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Posts Tagged ‘Emily Burns’

Acne Treatment. By Our Former Student Pharmacist, Emily Burns.

We’ve all had it happen before – you’re getting ready for a big presentation, date, or family reunion–you look in the mirror and see a huge blemish staring back at you. If you are like most people, the acne spot seems to call your name, daring you to pick at it. However tempted you may be, it is recommended to not disturb the blemish, as it can cause even more redness and irritation.

Acne is caused when the hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells and oil (sebum). The changing hormones in teens and young adults tend to increase oil production, which is why it is most common to see acne in these age groups. Bacteria can rapidly grow in the clogged pores, causing inflammation in the skin and producing that huge red pimple on your nose, forehead, chin, etc. Whiteheads (closed comedones) are caused by the follicle being plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Blackheads (open comedones) are caused by the same thing, but are near the surface of the skin and turn black when exposed to the air. It isn’t known why some people are more prone to breakouts, but it is known that dirt, chocolate, and greasy foods like French fries are NOT the cause. If you have acne, these things may cause it to worsen:

  • Stress
  • Oil-based skincare/hair products (including makeup and tanning lotions)
  • Abrasive facial scrubs
  • Picking the blemishes
  • Hormonal changes due to puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and oral contraceptives
  • Diets full of dairy or carbohydrate-rich foods
  • Medications (including steroids, androgens, or lithium)

Typically, it is best to use over-the-counter (OTC) treatments for mild acne that only consists of a few small blemishes. Larger acne that includes cysts (painful pus-filled lumps that resemble boils) should be treated with prescription products recommended by a dermatologist. There are currently a multitude of OTC remedies that may be used to decrease the appearance of acne.

First, it is important to wash your face in the morning and at night with a mild cleanser. This helps to remove oil and skin cells from the skin so pores will not get clogged. A mild cleanser (Cetaphil, Neutrogena, Purpose) is necessary because some products contain harsh chemicals that may actually make acne worse.

From that point, a topical lotion or cream may be applied to kill growing bacteria on the surface and help remove excess oils. Products containing benzoyl peroxide are generally the most effective, but products with salicylic acid, resorcinol, or sulfur may also be useful. Side effects of these may include drying of the skin and redness, but generally diminish after consistent use for a few weeks. When using benzoyl peroxide, it is recommended to start with a 2.5% or 5% product to avoid irritation, or only use the product every other day. This product may bleach the skin and/or clothing and bed linens. As with any acne treatment, it generally takes 4-8 weeks to see improvements and may appear worse before it gets better.


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Food Safety. By Our July Student Pharmacist, Emily Burns.

Every year, 1 in 6 Americans become ill from foodborne diseases. Of those, approximately 3,000 will die from that illness.

Some of the most common bacteria that you might recognize that cause foodborne diseases are E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella.

Signs and symptoms of foodborne illness vary depending on the type of bacteria. Generally, people with food poisoning experience diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and dehydration. It is best to rest and drink plenty of clear liquids if you do have food poisoning. Do not use anti-diarrheal medications as these could increase the amount of time the bacteria remains in your body. Many times your condition will improve within two (2) days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that if we could prevent 10% of foodborne illness, there would be 5 million less Americans who get sick each year.

Steps you can take to prevent illness:

  • Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water before touching food.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables before eating them, even if you intend to peel them because it is easy for bacteria to move to the inside of the fruit after cutting into it. Do not wash meat, poultry, or eggs.
  • Use separate cutting boards and knives or wash thoroughly between each use when preparing fresh produce and meat, poultry, or seafood.
  • Place meat, poultry, and seafood in plastic bags at the grocery to keep any of the juices from dripping onto fresh produce or other items in your shopping cart. Also, keep these items separate in your refrigerator for the same reason.
  • Inspect all food packaging before purchasing. Bulging cans or lids or damaged packages may mean that the food is contaminated.
  • Use a food thermometer. Bacteria will rapidly grow and multiply between 40° and 140°F.
  • Keep food hot after cooking it (140°F). This is best accomplished using a chaffing dish, warming tray, or slow cooker.
  • Get perishable foods (dairy, meat, poultry, etc.) into the fridge or freezer within two hours. If the weather is hot like last week (90°F), it is only safe for one hour.
  • Make sure your refrigerator is set to the correct temperature to keep your food cold. The refrigerator temperature should be between 32° and 40°F and the freezer should be at or below 0°F.
  • Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator, submerged in cold water, or in the microwave. Never leave foods on the counter to thaw.
  • In case of a power outage, food in the refrigerator should be safe for up to four (4) hours. Discard any perishable foods that have been above 40°F for more than two (2) hours. For a full list of what may be safe and what you should toss, check out:  http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/refridg_food.html
  • Don’t forget to pack plenty of ice or ice packs in your cooler when heading out to a picnic or barbeque. Remember to try to keep the cooler shut and return any unused food ASAP so it isn’t sitting out in the hot sun letting bacteria multiply!

