• Mission Trip Vaccinations Guide

    You’ve taken a big step by deciding to go on a mission trip to another part of the world. Your purpose is probably to provide help to residents of a developing country and spread a spiritual message. What you don’t want is for communicable diseases to spread to you.

    To protect yourself, start looking into which mission trip vaccinations you’ll need several weeks before you leave. The exact ones you should get depend on where you’re going. Fortunately, your doctor can make knowledgeable recommendations based on where your mission trip is located and in what season you’re traveling.

    NOTE: Some vaccines require multiple shots a few weeks apart to maximize their effectiveness.  Begin the process as soon as possible to ensure they have plenty of time to start working. Most vaccines last for several years, so there’s no need to worry about them wearing off before your trip.

    Recommended Mission Trip Vaccines

    • Routine vaccinations: You probably already have all the routine vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such as polio, measles, tetanus and Double check your immunization records, and schedule a flu shot and tetanus booster if needed.
    • Hepatitis A: This vaccine is recommended no matter where you’re traveling. It protects you from months of sickness and nausea that could result from ingesting contaminated food and water on your mission trip.
    • Hepatitis B: Since this disease spreads through contact with infected blood, working at a medical clinic or performing manual labor on your mission trip could put you at risk. A vaccine provides the protection you need.
    • Typhoid: Plan to get this vaccination for travels anywhere outside the US, unless you’re headed to Australia. It prevents a potentially life-threatening fever that can occur if you eat contaminated food and water.
    • Yellow fever: If your mission trip is located in South America or Africa, plan to get a yellow fever vaccine to protect you from infected mosquitoes.
    • Malaria: This disease is a risk everywhere besides Australia and Europe. However, there is no vaccine for malaria. Instead, your doctor can prescribe medication, which you’ll need to take before, during and after your mission trip for optimal protection.
    • Meningitis: While this disease is found throughout the world, you probably only need a vaccination for meningitis if your mission trip takes place in sub-Saharan Africa, known as the “meningitis belt,” between December and June when the disease is most common.
    • Japanese encephalitis: Mission trips to Australia and Asia present an increased risk for this rare disease spread by mosquitoes. Your doctor may recommend a vaccine to ensure your protection.

    Check the CDC

    The CDC website has useful travel information for your mission trip. Check the Travelers’ Health page for the latest health notices and updates you should know to safeguard your health before your leave.

    Make sure you return home safely from your mission trip this summer – contact Perimeter Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia at 678-999-8263 to schedule your mission trip vaccinations.

  • STDs and Swimsuits

    The weather is warming up, and that means it’s time to lounge on the beach or by the pool! Before you do, you might want to snag a great deal on a new swimsuit that accentuates your body in all the right ways. This means trying on new swimwear to find the perfect look.

    Swimsuit shopping might have you wondering – “Can I get an STD from trying on swimsuits?” Not all sexually transmitted diseases can be spread to a new host this way – after all, the bacteria and viruses that cause many types of STDs don’t survive for long outside the human body and require direct contact to transfer from person to person.

    However, some STDs and STIs (sexually transmitted infections) are caused by protozoa, lice, bacteria and viruses that can survive on new swimsuits. This allows infections to transmit passively from one host to another.

    It’s a scary thought, but you can protect yourself by learning more about STDs and swimsuits.

    Examples of STIs Sometimes Found on Swimsuits

    The following STIs can spread passively by infecting swimsuit bottoms:

    • Trichomoniasis , or trich, is caused by the Trichomonas vaginalis protozoan parasite, which can live outside the body for several hours.
    • Pubic lice , or crabs, can spread if an infected person shares towels, bed sheets or swimsuits.
    • Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection that spreads through direct contact and indirect contact with clothing an infected person has worn.
    • Bacterial vaginosis , or BV, is an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the vagina. BV loves synthetic swimsuit fibers and can be difficult to wash out.
    • Urinary tract infections are caused when E. coli or other bacteria from the anal region enter the urethra.

    While uncommon, it’s also possible to transmit more serious STDs, including Hepatitis A, B and C, Chlamydia, HPV and even HIV in extremely rare cases.

    Prevent STD Infection While Trying on Swimsuits

    Protect yourself in the dressing room and once you get home by following these tips:

    • Don’t trust the hygienic liner – keep your underwear on while trying new swimsuits!
    • Wash your hands after trying on swimsuits.
    • After making your purchase, wash the swimsuit before wearing it to the pool.
    • Keep whatever you’ve got to yourself – don’t return used swimwear.

    STD Testing in Atlanta, GA

    The truth is there’s a slight chance of contracting an STD while trying on swimsuits, but only if you fail to follow the appropriate precautions. Just remember, this is merely one example of how STDs can be transmitted without having sex.

    If you or your partner is concerned you may have an STD, visit Perimeter Clinic for help. We offer STD testing in a clean, confidential setting. The entire process takes just 15 to 20 minutes, and most results are available within one to two days. To make an appointment and protect your health, please contact Perimeter Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia at 678-999-8263 today.

  • Why Are Cervical Cancer Screenings Important?

