From Influenza Strains to a Universal Flu Vaccine

Flu Season At the time of this writing, the influenza season in Colorado is underway. Public Health experts reported a tough influenza season in Australia earlier this year, which may predict a similar upcoming pattern in the Northern Hemisphere. Every year, the World Health Organization tries to predict which influenza strains will predominate during the… Read more »

Biologic Drugs-What are they?

Have you heard the term “biologics” as they pertain to the management of allergies and asthma? What is a biologic? Are they just like any other medications? If your doctor prescribes a biologic medication and not a more typical drug, such as an antihistamine or nasal steroid, what is the difference? Biologics Overview Many people… Read more »

E-cigs: More Dangerous Than We Thought

What are they? E-cigs are also known as e-cigarettes, e-vaporizers, or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).  They have nicknames such as e-hookahs, hookah pens, vapes, vape pens, and mods.  The devices contain four common components:  a battery, a heating element, a mouthpiece, and a cartridge which contains a liquid solution.  The liquid solution or “e-juice”… Read more »

Climate Change and Your Allergies

Colorado-A Growing Community Many patients have commented that their allergies seem to have gotten worse in recent years.  Some of this change may be related to the population growth that we have experienced over the past 25 years along the Front Range in Colorado.  The growth brings more traffic and congestion, construction dust, and landscaping… Read more »

Vocal Cord Dysfunction – What is it?

Vocal Cord Dysfunction or VCD is a medical condition that can mimic asthma. In fact, many people are misdiagnosed with asthma, acid reflux, or psychological disorders before their diagnosis of VCD is made. VCD is an involuntary spasm of their vocal cords. The symptoms of VCD include coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing on inspiration (as… Read more »

I am so itchy!

Pruritis is the medical word for itching. Itching can be a very frustrating symptom. Many patients are not able to sleep soundly, or enjoy their day if they are itching. The diagnosis for itching is divided by whether or not a patient has a rash along with the itching. This article discusses itching WITHOUT a… Read more »

Biotin-The Hair & Nail Supplement

Biotin (Vitamin B7) is a vitamin found in multivitamins, prenatal vitamins, and products promoting healthy hair, nails, and skin.  Some medical professionals even prescribe the vitamin as adjunct therapy for nerve pain and multiple sclerosis.  The recommended daily allowance for Biotin is 30 micrograms (mcg) per day.  However, some products contain much higher doses from… Read more »

Chronic Hives

Hives (urticaria) are red or skin colored itchy bumps that can come and go. Hives usually last from 30 minutes to 24 hours. Sudden hives are generally associated with an allergic reaction or illness. When hives occur on most days of the week for 6 weeks or greater it is called chronic hives. Chronic hives… Read more »

Skin Reaction to Scratching – What is it?

Dermatographism, also known as dermatographia, literally translates from Greek meaning “writing on skin.”  Dermatographism, is a condition where the skin becomes red, raised, inflamed, and itchy after the skin is scratched, rubbed, or under pressure.  The condition is similar to hives and is benign. Approximately 2-5% of the population has this condition. Causes and Prevention The… Read more »

Penicillin Allergy Testing

How many friends or family members do you know who have a penicillin allergy? Are you aware of the risks of having a penicillin allergy? All patients who have a history of penicillin allergy require allergy testing to confirm their diagnosis so that they do not unnecessarily avoid penicillin antibiotics. Penicillin allergy downside If a… Read more »