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SKIN ALLERGY

Overview

Irritated skin can be caused by various reasons. When an immune system response is triggered by an allergen then it is skin allergy. The immune system response causes the symptoms to occur such as rashes, red skin, bumpy and itching skin and also skin irritation.

Skin allergy can be caused by multiple factors or potential allergens. Some of the most common allergens are:

Rubber or latex

Rubber or latex are most commonly used to make items such as balloons, condoms, gloves, paint and many more.

Nickel

Nickel is a silvery metal that is stated to resist corrosion even at high temperatures .Nickel is used widely in various industries. One of the common product which contains Nickel is jewelry and accessories such as earrings, belt buckles, eyeglasses frames and keys

Fragrance 

Fragrance is used in most of the products to enhance the user experience. Fragrance’s vital role is to produce a pleasant scent and helps to mask other ingredients in a product. It contains in everyday use products such as skin care, cosmetics and even house old products. 

Types of Skin Conditions

Atopic dermatitis 

Atopic dermatitis (Eczema) is one of the most common skin conditions. It is an inflammatory skin disease especially in children where it affects 15 – 20% of children and 103 % of adults worldwide.

Eczema is also commonly related with asthma, allergic rhinitis or food allergy.

Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis ( Eczema)

Eczema can appear anywhere on your skin. The most common area would be on your hands, neck, ankles, knees, feet and around your eyes. Below are the symptom of Eczema:

  • Red rashes
  • Bumps on skin
  • Swelling
  • Itchy skin
  • Dry or cracked skin

Treatment for Atopic Dermatitis ( Eczema)

  • Seek immediate medical attention as Eczema is an uncomfortable skin condition that could affect your daily activities.
  • Use skin products that contain ceramide. These moisturizers replace some of the barriers missing from your skin.
  • Use products that are free from fragrances, alcohol and dyes. 
  • Air drying or gently patting the skin dry with a towel, rather than rubbing the skin dry after bathing or taking a shower
  • Apply cortisone creams and ointments.These are anti-inflammatory medications and can be applied directly on skin.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis is a hypersensitivity skin reaction that is caused by exposure to chemical allergens. It can be also defined as an itchy rash caused by products that have substances that could trigger reactions. 

Have you ever experienced itchiness and skin irritations after using perfumes , soap or jewellery? Those are the reactions or some symptoms of contact dermatitis.

Symptoms of Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Symptoms of contact dermatitis range mild to severe and may include:

  • Redness on skin
  • Hyperpigmented skin
  • Swelling
  • Extreme itching
  • Fissuring
  • Small blisters

Treatment for Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Avoidance is the mainstay of treatment for Allergic Contact Dermatitis

  • Your doctor can perform allergy testing called a patch test and develop a personalised management plan for you.
  • You may also apply hydrocortisone creams. It can be used if your rash is mild or covers a small area.

Hives

Hives are also called urticaria, this is a condition where red bumps or welts appear on the body. Hives can show up anywhere on the body and can look like blotches or large connected bumps. It can be caused by several physical factors, such as cold, sudden increase of body temperature, also can be a reaction from contact dermatitis. Hives normally last for a few hours or several days. If it stays more that 6 weeks then is is Acute hives

Symptoms of Hives

  • Red bumps on the skin.
  • Raised welts 
  • Itching skin
  • Blanching

Treatment for Hives

In  most cases hives are harmless and disappear in a short time. As precaution your doctor might recommend medications and at-home care to help you feel better. Treatments includes:

  • Allergy medications such as antihistamines to relieve itching and prevent allergic reactions. 
  • At home treatments can be cool bath
  • Cold compress

For acute hives: Epinephrine or oral steroids such as prednisone

Most of us experience skin allergies at some point of our lives. It can cause you to feel uncomfortable and feel embarrassed. Skin allergy not only affects physical but also mentally as it may cause stress, mood swings and low self confidence which could be a barrier for your daily activities.

Identifying the symptoms are the most important. If you have any symptoms related to skin allergy immediately seek medical assistance.Your healthcare provider will help you to live your life to the fullest.

If you are suffering from skin allergies and looking for a trusted healthcare provider, WhatsDoc is here to help. Consult with our doctors to help you with your skin issues.

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References

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/atopic-dermatitis-eczema/symptoms-causes/syc-20353273

https://www.aafa.org/skin-allergies/

https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-treatments/allergies/skin-allergy

https://www.omicsonline.org/allergy/skin-allergies-review-articles.ph

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/skin-aller

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13543784.2022.2042513?journalCo

https://nortonchildrens.com/health-library/article/?url=/en/parents/hives.html

https://www.verywellhealth.com/allergic-contact-dermatitis-1069247

  • skin allergy.
  •  Rashes  
  • Eczema 
  • Asthma,
  •  food allergy.  
  • Swelling 
  • Ceramide
  • hydrocortisone creams
  • Hive
  • Cold skin allergy 
  • Health care
  • hyperpigmentation

What To Know About Sore Throat

Sore throat is a common and familiar condition for everyone. When your throat is irritated, inflamed, scratchy, painful, or very dry, it’s called sore throat.These are common but do you know they are two different types of sore throat? Viral infection (Pharyngitis) and Bacterial Infection ( Strep Throat).

