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Yes, You Can Remove Hair There

While traditional hair removal techniques can get the job done, they can be time-consuming and deliver less-than-desirable results that don’t last long. And, side effects, such as razor bumps, ingrown hairs, and rashes, can interfere with your ability to achieve an ideal silky, smooth appearance.

Laser hair reduction is a safe and effective alternative to traditional hair removal methods. This noninvasive procedure uses concentrated beams of light to stop hair growth without chemicals or damage to the surrounding skin. The results leave you with permanent reduction of hair growth in treated areas.

You’ll enjoy optimal results from laser hair reduction when it’s administered by experienced professionals. Karl Trippe, MD, and the staff at Waco Primary Care in Waco, Texas, provide safe and effective laser hair reduction services with the Cynosure® Icon™ system. This state-of-the-art treatment eliminates unwanted body hair with minimal discomfort and time.

In this blog, Dr. Trippe discusses how laser hair reduction works and some of the most popular areas where patients request treatment.

How laser hair reduction works

Laser hair reduction involves the use of a handheld tool that delivers pulses of laser energy beams to targeted hair follicles. The light causes a heating reaction, which stops the growth cycle of the treated follicle, causing the hair to die. The affected hair falls out within a couple of weeks.

Hairs undergo three phases of growth: a growing stage, a dormant stage, and a shedding stage. Every hair in a treated area is in one of these stages during treatment.

Laser hair reduction is most effective on hairs in the growth stage. Since every hair in a treated area won’t be in the same stage during a session, you’ll need 3-6 treatments, spaced 4-6 weeks apart, to ensure that you treat all hairs in their growth stage.

This relatively painless treatment achieves smoother, hair-free skin with no downtime. Results can be long-lasting, though you may need periodic touch-up sessions to remain hair-free. When administered by trained professionals, laser hair reduction doesn’t damage the surrounding skin.

Popular treatment areas

The Cynosure Icon system can be used to reduce hair growth on virtually any area of your body. The best results are achieved in areas where there is a contrast between your hair color and skin. Based on a physical examination and consideration of your goals, our team recommends a treatment plan to accommodate your personal needs.

Chin, jawline, and neck

Many women utilize laser hair reduction to treat the annoying peach fuzz that develops on the chin, jawline, and neck. Darker hair that grows on the upper lip can also be treated. For men who have to shave more than once a day, laser hair reduction can lessen the amount of time they spend shaving.

When laser hair reduction is administered on any facial area, you will have to wear goggles to protect your eyes.


Underarm hair is an embarrassment for many women and some men. Laser hair reduction can free you from the chore of underarm shaving and the risk of unsightly ingrown hairs, bumps, and razor burn. Instead, laser hair reduction can leave you feeling comfortable to wear sleeveless tops and bathing suits at any time.

You may also notice a decrease in body odor after laser hair reduction on your underarms. This occurs because hair absorbs and retains sweat, so removing it lessens the amount of sweat present on your body.

Upper and lower back

Many people get laser treatments to eliminate back hair. And while many patients get treatments so they can feel more comfortable when baring their back or wearing more revealing clothing, having too much back hair can also present a functional problem.

Coarse, heavy back hair can act as an extra level of insulation and elevate your body temperature. The effect can increase sweating, make your back feel damp, and make hair stick to your clothing.

Arms and legs

According to the results of a British survey, women spend about 1,728 hours, or 72 days, shaving their legs in their lifetime. Laser hair reduction can dramatically reduce the amount of time required to maintain bare underarms. It can also save you from spending so much money on razors, shaving cream, waxing, and other hair removal products.

Abdomen and chest

Men and women often request laser hair reduction on their abdomen and chest to improve their appearance and resolve any annoyances hair in these areas may create. Removing hair in these areas may also be an advantage for athletes who compete in cycling, swimming, or bodybuilding.

How Long Your Lash Lift May Last

Getting longer, thicker eyelashes doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’re tired of hassling with false eyelashes, you can get a quick procedure that lasts for weeks at a time. It’s called a lash lift. A lash lift — which is basically a perm for your eyelashes — is a simple procedure that can make your lashes look longer and fuller.

In this blog, Karl Trippe, MD, of Waco Primary Care in Waco, Texas, explains what a lash lift is and how you can keep your results for as long as possible.

What is a lash lift?

Often described as a “perm for your eyelashes,” a lash lift gives your eyelashes an upward curl, similar to the effect of an eyelash curler. However, a lash lift delivers these results without the wear and tear that a curler can deliver to your eyelashes with regular use.

Everyone’s lashes grow in different directions. Some lashes grow straight out, and some grow down. A lash lift achieves longer-looking lashes by positioning the lashes so they stay in the same direction.

The results of your lash lift can be customized to deliver the degree of curl and lift you prefer.

What’s involved in a lash lift?

A lash lift is a quick and painless procedure. Here’s what you need to know:

Preparing for your lash lift

You should avoid curling your lashes for 24 hours before your treatment. To achieve the best results, you should come to your appointment without makeup and avoid using waterproof mascara for 48 hours before your lash lift.

To ensure that you’re not allergic to any of the chemicals in the perming solution, your aesthetician performs a patch test 24-48 hours before your treatment. This is done to prevent the possibility of itching, redness, or inflammation of the lid and eye area after your treatment.

Performing your lash lift

A lash lift takes about 45 minutes to perform. All you have to do is relax and close your eyes to prevent the solution from entering your eyes.

Before treating the lashes, your aesthetician begins with cleaning them and applying a silicone shield to your eyelids. A curved plastic rod is then glued to the eyelid. The lashes are separated and brushed individually upward onto the rod from the root.

Your lashes are held on the rod while a cream-based perming solution is applied. A volumizer and darker tint may also be used, depending on your preferences.

How you can keep your lashes looking great

After your lash lift, you will have to keep your lashes dry for 24-48 hours to achieve optimal results. This includes avoiding water, sweat from heavy exercise, or steam from a sauna.

In general, keeping the number of eye products you use to a minimum can protect the results of your lash lift. Your provider will give you specific guidance based on your eyelashes, but you may be able to use certain serums and conditions to keep your lashes moisturized and healthy between lash lifts.

Since your eyelashes fall out and regrow every 4-6 weeks, you can expect to enjoy the benefits of this treatment for up to 6 weeks, depending on how fast your eyelashes grow.

Stop Those Mood Swings Once and For All with Wellness Care

Mood swings can occur as the result of ever-changing internal and external factors. People who experience mood swings may be reacting to the effects of a hormonal imbalance, chronic health condition, or mental health disorder.

However, mood swings can also arise due to unhealthy habits and lifestyle choices. For many patients, identifying and modifying the habits that affect their moods can be the first step in regaining control of their emotions.

Wellness care can support your journey in making purposeful decisions that support your well-being and reduce your risk of developing disease. This type of care involves education and guidance in making lifestyle changes that can improve your health and its impact on your emotions and moods.

Board-certified physician Karl Trippe, MD, and the staff at Waco Primary Care in Waco, Texas, specialize in helping patients use wellness care to address mood swings. After a thorough examination and look at your medical history, Dr. Trippe can determine the source of your mood swings and discuss if wellness care could help reduce your symptoms.

In this blog, Dr. Trippe discusses how wellness care can address various factors that often cause mood swings.

Weight management

It’s well-known that being overweight can increase your risk of developing life-threatening health conditions, such as heart attack, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and arthritis. It’s also been established that carrying more than a normal amount of weight can affect your emotional health.

Research indicates that obesity can increase the risk of developing depression. Issues such as poor body image, weight discrimination, and physical ailments can lead to isolation and loneliness, triggering mood swings.

However, avoiding mood swings isn’t always as easy as losing weight. Trying to lose weight on your own may leave you frustrated as you try hit-or-miss methods that provide inconsistent results.

An important aspect of wellness care involves professional guidance in weight management. A comprehensive weight management program evaluates all factors that contribute to weight gain and an inability to lose weight.

