Protecting Yourself from the Arizona Sun

Arizona is famous for its intense summer heat and the bright sunshine that causes it. The sunshine can help make a summer day fun, but it can also have detrimental effects on your skin. If you want to have fun in the Arizona sun, then you need to know how to protect your skin from the sun’s dangerous effects. You also need to be able to identify any abnormalities in your skin that could be the early signs of skin problems.

The sunshine cannot damage what it cannot touch. Throughout the state of Arizona, the sun is at its worse from around noon until 4:00 p.m. If you are going outside for work or other non-entertainment reasons, then wear a broad-rimmed hat to protect your face and make sure your skin is covered. You can wear very light, bright-colored clothing to make sure you do not overheat.

UV Protection and Dermatology Services Gilbert Residents Need

If you are headed out for some summer fun in the afternoon Arizona heat, then be sure to use very strong sun block to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays. No matter what you are doing during the afternoon in Arizona, you should have sunblock on exposed skin to prevent overexposure to the sun. For children, there are sun block products that are specially designed to protect their delicate skin.

It is common for people to forget about their lips during the summer, but you can experience serious pain if your lips start getting burned as the summer goes on. You can apply a flavored lip balm regularly to your lips to protect them from the sun. Some lip balms have a certain level of sun block to them, but any lip balm should be able to prevent your lips from getting cracked or burned.

One of the biggest myths about the Arizona sun is that it is a great way to get a nice, healthy tan. While it can put a damper on your plans, you need to remember that there is no such thing as a healthy tan. Any discoloration to your skin by the sun could be the beginning stages of skin cancer. Instead of trying to even out your tan to get a certain look, you should be trying to keep your skin as unaffected by the sun as possible.

Too much time in the sun not only darkens your skin, but it can also cause blemishes to appear on your skin that could be the signs of something more sinister. Spotting the beginning stages of skin cancer starts with identifying strange moles or freckles on your skin that had not been there before. Sometimes freckles are a natural part of a person’s appearance, but in Arizona freckles can mean problems.

If you notice a mole that changes color, gets larger, is sensitive to the touch or is itchy, then you could be looking at the beginning stages of melanoma. The kind of dermatology services Gilbert residents rely on can test the mole for you, and then take any kind of initial action that needs to be taken. The sooner you catch a cancerous mole, the easier it will be to get rid of it.

As kids get older and spend a lot of time out in the sun, it can be difficult to tell if their freckles are normal or warning signs of too much exposure to the sun. In most cases, freckles are simply an indicator that someone spent too much time in the sun. But if one or more freckles start to get larger than the others, then that will need to be checked out. Freckles that seem to be rounder and a deeper brown that the others should also be warning signs that it is time to call on one of the family physicians in Gilbert.

For older people, freckles are often humorously referred to as age spots or liver spots. The truth is that excessive exposure to the sun over many years is what causes these spots to rise to the surface, and they should be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. These spots occur mostly in the facial area, but they can occur anywhere on the body.

The Arizona sun can be both refreshing and dangerous. If you want to enjoy your time in the sun, then take the proper precautions to prevent health issues in the future. If you do feel like you are seeing the signs of potential sun exposure problems, then contact the experienced physicians at Complete Care Medicine to get your skin examined thoroughly.


Understanding The Healthy Powers Of Adequate Sleep

There are times when people contact their Gilbert family doctor complaining of symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps and disorientation. Each person insists that they eat right, exercise and drink plenty of fluids. Their inability to feel healthy is frustrating, but it can also be easy to pinpoint. Even the most health-conscious individuals can forget about the healing powers of sleep, and how neglecting to get enough sleep can lead to a variety of medical issues.

A healthy lifestyle means a well-rounded approach to exercise, diet and recovery. If you do not give your body proper time to recover, then you are not purging toxins from your body that can build up over time. Recovery time is also used by your body to rebuild muscle tissue, flush out dead cells and make sure that all of your organs have the proper levels of nutrients and oxygen. A power nap once in a while is good for giving you quick bursts of energy, but real recovery only comes from the proper amount of sleep.