Viral Infection (Pharyngitis)

Most often, sore throats happen as a result of a viral infection, such as the flu or the common cold. Sore throats also occur with hand, foot, and mouth disease caused by the Coxsackie virus. Viral infection symptoms mostly will go away within several days but it also depends on the virus. Some virus symptoms can last up to 10 days.

Normally normal cold symptoms are accompanied by other symptoms as well. These symptoms include a runny nose, watery eyes, mild body aches, cough and sneezing.

How can a sore throat caused by a cold be treated?

Treatment of sore throats also depends on the cause or virus. But there are ways that one can try to relieve the discomfort.

For home care , below are general tips that can help.

  • Drink warm fluids, such as hot tea with lemon or broth.
  • Increase the total amount of fluids you drink. This keeps you hydrated and prevents your throat from getting dry.
  • Gargle with warm salt water. It helps to soothe throat irritation and reduce swelling.
  • Rest your voice
  • Suck on lozenges

For those who prefer medication can try there are also a few options available.

  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve pain and reduce fever.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Aspirin

Bacterial Infection (Strep Throat)

Bacterial Infection is also known as strep throat. It is caused by the streptococcus bacteria which are spherical-shaped bacteria that produce lysis of red blood cells producing clear or transparent areas in special growth media. 

Contrast to Viral infection, Strep throat is contagious. It can spread through air. This Group A strep bacteria can  spread from an infected person when they talk, cough, or sneeze. Untreated bacterial infections lead to more serious infections like cellulitis, abscess, or bacteremia. This also makes the treatment to be dependent on antibiotics.

Strep infection might also lead to inflammatory issues.

The common symptom of strep throat include:

  • Red and swollen tonsils
  • Painful swallowing
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Nausea or vomiting especially in younger children
  • Strep infection might also lead to inflammatory issues.Example , inflammation of kidney and  rheumatic fever

How can Bacterial Infection (Strep Throat) be treated?

Your healthcare provider would suggest antibiotics.Common antibiotics that are used to treat strep throat are Penicillin and amoxicillin. These antibiotics are normally taken as pills or given a shot.For children it is often given in a liquid for or a shot.

What are the other causes of sore throat?

Other than the common two reasons, Viral infection and Bacterial infection these are some other factors that can cause sore throat.

Acid reflux

A condition where one feels burning and pain in their throat. It is often caused by foods that are acidic and high in fat. When acid reflux happens one may feel uncomfortable as they feel as though there is a lump in their throat.

Allergies

Allergies to pets, dust , flowers and cause sore throat. These allergies could cause post nasal drip and throat irritation.

Smoking

The smoke can irritate the tissues in the throat. Smoking in the long run also weakens your immune system which causes you to catch cold or get infected faster compared to non-smokers.

Even though everyone is familiar with sore throat, it is important to look for major symptoms when you have throat discomfort. Especially for children, untreated sore throat can lead to severe illness. Should you be looking for more information on sore throat or respiratory related issues, you may consult WhatsDoc clinicians for detailed and better understanding. Consult our clinician to get your answers and get treated.

Reference

https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/conditions/strep-throat

https://www.concordia.ca/cunews/offices/provost/health/topics/sore-throat.html

https://www.statpearls.com/ArticleLibrary/viewarticle/27105

https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/sore-throat.html

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/infectious-diseases/expert-answers/infectious-disease/faq-20058098

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/198488

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/311473#treatment

  • Sore throat
  • Viral infection
  • Bacterial infection
  • Flu
  • Common cold
  • Virus
  • Running nose
  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Hand, foot and mouth diseases
  • Contagious
  • Rash 
  • Healthcare
  • Antibiotics
  • Smoking
  • Allergies

Eustress

Stress is normally associated with a negative impact. But are all stresses the same? Some stress can be more detrimental to your well-being and some can be healthy. One of the healthy stresses is Eustress which is also known as Good Stress.

Eustress is a good or positive form of stress that you experience when facing fun and good challenges. Eustress can help you stay motivated and make you feel proud and good about our life.

Eustress produces positive feelings such as excitement, satisfaction, and fulfillment. It is good because it makes you feel confident, adequate, and stimulated by the challenge we experience from the stressor. 

Eustress vs Distress

Eustress is the feeling of excitement or upcoming challenge and it contains mixed feelings such as pride, resilience, and eagerness 

In comparison, Distress is typically accompanied by feelings of overwhelm and anxiety, which are perceived as negative and unwanted.