A customized weight management plan considers your lifestyle, genetics, medical history, and preferences to determine what you need to reach and maintain a healthy weight. Recommendations are also made for an effective but realistic exercise plan, compatible with your abilities and health.

Overall, medically supervised weight management can lead to meaningful weight loss with the professional support and education you need to maintain new habits.

Nutrition and dietary planning

Your diet impacts more than your waistline. Relying on an unhealthy diet high in processed foods and sugar can increase your risk of developing depression. Physical reactions, such as nutritional imbalances and blood sugar fluctuations, can cause mood swings.

Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can lead to low blood sugar, which can make you suddenly tired, weak, and irritable. Eating large amounts of unhealthy, processed carbohydrates, such as pastries and white bread, can also cause blood sugar levels to rise and fall rapidly, resulting in low energy.

Selecting inappropriate foods or cutting out entire food groups can make it more difficult to maintain proper nutrition. Low energy levels and moodiness are associated with insufficient amounts of iron, zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, and omega 3 fatty acids.

Professional nutrition and dietary planning can help ensure that you maintain proper nutrition while you lose weight. The effect can reduce the chances of having mood swings as a result of poor nutrition.

Medication management

If your regular medication involves more than one prescription from different physicians, customized medication management can identify whether your mood swings are occurring as the result of over-medication or adverse reactions.

Many types of medications can affect your mood, which can cause mood swings. Taking medication prescribed for someone else, missing a dosage of prescribed medication, or taking more than the prescribed dosage can increase your risk of suffering mood swings.

With medication management, Dr. Trippe can consider if the chemicals in your medications could be contributing to your mood swings and recommend substitutes or changes.

Smoking cessation

If you smoke or use tobacco, you’ve probably been told that you should quit. However, it’s an accomplishment that’s often easier said than done.

In addition to the physical dangers of smoking, smoking interferes with chemicals in your brain. There’s growing evidence that quitting smoking improves mood and quality of life. People who quit smoking often enjoy lower levels of anxiety, stress, and depression.

A medically managed smoking cessation program can help ensure that you accomplish your goals and stop smoking permanently. A formal smoking cessation program can decrease cravings, lessen withdrawal symptoms, and help you handle smoking triggers.

5 Conditions Prevention Exams Can Catch Early

Prevention exams are the best way to identify medical conditions in their earliest stages, when treatment is typically the most effective and less costly. These exams, also called annual physicals, can help prevent minor issues from becoming serious by providing insights about early disease risk and proactive steps you can take to avoid chronic conditions.

You’ll get the most from a prevention exam when you work with a primary care provider you trust. Karl Trippe, MD, and the staff at Waco Primary Care in Waco, Texas, help patients remain as healthy as possible by evaluating their risk of developing various diseases and by intervening early when a diagnosis is made.

In this blog, Dr. Trippe explains five common conditions that can be identified during these types of visits and how early intervention can make a difference.

1. High blood pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a disease in which the movement of blood through the arteries occurs with more pressure, or force, than normal. The longer you live with untreated high blood pressure, the more damage your blood vessels experience. Living with high blood pressure makes you more likely to experience heart disease and stroke, two conditions that rank as the leading causes of death in the United States.

Since high blood pressure typically doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms in its earliest stages, having your blood pressure checked is one of the best ways to identify this condition early. And the earlier you get a diagnosis, the earlier you can begin treatment, such as lifestyle changes and medications. This, in turn, could help you avoid prolonged damage to your arteries and other potentially life-threatening complications.

2. Obesity

Obesity is a condition in which you carry too much body weight. In addition to changing your appearance, being obese can increase your risk for many serious health conditions, including high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some types of cancer.

A diagnosis of obesity is based on a measurement of your body mass index (BMI), a number that equals your weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters squared. While a normal BMI ranges between 18.5 and 24.9, a BMI between 25.0 and 29.9 is identified as overweight, and a score of 30.0 or above is considered obese. More than two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese.

Identifying your risk for obesity early minimizes the amount of time that extra weight is straining your heart and exerting extra stress on your joints. You can reduce the effect of obesity on your health by losing just 5-10% of your body weight.

3. Cancer

Prevention exams can often identify warning signs of some types of cancer. Your risk for certain types of cancer varies depending on your gender and age. The early diagnosis of all types of cancer gives you the best chance for successful treatment and improved outcomes.

A visual examination can reveal signs of suspicious moles related to skin cancer. If you’re a female, you may have a routine pelvic exam, pap test, breast exam, and/or mammogram to identify your risk for cervical and breast cancer. Males are usually screened for prostate cancer with a digital rectal examination. Additional blood tests, screening procedures, or evaluations are advised if you have symptoms associated with a cancer diagnosis.

4. Peripheral artery disease (PAD)

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition that is also referred to as atherosclerosis, peripheral vascular disease, or hardening of the arteries. This disorder occurs when plaque narrows or blocks the arteries that carry blood from your heart to your arms and legs. PAD can also affect the arteries that nourish your kidneys, head, and gastrointestinal tract.

During a prevention exam, Dr. Trippe determines your risk for PAD with the in-office TM-FLOW® System test, a device that measures and assesses vascular function. Identifying early heart or circulation issues can allow you to initiate lifestyle changes or medical treatments to restore healthy blood flow.

5. Depression

Prevention exams are a valuable opportunity to identify signs of depression, a condition in which only one-third of those affected with severe depression seek professional treatment. If you demonstrate signs of depression or have a family history of the condition, a depression test may be administered to determine your need for mental health services.

Getting an appropriate diagnosis and treatment for depression can help you function normally and improve your quality of life. It can also lead to the identification of the source of your depression. This can include the diagnosis of physical illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, or diabetes, for which depression can occur as a symptom.

When to Schedule STD Testing

No one likes to think about getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). However, if you’re sexually active or participate in certain risky behaviors, you have the potential to contract and spread STDs.

The fact is, there are about 20 million new STD infections annually in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And STD testing is the only way to get an accurate diagnosis and prevent serious health consequences if you acquire a disease.

Individual recommendations regarding the type and frequency of STD testing depend on certain factors, such as the presence of symptoms, lifestyle, sexual history, and overall wellness. Karl Trippe, MD, and the staff at Waco Primary Care in Waco, Texas, have the expertise necessary to help you establish an STD testing schedule that’s appropriate for your circumstances.

Following our recommendations can help you identify infections, improve outcomes, and prevent the spread of infection to others. In this blog, Dr. Trippe discusses the recommended criteria for scheduling STD testing.

Routine testing

The CDC recommends a schedule of routine STD testing for individuals based on certain characteristics, such as age and lifestyle, regardless of whether there are symptoms or known exposure to an infected partner. These STD testing recommendations include:

  • Anyone aged 13-64 should get tested at least once for HIV.
  • Sexually active women under age 25 should get tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia annually.
  • Sexually active women age 25 and older with new or multiple sex partners or an infected sex partner should get tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia annually.
  • All pregnant women should get tested for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C early in their pregnancy and should repeat as needed to protect the mother and infant.
  • All pregnant women considered at-risk should get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea in addition to the other recommended STD tests for pregnant women (see above) to protect the mother and infant.
  • All sexually active gay, bisexual, and other men who are intimate with other men should annually test for syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV. Those with multiple or anonymous partners may benefit from testing at multiple intervals during the year, such as every 3-6 months.

Other factors, such as having had an STD in the past, may increase your risk of contracting an infection, so your recommended timetable for testing may vary based on your needs.

Symptoms of an infection

You can become infected with an STD when you have unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex with a partner who is infected. STDs can also spread by sharing needles for intravenous drugs with an infected person. Having sex with multiple partners or with a person who has multiple partners increases your risk of contracting an STD.

Even if you’re not aware of exposure to an STD, testing may be recommended if you have symptoms of an infection, such as:

  • Unusual discharge from your vagina or penis
  • Frequent urination and/or burning sensations when you urinate
  • Bumps or sores in the area of your genitals, thighs, or buttocks
  • Fever, fatigue, body aches, or swollen glands, similar to the flu
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Swelling of the genitals
  • Itching or irritation inside your vagina or penis

While routine testing can identify infections that exist when you don’t know you’re infected, you should get additional testing if you believe you’ve been exposed to an STD.