The world is a busy place and there are people who contend that they don’t have enough hours in the day to do the things they need and want to do. More often than not, these busy people sacrifice vital hours of sleep each night to catch up on work or get to the gym to exercise. Sleep works together with diet and exercise to help you fight off disease and repair your body. Without the right amount of sleep, you will start to suffer from severe medical conditions such as heart disease and hypertension.

Most medical providers state that a good amount of sleep each night for older children, teenagers and adults is between seven and eight hours a night. But if this is not seven or eight hours of continuous deep sleep, then you will not receive the rejuvenating effects that sleep has to offer. If you don’t feel that you are getting enough from your sleeping habits, then you can start to get the answers you need from a qualified family physician in Gilbert.

Adults who claim to sleep seven to eight hours a night but still feel fatigued could be suffering from a condition known as sleep apnea. While you may feel like you are sleeping, your air pathways are blocked by collapsed muscles in your throat. This prevents air from getting into your lungs, and also prevents you from getting the deep sleep you need for healthy rejuvenation. With sleep apnea, you actually stop breathing hundreds of times a night, which stops the flow of oxygen to your brain and other organs.

Your Gilbert doctor can order a sleep study for you to see if your breathing stops during the night and you are experiencing sleep apnea. If it is determined that you do need help with your sleeping condition, then there is equipment available that can make sure your body gets the oxygen it needs at night, and you get the deep sleep you need.

Young children present a special problem when it comes to sleeping habits because, for the most part, kids fight sleep for as long as they can. Children need more sleep each night than teens or adults, and children who do not get that sleep could start to see developmental problems that affect their learning, growth and other important areas.

A Gilbert physician who offers well child exams can take a look at your child and make recommendations for improving their sleeping habits. Because children tend to be unpredictable when it comes to sleep, it does take an experienced professional to diagnose and treat sleeping ailments in children. Parents who take the time to help their children get good sleeping habits early in life will also be helping their children to stay healthy as they get older.

How can you tell if someone you know is having problems sleeping at night? There is a range of symptoms you can look for that may indicate sleeping issues. For example, restlessness during the day, irritability, swings in emotions, disorientation, the inability to pay attention for any extended period of time and dozing off during the day could be signs of sleep issues. Some people might dismiss their sleep issues as just an inability to deal with stress, but the reality is that it is all part of the same problem.

What should you do if you feel like you have sleep issues? When sleep issues are not treated and allowed to go on for extended periods of time, they can create serious medical issues that will need attention later in life. If you feel fatigued during the day or do not feel like you are getting deep sleep at night, then it is very important that you talk to your doctor immediately.

How should you approach someone who has the symptoms of sleep issues? The best way to let someone know that they may have sleep issues is to tell them that you are concerned, and then list out the symptoms you have observed. You can suggest a quick visit to the doctor just to make sure everything is okay, and let them know that lack of sleep is a dangerous problem to have.

Diet, exercise and rest work together to give you the best possible level of health. If you are not getting enough of all three, then your body is going to suffer. If you do not get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night, then your body does not have the chance to flush out toxins and rebuild damaged tissue. It is important that you pay attention to your own sleep habits, and consult your doctor if you feel as though you are not getting enough deep sleep each night.

How to Manage Your Diabetes

Diabetes is a serious condition that can affect multiple areas of your body. It is a disease that can occur to anyone at any age, and its real origins are difficult to pinpoint. Some people get diabetes as a result of their weight issues, other people have a history of diabetes in their families. But diabetes can also be the result of a serious illness, a medical procedure or even an accident where you sustained serious injuries.

When you talk to a family doctor in Gilbert about diabetes, your doctor will tell you that you have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Both conditions revolve around issues with producing or using insulin, which is the enzyme that allows the body to properly process glucose (sugar). Type 1 diabetes accounts for approximately 10 percent of the cases in the United States and occurs when the immune system starts aggressively killing the cells that make insulin. When diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the body in unable to properly use insulin to process glucose. Over time, the body develops a dangerous condition called insulin resistance.