Examples of Eustress.

Eustress is associated with positive outcomes. To understand this type of good stress, it is helpful to consider a few different examples of when it may occur. People can experience eustress when they feel confident in their ability to solve a problem or cope with a situation. In comparison, distress occurs when people could not manage or face any challenges due to fear or anxiety. 

Some examples of a situation that could trigger Eustress:

Starting a new job

A new job can be stressful as you are excited to learn new things and meet new people. However, this type of stress has characteristics that can turn it into a positive outcome.

Physical exercise goal

If you can get into the mindset that your workout is a challenge rather than a threat, you will experience the positive benefits of eustress. Setting a workout goal and working towards it can be one example.

Traveling

Yes, traveling can be stressful especially when you are in a completely new environment,  a place where a different language is spoken and cultural customs are far from your everyday norm. However, after all the effort that you put in through the whole journey it builds your confidence, and sense of achievement and yes it is worth the work.

Getting to know someone

Making a new friend, romantic interest, colleague, or new office builds good stress. The rush of excitement that you go through helps you to learn more and grow as an individual as you are looking forward to what the other person has to offer.

Eustress is considered good stress because it helps in boosting memory. Other than that, it also boosts happy hormones in the body like endorphins, dopamine, and others.  In the longer term, eustress helps us keep working at things especially when the going gets tough.

Managing Your Stress

Stress is simply the byproduct of trying to control something that we have no control over. With this in mind, the goal isn’t to eliminate stress but to manage it. 

Eustress tends to be easier to manage. Because we feel capable of coping with it. It’s important to manage Eustress and not try to eliminate it, or it could very well transform into distress.

Distress can lead to health risks if it is not managed. This type of stress can be managed when one accepts the emotional experience, and add mind-calming activities to their daily routine eg. yoga and meditation. If you find that you are unable to manage it by yourself you should seek support. Get help from your family or healthcare providers and change your life for the better.

In short, stress can be good! Eustress helps us achieve things of meaning and value to us, leading us to feel better about ourselves – and grow in confidence and stature.

Should you be looking for more information on stress-related issues, you may consult WhatsDoc psychologist at https://www.whatsdoc.com/clinic-clinician-directory   for a detailed and better understanding. 

Download our app and get started!

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  1. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-eustress-3145109 
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/eustress-vs-distress 
  3. https://positivepsychology.com/what-is-eustress/ 
  4. https://www.berkeleywellbeing.com/eustress.html 
  5. https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-021-10560-y 
  6. https://study.com/learn/lesson/what-is-psychological-distress.html 
  7. https://www.healtheuniversity.ca/EN/CardiacCollege/Wellbeing/Stress_And_Sense_Of_Control/Pages/psychological-distress.aspx 
  8. https://www.betterhelp.co

Monkeypox

Overview

Monkeypox is a rare illness that causes chills, rash, and fever. This illness is caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same group of viruses as smallpox.  Monkeypox is a common disease in African countries. In  July 2022, the World Health Organization declared Monkeypox a global health emergency . Monkeypox may spread from one person to another through very close contact or by touching body fluids of a person with monkeypox. 

Symptoms of monkeypox

The sign of monkeypox virus is how the rash looks. However, it may be several days or a few weeks before you develop symptoms. 

Monkeypox symptoms may start 5 to 21 days after you’re exposed. The time between when you’re exposed and when you have symptoms is called the incubation period.

Here are common monkeypox symptoms:

  • fever
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • Cough

What are the stages of Rash?

  1. Macules

Macules is a discolored are or flat area of the skin with pink spot

  1. Papules

Papules is when flat with pink spot area change to a small bump

  1. Vesicles

This is the next stage when the bump is filled with fluid that creates a bubble-like sac. It is also known as blister and this is a similar rash caused by allergy, bacterial infections or chicken pox.

  1. Pustules

This stage is when a clear fluid bump changes to enlarged us bump white white or yellow pus filled. This can last for about a week or more.

  1. Scabs

The last stage of monkeypox is when the bump starts to crust and turn to scabs. This stage lasts for a week before it flakes off.

If you have a new rash or any of these symptoms, please seek help from your healthcare provider.

How is monkeypox diagnosed?

Because monkeypox is rare, a healthcare provider may first suspect other rash illnesses, such as chickenpox or measles Swollen lymph nodes often distinguish monkeypox from other types of rash or poxes.

To diagnose monkeypox, your healthcare provider takes a swab of the open sore. The swab is then sent to a lab to test  polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing (genetic fingerprinting).

Can monkeypox be treated?

Monkeypox vaccines are available. Eligible patients are recommended to get vaccinated. After vaccination, patients are urged to take care of themselves to avoid catching and spreading monkeypox. The full recovery period could take up to a few weeks as it takes time to develop immunity after vaccination. Other than that,  vaccination against smallpox has been proven to be 85% effective in preventing monkeypox but is no longer routinely available following global smallpox eradication. Post vaccination may help prevent the disease or reduce its severity. Prior smallpox vaccination will likely result in a milder disease course. 