Timing of testing

If you believe you need STD testing, the timing of your test will depend on the estimated time of your infection. Some STDs can exist without symptoms, so it’s important to test after your body has had time to produce antibodies to the infection. Testing too early may produce a negative test result.

Our office can help you determine the appropriate timing for STD testing, so you can get the most accurate results possible. The testing window for a specific STD varies by infection and can range from a few days to several weeks.

Timing for your test will also depend on whether the test is looking for the pathogen that causes the disease  — which would be present earlier — or the antibodies that the body produces in reaction to the disease, which would take time to develop. Certain factors, such as the health of your immune system and whether you have a history of a similar infection, may also determine when you’d be more likely to get the most accurate result.

Depending on your circumstances, you may be advised to retest at a later time to confirm an initial negative test result.

5 Popular Areas for Laser Hair Reduction

Many men and women struggle to manage excess hair growth in areas where they don’t want it. While it’s possible to maintain a hairless appearance with shaving, waxing, tweezing, and plucking, these traditional methods can be uncomfortable and time-consuming.

Laser hair reduction is a medical procedure that can help you achieve the benefits of smooth, hairless skin without the inconvenience of doing it yourself or making frequent trips to a salon. Karl Trippe, MD, and the staff at Waco Primary Care in Waco, Texas, have the expertise necessary to help you achieve your goals with the Cynosure® Icon™ system. The technology used in this innovative in-office treatment allows Dr. Trippe to eliminate your unwanted body hair safely with minimal time and discomfort.

If Dr. Trippe determines that you’re a candidate for laser hair reduction, the treatment can be administered virtually anywhere on your body. In this blog, Dr. Trippe discusses five popular areas that are often targeted for laser hair reduction.

The basics of laser hair reduction

Laser hair reduction works by delivering beams of light to targeted hair follicles. The light then heats the follicles to a temperature that stops the hair growth process. The hair then falls out on its own. When administered by a trained provider, the laser doesn’t harm the surrounding skin.

Most areas require up to four treatments spaced four weeks apart for noticeable results, though some areas may require up to eight sessions depending on certain factors, such as hair color and thickness.

Popular areas for treatment

Laser hair reduction can treat many areas of the body, but here are five of the most requested areas for treatment:

1. Underarms

Many women and some men are embarrassed by underarm hair. For those who are self-conscious about underarm hair, the condition can interfere with wearing bathing suits or any type of sleeveless clothing.

Laser hair reduction can replace the need for daily underarm shaving, which is a practice that can result in bumps, ingrown hairs, or razor burn. The results can leave you feeling confident to bare your underarms in any situation.

As an added benefit, treating underarm hair with laser hair reduction can also lessen body odor, because hair absorbs and retains the moisture released when you sweat.

2. Chin, jawline, and neck

Laser hair removal on facial areas, such as the chin, jawline, and neck, is popular for women who are annoyed by peach fuzz on their face or darker hair around their upper lip. Men who have to shave more than once a day may also benefit from the convenience of laser hair reduction in facial areas.

During laser hair reduction on your chin, jawline, or neck, you can expect to wear goggles and a covering to protect certain areas. Since your facial areas are small, laser hair reduction on your face can often be completed in about 20 minutes.

3. Upper and lower back

Back hair is more common on men than women, but both can find it unattractive. The condition can easily impact your self-confidence when showing this area of your body.

However, having hair on your back can be more than a cosmetic problem. Coarse, heavy hair on your back can increase your body temperature because of the extra layer of coverage on your skin. As your temperature rises and your body sweats, your back hair can dampen and stick to your clothing, causing discomfort and damp clothing.

4. Chest and abdomen

Like back hair, chest and abdomen hair may be a nuisance for both men and women. While hair on the chest or abdomen is less often a cosmetic issue for men, the removal of this hair is common among athletes who want an advantage when competing in bodybuilding, cycling, or swimming.

Men may also benefit from laser reduction of chest or abdomen hair when hair growth is patchy or uneven, creating a look that impacts their self-confidence.

5. Upper and lower arms and legs

Laser hair reduction on the legs can make a dramatic impact for women, many of whom began shaving their legs before they were teens. For many women, it’s a daily chore that can consume countless hours across a lifetime. Laser hair reduction delivers smooth, hairless skin without the inconvenience and expense of frequent shaving or waxing.

While the removal of leg and arm hair has no health benefits, laser hair reduction can boost self-confidence without the mess, razor nicks, or burns from hot wax.

How to Prevent High Blood Pressure Complications

High blood pressure, or hypertension, makes your blood flow through your arteries with more force, or pressure, than normal. The longer your blood pressure remains high and untreated, the more damage it can cause to your blood vessels. Furthermore, high blood pressure can cause a variety of complications, such as heart disease and stroke, which are two of the leading causes of death in the United States.

Board-certified family physician Karl Trippe, MD, and the staff of Waco Primary Care in Waco, Texas, provide expert diagnosis and management of high blood pressure. If you’re diagnosed with high blood pressure, Dr. Trippe can design a treatment plan to manage your symptoms and, subsequently, reduce your risk of developing life-threatening and debilitating complications.

High blood pressure can be managed and often reversed with a combination of lifestyle changes and prescription medication. In this blog, Dr. Trippe discusses ways to control high blood pressure and protect your overall wellness.

Eat a healthy diet

A healthy diet can help you reduce and manage high blood pressure. A healthy diet should be rich in protein and fiber and low in saturated fat, cholesterol, salt, and sweets. It should also provide a good supply of magnesium, calcium, and potassium, which are minerals that help regulate blood pressure.

And, a healthy diet should involve consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Many individuals who seek a plan that adheres to these guidelines follow the DASH plan, which stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension.

Maintain a healthy weight

Carrying extra weight, especially around your abdomen, can increase your blood volume and force your heart to work harder to pump blood through your body. You can reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure by losing just 5-10% of your body weight.

If you struggle with being overweight or obese, medical weight management may provide the direction and support you need to achieve your goals.

Get regular exercise

Getting regular exercise is another layer in the foundation to reduce and stabilize blood pressure. Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. In general, this means doing activities that make your heart beat faster, such as swimming or riding a bike.

The good news is that you can reap the benefits of this type of activity even if you divide your total requirement into smaller chunks of time, such as 30 minutes a day for five days a week. You should also spend some time at least two days a week engaging in muscle-strengthening activities, such as lifting weights or doing pushups.

Limit alcohol consumption

Alcohol naturally raises blood pressure to unhealthy levels. Consuming more than three drinks in one sitting can raise your blood pressure temporarily, but repeated binge drinking can result in long-term high blood pressure.

To avoid having chronic high blood pressure, drinking should be limited to one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. However, it’s important to consider that alcohol, especially many sweet mixed drinks, can include extra calories, which can interfere with your goal of maintaining a healthy weight.

Manage stress

Your body produces the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol when you experience stress. These hormones temporarily increase your blood pressure. Your body reacts by increasing your heartbeat and narrowing your blood vessels until the stress passes.

While periodic episodes of stress are normal, being stressed for long periods of time can increase your risk of developing complications, such as weight gain, heart disease, and digestion problems. Dealing with stress by smoking, overeating, or drinking alcohol can further increase your risk of developing complications

Finding healthy coping mechanisms, such as taking walks or having some quiet time, can help reduce and prevent stress.

Get enough sleep

Your body experiences a decrease in blood pressure in the deepest stages of sleep. However, you may be depriving yourself of this daily reduction in blood pressure if you’re not getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Without this natural benefit, you may increase your risk of having high blood pressure when you’re awake.

Treating sleep apnea or other sleep disorders, establishing a nightly bedtime routine, and creating a comfortable sleep environment can help you get the sleep you need to maintain normal blood pressure.

