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WESTSIDE WALK-IN CLINIC

Cast, suture and staple checks


The amount of time you'll need to wear a cast depends on the type of injury you have and how serious it is.  We typically check your cast 1-3 days after it was placed to be sure that it isn't too tight and that your injury is starting to heal.

Most simple sutures are removed 7-10 days after placement, depending on location.  Sutures on the face are removed after about 5 days to decrease scarring.  Staples on the scalp are generally removed 10 days after placement.



Lacerations


​A laceration is a tear in the skin, commonly known as a "cut."  Lacerations usually result from an injury.  Many lacerations require urgent care, as they may necessitate some type of sutures and/or a tetanus shot.

Lacerations that are especially deep or painful, that result in excessive bleeding, or ones that reveal tendons or bones need to be treated by an urgent care specialist immediately.  In the meantime, keep firm pressure on the laceration.  Follow-up visits for wound checks and suture removal will be scheduled during the initial consultation.


Abscesses 


Abscesses are caused by obstruction of oil (sebaceous) glands or sweat glands, inflammation of hair follicles, or minor breaks and punctures of the skin.  Germs get under the skin or into these glands, which causes and inflammatory response as your body's defenses try to kill these germs.  Unlike other infections, antibiotics alone will not usually cure an abscess.  In general, an abscess must open and drain in order for it to improve.  Sometimes draining occurs on it's own, but generally it must be opened in a procedure called incision and drainage (I&D).


Skin and nail infections


Cellulitis is a common, potentially serious bacterial skin infection requiring antibiotics.  Cellulitis appears as a swollen, red area of skin that feels hot and tender, and it may spread rapidly.  

A paronychia is a common infection that occurs around the nail and can cause swelling and tenderness and is often relieved by drainage.

Burns


A burn is an injury to the skin caused by exposure to extreme heat, electricity, chemicals or radiation.  Most minor burns only affect the skin but sever burns require urgent care, as they can cause damage below the skin, all the way through to the fat, muscle or bone.  The symptoms of a burn are red, blistered skin, wet appearance, severe pain (or no pain at all) in the burnt area, and whitening of the area when touched.  You should be seen right away if your burn is the size of your palm or larger. 


Allergic reaction


These usually involve redness, a rash, hives and itching.  Avoid whatever medication/ food/ environmental pathogen that triggered it. Hydrocortisone OTC can be applied topically and Benadryl can be taken orally.  If your symptoms persist there are prescription options in addition to in-office treatments.  If you are having trouble breathing or feel that your throat is swelling, call 911.  That is an emergency.


UTI


Most urinary tract infections are bladder infections.  A bladder infection usually is not serious if treated right away.  If you do not take care of a bladder infection, it can spread to your kidneys.  Symptoms of a UTI include burning with urination and frequent urination.  Fevers, nausea and back pain can indicate that it is moving to the kidneys and will need urgent attention.  


Ear infection


An ear infection (acute otitis media) is most often a bacterial or viral infection that affects the middle ear, the air-filled space behind the eardrum that contains the tiny vibrating bones of the ear.  Ear infections frequently are painful because of inflammation and the buildup of fluids in the middle ear.  Often, ear infections are caused by sinus inflammation and infection. 


COUGH, COLD AND FLU


Symptoms of the common cold include nasal congestion, watery eyes, body aches, fevers and mucus drainage.  While most cold and flus are self limited and last 7-10 days, sometimes the viral infection can lead to bacterial infections in your lungs, sinuses or ears that require medical treatment such as antibiotics and prescription strength anti-inflammatories. 


Sore throat


Bacteria, viruses- and even allergies and stomach acid- can cause a sore throat. When a bacterial infection occurs it can be from strep, which can be serious if left untreated.  You can get a rapid strep test (that takes about 10 minutes) to find out if your sore throat is being caused by strep.  Many infections caused by bacteria other than strep can go away on their own.

Common conditions