    Has your family physician in Atlanta advised you to schedule a cervical cancer screening? If so, then you may have questions about the need for this procedure. Cervical cancer is already invasive by the time a woman experiences any symptoms, such as heavy or prolonged periods, pain during sex, and abnormal bleeding between periods, during menopause, or after sex. It’s for this reason that it’s sometimes referred to as a “silent killer” and why regular screenings are so important.

    The 2 primary methods of screening for cervical cancer include liquid-based cytology (LBC) and the Papanicolaou (Pap) test, also known as a cervical smear or Pap smear. During an LBC screening, the doctor scrapes the cervix with a small brush, and the collected cells are then analyzed for abnormalities in a lab. Pap smears involve scraping the outer opening of the cervix to collect cells which are analyzed for abnormalities under a microscope. Most women between ages 21 and 65 are advised to undergo a cervical cancer screening once every 3 years. If you are overdue for a cervical cancer screening, then consider contacting your local clinic to make an appointment and help protect your health.

    cervical - cancer

  • Precautions to Take Before You Travel This Summer

    Summer is the season of travel, and for many people, this means trips to other countries. Vacations like these offer opportunities to experience other cultures, but they’re also a way to contract local diseases, depending on your destination. If you’re planning to travel internationally this summer, then continue reading to learn what health precautions you should take and the importance of visiting your local travel clinic in Atlanta beforehand. travel - health

    Check Travel Notices

    One of the first steps that you should take when preparing for international travel is to look at the current CDC travel notices , which will alert you to what areas of the world are considered high-risk for disease and which diseases. Non-essential travel to any locations that have a Warning Level 3 should be avoided, due to the high risk to travelers. For Alert Level 2 regions, travelers should practice enhanced precautions, and usual precautions should be followed if you’re traveling to a Watch Level 1 area.

    Recognize Health Concerns

    Depending on what country or countries you’re planning to visit, certain immunizations may be considered standard for travelers. Your doctor can inform you of which immunizations you should consider, but some of the most common ones recommended for American travelers going out of the country include those for malaria, yellow fever, typhoid, and hepatitis A.

    Schedule an Appointment

    After determining what health issues you should be concerned about in your destination of choice, you should consider scheduling an appointment at a clinic that offers immunizations for travel. This precaution isn’t one that you should delay because many immunizations require several weeks before they take effect. Ideally, schedule your clinic appointment 6 to 8 weeks before you plan to leave or as soon as you have your travel itinerary. Finally, keep your immunization records with you while you travel in case you need to show them to local authorities or require medical care while you’re out of the country.

  • Spotlight on Our Executive Service

    Perimeter Clinic is a primary care and urgent care center in Atlanta that offers primary immediate care and travel medicine services. Planning to help ensure your good health should be an important consideration when traveling, and we provide information, immunizations for travel , and consultations to help international travelers protect their health. Furthermore, we offer an Executive Service, which includes group medical consultations, security briefings, seminars, and travel crisis management.

    If you’re in need of executive travel medicine services, then there are a few things that you should consider. First, some of the most common diseases that your group may benefit from being vaccinated against include hepatitis A, typhoid, and yellow fever. Also, you should plan to receive travel medicine soon after you book your trip or 6 to 8 weeks before you plan to leave. Perimeter Clinic offers travel medicine consultations, which is important for ensuring that your group receives the proper vaccinations, and you’ll also be provided with immunization records so you can present them to local authorities while you travel, if necessary. Finally, Perimeter Clinic files insurance for all vaccines besides yellow fever and typhoid. For more information about our executive travel medicine services, please visit our website.

  • How to Deal with Heat Exhaustion

    As the weather heats up, many people look forward to spending more time in the sun and outdoors while lounging at the beach, hiking local trails, and playing their favorite sports. While getting outdoors and staying active can be good for your health, your doctor near Atlanta will tell you that knowing how to recognize and handle heat exhaustion is important for staying safe in the summer. Continue reading to learn about dealing with heat exhaustion. heat - exhaustion

    Spotting Symptoms

    Heat exhaustion occurs when the body overheats, and it’s a condition that’s more severe than heat cramps but milder than heatstroke. The symptoms and signs of heat exhaustion can come on suddenly or develop over time, especially if you’re exercising for an extended period. If you’re suffering from heat exhaustion, then you may experience headache, nausea, muscle cramps, faintness, heavy sweating, fatigue, or dizziness. Other signs and symptoms include low blood pressure as you stand up, a weak and rapid pulse, and moist, cool skin with goosebumps, despite being in the heat.

    Getting Treatment

    Most cases of heat exhaustion can be addressed without a trip to a doctor or urgent care. Start by resting with your legs elevated above your heart while in a cool location, ideally in a building with air conditioning. Also, hydrate your body with sports drinks or water while avoiding anything with alcohol. You should also remove any unnecessary clothing and soak in a cool bath or take a cool shower if you can. If your symptoms do not improve within 1 hour, head to a clinic or seek medical attention right away.