Take prescribed medications

If you’re instructed to take prescription medication to control high blood pressure, it’s important to do so. And, if medication lowers your blood pressure, you need to continue taking it until your provider says it’s safe to reduce your dosage or discontinue using it.

Schedule regular wellness checkups

Going to regular checkups for your condition can help ensure that you’re succeeding in reducing and managing your high blood pressure and avoiding the dangerous complications it can cause.

When to See a Doctor About a Child’s Fever

While body temperature can differ by individual, 98.6°F is regarded as the normal body temperature for most people, though the exact number can vary slightly throughout the day based on activity or exposure to hot environments. When your child’s body temperature measures 100.4°F or higher, they have a fever.

While the lethargy, irritability, and loss of appetite that often accompany a fever can make your child seem very sick, a fever is not the cause of these symptoms. Alone, a fever is not a disease. Instead, a fever usually indicates that your child’s immune system is actively working to protect them from invading bacteria or viruses, which can’t endure high temperatures.

While most childhood fevers don’t indicate a serious problem and typically disappear in a few days, some fevers are a sign that your child needs immediate medical care. Board-certified family physician Karl Trippe, MD, and the staff of Waco Primary Care in Waco, Texas, have the expertise necessary to diagnose and treat the causes of fevers and other common pediatric conditions.

When your child’s fever indicates the need for medical care, our caring staff works to arrange a sick visit promptly to ensure that your child receives the treatment they need.

It can be challenging to know whether your child’s fever is an indication of a common infection or serious illness. In this blog, Dr. Trippe discusses some general guidelines to consider when evaluating your child’s condition.

Why fevers occur in children

If it seems that your child has fevers frequently, that’s not unusual. Young immune systems can aggressively attack every germ that enters the body, causing fevers often. In contrast, an adult immune system has matured, so it knows not to react with full force to a minor illness, such as a common cold.

Acute fever is a fever that endures up to 14 days. Some common reasons for acute fever include:

  • Viral infection of the digestive tract (gastroenteritis)
  • Viral infection of the respiratory system, such as a cold or flu
  • Bacterial infection in the lungs (pneumonia), ears (otitis media), brain (encephalitis and Kawasaki disease), the tissue covering your brain (meningitis), joints (septic arthritis), or skin (cellulitis)
  • Vaccination and medication side effects

Chronic fever is an elevated body temperature that persists for more than 14 days. Chronic fever can occur as a result of a serious condition, such as the following:

  • Pneumonia
  • Hepatitis
  • Sinusitis
  • Heart or bone infections
  • Connective tissue disorder (juvenile idiopathic arthritis)
  • Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
  • Childhood cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma

Fevers that may need medical treatment

Every child experiences illnesses and fevers uniquely. In babies and young children who can’t fully communicate their symptoms, it can be difficult to assess the need for care.

The most telling sign of fever in children often involves shifts in their appearance and behavior. Irritability, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, and disinterest in play can often indicate the degree of illness better than the number on the thermometer.

Call our office for instructions if your child’s fever is accompanied by any of the following characteristics:

  • Less than 3 months old
  • Loss of ability to drink fluids
  • Lethargy or listlessness
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Signs of dehydration (dark or infrequent urination, sunken eyes, crying without tears, reduced alertness and activity)
  • Pain with urination
  • Rash, splotches, or tiny reddish-purple dots
  • Fever without other symptoms
  • Has a chronic medical condition, such as cancer, leukemia, or organ transplant

It’s not uncommon for children between three months and five years who have a fever to experience febrile seizures, which are convulsions that are triggered by fever in young children. While these episodes aren’t considered dangerous, it’s wise to seek a medical evaluation if one occurs.

Fevers that require emergency care

Only about 1% of children who develop fevers have a serious medical condition that requires treatment. However, if a serious illness affects your child, symptoms can worsen quickly. It’s up to you to identify the need for care if a fever results in life-threatening symptoms.

If your child develops any of the following symptoms with a fever, seek immediate emergency care:

  • Inability to awaken
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Confusion
  • Headache and/or neck stiffness
  • Inability to produce saliva or swallow
  • Inconsolable crying

While these symptoms are a general guide, don’t ignore your parental instincts if you feel that something is wrong with your child. A fever increases physical stress on your child’s body, which can be exhibited in many ways, some of which may be unique to your child.

You should never think twice about calling our office to discuss your concerns about a fever or other signs of illness in your child.

6 Reasons to Try IV Therapy

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably spent much of your life trying to avoid needles, so it can be hard to understand why people would choose to get an IV. However, more health-conscious people are choosing to have intravenous (IV) therapy because of the benefits this treatment offers.

IV therapy involves using an IV infusion to supply vitamins and minerals directly into your bloodstream. The specific ingredients used in an infusion treatment depend on your goals, which can include increasing stamina, treating a chronic health condition, or improving hydration.

Your success with IV therapy depends on working with IV specialists who can tailor your treatment to the conditions you want to target. IV therapy specialist Karl Trippe, MD, of Waco Primary Care in Waco, Texas, can help you reach your wellness goals with IV therapy. Dr. Trippe considers various factors, such as your diet, medications, medical history, lifestyle, and symptoms, to formulate the right IV therapy formulation for your needs to help you achieve your desired results.

In this blog, Dr. Trippe discusses the benefits of IV therapy and offers six reasons to try this customized treatment:

1. Increase nutrient absorption

IV therapy involves delivering nutrients directly into your bloodstream. This process prevents the nutrients from interacting with digestive enzymes, which occurs when you ingest food or supplements.

When you consume these substances, digestive enzymes break down supplements and food, which can keep your body from absorbing all of the nutrients. During this process, your body may absorb only about half of the available nutrients, while the remainder is excreted via your urine.

However, when vitamins are delivered directly into your bloodstream, you can absorb up to 90% of the available nutrients, because they’re bypassing the digestive enzymes.

2. Boost energy

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 10% of Americans lack proper amounts of several minerals and vitamins, including iron and vitamins C, D, B6, and B12. Factors including poor diet, stress, and improper absorption are common causes of these deficiencies, which can result in fatigue, a weakened immune system, and less energy.

IV therapy can help you replace these lacking nutrients efficiently, because they’re delivered directly into your bloodstream. The result can make you feel more awake and energetic naturally.

3. Treat chronic pain

IV therapy can be effective for many types of chronic pain. For example, if your pain is caused by inflammation, your IV therapy can include ingredients like the antioxidant glutathione. The effect can help boost your immune system, treat the affected areas, and reduce inflammation. If you have muscle damage, a nutrient like magnesium may be used to promote regrowth in affected areas.

IV therapy is valuable, because it can be effective without the risk of addiction associated with pain medication. There’s no risk of becoming conditioned to IV therapy and requiring higher doses. IV therapy can treat any kind of chronic pain, whether it’s caused by a chronic disease, injury, an autoimmune disorder, or nervous system dysfunction.

4. Restore hydration

An IV therapy formula rich in antioxidants can be an effective way to restore hydration after a period of excessive alcohol intake, intense exercise, or persistent vomiting or diarrhea. Pre- and post-performance hydration can help prevent heat exhaustion and enhance hydration for athletes who perform in hot environments.

If illness or other factors increase your risk of severe dehydration, IV therapy can help you avoid this potentially life-threatening condition. Rehydrating your body with IV therapy can also help you fight exhaustion and jet lag that can occur as a result of daily stress and overexertion.

5. Enhance immune function

IV therapy can be an effective tool in helping your immune system fight off viral infections and chronic illnesses. One common formulation used in IV therapy is called a Myers cocktail. The formulation is named for John Myers, MD, a pioneer in the use of IV nutritional medicine. The main ingredients include magnesium, B vitamins, calcium, and vitamin C.

A Myers cocktail can also promote relief from certain conditions, such as fibromyalgia, fatigue, muscle aches, stress, migraines, depression, allergies, and acute asthma attacks. IV therapy is especially valuable if you’re experiencing these conditions and can’t swallow vitamin pills or digest food properly.