Precautionary measures

  • Monitor your health and maintain a good personal hygiene
  • Avoid contact with persons who are unwell 
  • Avoid high-risk sexual activity, such as having multiple sex partners or casual sex
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer 
  • Avoid sharing eating utensils, clothing, bedding, towels, or personal grooming devices.
  • Seek medical attention immediately if you develop symptoms such as sudden high fever, swollen lymph nodes or rash

In summary, If you think you might have symptoms of monkeypox please seek support from your healthcare provider. Wear a mask when you are at a public area  and do maintain distance from others.If you have questions about monkeypox chat with Whatsdoc clinicians and get your medical support.

Veterinary: A New Frontier To Help Care Your Pets

The digital future of healthcare services is upon us as telemedicine is emerging to be more accessible and prevalent than ever. As the demand for telemedicine grows, so as well for veterinarian services in the same circle.

It is reported that the growth of the pet-care market in Asia is estimated to be a value of US$1.5 billion in 2020. This upsurge growth evaluates the potential success of the veterinary industry to continually progress within the upcoming years.

With the involvement of telemedicine and veterinarian solutions, this will create a better connection between pet owners and doctors for consultation and medical advice through virtual means.

As telemedicine is known to be a rising trend, especially since the recent pandemic, telemedicine offers several benefits as to why it is a useful medium to assess the health and vitality of your pets.

But before we continue in helping you understand the advantages of telemedicine and how it may help your fur-friend.

It is best to remember that telemedicine should not be subjected as a replacement for veterinary medicine. Still, it should be harnessed as a convenient approach to augment the care needed for your pets.  

 

Advantages of Telemedicine For Your Pets

news and blogs

Easier access

Are you tired of searching a multitude of results regarding your pet’s conditions from the Internet? It can be tiresome as you would need to know which information is trustworthy and has a reliable source.

With telemedicine, you can easily find resourceful information to care for your pets in a matter of seconds. With modern technology, you can retrieve information by scrolling on to the website or by using telehealth apps such as WhatsDoc — to obtain the best care for your pets.

 All you really need is your own personal devices.

Post-consultation services

Post-consultation care is absolutely crucial when your pets underwent surgery and other risky treatments. Rather than visiting a clinic or going for a check-up, your pets can be monitored and assessed at the comfort of your own home.

With the power of telecommunication, you can receive updates of your pet’s condition from a doctor by sending images or arranging a quick video call. This way, the veterinarian can keep track of specific injuries such as incision healing, abnormalities, and even observe the animal’s behaviour. Your pet won’t feel anxious or restless, and the doctor can produce the best possible results.

More convenient approach

With telemedicine becoming more popular and accessible, pet owners have more freedom and options in handling their anxious pets or older pets within a safe environment.

As movement from one place to another may seem difficult for pets, tele-veterinary offer pet owners a more convenient way to obtain medical advice, quick check-up analysis, and more without the need to spend extra cost for a consultation appointment.

By simply using a smartphone, you can generate and obtain the necessary requirements based on your pet’s suitability and favourability. You will only be required to take your pets to the vet clinic when it is absolutely essential.

Looking forward

Looking forward to your pet

Telemedicine is never going to replace the active approach of a veterinarian service but presents as an added-value service for the pet’s in-person exam. After all, owning a pet is undoubtedly one of the greatest pleasures in life as it provides true friendship and giggles galore.

But the benefits do not end there; utilising telemedicine in veterinary services may offer a stress-free solution for animal care.

If you want to know more about how telemedicine can resolve your fur-friend’s health issues, feel free to contact us. WhatsDoc has a team of veterinary specialists available 24/7.

References:

1. Telemedicine can help pet

2. Tech Focus veterinary medicine meets telemedicine

Electric or Manual Toothbrush?

For the common oral care routine, toothbrushes are a basic necessity that assists us in maintaining our oral health. However, with so many styles and brands out there, choosing the right toothbrush besides one that gives a clean, fresh mouth can be a headache.

Traditional manual toothbrushes have been used for centuries and now, there is the existence of electric toothbrushes which claim to further improve oral hygiene.

So how is an electric/ power toothbrush better?

Scientists have found that people who use an electric toothbrush have healthier gums, less tooth decay and also keep their teeth for longer, compared with those who use a manual toothbrush. Further findings from the Journal of Clinical Periodontology found that electric toothbrushes resulted in 22% less gum recession and 18% less tooth decay over an 11-year period.

The Differences between Electric vs. Manual (sub-title)

For manual toothbrushes, you might be doing all the work, but electric toothbrushes do the cleaning for you. For that reason, many people find using power toothbrushes easier than using regular manual ones.