Your doctor diagnoses you with diabetes through a blood test called an A1C panel. This measures your body’s ability to utilize glucose, and it is an accurate way to diagnose this condition. A good A1C number is in the three to five range, anything higher for a consistent amount of time will trigger a diabetes diagnosis.

The effects of diabetes on your system can range from minimal to extremely severe. Some of the more common effects of diabetes include high blood pressure, excessive urination, heart disease, nerve damage in the feet, vision issues such as glaucoma, yeast infections in women and excessive thirst. Diabetes that goes untreated or becomes out of control can lead to blindness, heart disease or death.

The good news is that there is plenty you can do to control diabetes and get on with your life. The family doctors at Complete Care Medicine offer full diabetes screening and treatment plans that will help you to keep your diabetes under control. While you are getting care from a premier Gilbert health center, there are steps you can take to help your treatment to be more effective.

Talk with your Complete Care Medicine doctor about a diet and exercise plan that will help to bring down your A1C numbers and get you feeling healthy. You don’t want to go on a crash diet or overdo it with too much exercise because your system might not be able to take it. But following a good diet program and getting a reasonable amount of exercise each day will help you to fend off the effects of diabetes. Remember that activities such as cleaning the house or using the stairs instead of the elevator count as diabetes-fighting exercise.

Diabetic Health Monitoring

When your Complete Care Medicine doctor gives you a diabetes treatment plan, you need to follow that plan to the letter. Your doctor may ask you to check your glucose level every so often and take medication when it reaches a certain point. You need to follow these instructions to make sure that you are giving your body every chance to fend off diabetes.

Eating right is extremely important to combating diabetes, and that means eating every meal you are supposed to eat, each and every day. Part of a good diabetes management plan is having meals scheduled throughout the day that are designed to fortify your body against diabetes. You should never skip meals, and you should always follow your diet plan closely every day.

If you start to feel symptoms such as being faint, nausea or vomiting, then you need to report those to your doctor immediately. When you are managing diabetes, you have to be vigilant and take responsibility for your own condition. If you feel as though something may be wrong, then you need to contact your doctor immediately.

The most important aspect of managing diabetes is to be aware of how important it is to take good care of yourself. The doctors at Complete Care Medicine will give you the tools and resources you need to live a healthy life with diabetes. But it is up to you to make sure that you do what it takes to give your body a fighting chance every single day.

Using Hiking for Health

The relatively cool air in Arizona during the winter creates ideal conditions for people to get outside and enjoy themselves. With the oppressive heat gone, it is time to step out into the great outdoors and get some fresh air.

Complete Care Medicine is the kind of place you can go to speak to a Gilbert family doctor about your health, and to discuss any obstacles that may stop you from enjoying the great outdoors. You should never start an exercise regimen without getting a comprehensive check from a provider at Complete Care Medicine. Your doctor can let you know what to watch for when you get outdoors, and how to monitor your health.

Healthy Hiking in ArizonaWith all of the beautiful landscape in Arizona and the interesting places to visit, you should consider hiking as a way to get some exercise and see the sights. It would be the time to enjoy the health benefits of hiking and take advantage of all that Arizona has to offer.

  • Be Prepared

Always dress appropriately for your hike, and bring extra clothing in case it gets cold. If you have room in your pack, then bringing some small form of shelter and a sleeping bag along can save your life if you find yourself stranded in the cold Arizona desert. Always have your GPS with you, a solar charger for your phone, sunscreen, some small food packages and water.

If you are new to hiking, then avoid steep inclines until you have had some chance to get your body used to the exhilaration. Always be mindful of potentially dangerous creatures, especially the ones that hide in the Arizona brush. Have a cell phone handy at all times, and be sure to tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back so they can report you missing if something goes wrong.

  • Hiking is a Comprehensive Form of Exercise

Many people think that hiking’s main benefit is in helping your cardiovascular system to become active and getting more oxygen into your blood. But the combination of physical activity and cardiovascular exercises is what really makes hiking an ideal type of exercise.

Your leg muscles are being conditioned at the same time that your heart is pumping more blood throughout your body. Hiking is a coordinated effort between your heart, lungs and leg muscles, and working all of those parts of your body together in one activity can be extremely beneficial to your circulatory system, your breathing and your muscle tone.