6. Promote sports recovery

Since athletes and people who participate in high-intensity sports demand more from their bodies, they use more nutrients than less active individuals. IV therapy can help you restore optimal nutrient levels for peak recovery and performance.

IV therapy is an effective treatment to deliver a pre-competition boost and promote post-competition recovery naturally. Both strength and endurance athletes can benefit from IV therapy that contains vitamins and minerals that boost energy and performance. Personalized IV formulations can also reduce muscle aches and encourage faster rehabilitation.

Struggling to Stop Smoking? Consider a Medically Guided Cessation Plan

Annually, about 70% of U.S. smokers say they want to kick the habit. Out of these, only about 55% of individuals try to do so. However, just 7.5% of those who try to quit actually succeed for 6-12 months.

While you may be among the millions of smokers who have tried and failed to quit, that doesn’t mean you’re out of options. It’s not uncommon for smokers to try several times before eventually succeeding long term.

Enrolling in a medically guided smoking cessation plan can increase your chances of achieving your goal. Wellness specialist Karl Trippe, MD, of Waco Primary Care in Waco, Texas, can provide the support and guidance you need to beat your physical and mental dependence on smoking.

Based on a comprehensive physical examination and medical history, Dr. Trippe creates an individualized plan that includes the smoking cessation strategies that best match your needs. Quitting smoking isn’t always easy, but it can be accomplished. A medically guided smoking cessation program may be just what you need to make this your final and successful attempt at quitting smoking.

Why it’s so hard to quit

Most smokers fail in their attempts to quit smoking because they find it difficult to combat their physical and mental dependence on nicotine. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug that all tobacco products contain.

Research has labeled smoking as being as addictive as heroin or cocaine. When you use nicotine, your body releases dopamine, which produces temporary pleasing effects in your brain. As the effect begins to wear off, your body craves more nicotine, forcing you to reach for another cigarette.

As your dependence on nicotine increases, the effects of quitting and keeping your body from the nicotine it craves become more unpleasant.

How to increase your chances of success

Smoking cessation programs that provide several components can improve your chances of succeeding. If you’re serious about quitting, experts advise you to seek smoking cessation programs with the following characteristics:

  • Physician advice
  • Self-help materials
  • Behavioral counseling
  • Self-management techniques
  • Support groups
  • Nicotine replacement therapy
  • Medicine that reduces your urge to smoke
  • Follow-up on your progress

A medically guided smoking cessation program provides these benefits and more. In addition to including the program components that support success, you can access these benefits in the familiar and supportive environment of your primary care provider.

Nicotine replacement therapy

When administered as part of a medically guided smoking cessation program, prescription nicotine replacement therapy can help you gradually wean yourself off of this chemical. This treatment helps you gradually withdraw from smoking by using small amounts of nicotine that gradually decrease according to a predetermined schedule.

Nicotine replacement therapy products are manufactured in over-the-counter and prescription formulations. Using over-the-counter products without medical supervision can jeopardize your well-being if you have chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease, or stomach ulcers.

Medications that promote smoking cessation

By working with a physician in a medically guided smoking cessation program, you can gain access to bupropion and/or varenicline, two FDA-approved smoking cessation products. These medications do not contain nicotine, but instead work to reduce the pleasing effects of nicotine and reduce the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.

While the benefits achieved by smoking cessation outweigh the risks of medication side effects for most smokers, these prescriptions are only administered under medical guidance. Taking this or any prescription drug can affect existing or undiagnosed medical conditions and threaten your well-being, so you must be under a physician’s care to use them.

Physician advice and monitoring

The ongoing physician support and monitoring you receive during a medically guided smoking cessation program can help you stay on track, so you can quit smoking safely and successfully. Periodic check-ins can help keep you motivated and responsible for your decisions.

The behavioral support you receive during a medically guided smoking cessation program can have a big impact on your results. When behavioral support is combined with smoking cessation medications or nicotine replacement therapy, your chances of achieving long-term smoking cessation increase up to 25%.

And if setbacks occur, Dr. Trippe can modify your program to find the strategies that work best for you. And throughout the journey, Dr. Trippe and his team provide an encouraging and empathetic environment.

5 Facial Benefits of Skin Rejuvenation

Skin rejuvenation is a nonsurgical procedure that can help you look as vibrant as you feel, and it doesn’t require the time and risks associated with traditional cosmetic surgery. This nonsurgical treatment can provide multiple benefits to men and women who want to erase defects caused by aging, the sun, scarring, pollution, and skin conditions.

Working with an experienced provider can help you achieve the results you desire from skin rejuvenation. Skin rejuvenation specialist Karl Trippe, MD, of Waco Primary Care in Waco, Texas, has extensive experience using this treatment to help patients improve their facial appearance. Dr. Trippe designs an individualized treatment plan based on the condition of your skin and your cosmetic goals.

Dr. Trippe uses intense pulsed light therapy with the Cynosure® Icon® system. The Icon system delivers many different wavelengths of light deep into the second layer of your skin without damaging the top layer. Skin rejuvenation can correct a wide range of complexion issues. Here are five benefits you can gain with skin rejuvenation.

1. Reduces fine lines and wrinkles

Your body produces 1% less collagen every year after age 20. Collagen helps give skin its structure. Furthermore, collagen production helps in the regeneration process of skin. With the dwindling production of collagen, skin can lose structure, become dry, have less fat, and begin to appear wrinkled, loose, and saggy.

Skin rejuvenation encourages collagen growth to help skin become fuller and more youthful. When the energy of the Icon system is delivered to the targeted area, your body interprets the heat as an injury and generates collagen to repair the “damage.” Over time, this extra collagen works to produce a smooth and even complexion.

2. Minimizes facial veins

Facial veins, or broken capillaries, appear as small red, purple, or blue lines under the surface of the skin on the nose, chin, and cheeks.

Facial veins can weaken with age and become more susceptible to dilating and stretching out when damaged by the sun, irritants, and other factors. Facial veins can also become more prominent as older skin gets thinner and allows dilated veins to become more visible.

When facial veins are treated with intense pulsed light therapy, heat disintegrates the veins, and they become scar tissue. The scar tissue is then absorbed by your body over several treatments, resulting in more even-toned skin.

3. Improves acne scars

Acne scars can appear as permanent indentations in the skin. A big culprit for scars is a type of acne called acne cysts. Acne cysts are large, pus-filled pockets that destroy skin tissue and disrupt collagen production.

When a cyst empties, the lost collagen isn’t always restored when the area heals. If your body fails to produce enough collagen, pits or depressions can form during the healing process.

Skin rejuvenation with the Icon system delivers energy to the scarred area. Your body then responds to the heat energy by producing collagen in the area, which then fills in the scar depression to produce a smooth and even appearance.

4. Diminishes sun spots

Sun spots, or age spots, occur when the body causes pigmented skin cells to multiply due to sun exposure. These spots typically appear on the face and other areas of the body that have the most sun exposure.

Skin rejuvenation treatments can be an easy and effective remedy for age spots. Intense pulsed light therapy breaks down the melanin or pigment and leaves the surrounding tissue unharmed.

5. Relieves redness and rosacea

Rosacea makes blood vessels in the face visible and can also make the face appear red or flushed. It can also cause thickening skin, inflammation, pimples, and uneven skin tone.

Skin rejuvenation with the Icon system can reduce blood vessels by constricting and shrinking them. And the additional collagen production can improve skin texture.

What Causes Rosacea Flare-ups?

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that mainly affects the face. Veins or acne-like bumps can emerge during these episodes and make your skin look red and irritated.

Unfortunately, rosacea flare-ups can have a big physical and emotional impact. According to research, almost 90% of people who suffer from rosacea say they experience lower self-confidence and self-esteem, while 41% report that it has caused them to avoid social situations.

The good news is there are things you can do to help prevent flare-ups. Identifying your triggers and working to avoid them can reduce your likelihood of experiencing symptoms.

Karl Trippe, MD, of Waco Primary Care in Waco, Texas, provides comprehensive rosacea assessment and treatment. Dr. Trippe can help you identify your triggers and reduce your flare-ups with a treatment plan that includes lifestyle modifications, prescription medicine, and photorejuvenation, as appropriate for your condition.