With that said, let us weigh out the pros and cons for the different toothbrushes to assist in your decision-making.

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Pros of the Electric Toothbrush

The world of electric toothbrushes can be complicated but they have been popular over recent years. The simplest reason is that electric toothbrushes (or “power” toothbrushes) provide superior plaque (a sticky film containing bacteria) removal and more effectively prevent gingivitis (gum inflammation) compared to regular manual toothbrushes. This helps keep tooth decay and gum disease at bay.

a) Less work and easy to use: For people with limited manual dexterity, that can be from age (young or old), disease or disability, electric toothbrushes may be easier to use than a manual toothbrush.

b) Fun for children: Electric toothbrushes can add some fun to some may consider a boring and irritable activity. Some options have a fun song or blinking lights for the timer that make it easier to get kids to brush their teeth.

c) Interesting technological features: The convenient features that some electric toothbrushes offer may enable you to improve your brushing habits. Some of these features can include:

· Oscillating/rotating technology;

· Timers to help you complete the two-minute recommended and optimum brushing duration;

· Pressure sensors to signal when and if you’re brushing too hard;

· Numerous brushing modes specialized for sensitive teeth, whitening benefits or gum-massaging action;

· Digital reminders to replace your brush head; etc.

d) More thorough tooth cleaning: The bristles on electric toothbrushes can sometimes be thinner and pointier, they can provide targeted cleaning that can aid someone with braces or dental restorations.

Cons of the Electric Toothbrush

With the common benefits, there might also be a few drawbacks for electric toothbrushes.

a) Higher in Cost: Electric toothbrushes may be consider a lavish expenditure and is still a larger investment than the manual version. Adding to that, it can be difficult to find replacement heads for the electric toothbrushes.

b) Requires charging: Most models require charging if the electric toothbrush isn’t battery-operated. However, you have to be cautious to not overcharge it. At the same time, to remember to put the toothbrush to charge can also be a difficult habit.

c) Higher Risk of Damage: The fragility of an electric toothbrush is as good as if it is not dropped on a hard surface as that can cause significant damage to the toothbrush or otherwise damage the battery. You would be spending more on replacements if that happens.

d) Bulky in size and not travel-friendly: Some models of electric toothbrushes generally have bigger handles and that makes them very heavy and not ideal if you want to minimise your carry-on space. There is also the issue of packing along additional batteries and chargers for emergency.

malaysia dental council dentist online consult

Pros of the Manual Toothbrush

We are mostly equipped with a manual toothbrush most of the time, so here are some common pros that we can relate to.

a) Does not require charging or batteries: Unlike electric toothbrushes, manual brushes can be used immediately.

b) Easily Available and Affordable: It is conveniently available in any medical or sundry store. The excitement is you can choose the color, style, and type of bristles that work best for you.

c) Travel-Friendly/ easy to bring on-the-go: Its compact and slim design allows you to stuff it together with your toiletries.

d) Effective at removing plaque: Still able to thoroughly clean your teeth with proper technique.

Cons of Manual Toothbrushes

The cons of manual toothbrushes include the various features that can be found in electric toothbrushes and their cleaning ability in comparison to their electric counterpart. However, there are a few different reasons that sometimes a manual toothbrush may not be ideal for users.

a) Improper technique can lead to ineffective cleaning: While manual toothbrushes are still able to clean your teeth, however with the wrong technique, it may bring more harm than good. Some people tend to brush too hard with manual toothbrushes which can damage the teeth and gums. Some studies also show that they remove less plaque than electric toothbrushes.

b) Tooth-brushing time must be tracked: There is no built-in timer, and therefore the two-minute optimum brushing might or might not be achieved accordingly.

c) Problematic for people with limited mobility: As manual work is required to use the toothbrush, it might be difficult for those who have limited manual dexterity.

The Deciding Point: Which one should I be getting?

Finding the right toothbrush will help you further understand the benefits of maintaining your personal oral health. It is definitely possible to brush your teeth effectively with a manual toothbrush with the correct technique and you are not obligated to get an electric toothbrush to ensure great oral health.

However, it may help in certain situations and used as a great alternative especially if you have arthritis or other conditions that make it difficult to brush well.

Whether you choose to use an electric toothbrush or a manual toothbrush, it is more important to conduct daily brushing, flossing and practise good overall oral hygiene. 

For more dental advice and helpful tips about your oral health, you can schedule regular cleanings and dental checks with WhatsDoc on the app!

References:

1. Electric toothbrushes win the head to head against manual in record breading new study

2. Electric Vs Manual: toothbrushes whats the evidence

3. Electric toothbrush: Expert answers

4. Are electric toothbrushes better than manual? 

Teledentistry — Transforming oral health service

Teledentistry, aka virtual dental care is a forefront service introduced in this era of modern telecommunication technology and innovative healthcare.