  • Quick Tips to help Make Your Healthy Hike Healthier

It is extremely important to avoid hiking in brand new boots or athletic shoes. Brand new boots do not have the give you need to avoid blisters and painful ankles. You will find that your hike will be more beneficial to your body if you wear boots that are already broken in to fit you perfectly.

Remember to listen to the weather forecasts before you head out on your hike. While the winter does not bring the torrential rains, it still rains in the desert in the winter. If the forecast calls for sprinkles, then you should be able to enjoy your hike with basic rain protection gear. But if there are some heavy showers in the forecast, then you may want to cancel your hike and try another day.

  • Your Pace and Distance

To get the maximum health benefits from your hike, you will want to maintain a brisk pace for the journey out, and a brisk pace for the journey back. If you are taking several breaks on your hike, then you are going too far. The brisk pace is what keeps your blood pumping, your muscles working and it helps your lungs to take in and circulate that fresh Arizona air.

For most new hikers, a four-mile hike is the ideal distance. Remember that the distance of your hike includes the trip back, so plan your hike accordingly. As you start to feel the positive effects of regular hiking, you can expand your hike distance in safe increments that will help you to see more of the great outdoors and reap more of those healthy benefits.

  • Be Mindful of the People Who Hike With You

Since hiking in Arizona in the winter is such an enjoyable form of exercise, people often want to get their families involved as well. But until you are an experienced hiker, you should not make yourself responsible for an entire hiking party. From animal attacks to losing your bearings, there is a lot that can happen on a hike that a leader needs to know how to handle. Your hike will not be a very healthy adventure for you if you don’t know what you are doing.

If you bring your children along with you, remember that they do not have the same capacity for exercise that you do. Their step is shorter and they don’t have the endurance of an adult. If you bring children on your hike, be mindful of them and plan accordingly.

Arizona is an ideal place to hike in the winter to invigorate your body and feel healthier. Always check before you go hiking for the first time with a Complete Care Medicine Gilbert doctor during your yearly physical or well woman exam to make sure you don’t have any issues that could be enhanced by a brisk hike. Once you get cleared by your doctor, it is time to hit the trails and see everything Arizona has to offer. Click here to find some family friendly hikes in Arizona.

Know the Facts about Skin Moles

Arizona is home to the sunniest cities in the country and the sun that shines over the desert can be harsh on a person’s skin. Though the summer heat and humidity is being to give us a reprieve it still doesn’t give us an excuse to not take measures to protect our skin when spending time outdoors. Skin cancer generally shows itself on a person through skin moles.

Why do we have skin?

Our skin is the largest organ in the body. Weighing around 6 lbs, it receives a good percentage of blood and water. It’s function varies from (1) serves as the receptor site for us to feel different sensations, (2) regulates our body temperature (3) secretes wastes and other beneficial elements such as sebum, and (4) protects us from external agents and UV rays of the sun.

One of the common disorders of the skin is moles. The term disorder can be alarming although we cannot argue with the fact that certain people made moles gorgeously popular: Marilyn Monroe and Cindy Crawford for example.

Here are some facts we should know about moles:

  • These indifferences in the skin are produced by melanocyte grouping during the first years of our existence. Melanocytes are the cells in our body that produces the pigment responsible for skin color called melanin.
  • They come in different size and appearance: some elevated, some with hair.
  • They are usually non-cancerous.

On the other side, moles can be the first indicators of skin cancer. This is why we, at Complete Care Medicine, highly encourage everyone to visit a physician routinely for an assessment if there are any concerns about skin abnormalities.

Moles: Malignant Versus Benign

How can you know if your moles are malignant or benign (cancerous or not)? Understand how a normal mole would look like. Check the characteristic of the mole using the mnemonic ABCDE. Here are some guidelines:

A – Asymmetry. This particularly focuses on the shape of the mole. Irregular shapes are red flags. Benign moles are typically round or oval and smaller than the size of the eraser of pencils.

