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Posts Tagged ‘Tracey Dowdell’

Healthy Tailgating 101. By Our Student Pharmacist, Tracey Dowdell, who has Moved on to Other Pharmacy Adventures.

It’s almost Saturday and that means it is college football day! Saturday is the best day of the week in my opinion. Most people usually plan a tailgate to indulge in the football environment and have a good time with friends. Even though my month at Plain City Druggist has ended, I don’t want my avid readers to forget me just yet, so here is a brief blog filled with tailgating advice.

1.  It is still possible to keep a tailgate healthy.

–        There are many healthy food options you can choose to help make a tailgate healthier. These are just a few suggestions.

  • Try bringing sliced peppers and various vegetables to dip in that cheese sauce or salsa instead of corn chips.
  • Switch your hot dog and hamburger buns to whole wheat buns.
    • Make sure when you look at the ingredients, the package says “whole wheat flour” and not “enriched wheat flour.”
  • Never re-cook food that has been sitting out for a long period of time to avoid getting food poisoning.
  • Try eating sub sandwiches made with turkey or chicken instead of those hot dogs and burgers.
    • Or try making kebabs with chicken and various veggies. This is my favorite tailgate grill item to make and eat!

FYI: Remember to soak your skewers in water for a couple of hours before putting your food on them so they do not burn when you grill them…I learned this lesson the hard way!

  • Go easy on the condiments or switch to lower fat options.

2.  Try to stay active at a tailgate.

  • Tossing a football around or even playing corn hole are great ways to stay active and burn some calories while tailgating.


  • If you intend to consume adult beverages it is important to drink plenty of water BEFORE you start drinking AND AFTER you are done drinking.
  • Always try to consume in moderation which means:
    • Women limit it to <2 drinks.
    • Men limit it to <3 drinks.
  • Try to drink lighter beverages.
  • Never be ashamed to call someone for a ride home.
    • Water will help rehydrate your body and alleviate some of the hangover symptoms.
    • REST! Your body needs plenty of rest after a larger than normal alcohol consumption.
    • An over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen can help with the headache.

Always check with your pharmacists before taking any over-the-counter medications if you are using any prescription medications, because they can interact.

4.  Eat something!

  • Drinking heavily without eating can block your liver from releasing stored glucose (sugar) into your bloodstream, potentially causing hypoglycemia.
  • Symptoms of hypoglycemia can include: shakiness, confusion, abnormal thoughts, anxiety, hunger, sweating.
  • Diabetics should always avoid alcohol due to this imbalance in blood sugar regulation.

It has been an honor to work with the phenomenal staff at Plain City Druggist and I have truly enjoyed meeting (and vaccinating!) some the wonderful members of the Plain City community! I loved and enjoyed answering questions and interacting with you. I wish everyone well and remember to NEVER HESITATE to call us at the pharmacy.

Poison Ivy. You Can Still Get it Even as the Weather Changes! By Our October Student Pharmacist, Tracey Dowdell.

I don’t know about you, but I love going into the woods and escaping from all of the troubles of everyday life and achieving a moment of serenity. Braving the wilderness also means that I will potentially come into contact with some of the negative traits of the woods such as mosquitoes, snakes, spiders, and poison ivy.

In this blog post, I will address the various home treatment options for poison ivy.

Let’s start out with discussing what causes poison ivy. The itchy, blister rash that comes from contact with poison ivy is actually caused by the oil from the plant called urushiol. Even though it may look like everything in the woods is drying out and getting ready for winter, urushiol is still on the leaves and actually may be more abundant due to the dryness and cracking of the leaves. After contact with urushiol, approximately 50% of people develop signs and symptoms of poison ivy. The symptoms and severity differ from person to person.

Common symptoms of poison ivy include:

  • Intense itching
  • Skin swelling and redness
  • Blisters (little bubbles of skin that are filled with fluid)
    • FYI: touching the blisters or the fluid inside the blisters will not spread the rash (only the urushiol oil causes the rash).

The best way to treat poison ivy is to avoid it! Since it is bonfire season, please make sure that there are not any poison ivy plants on the wood that you will be burning. It is possible to get the rash from the oil being vaporized as it burns and coming into contact with your skin.

When you are in the woods, you need to know how to identify poison ivy. We all have heard the saying, “Leaves of three, let them be.” While the rhyming slogan is easy to remember, identifying poison ivy is not always that obvious. See the pictures in this blog to help you know poison ivy when you see it.

What to do when you know you have come into contact with poison ivy:

  • The first thing you should do is thoroughly wash your skin with a mild soap, such as Dial or Dawn dish soap.
    • The key is to not use fancy soaps, because the oils in these kinds of soaps will not allow the oil to be removed from your skin.
    • Don’t forget to thoroughly wash under your fingernails.
    • Next make sure you wash EVERYTHING that may have come into contact with the poison ivy.
      • This includes your clothes, dog/cat, and don’t forget your shoes and shoelaces!

Your rash should go away on its own within one to three weeks, but if the itching is unbearable you can do and use the following over the counter treatments to help relieve the itching:

  • Avoid scratching (scratching actually makes the itch worse).
  • Soak in oatmeal baths.
  • Apply cool, wet compresses such as washcloths or paper towels.
  • Apply calamine lotion.
  • If your rash has blisters and they begin to ooze fluid, use astringents containing aluminum acetate (Burrow’s solution™ or Domeboro™).
  • Steroid creams may be helpful if they are used during the first few days after symptoms develop.
    • Hydrocortisone 1% is available over the counter.
    • Antihistamines do not help to relieve itching caused by poison ivy.
      • The ones that make you sleepy (i.e. diphenhydramine aka: Benadryl™) can help you to ignore the itch while you are asleep.

