Accessibility Tools

by Haley Womack, AuD   January 8, 2024

Tinnitus (pronounced tih-NITE- us or TIN-ih-tus) has been described as a ringing, buzzing, hissing, or humming noise when no other physical noise is present. It can be noticeable in one or both ears, and may be constant or intermittent sound.

There are several different reasons tinnitus can occur which includes:

  • hearing loss
  • ear infections or wax
  • head and neck injuries
  • certain medications
  • vascular conditions
  • stress and anxiety

In a large portion of the population, people who experience tinnitus can habituate to the sound. However, in a small portion of the population, tinnitus becomes so bothersome that it begins to affect people’s mental and emotional well-being. In cases where other health concerns have been ruled out, there are several different options for tinnitus management. These options include sound enrichment (sound machines, smartphone apps, TV, radio), hearing aids (if hearing loss is present), tinnitus maskers (device that look like a hearing aid but with no amplification), and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

by Joseph B. Schneider DO   November 7, 2023

When I was in residency in Detroit, Michigan, my friend and colleague wore shorts pretty much year-round.  He simply tolerated the cold better than most people.  Different people tolerate cold temperatures differently.  The same can be said about different skin types.  Some folks’ skin just does better in the winter than others.  For instance, those who have eczema tend to have a harder time in the winter.  The decreased humidity causes us to lose moisture, causing the skin to dry out even more.  Those with rosacea often have a more difficult time with their condition due to cold wind and the irritant effect of going from cold (outside) to warm (inside) repeatedly.  Psoriasis is improved by natural sunlight, so in those winter months when the sun barely gets above the horizon before disappearing again, those with psoriasis generally flare.  Even those of us without a medical skin condition who generally have very little problems with their skin will be affected to some degree by the changing seasons. 

Winter recommendations are very similar to the recommendations given to those with sensitive skin.

by Colleen Reisz, MD   August 7, 2023

How to prevent bug bites during the summer

Preventing bug bites during the summer is essential to avoid discomfort, itching, and the potential transmission of diseases carried by insects. Here are some effective strategies to keep those pesky bugs at bay:

  1. Use insect repellent: Apply an EPA-approved insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus (for ages 3 and above) on exposed skin and clothing. Follow the product instructions carefully, especially when using on children.
  2. Cover up: Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and closed-toe shoes when spending time outdoors. Tucking pants into socks can also help prevent ticks from crawling up your legs.
  3. Avoid peak mosquito activity: Mosquitoes are most active during dawn and dusk, so try to stay indoors during these times. If you must be outside, take extra precautions, such as using repellent and wearing protective clothing.
  4. Eliminate standing water: Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so regularly empty and clean items like birdbaths, flower pots, and gutters. This helps reduce mosquito populations around your home.

by Jill Spencer, MD   August 7, 2023

Whether you have atopic dermatitis (eczema) or just dry, sensitive skin, the way you treat your skin can have a major impact. Skincare can help protect the skin from dryness, cracking, flaking, and even rashes like eczema or infections. This is of utmost importance during the dry, cold season. Here are some tips to help best care for your skin:

  1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! The most important step for helping sensitive skin is maintaining the skin barrier. As a general rule, the greasier the moisturizer, the better. Ointments like petroleum jelly (Vaseline®) or Aquaphor® will provide the best protection for dry, cracked skin. The next best are those that come in a tub instead of a lotion with a pump. The most important time to apply emollients is within five minutes of bathing or showering, and if you can apply twice a day, even better!
  2. Avoid irritants. When the skin is compromised, chemicals like fragrances or preservatives are often quite irritating. Look for products that are fragrance free, hypoallergenic, or listed for sensitive skin. Avoid perfumes, scented detergents or dryer sheets,
  3. Avoid harsh cleansers. Use a mild, hydrating bar soap or cleanser. As above, it is best to avoid fragrances or dyes.

by Joseph B. Schneider DO   June 26, 2023

You may have heard about the new class of medication called the Jak-inhibitors, or simply Jak’s (pronounced Jack or Jax).

They are a fairly new class of medication that inhibits the Janus Kinase proteins. These proteins are involved in regulating the process in which cells grow, survive, develop and differentiate. When there is too much activation of these proteins inflammation can occur, causing a variety of skin diseases such as psoriasis, eczema, some forms of alopecia (hair loss), and vitiligo (loss of pigment in the skin). They can also be involved in rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. The first generation of this medication class were all injected into the body. There were some serious potential side effects such as heart attack and stroke. With the newer formulations, they are available now in a pill, or topical creams that are applied directly to the skin, with much less side effect potential.

A few I am particularly excited about:

  • Tofecitinib cream (Xeljanz) – approved for vitiligo, which currently has few good treatment options.
  • Ruxolitinib cream (Opzelura) – appears to be a very good non-steroid option for eczema.
  • Baricininib (Olumiant) – these pill have been approved for alopecia areata.
  • Abrocitinib (Cibinqo) – orally taken pills that have been approved for atopic dermatitis.
  • Deucravacitinib cream (Sotyktu) – this cream has been approved for psoriasis.

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