B – Border. Moles with jagged, irregular, rough or scalloped margins should be checked. Benign moles have distinct edge. It marks the separation of the mole to the skin.

C – Color. Check for uneven color distribution. Melanoma can also be manifested by moles with multiple combinations of colors.

D – Diameter. A growth of mole bigger than 6 millimeters (tip of pencil eraser) should be evaluated.

E – Evolution. The number of moles varies from one person to person. Pigmentation due to aging happens therefore new moles can appear or fade. Transformation of moles is possible overtime. But changes in color, size and shape should be observed closely. Cancerous moles can also be itchy or prone to bleeding.

Preventive actions

Although summer is indeed for outdoor activity and family fun, we should never forget to take good care of body’s skin. Here are some tips on how we can prevent skin cancer.

Limit exposure to UV rays

  • a. Avoid getting sunburns, stay away from tanning (both natural and artificial), and stay on shaded areas when it’s the sun’s peak time: between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon.


    This advice is for newborns as well! We understand that sunlight can help cure jaundice but please do not expose them between these times.

  • b. Yes, the previous advice can be ridiculous especially if you love playing daytime sports but please provide additional protection by using sunglasses and covering up with clothes. Installing tints on car windows and shields will also be beneficial.
  • c. Apply broad spectrum sunscreens with SPFs 15 or more accordingly. It is worthwhile to use SPF 15 it daily. If you are highly active, make sure to utilize SPF 30 or more. Choose water-resistant sunscreens so sweat would not be stripping it off from you easily and do not forget to reapply every two hours.

Regular Check-Up

  • Visit us for your yearly mole screening especially after reaching your 30th birthday. As previously explained, changes normally happen but we have to detect whether it is normal or not. You do not have to wait nonetheless if you experience irritation, burning sensation and infection on your moles.
  • Experts at Complete Care Medicine will conduct a health history assessment and check your skin from head to toe. Our skilled doctors may conduct minor skin biopsies in the clinic to confirm diagnosis of malignant moles if needed.
  • Our skin care and dermatology services also offer health educations to clients as well so they can discover more ways on how to take good care of the largest organ in our body. This includes lessons on how you can get the perfect sunscreen from the wide array of choices available in the market.

Remember, early diagnosis leads to a better prognosis. The yearly assessment of moles is important so we can detect problems and prevent it from getting worse. This routine exam is not limited to detection; it also allows us to take action if cancer is confirmed. Delaying your skin evaluation will definitely NOT save you more money. Call or visit the Complete Care Medicine family doctors in Gilbert AZ for a complete skin evaluation.

Is a D.O. and M.D. Different- Who Should I See?

When someone in the family is sick, most people want to have a medical professional just walk into their room and provide them with quality patient care. A rising number of people use the term ‘DOCTOR’ lightly when talking about their medical provider. When seeing a primary care physician for general healthcare services you are more than likely receiving treatment from a Medical Doctor (MD) or Osteopathic Medicine (DO) provider. Does the latter field of medicine sound new to you?


One of the most commonly asked questions at Complete Care Medicine is what the difference between an MD and DO is. Our Gilbert Medical Center is home to family care providers who have both of those acronyms after their names: Michael Herrera DO and Kody Smith MD. To sometimes understand our amazing providers and their treatments, it is helpful to understand the difference of their medical license training and backgrounds.


An Explanation of a D.O.

    • Their approach is an integrated whole, focusing on a lifestyle and medical background. They consider the environment in which the patient lives, their diet and nutrition and the entire body system, instead of specific symptoms. This systematic check is always done before they diagnose and treat medical conditions and they emphasize prevention care.
    • Schools that are accredited by the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) and students are required to take an addition 200 hours of coursework.
    • DOs are licensed to practice medicine in all 50 states.
    • There is an emphasis on primary care in D.O. programs so providers usually specialize in internal medicine, pediatric and family practice. They are known to get to know a patient’s family, lifestyle and concerns to better treat medical treatments.

A Discourse on M.D.

