5 Ways to Prevent An Infection From Your Pet

Can your dog give you MRSA?

Sharing with your dog is wonderful. Unless you’re sharing bacteria. Pets can harbor harmful germs to pass on to you.

Staphylococcus bacteria is a common cause for skin infections in people and animals. A virulent strain of staph, called MRSA, has made headlines for school outbreaks and fatal infections. MRSA infections are usually blamed on dirty locker rooms and contaminated gym clothes, but the source for an infection might be in your lap right now.

Here are 5 ways to avoid catching an infection from your pet:

  1. Your pet’s mouth is not clean. It’s teeming with bacteria. Don’t let your pet lick your wounds. A dialysis patient once contracted a life-threatening pasturella bacteria infection from his beautiful golden retriever this way.
  2. Keep open wounds covered. Contact between your wound and your pet could spread bacteria such as MRSA.
  3. Puncture wounds on your hands from a dog or cat bite can lead to a deep infection that tracks along ligaments and nerves. See a physician for any significant animal bite, even if it was inadvertent.
  4. Wash your hands before and after handling your pets. This is for their health as well — you can pass your bacteria to them!
  5. If you see a non-healing wound or infection on your cat or dog, then take him to your vet right away. Treating your pet now could save you a trip to your physician later.

Photo: Nexus 6

What’s The Fastest Way To Get Rid of a Zit? (Video)

From @debbieinHB on Twitter: @dermdoc what’s the fastest way to get rid of a zit?? I’m too old to still get these things!!

Do you have a question that you’d like me to answer on video? Then tweet me on Twitter.

Shaving: Fewer Blades Is More Manly

How many blades do we need to shave?

I am a man. I use a two-blade razor.

This might surprise you. I have means, so why don’t I use the latest five-blade-vibrating-titanium tool? Any razor good enough for Tiger Woods Derek Jeeter should be good enough for me, right?

Advanced technology doesn’t always make a product better. Think of your universal remote control; it has half a dozen buttons you’ve probably never pushed and, if it’s like mine, changing the channel is a complicated affair.

Last week a patient of mine, who looks a lot like Javier Bardem, came to my office, frustrated. He had been using the latest-blade razor and had red razor bumps on his neck and cheeks. Why?

Because there is such a thing as a shave that is too close. If your beard is cut at or below the level of the skin, then the hair can become trapped when it regrows. The coiled hair continues to grow downward causing a painful, red razor bump. For some men, the closer the shave, the more likely they’ll have this problem.

For a close, comfortable shave, you don’t need a new gadget; you need good technique:

  • Warm your face with water. Massage shaving cream and let set for 1-2 minutes before you start.
  • Shave it the first time – one stroke. Rinse your blade between every swipe.
  • Sharp blades cut without pulling hairs; change your blade often.
  • Pull the skin taut for a closer shave, let it relax for a more comfortable shave.
  • Always shave with the grain of the hair.

I might not be manly enough for a straight razor, but I’m sticking to my classic two-blade shaver, even if it is circa 1970’s technology. Like moving the ball half the distance to the goal when your already at the goal line, shaving twice a close when you’re already close doesn’t matter much. Sometimes close is close enough.

What is your favorite razor?

Is your shave better now than it was 5 years ago?

Photo: Guarana