Triggers for rosacea flare-ups

While researchers aren’t completely sure what causes rosacea, they do know that certain things can trigger flare-ups. Keeping a diary of daily activities and events can help you identify associations between triggers and flare-ups. This information can then give you a roadmap of what to avoid. Here are some common triggers for rosacea flare-ups.

Certain foods and drinks

Certain foods and drinks are common triggers for rosacea flare-ups. Spicy foods can worsen symptoms in about 75% of adults with rosacea.

The pain receptors in your skin that react to warmth can be stimulated by the chemical capsaicin. Foods that contain capsaicin, such as jalapeños, chili peppers, hot sauces, and tabasco peppers, can trigger redness, because they can affect these receptors.

The chemical cinnamaldehyde can also trigger a warming sensation and trigger rosacea flare-ups. This ingredient is found in cinnamon, chocolate, tomatoes, and citrus fruits.

Alcohol, especially red wine, is another common trigger for rosacea. The beverage can dilate the small blood vessels in your face, which can make your skin appear flushed.

Overheating your body

Overheating your body, whether from the environment or a hot beverage, can trigger rosacea flare-ups.

Heat and humidity can increase your body temperature, which can dilate your blood vessels and trigger inflammation, which can then make you appear flushed. This can occur due to exposure to the sun, heaters, fireplaces, and other heat sources.

High-intensity workouts can redden anyone’s skin due to the increased blood flow and heart rate. However, this effect can be more pronounced if you’re susceptible to rosacea.

Stress and anxiety

Excess stress can cause the body to overreact with dramatic chemical and physical changes. If you’re susceptible to rosacea, you’re more likely to experience flare-ups following stressful or emotional events. These emotions may encourage your body to release adrenaline and cortisol, which can have an inflammatory effect on the skin.

If you live with chronic stress, you may experience an uncontrollable cycle of rosacea flare-ups unless you learn stress management techniques, such as deep breathing, and address the sources of your emotional turmoil.

Exposure to cold and wind

Rosacea-prone skin is typically sensitive to changes in temperature and the elements. Just a few minutes of wind can trigger a response of redness and flushing. If you spend time in cooler weather without covering your face, you might trigger rosacea flare-ups.

Blustery weather can dry out your skin, which can result in flushed patches of dryness. Skipping your moisturizer and allowing your skin to dry out may also trigger flare-ups.

Improper skin care

If you’re not paying attention to the ingredients in your skin care products, you could be aggravating your rosacea. Common rosacea triggers include alcohol, camphor, menthol, and sodium lauryl sulfate.

Harsh cleansers, toners, and astringents can dry skin and worsen rosacea in some people. Acne treatments and products that contain retinoids or salicylic acid can also have this effect.

If you have rosacea, you should try to use products that are fragrance-free, oil-free, and hypoallergenic.

When to Schedule a Well-Child Exam

While your physician’s office can sometimes feel like a second home as you navigate the cycle of viruses, infections, bumps, and bruises that occur during childhood, a well-child exam is a different kind of appointment. These checkups give your physician time to examine their overall well-being instead of focusing on a specific illness or condition.

The purpose of a well-child exam is different from an office visit in which your child needs a diagnosis or treatment. A well-child exam is intended to promote health, prevent disease, identify and treat conditions at their earliest stages, and guide parents in supporting their child’s emotional and intellectual development.

In this blog, board-certified family medicine physician Karl Trippe, MD, of Waco Primary Care in Waco, Texas, explains when your child should have a well-child exam and what to expect during these appointments.

Recommended timing of well-child exams

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends a schedule of well-child exams for individuals from birth to young adulthood. While your physician may advise a slightly different schedule depending on your child’s condition, it’s common for healthy children to have a well-child exam at the following ages:

  • First week (3-5 days)
  • 1 month
  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 9 months
  • 12 months
  • 15 months
  • 18 months
  • 2 years (24 months)
  • 2½ years (30 months)
  • Annually from ages 3-21

The higher frequency of well-child exams at the beginning of life coincides with the rapid growth and development that occurs during the first few years of life. Having frequent physical exams during this time can help to identify problems and allow for intervention as soon as possible.

If your child has a chronic medical condition or is at high risk of developing one, they may require more frequent examinations and monitoring.

What to expect during a well-child exam

There are several components to a well-child exam that remain consistent no matter how old your child is at the time of their appointment. Most well-child visits include a thorough physical examination with age-appropriate screenings for common health problems and developmental issues.

For example, your child will undergo an autism screening at their well-child exams at 18 and 24 months, when early signs of autism are often noticeable. A screening will help your physician determine whether your child requires further evaluation for diagnosis and treatment.

Other routine procedures include measuring their weight, height, and body mass index (BMI) to assess their physical development. Your child’s blood pressure, pulse, and respiration rates may also be recorded. A stethoscope will be used to listen to your child’s breathing, heartbeat, and bowel sounds. Recommended vaccinations and annual flu shots will also be administered at this time.

You’ll also be able to discuss any concerns you have about your child’s physical, mental, and social growth and development. It will also give your physician time to provide age-appropriate education and referrals regarding your child’s condition.

Why you should schedule a well-child exam

A well-child exam can help save your child’s life in more ways than one. Unintentional injuries rank as the leading cause of death for children in the United States. In addition to promoting disease prevention and early intervention, well-child exams provide a valuable opportunity for physicians to review age-appropriate preventive care, such as using car seats and wearing bicycle helmets.

Attending these exams as recommended will also help establish continuity of care throughout your child’s lifetime. Continuity of care has been associated with improved clinical outcomes and fewer emergency department visits as opposed to fragmented care administered by multiple providers in response to acute conditions.

IV Therapy for Chronic Pain: What to Expect

Chronic pain consists of any pain that lasts longer than 12 weeks. The effects can impact your quality of life and your ability to achieve quality sleep.

You’re not alone if you’re experiencing this condition. About 20% of American adults experience chronic pain, ranking the condition as one of the most common reasons for seeking medical care.

If your chronic pain hasn’t improved with medication or traditional treatments, you may benefit from IV therapy. In fact, IV therapy provides the most effective way to flood your body with nutrients that can help treat the sources of chronic, debilitating pain.

In this blog, board-certified family medicine physician Karl Trippe, MD, of Waco Primary Care in Waco, Texas, explains how IV therapy works and how it can help relieve chronic pain.

How IV therapy works

IV therapy works by delivering quality nutrition to your body in a method that ensures you get the most benefit from the nutrients you receive. The nutrients included in your IV therapy may include B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, vitamin C, and amino acids in a water-based solution.

Though you may consume many of these nutrients in your daily supplements or meals, some of these components may get lost in the digestion process before they reach your bloodstream, thus reducing the benefits. IV therapy, on the other hand, ensures that your body receives all of the benefits, because the nutrition goes straight to your bloodstream, allowing your cells to absorb all of the nutrients.

The treatment is delivered in our office. A needle is inserted into a vein, and the needle is connected to a tube that’s attached to an IV bag, which contains the nutrients. The bag is hung so that the solution drips into your bloodstream gradually.

You have nothing to do but sit back and relax. A staff member monitors your IV to ensure that it continues to administer your nutrients properly. Your IV therapy can take effect within minutes of being administered. The entire process takes about an hour, and most patients are able to resume normal activities after their IV therapy.

The effects of IV therapy on chronic pain

The nutrients you receive in your IV therapy will depend on the type of chronic pain you’re experiencing. For example, if inflammation is causing your pain, your IV therapy may include nutrients that will work to boost your immune system, heal the affected areas, and reduce inflammation. Or if you have muscle damage, magnesium or other nutrients may be used to encourage regrowth in these areas.

Unlike pain medication, IV therapy isn’t addictive. You don’t risk becoming conditioned to the nutrients in IV therapy and requiring higher doses, an effect that can occur with pain medication. IV therapy can be used for any type of chronic pain, whether it’s due to an injury, a chronic disease, a nervous system dysfunction, or an autoimmune disorder.