Treatments you should avoid because they can make your rash worse:

  • Antihistamine creams or lotions (i.e. Benadryl™ or Allegra™ CREAM).
  • Pain relieving creams containing benzocaine.
  • Antibiotic creams containing neomycin or bacitracin (i.e. Neosporin™).

You should see your doctor or nurse if:

  • Your rash is severe.
  • Most of your body is affected.
  • Your face or genitals are affected.
  • You have a lot of swelling.
  • Your rash oozes pus or gives other signs of being infected.
  • Your rash does not get better after two to three weeks.

I hope you can enjoy the wonderful fall weather. I know I will be enjoying the outdoors this season!

Treating Minor Sports Injuries. By Our October Student Pharmacist, Tracey Dowdell.

The weather is cooling down and the leaves are starting to change. Fall is finally here! I don’t know about you, but fall is my favorite time of the year. Some of my favorite things about fall are: the crisp air, the beautiful and colorful scenery, and fall sports (especially football).

With sports, however, there are always injuries. The best way to treat an injury is by preventing the injury from happening in the first place! This can be done with properly fitted equipment and braces, good technique, and performing an adequate warm up.

In high school, I was enrolled in a two year athletic training course and I became very familiar with the various types of injuries that can happen in high school sporting events.

In this blog post, I will discuss how to treat some of the minor athletic injuries that can happen to your child.

First and foremost, if you think your child might need to see a doctor after an injury, don’t second guess yourself. Take your child to the doctor as soon as possible.

After an acute (sudden) sports injury, you should always remember “RICE” (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation):


  • Rest is important after an injury so that your child doesn’t aggravate or reinjure his/her injury.


  • Icing a swollen injury is one of the best things you can do.
  • Icing decreases inflammation (swelling) and numbs the painful area.
  • As we age, we tend to apply heat to our aching joints. But if you were to apply heat to a swollen sports injury, you could potentially make it worse.
  • The best rule of thumb for icing an injury is 20 minutes ON and 45 minutes OFF. This means that you should only apply the ice for 20 minutes. Then take it off for 45 minutes. Then repeat.

Various Ways to Ice:

1. Ice Cup:

This is one of my favorite icing techniques. To make an ice cup you fill a paper Dixie cup with water and freeze it. Then you peel off some of the rim of the cup and rub it in circular motions on the skin. By constantly moving the ice in a circle you are preventing the skin from getting frost bite.

2. Ice Pack:

This is the simplest method of icing. All that you have to do is place a bag of ice (or a frozen bag of corn or peas) on the injury. It is important that you put either a towel or clothing between your skin and the ice pack to prevent frostbite.

3. Ice Bath:

This method involves submerging the injured area in a bucket of ice water. I would only recommend using this method for ankle or hand injuries since they are a little harder to apply ice to. All that is involved in this method is filling a bucket with water and ice and placing your injured ankle or hand in the cold slush for 15-20 minutes.


  • Compression helps sports injuries by pushing the swelling out of the injured area and increasing blood circulation for improved healing.
  • All you need is an ACE wrap, nothing fancy.
  • To compress an injury properly you need to wrap the area starting at a point furthest away from the trunk of your body. You then end at the point closest to the trunk of your body overlapping the ACE bandage as you go up.
  • Be careful not to wrap the area too tightly and cut off circulation.
  • Never go to bed with a compression wrap on.
  • If you are trying to wrap a shoulder or hip, ask your child’s athletic trainer or sports doctor to show you how to do it. Wrapping techniques for shoulders and hips are more involved than an ankle, hand, or knee and are difficult to explain in words without a demonstration.


  • Elevation also helps to decrease swelling. When elevating an injured area you should have it elevated above the level of your heart.

Over the counter ibuprofen (Advil™/Motrin™) or acetaminophen (Tylenol™) can be used to help control pain. Ibuprofen will also help with swelling, but acetaminophen will not affect swelling.


If after using the RICE method for two days, there is still swelling in the injured area, you should make an appointment to see a doctor.

If you have any questions, please call me or feel free to stop in the store any time to talk!

Meet Our Student Pharmacist for October, Tracey Dowdell.

We have a new student pharmacist for the month of October. Tracey Dowdell is a fourth year student from The Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy. She’ll be with us all month giving flu shots, talking to patients, and helping Bob compound in the lab. Please stop in and make Tracey feel welcome.

Here is what Tracey has to say about herself:

“My name is Tracey Dowdell. I have been working in a pharmacy for the last 7 years. I am from Norton, a small town that many people have not heard of near Akron, OH. In this small town, I began my pharmacy career. I was employed in a pharmacy where I was inspired to become a pharmacist and pursue an eight year doctorate degree. I was inspired to help people while working there and I have never lost that inspiration.

“The most rewarding thing that has ever happened in my career was a patient giving me a hug and telling me ‘thank you’ for going above and beyond to help her with various things. This meant the world to me, because I was rewarded for great service in a way that no boss or supervisor ever could reward me. I left that day with such great confidence and determination to become a pharmacist that I changed my major. I chose this profession to better myself as a person, to constantly help the community, and to continuously challenge myself.

“My future plans in this exciting career are to stay working in community pharmacy where I can become close with my patients, not only as their trusted pharmacist, but also as their friend and confidante. I hope to be the pharmacist who can provide answers to important drug questions, advice about every day health, recommendations about non-prescription alternatives, and an open, compassionate ear for my patients. I want to know how my patients’ lives are, not only inside the pharmacy, but also how their lives are outside of the pharmacy. I have come to realize that my patients will teach me more than a text book ever could and I cannot wait to continue learning from them. I am excited and honored to be a part of the amazing profession of pharmacy and look forward to all of the amazing things to come in my life.”