- By Laurel Kelly
Consumer Health: Enjoy the water — avoid swimmer’s ear
It's summertime, and the pools are busy. And more swimming may mean swimmer's ear, or otitis externa. Swimmer's ear is an infection in the outer ear canal, which runs from your eardrum to the outside of your head. Often, the cause is water that remains in your ear after swimming, creating a moist environment that aids bacterial growth. Learn about the symptoms of swimmer's ear and prevention measures that may keep your family healthy and swimming happily all summer.
Also in today's tips ...
Treating ear infections: Do alternative therapies work?
Perhaps you're seeking alternative treatments for your or your child's ear infection because you're concerned about using antibiotics or because your health care provider has recommended watchful waiting. You may turn to alternative treatments to ease discomfort. In most cases, however, researchers haven't studied alternative ear infection treatments adequately using widely accepted scientific methods. Here's what you need to know.
What are 'functional foods?'
"Functional foods" are foods that could positively affect health beyond basic nutrition. A familiar example of a functional food is oatmeal because it contains soluble fiber that can lower cholesterol levels. Proponents of functional foods say they promote optimal health and reduce the risk of disease. Learn more from Katherine Zeratsky, a Mayo Clinic registered dietitian nutritionist.
Do's and don'ts for healthy fingernails
Take a close look at your fingernails. Are they strong and healthy looking? Or do you see ridges, dents, or areas of unusual color or shape? Many less-than-desirable nail conditions can be avoided through proper fingernail care. Others might indicate an underlying condition that needs attention. Here's what you need to know.
Eczema: Bleach bath may improve symptoms
Eczema is an itchy skin condition, often worsened by a bacterial infection. An eczema bleach bath can kill bacteria on the skin, reducing itching, redness and scaling. This is most effective when combined with other eczema treatments, such as medication and moisturizer. Learn more from Dr. Lawrence Gibson, a Mayo Clinic dermatologist.