“Every tooth in a man’s mouth is more important than a diamond,” and so virtual dental care plays a vital role in ensuring a healthy mouth and a bright smile.

Dental care: a closer look

Virtual Dental Care is an all-inclusive solution that aids patients’ oral health virtually before or after a consultation. In fact, this kind of telehealth is becoming more popular due to the rising demand for dental services in Singapore.

More and more Singaporeans are becoming aware of the importance of maintaining excellent oral health. With virtual dental care, this speeds up access to licensed dentists through virtual consultations.

How does it work?

How does Teledentistry work

During a virtual consultation, you can either video call or take a few photos of your mouth and include a brief explanation or concerns about your oral health.

For example, a patient can text or call a dentist to discuss an urgent matter. It can take place from virtually anywhere at any time. The dentist will then review and call you in for a physical consultation if needed. This not only helps patients avoid unnecessary dental visits but also save seats and time at dental practices.

Teledentistry also works well for those who have a fear of the dentist. If you’re scared, you’re not alone. With virtual dental service, you can speak to a dentist virtually that gives you a far more comfortable experience from the comforts of your home. So, when you finally decide to go in, you will know what you want and what to expect.

In a nutshell, virtual dental care opened a new realm of opportunities for patients in terms of diagnosis, treatment, transfer of dental information and education.

Meeting the demand

While the concept of virtual dental care is not a new one, it is unfolding to greater heights with new technologies. Here are some case examples that meet the demand for both patients and dentists.

In this approach, you’ll get to understand the value of teledentistry.

Patients

Doctor show prescription to patient

As previously mentioned before, patients can immediately remotely connect with a dentist in times of emergency. This not only allows the dentist to assess the problem quickly but also recommend medications for the problem. As a result, it can save you time and a stressful trip to a dental clinic.

Not to mention, some dentists are available for emergencies 24/7, which is hugely beneficial for patients. But it doesn’t stop there; teledentistry is a huge convenience for patients in less-populated locations where they have a hard time accessing oral health services. It can potentially make dental more cost-effective for the patients.

With virtual dental care, it is a chance to educate patients on excellent oral hygiene practices and oral diseases. After all, a healthy mouth is a healthy you.

It’s also a great chance to teach your children how to brush and floss properly as well as understand your child’s teeth growth patterns.

Dentists

For dentists, your consultations are virtual, and this leads to treating more patients per day. As patients don’t need to come into the clinic unless, for emergency reasons, there will be reduced chair times.

Even after an operation, check-ups won’t be necessary as you can simply connect with them remotely via a quick video call.

For more complicated issues, you can get a second opinion from a specialist or an expert at the touch of a button. You or the patient don’t have to wait for long as the entire process is seamless and efficient.

With teledentistry, the patient will receive better and more rounded care as dentists can connect with other healthcare professionals instantly.

It’s also important to note that teledentistry is not a substitute for physical dental examinations. Instead, it enhances the dentist’s consultation with in-depth care.

Moreover, teledentistry brings dental care to under-resourced communities, focusing on places where populations receive fewer health services. It allows dentist providers to reach that population and expose them to dental care and oral hygiene. This also allows your practice to engage in social responsibility and community care.

Teledentistry: Making lives easier

women showing teeth

All in all, teledentistry not only increases dental care access to patients but also provide better dental education. If implemented correctly, this can be a complete game-changer in the dental industry.

With its many advantages, for dentists and patients alike, this can change the way they look at dental health care. Teledentistry has the potential to increase general access and care regularity, reduce health disparities, and really create more reliable connections between patients and their dentists.

If you’re looking for 24/7 dental care, WhatsDoc is the teledentistry platform you need. Incorporating a team of licensed dentists, WhatDoc can assist in diagnosing your virtual dental needs and arrange appointments immediately, when required.

References:

1. Oral health center neu dental services

2. Dentophobia fear of dentists

3. Teledentistry what is virtual dental care? 

4. How COVID-19 revealed the value of teledentistry?

10 Things about Diabetes and Kidney Disease

In Singapore, diabetic kidney disease, also known as diabetic nephropathy, remains the number one cause of kidney failure. A significant number of these patients could have had their kidney failure prevented or delayed had there been a good control of sugars.

Kidney function and health is directly linked to blood sugars. In many cultures such as Malay and Tamil, the respective terms for diabetes namely “kencing manis” and “inippu neer” mean sugar in the urine or “sweet urine”.

Because there is a suboptimal understanding and awareness of kidney disease, I will structure this article as “Ten things that I want everyone to know”.