5 Benefits of a Customized Wellness Plan

A customized wellness plan can help you establish a healthy foundation, maintain your well-being, and prevent and manage chronic conditions. This approach to well-being provides a guide for pursuing long-term wellness through lifestyle choices and appropriate preventive care.

Board-certified family medicine physician Karl Trippe, MD, of Waco Primary Care in Waco, Texas, provides professional wellness services to patients at all levels of health. Based on a thorough examination, medical history, diagnostic tests, and consideration of your personal goals, Dr. Trippe designs a customized wellness plan that can help improve your health and allow you to live your best life.

Here are five benefits of a customized wellness plan and how it can make a difference in your health today and in the future.

1. Receive professional guidance in managing your weight

If you’ve tried without success to lose weight, your inability to sustain long-term weight loss may be because you’ve never discovered what works for you.

In designing your customized wellness plan, Dr. Trippe looks at the “big picture” and considers your unique needs for weight management. Certain factors, such as lifestyle, genetics, medical history, and medications, can impact your success in reaching a healthy weight.

A customized wellness plan can help you lose weight by addressing the unique needs of your body and medical conditions. A plan can help you lose weight safely and also help you learn how to maintain your weight loss and live a healthy lifestyle.

2. Lower your risk of developing chronic diseases

A customized wellness plan establishes a preventive approach to wellness by instituting lifestyle changes that can lower your risk of developing chronic diseases.

For example, losing just 5-10% of your body weight may improve your cholesterol levels and lower your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. And, quitting smoking at any age can reduce your risk of developing cancer, respiratory disease, heart disease, and stroke.

Other components of your customized wellness plan may involve taking one or more of the following screenings and diagnostic tests to identify conditions that may threaten your health:

  • Urinalysis
  • Complete blood cell (CBC) test
  • Skin cancer screening
  • Cholesterol (lipid) check
  • Mammogram
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing
  • Pap smear or testicular exam

3. Receive customized medication management

If you’re taking more than one medication prescribed by more than one physician, a customized wellness plan can prevent over-medication and the possibility of adverse reactions.

In some cases, it may be time to reduce or discontinue some medications and consider other types of treatment or lifestyle changes if the medications are doing more harm than good.

As a family medicine physician, Dr. Trippe has the expertise necessary to coordinate all of your medications, monitor the dosages and potential interactions, and make changes when necessary.

4. Get nutrition and dietary counseling

While nutritional and dietary counseling can help you achieve weight loss goals, this aspect of your wellness plan can also provide the foundation for your overall physical and mental health. Eating the right foods can increase your energy, strengthen your bones, improve your mental sharpness, and protect your cardiovascular system.

Poor eating habits can rob your body of the nutrients needed to fight symptoms related to menopause, high blood pressure, digestive issues, and other conditions. If you don’t eat properly, your overall health may decline, which may make you unable to manage existing conditions and fight off new problems.

5. Develop an exercise plan

Exercise and movement are critical components of a healthy lifestyle. In addition to providing physical benefits, exercise can boost your mood, reduce stress, sharpen your focus, and even improve your quality of sleep.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of intense aerobic activity every week, with strength training at least twice a week.

A customized wellness plan can help you set workable goals and routines for meeting established levels of movement. With consideration for your abilities, preferences, and lifestyle, Dr. Trippe can work with you to create an exercise program with activities that will improve your well-being.

Start Laser Hair Reduction Now and be Silky Smooth by Summer

Don’t go through another summer dealing with time-consuming shaving, waxing, and plucking to remove unwanted hair. Starting laser hair reduction now is the best way to ensure that you can look your best by the time you start shopping for your new swimsuit or board shorts this summer.

Unlike traditional hair removal techniques, laser hair reduction works without the potential for cuts, razor bumps, and ingrown hairs. By treating hair follicles beneath the surface of your skin, laser hair removal provides long-term results that many patients enjoy for months and even years.

Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that requires appropriate training, so you’ll get the best results if you consult with an experienced professional. Karl Trippe, MD, of Waco Primary Care in Waco, Texas, provides convenient and effective long-term hair removal with the Cynosure® Icon™ system. Dr. Trippe and his staff at Waco Primary Care have the experience necessary to safely give you the appearance you desire.

How laser hair reduction works

Laser hair reduction delivers concentrated beams of light to targeted hair follicles. The energy damages the follicles and the hairs die. However, the energy doesn’t harm the surrounding skin. While laser hair reduction doesn’t permanently stop all hair regrowth in the treated areas, it can drastically reduce it.

Laser hair reduction can be used anywhere on your body. It’s often used to treat unwanted hair in the following areas:

  • Upper and lower back
  • Chest and abdomen
  • Underarms
  • Upper and lower arms and legs
  • Bikini line
  • Upper lip, chin, and jaw

Timing is everything

There are three stages of hair growth: an active stage, a resting stage, and a shedding stage. At any one time, every strand of hair on your body is in one of these stages. Treating each strand at the right time is important, because laser hair reduction only works on follicles that have hairs in the active growth stage.

Because all of your hairs won’t be in the active growth stage at the same time, you won’t be able to treat all of them on your first visit. You’ll likely need 3-6 laser treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart. So if you want smooth skin by summer, starting treatments in the winter is a good time to begin.

If you have coarse hair or are targeting a large area, you may need more sessions. However, until treatments begin, it may be difficult to determine how many treatments you’ll need.

Seasonal advantages

Having laser hair reduction in the winter is also optimal because it allows you to follow the recommended preparation and after-care instructions with minimal inconvenience.

Laser hair reduction isn’t as effective when performed on tanned or sunburned skin, so you’ll have to avoid sun exposure before your treatment. In the winter, you won’t have to worry about missing out on time at the beach or the pool while you avoid the sun. It’s also likely that any summer tan will have faded by the winter, which will leave your skin in the best possible shape for successful treatments.

It’s also necessary to avoid hair removal methods, such as waxing and electrolysis, for about four weeks before your laser hair reduction. These procedures can damage hair follicles, giving the laser an imperfect area to target. If you routinely use these treatments, it may be easier to live without them in the winter when you’re wearing clothes that cover more of your body.

Laser hair reduction treatments done in the winter may also be less likely to interfere with your daily activities. At this time of year, you may spend more time indoors. This can make winter an ideal time for treatment, because the laser can make your skin temporarily more vulnerable to UV damage, so you’ll have to avoid sun exposure after each session.

What Causes Facial Veins and How Can I Get Rid of Them?

Facial veins are tiny blood vessels, called capillaries, that exist right under the surface of your skin. They appear as small red lines when that become damaged.

Facial veins, or broken capillaries, usually appear on the nose, chin, and cheeks. While facial veins typically don’t cause pain or discomfort, they may make you self-conscious.

State-of-the-art facial vein treatments can eliminate facial veins and rejuvenate your skin. Vein treatment specialist Karl Trippe, MD, of Waco Primary Care in Waco, Texas, uses cutting-edge, minimally invasive procedures to remove facial veins and restore the complections and self-confidence of his patients.

What are facial veins?

When capillaries dilate or enlarge, they bulge under the skin due to the pressure of extra blood. Because they’re so close to the surface of the skin, these changes can be more noticeable.

Facial veins are more common with age. As you get older, your veins can weaken and become more likely to dilate and stretch out when damaged by internal or external factors. They can also become more prominent as you get older because skin can thin with age, which can make dilated veins more visible.

What causes facial veins?

As mentioned, aging can lead to facial veins. Other factors can also cause facial veins, including the following:

Sun damage

Sun exposure is one of the most common causes of facial veins. Staying in the sun without sunscreen or having sunburns can enlarge and dilate your blood vessels. When your skin experiences sun damage, the top layer of skin can peel and make the blood vessels directly under the skin more visible.