    • ‘MD’ is a Medical Doctor who practices allopathic medicine, also known as ‘Western medicine’
    • Doctors of Medicine make use of treatments. The focus is to affect those who are experiencing signs and symptoms primarily rather than those who are well. For instance, a person taking antibiotics cannot improve the health of someone with no bacterial infection.
    • Schools that are accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education are qualified to educate Medical Doctors (MD) but many MD’s go on to specialize in a field after graduation. (ex: cardiology, neurology, surgery)
    • Majority of the medical practitioners here in United States are MDs. Breaking it down into percentages, 67.4% are Medical Doctors.

Is There Really Much of a Difference Then?


    • They undergo the same educational stages from bachelor’s degree to pre-med course, to passing MCAT: same number of years in academe (4 years medical school, residency program 3-7 years). Both of them need to meet same requirements to pass the state licensing boards.
    • Their practice is based on scientifically proven methods (diagnosing and treating)
    • They averagely earn the same when it comes to yearly salary.
    • They each have their own level of academic difficulty: a set of skills, knowledge and attitude is needed in both areas.
    • All the hospitals in states in America allow DO and MD providers to practice medicine within their doors.
    • Both are license to write prescriptions.

To sum it up, there are minor differences between a DO and MD but yet both are highly qualified in their own field.  From well child exams to emergency care, our family doctors in Gilbert treat various symptoms and provide the same quality care. Dr Herrera and Dr Smith are both board certified professionals and each have a medical area of interest they enjoy practicing so many times you may be scheduled with a particular provider due to your symptoms. Contact Complete Care Medicine today to request an appointment with one of our amazing providers. Our primary focus is on YOU as our patient!

New Provider Joins CCM Family Doctor in Gilbert


Complete Care Medicine’s family doctor in Gilbert added Brittney Gray PA-C to their staff to enhance the delivery of quality medical services.




( – June 22, 2016) Gilbert, Arizona – Complete Care Medicine of Gilbert, Arizona, has added another physician assistant to its staff of professionals to offer a full range of health care services to its patients. Brittney Gray, PA-C, will be partnering with the doctors, physician assistants and support staff to enrich the quality of care patients have come to expect from a family doctor in Gilbert.


“Physician assistants play a vital role in allowing us to offer patients a full range of services for the entire family,” according to Dr. Michael Herrera of Complete Care Medicine. “Our physician assistants help us to improve the delivery of medical care to our patients by permitting us to spend more time with them during each visit.”


Brittney came to Arizona from her home in California to attend college at the University of Arizona where she earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in physiological sciences before attending school to become a physician assistant. She brings to Complete Care Medicine an interest in sports medicine, exercise physiology and cardiac health. Before accepting her new position, Brittney previously worked as an EMT and was a professor of anatomy and physiology.


Under the leadership and guidance of Dr. Michael Herrera, Complete Care Medicine has developed into a Gilbert urgent care and full medical treatment office that residents have come to rely upon for the majority of their adult and pediatric health care needs. Services include routine checkups and vaccinations, well-woman examinations, and pediatric care and newborn exams. Whether a patient is in need of treatment for minor emergencies or a routine sports physical examination for school, the doctors, physician assistants and staff are committed to offering prompt, personalized service.


The commitment to its patients is clear even before a person arrives at the Complete Care Medicine office to be seen by a doctor or physician assistant. Scheduling an appointment could not be easier. In addition to making appointments by calling or stopping by their office, a patient can schedule an appointment through the Complete Care Medicine website.


Complete Care Medicine invites patients to see for themselves how they provide the Complete Care way of doing things by visiting their office. To learn more about the providers and for a full list of medical services offered at this Gilbert doctor’s office, they suggest visiting their website at or call to speak to one of their support staff at 480-457-8800.



About Complete Care Medicine


Complete Care Medicine is a full service practice offering quality, personalized health care for the entire family from newborns to the elderly. The doctors and physician assistants provide a full complement of services that include well-child examinations and newborn checkups, vaccinations, casting and suturing, and other medical care with a dedication to the comfort and wellbeing of their patients. Complete Care Medicine accepts most major insurance plans.


Complete Care Medicine


1489 S Higley Rd. Suite 101


Gilbert, Arizona 85296


United States