    Practicing Prevention

    Luckily, heat exhaustion is very preventable. When the weather gets hot, remember to drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated, wear loose-fitting clothing that is light-colored and lightweight, and seek cooler areas if you begin to feel any symptoms of heat exhaustion. You should also protect your skin from sunburn, avoid particularly hot areas, and let your body become acclimated to the heat if temperatures suddenly rise or if you’re traveling somewhere hot this summer.

  • A Quick Look at Strep Throat

    Strep throat is a common problem treated in clinics and urgent care centers in Atlanta . This infection is more severe than a typical sore throat, and it tends to develop quickly and affect children more often than adults. Watch this video to learn more about strep throat.

    Some of the symptoms associated with this condition include fever, severe pain with swallowing, red and swollen tonsils, loss of appetite and nausea, and patches of red or white in the throat. Your family physician or urgent care doctor can test you for the strep bacteria by swabbing your throat. If you have strep, then your doctor may prescribe antibiotics that can help you feel better within a couple of days. Also, be sure to get lots of rest, stay hydrated, and eat soups and soft foods to help speed your recovery.

  • What to Expect During a Well Woman Exam

    There are some health conditions that only affect women, and regular visits to a clinic can be important for ensuring feminine wellness . If you’re scheduled for an annual well woman exam at your local medical center near Atlanta, then watch this video to learn what you can expect during your clinic appointment.

    Your doctor will use an instrument called a speculum to perform the exam, and vaginal and cervical swabs, which look like long Q-Tips, and a cervical brush will be used to collect samples from the vaginal wall and the cervix. You will undress from the waist down and cover yourself with a blanket for the exam, and then lie on your back on the exam table with your feet in stirrups. Finally, remember to breathe and relax while the exam is performed.

  • A Patient’s Guide to Allergy Skin Testing

    Have you been suffering from watery eyes, sneezing, or hives? If so, then you may be affected by allergies, for which your primary care physician in Atlanta may recommend allergy skin testing. Keep reading to learn about this type of test and what you can expect. allergy - testing

    Why It’s Done

    One of the most important steps toward managing your allergies is understanding what’s causing them. It’s for this reason that doctors often advise their patients to take an allergy skin test. Skin testing allows your doctor to test you for many different allergens in a single clinic appointment.

    How It Works

    Allergy skin testing uses concentrated, liquid forms of some of the most common allergens, such as animal dander, mold, pollen, dust mites, and some foods. When these allergens get under your skin, they may trigger a rash that causes it to itch and become irritated. This process happens when you’re exposed to something that you’re allergic to, and your immune system produces antibodies and chemicals that attempt to fight off the aggravating substance. It’s this reaction that informs your doctor that you’re allergic to a particular allergen.

    What to Expect

    There are 3 primary types of allergy skin tests. During the first, called a scratch test, a nurse or doctor will clean your skin with alcohol, label different areas of your skin with a pen, and then place a drop of each allergen extract on your skin according to the labels. Then, your skin is gently scratched to let the allergen through the skin’s outer layer. Intradermal allergy skin testing involves injecting a small amount of a suspected allergen slightly under the skin. Finally, a patch test may be performed, which involves wearing a patch with the allergen on your back or arm.

    When You’ll Get Your Results

    Scratch and intradermal tests are usually completed in a one-hour clinic appointment, during which your doctor can inform you of what allergens your skin reacted to. Patch tests typically take about 48 hours and are often used to test for delayed reactions.

  • Chancroid: Its Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

    Doctors near Atlanta who offer STD testing and treatment see a broad range of sexually transmitted diseases, and one of the less common ones is called chancroid. Continue reading to learn about this condition’s causes, symptoms, and treatments. STD - chanchroid

    Causes

    Chancroid is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection that’s caused by the Haemophilus ducreyi bacteria. This disease isn’t diagnosed too often in STD testing clinics in the United States, but it’s more commonly seen in Africa and Southwest Asia. Most people who receive this diagnosis in the US have traveled to areas where chancroid is more common.

    Symptoms

    After becoming infected with chancroid, a person will develop a small bump on his or her genitals in 1 day to 2 weeks. Within a day after the bump first appears, it will progress to an ulcer that can be 1/8” to 2” in diameter. This ulcer is soft, painful, has sharply defined borders, and has a base that bleeds easily and is covered by a gray or yellow-gray material. Men often have just 1 ulcer, while women tend to have 4 or more. In men, common locations for the ulcer include the scrotum, foreskin, and head, opening, or shaft of the penis. In women, the labia majora are the most common locations for the chancroid ulcers, but they can also develop on the labia minora, the perineal area, or on the inner thighs.

    Treatments

    To diagnose chancroid, your doctor will examine the ulcer or ulcers, check your lymph nodes for swelling, and perform STD testing to rule out other possible diseases because there is no blood test available for chancroid. If you’re diagnosed with a chancroid infection, then you will be prescribed an antibiotic. Also, any swollen lymph nodes may need to be drained using a syringe or local surgery. It’s possible for chancroid to resolve on its own, but treatment with antibiotics can help the lesions heal more quickly and reduce scarring.