Your Unwanted Bedmate: Bed Bugs. By Our Student Pharmacist for July, Emily Burns, Who Will Now Be Checking the Hotel Mattress Any Time She Travels.

Over the past few years, bed bugs have received much attention from the media. A recent report in USA Today showed a 47% increase in calls to exterminators because of bed bugs in Columbus.

Although these pests used to be completely wiped out, there has been an increase due to international travel (they love to hide in your suitcase) and the ban on the toxic pesticide, DDT.

These night-loving bugs have commonly been found in mattress seams and folds (hence their name), but may also hide in electrical outlets, window and doorframes, baseboards, headboards, drapes, and cracks.

Bed bugs thrive in places with lots of night-time guests such as hotels, hospitals, college dorms, and apartment complexes. They hide and burrow during the day, and come out to feed on you or your animals at night. These small pests are able to live without a meal for months, making them difficult to exterminate.

It may be tricky to determine if you have bed bugs since they are excellent at hiding. Ways to detect bed bugs include:  spotting live or dead bugs, shed skins, eggs, and/or dark reddish-brown fecal or blood spots on the mattress, sheets, or nearby walls or furniture.

Bed bug bites cause a reaction in most, but not all, people. These bites appear on uncovered areas of skin (legs, arms, neck, shoulders) and generally cause itching. The small bites will usually disappear without treatment within two weeks, but there are some measures you can take to relieve discomfort.

To help control the itching associated with bed bug bites, topical moisturizers (Aveeno, Lubriderm), corticosteroids (such as hydrocortisone), and/or oral antihistamines (like Benadryl) may help. If these do not relieve the itching and discomfort, it may be time to visit your doctor to get a prescription-strength product. It is important to not scratch these bites, as scratching could break the skin and cause a skin infection.  Luckily, there have been no reports of bed bugs carrying diseases.

To get rid of bed bugs, a multitude of tasks must be done. Mattresses, other bed linens, and drapes need to be steam cleaned, vacuumed, and encased to kill the pests. All clothing should be laundered in hot water (120°F) in case there are any bugs hiding in them. It may also be necessary to hire an exterminator to fumigate or apply pesticides. Over-the-counter pesticides are not effective in killing bed bugs.

You and your family should follow several easy steps to prevent an infestation of bed bugs:

1.When staying away from home, pull back the covers and inspect the mattress for any signs of bed bugs as listed above (mainly, look for the reddish brown fecal and blood spots). It is also good to check your home mattresses regularly in case some of the bugs hitched a ride back on your suitcase.

2. Inspect any borrowed or second-hand furniture before bringing it into your home.

3. Remove clutter around your home to eliminate hiding spots for the unwanted guests.

4. Finally, wear long-sleeves and pants to bed since bed bugs tend to not burrow through clothing.



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Meet Our July Student Pharmacist, Emily Burns.

This month, just like in June, we have two student pharmacists from The Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy doing their rotations with us here in the drugstore. But this month, we have two ladies, Emily and Amy, instead of the two gentlemen, David and Nick, who worked with us in June.

First up, we’d like to introduce you to Emily Burns.

Although born in Columbus, Emily grew up in the small village of Norwich, Ohio, located a few miles east of Zanesville. She attended John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, where she majored in biochemistry.

From the time Emily had the opportunity to shadow a few pharmacists at the local hospital while in high school, she knew she wanted to go to pharmacy school. Her parents urged her to experience other settings first, however, so she tried her hand at clerical work in a physician’s office and quality control in a chemical laboratory in order to help her decide that pharmacy was the right career for her.

After being accepted at Ohio State, Emily worked at a small, independent pharmacy in New Concord, Ohio where she learned the ropes to become a pharmacy technician and cashier.

Currently, Emily works in retail pharmacy in Columbus and she feels that she truly learns something new from her customers every day. Emily enjoys working in the community because she loves getting to know her patients and being able to educate them on their medications.

After graduation, Emily looks forward to joining her fiance (husband, by that point!) in sunny Columbia, South Carolina where she will pursue a career in community pharmacy.

Outside of her pharmacy school life, Emily enjoys baking, reading, and traveling. Overall, she’s excited for the opportunity to be back in an independent pharmacy and to talk with the staff and customers of Plain City Druggist.

Don’t hesitate to ask Emily any questions if you see her around the pharmacy this month!