklahoman article

Todd- urgent care ceo

Meet Our CEO

First Med Urgent Care: Our CEO

First Med CEO, Todd Lechtenberger, has an interesting background. Read the Oklahoman’s Q&A article on Todd to learn more about the man leading our team.

Flu picture- urgent care

Flu Deaths in Oklahoma

First Med Urgent Care: Deaths in OK

According to a report on Oklahoma City’s News Channel 9, there have five flu related deaths in Oklahoma, in the last week.

Protect yourself and your family; it is not too late to get a flu shot.
http://www.news9.com/story/24407239/five-flu-related-deaths-in-oklahoma-in-the-last-week