  • Kidney damage, in most cases, is a painless process. Many patients who find out that they suffer from kidney disease are shocked to find out. “But doctor, I have no pain” is the common response. The mechanism by which the kidney is damaged in diabetes does not elicit an inflammatory response which causes pain. Moreover, the kidney organ, save for select areas is poor in nerve fibers that carry pain. So, unless the capsule is involved or there is an increase in pressure in the kidneys, there is no pain.
  • The commonest symptom of kidney damage is “no symptoms”. Most patients with kidney disease, till the very advanced stages, do not have any symptoms at all. Please do not wait for symptoms to be tested for kidney disease.
  • Kidney disease is preventable in most cases. It is not inevitable that patients with diabetes will end up with kidney failure. This is a popular misconception. There are many things you can do along with your doctor’s inputs to help prevent or delay the onset of kidney failure.
  • All diabetic patients and those with other risk factors for kidney disease need to be tested for kidney damage. For the above listed reasons, it is recommended that all patients with diabetes need to get urine and blood tests to screen for kidney disease on a regular basis.
  • There is effective management of kidney disease in all stages, but there is no known cure to diabetic kidney disease. It is true that there is no way to reverse damage that has already occurred. But, at all stages of kidney disease, care can be optimized to improve outcomes for the patients.
  • Kidney function decline is a lag indicator and there are specific tests that detect kidney damage even before decline in kidney function. The detection of traces of a protein called albumin precede kidney function decline. It is possible to detect kidney damage earlier in order to intervene more effectively and protect your kidneys.
  • There are specific diabetes medications that may be helpful to protect your kidney. Do talk to your doctor if those are appropriate for you. So, not all diabetes medications are created equal. Some diabetes medications protect kidneys by mechanisms that are independent of their sugar lowering effects.
  • There are specific medications in the class of “Blood pressure medications” that can help protect your kidneys. Not all blood pressure medications are created equal. There are BP lowering medications that can help protect your kidneys independent of their BP lowering effects.
  • It is never too late to make positive changes towards improving your kidney health and/or your overall health. Even in someone with late stage kidney diseases, there are steps that can be taken to improve the wellness and sense of well-being for the patients.
  • Just because a medication is “Over the Counter” or of herbal origin, that does not necessarily make it safe for your kidney. Please do not self-medicate. Educate yourself. Talk to your doctor about both prescribed and over the counter medications you consume. Also about any alternative systems of medicine you subject yourself to such as TCM, Jamu or Ayurveda treatments.

Most of all, look after your kidneys. They need to last you for your lifetime. A kidney specialist like myself can be a valuable ally and a guide to walk the journey of kidney health and kidney disease by your side.

With WhatsDoc services, you can have all your queries about Diabetes and Kidney Disease answered with our expert panel doctors. Feel free to contact us. We offer round-the-clock telemedicine attention at your fingertips.

Written by: Dr Srinivas Subramanian, renal medicine and internal medicine specialist practising in Parkway East Hospital, Singapore.

Guide to Contact Lenses

There can be many areas of motivation when you are deciding to switch from spectacles to contact lenses:

  • Cosmetic appeal
  • No adjustment issues unlike spectacles (fogging up of lenses, constant slipping, weight issues)
  • Contact lenses allow for a wider field of view
  • Contact lenses allows for natural viewing

Whilst contact lenses are a good alternative to glasses, it is ultimately a medical device on the eye and requires maintenance.

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Modality

Modality refers to the replacement schedule of the contact lenses. There are 3 types of modality:

  1. Dailies – To discard everyday
  2. Bi-weekly – To discard every 2 weeks
  3. Monthly – To discard every month

Daily contact lenses are the healthiest option where you get a fresh new pair of lenses everyday, however it is more price costly compared to the other two.

Bi-weekly and monthly lenses require additional contact lens solution to clean for the lenses, but are more cost savvy compared to dailies.

Material

There are basically two types of material : Hydrogel & Silicone Hydrogel.

The comfortable wearing hours for Hydrogel is maximum 8-10 hours while Silicone Hydrogel can be worn for a maximum of 12 hours as it allows for more oxygen permeability.

However, silicone hydrogel material is known to be slightly rigid compared to hydrogels.

methods of wearing contact lenses

General Dos & Donts

Dos

  • Always wash your hands before handling your contact lenses.
  • Always discard your lenses according to the replacement schedule of the lenses.
  • Contact lens casings have to be washed and air-dried daily, discard after 3 months maximum.
  • Keep your nails short to prevent tearing/scratching the lenses, to prevent hurting your eyes as well.
  • Rub your lenses (bi-weekly & monthly) before and after wearing your lenses.
  • For the ladies, always put on your contact lenses before doing your makeup and before removing your makeup to prevent contamination.

Don’ts

  • Do not sleep, swim & shower with your contact lenses.
  • Do not wash contact lenses with tap water.
  • Do not place your contact lens case & solution in the washroom.
  • Do not reuse solutions, change fresh solutions everyday.
  • Do not wear your contact lenses when you are sick (prevent spread of bacteria).
  • Cease lens wear immediately if you feel discomfort and pain upon lens wear.