Extreme pressure

Extreme pressure on your face, whether from vigorous washing, popping a pimple, sneezing, vomiting, or facial injuries, can damage delicate capillaries and make them dilate. Other external factors, such as environmental or chemical irritants, wind, or extreme temperature changes can also damage these sensitive blood vessels.

Drinking alcohol

Alcohol consumption can dilate blood vessels temporarily. Frequent drinking can dilate the blood vessels for longer periods of time and cause a flushed appearance.


If you have family members who have facial veins, you have a higher chance of getting them.

Medical conditions

Having certain medical conditions, such as rosacea, liver disease, scleroderma, and lupus, can also increase your risk of developing facial veins.

High estrogen levels

Having high levels of estrogen, which occurs during pregnancy, can also result in broken blood vessels. The extra blood volume that occurs at this time can cause extra pressure in the capillaries, which can make them susceptible to dilating.

How can facial veins be treated?

Once facial veins appear, they can’t be repaired. The only way to reduce their appearance is to remove them with professional facial vein treatment.

Waco Primary Care has two treatments that can get rid of facial veins: intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy and laser therapy. For intense pulsed light therapy, we use the Cynosure® Icon® system. Intense pulsed light therapy works much like laser therapy. However, IPL therapy delivers multiple wavelengths of energy, much like flash photography. In contrast, laser therapy delivers one very targeted wavelength of light.

Intense pulsed light therapy

Intense pulsed light therapy scatters the energy across a larger targeted area, treating a broader section of skin at one time. The light penetrates to the second layer of skin to destroy the damaged blood vessels without harming the top layer.

As the treated blood vessels are heated, they disintegrate and are naturally removed by your body. The effect is gentler than laser therapy and requires little to no downtime.

Laser therapy

If your facial veins are more severe, they may require stronger treatment with laser vein therapy. Laser vein therapy directs an intense, targeted beam of light to irritate the walls of a damaged vein, causing the veins to collapse. Once the veins collapse, your body naturally removes them.

Laser therapy delivers more dramatic results in fewer sessions than IPL treatment, though the stronger laser treatment typically requires a longer recovery time because it damages the outer layer of skin.

5 Essential Tips for Managing Rosacea Flare-ups

Rosacea flare-ups can affect more than your appearance. The redness and breakouts that characterize rosacea can affect your mental health. Among people who suffer from this condition, almost 90% say that they experience lower self-confidence and self-esteem, and 41% say they have avoided social situations because of it.

While there’s no cure for rosacea, it can often be controlled with lifestyle changes and prescription medicine. You’ll get the best results from rosacea treatment when you consult with a professional skincare expert.

Karl Trippe, MD, of Waco Primary Care in Waco, Texas, provides expert diagnosis and treatment for rosacea. Dr. Trippe has the experience necessary to reduce the number of rosacea flare-ups and help you manage these episodes when they occur.

Read on to learn five essential tips for managing rosacea flare-ups. Taking these precautions can reduce the possibility of this chronic condition from affecting your self-image and interfering with your quality of life.

1. Control your exposure to the elements

Sun exposure ranks as the most common rosacea trigger, but any of the elements can be a trigger. Rosacea-prone skin is so sensitive that just a few minutes of sunlight or wind can trigger redness and flushing.

Taking all precautions to control your exposure to the sun will help you manage flare-ups. Avoid being outside when the sun is at its strongest, typically between 10am-3pm. When you’re outside, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, and stay in the shade for extra protection.

Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen that contains an SPF of 30 or higher daily all year. You’re less likely to experience irritation with a fragrance-free sunscreen. For the best protection, use products that contain titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide.

To avoid a rosacea flare-up in cooler weather, cover your face with a smooth silk or acrylic scarf.

2. Reduce stress

Stress is another common trigger for rosacea. Learning to manage stress can help you avoid flare-ups.

Prepare to control your reaction to daily stress by practicing deep breathing and using this technique when you feel stress coming on.

Participate in daily activities that help you relax and feel calm. Yoga, meditation, tai chi, and even seeking out a rosacea support group can help you feel more in control of your daily situation.

3. Avoid overheating

Overheating, whether from the environment or a hot beverage, can cause a rosacea flare-up. Control your body temperature by avoiding your exposure to fireplaces, heaters, and other sources of heat.

Wear clothing in layers so you can remove items when you start to feel your body temperature rise. Keep your body cool with a fan or air-conditioning.

When exercising, try lower-intensity activities that can prevent your body from overheating. Exercise in an air-conditioned or shaded area.

Remember to have water and a towel available to cool down when outside or exercising. If you feel overheated, you can dip your towel in the cool water and place the towel around your neck.

4. Control your diet

Knowing the foods that can trigger rosacea flare-ups can help you reduce the number of episodes that occur. About 75% of adults with rosacea have symptoms that worsen when they eat spicy foods.

The chemical capsaicin can interact with your skin’s pain receptors that react to warmth. Foods that contain capsaicin, such as chili peppers, jalapeños, hot sauces, and tabasco pepper, can affect these receptors and trigger redness.

Cinnamaidehyde, the chemical that gives cinnamon its distinctive taste, can also trigger a warming sensation and cause rosacea symptoms. The ingredient is found in cinnamon, tomatoes, chocolate, and citrus fruits.

5. Follow a skincare program that works

You can gain control of rosacea flare-ups by following a daily skin treatment program. Using gentle products and a daily moisturizer can be beneficial to rosacea-prone skin. Avoid hair and skincare products that contain alcohol, camphor, menthol, and sodium lauryl sulfate, which can irritate your skin.

Based on the condition of your skin, Dr. Trippe will create a customized plan to help you control embarrassing rosacea symptoms. Your treatment may include anti-inflammatory therapies, such as the antibiotic doxycycline and the topical metronidazole. Prescription medications, such as azelaic acid and ivermectin, may also be effective.

If you have visible broken blood vessels as a result of rosacea, you may benefit from photorejuvenation with light therapy This therapy is an intense pulsed-light treatment that uses controlled heat to break apart damaged veins to reduce the appearance of redness.

Get Ahead of Winter Colds With IV Nutrition Therapy

As winter approaches, so do the opportunities to pick up colds. Now is the time to give your body a boost in resources so that it can protect itself against late-winter viral infections. And one of the best ways to do that is with our IV infusion therapy.

At Waco Primary Care, Dr. Karl M. Trippe offers a wide array of preventive care treatments, including IV Nutrition Therapy. When it comes to the health of your immune system, you need a number of key vitamins and minerals to provide you with the best protection, which is where our IV therapy comes in.

Here’s a closer look at why you should arm yourself against winter colds by boosting your health with our IV nutrition therapy.

Protecting against colds

When it comes to protecting against colds, vitamin C has long held the spotlight, and for good reason. Vitamin C supports the health of your immune system, which is your first line of defense when it comes to viral infections.

With our IV infusion therapy, we supply high-dose vitamin C, along with other critical vitamins and nutrients that help strengthen your body, including:

  • Magnesium
  • B vitamins
  • Calcium

Taken together, our IV infusion therapy delivers a powerful dose of the resources your body needs for optimal function and overall wellness. And a healthy and strong body is one that’s better able to ward off winter colds more easily.

IV therapy works through your bloodstream

Similar to the way doctors help hospitalized patients get the nutrients they need during an illness, with our intravenous (IV) infusion therapy we’re able to deliver vitamins, nutrients, and essential amino acids directly into your bloodstream. This means your body can absorb the vitamins more efficiently than through oral supplements, which typically have an absorption rate of only 25%-35%.

With our IV therapy, we bypass your digestive system so your body can easily absorb up to 90% of the beneficial vitamins and minerals.

The added benefits of IV infusion therapy

While our IV infusion therapy does a fantastic job in helping you specifically avoid winter colds, our patients also use this treatment to:

  • Decrease stress
  • Improve energy levels
  • Help with sleep
  • Increase hydration
  • Enhance mood
  • Reduce allergy symptoms
  • Reduce toxins

And while this list may seem unrelated to the common cold, the fact is that each of these areas of your health and wellness contributes directly or indirectly to your ability to ward off any number of health issues, including viral infections.