For first time contact lens wearers, it is advisable to learn the proper way of insertion and removal of contact lenses through your optometrist. Unsure? Speak to EyeSight on WhatsDoc now!

References:

1. Guide to contact lenses 

Food for Meow?

It may not cross the minds of pet lovers, but cats have a particular diet and are also often termed as fussy eaters. However, all cats eat meat by necessity and therefore are categorised as ‘obligate carnivores’, which means they must have meat in their diet or they will not be able to survive.

Cats need lots of animal-based protein

Cats require a higher protein diet compared to other mammals in order to meet their blood glucose requirements to sustain themselves. This ancestral diet are just based on their anatomy similar to tigers and other wild cats. Similarly, this is also because of their shorter digestive tracts which cannot process the nutrients contained in plant matter.

Never try to implement a vegetarian diet for your cat because they will not be getting the correct nutrients and this will cause them to lose energy, and damage their muscles and organs.

Meat and fish are so necessary to the feline diet that a cat’s body will begin to break down without these proteins. A 2011 study showed that cats tend to self-select a diet that suits them. They were given access to foods of different protein, fat, and carbohydrate concentrations and they chose food that contained around 52% of calories from protein, 36% from fat, and 12% from carbohydrates.

Age definitely matters

In each different life stage, your cat will experience different activity levels and they will have different nutritional and dietary needs. For your feline’s various life stages, it is very important to choose the right cat food.

For example, kittens and young cats are generally far more active and burn calories rapidly. They will need additional amounts of protein to ensure proper, healthy development during their quick growing process.

Regardless of your cat’s life stage, it’s important to feed a high-quality, natural food with the proper balance of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins and minerals.

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Nutritional and dietary needs can change over time

Besides getting nutritional food depending on when and how your cat undergoes changes in life stage and lifestyle, it’s vital to consider and pay attention to other potential signs a change in diet is needed. Cats may acquire different ailments and sensitivities over time.

Some common signs that may occur include allergies, weakness or lethargy, dull and flaky coats, obesity and ‘senioritis’.

Cats tend to also become more vulnerable to age-related health conditions like arthritis and diabetes so it is just as important that they continue getting a lot of protein as they age.

Wet Food vs. Dry Food?

Wet food or dry food? So, they both have their own benefits and wet food usually comes with pre-measured portions that cats love. It also all boils down to quality ingredients.

However, depending on your cat’s condition, wet food might just be a better option. If your cat has other health problems, wet cat food may also be a good way to help your cat stay hydrated.

Another good thing is that wet food is highly digestible. It contains all the same essential nutrients as dry food, including vitamins and minerals like biotin, zinc and iron which supports good skin, healthy growth and immune system for your cat.

We would advise you to thoroughly clean your cat’s feeding bowl in between every wet food portion as it can harbour bacteria.

scottish half fold pure breed cute cat

Cats should cool it on the carbs

As mentioned, cats are obligate carnivores that naturally adapt to High Protein/Low Carbohydrate foods. Nonetheless, they are able to readily and efficiently use carbohydrates despite having different carbohydrate metabolisms.

While there is no minimum carbohydrate requirement in a healthy adult cat’s diet, there is a minimum glucose requirement that is necessary to supply energy for the body’s tissues and critical organs like the intestine and the brain. However, a simple carbohydrate like glucose, is metabolically essential. Research suggests that a better range of feeding your cat carbohydrates would probably be between 15% and 35%.

Carbohydrates are mainly found in dry food, which is more affordable and convenient. Having said that, too much carbohydrates consumed may result to your cat having significant health symptoms like bloating, flatulence, diarrhea and bacteria overgrowth that will lead to severe illness like diabetes and obesity.

When and how you feed your cat matters

We might want our feline friends to be well-fed and not be hungry most of the time, but it is not recommended to constantly keep the feeding bowl filled and allow them to graze. It is advised that cats should eat at least two meals each day, about 12 hours apart.

Taking the above factors into consideration like age and if there are other cats in the household, establishing a regular feeding routine and a measured portion for the day would be a better option.

While feeding your cats too little or with the incorrect kind of food, their health might not be maintained. But, feeding them too much and they will become fat and lead to other health issues.

Consult your vet for the recommended cat advice

The healthiest game plan for you to decide and understand your cat(s)’ needs is that your veterinarian remains the best source of nutritional and health guidance.

WhatsDoc has experienced and qualified veterinary professionals that could assist! Find out more information and advice for your pets, download WhatsDoc app now.

References:

1. Geometric analysis of macronutrient selection in the adult domestic cat, Felis catus

2. Feeding your cat well: An overview 

3. Association of American Feed Control Official 

4. Cat nutrition tips 

5. Cats Are Different: How a Cat’s Nutritional Needs are Different from a Dog’s