Everything You Need To Protect Yourself From Summer Conditions

July 11, 2024

How To Handle Common Summer Ailments

Summer’s here, and as much as that means vacations, long days at the beach and breezy evenings on the patio, it can also mean sunburns, rashes, and dehydration.

No one likes to be reminded of the concerning side of summer, but these ailments are certainly more common this time of year.

Luckily, accurate information and a well-stocked first-aid kit might just be enough to protect you and your family so you can keep enjoying the summer.

Sun Damage: Don’t Let Too Much Time in the Sun Ruin Your Summer

Everyone knows you need a healthy layer of sunscreen to keep from getting skin damage and sunburns.

What many of us don’t know is how often we should be wearing it.

Sunny day by the pool? Put on sunscreen. Nature walk under overcast skies? Grab the sunscreen. The truth is that even when it isn’t sunny outside, UV rays can cause burns, wrinkles and even skin damage that can be linked to certain types of cancer.

So if you’re going to be spending any time at all outside, you should keep sunscreen handy. A hat and other protective clothing can also help keep your skin protected.

There is no preferred brand of sunscreen as long as it has SPF30. The protection from the sunscreen is probably as important at preventing skin-related signs of aging as that expensive jar of fancy moisturizer you just bought!

But what happens if you do get burned?

First thing’s first, you should get out of the sun as soon as you can. Once you’re safely inside, throw some cold water onto the burn for several minutes. You should never put ice directly on a burn, instead you should soak the affected area in ice water or use a cold compress.

Applying some Vaseline, aloe moisturizers or other barrier creams can help soothe the burn and promote healing. You can buy these creams over the counter at most retail pharmacies. 

If the burn is causing severe pain, worsening blistering and/or full-body symptoms (fevers, chills, confusion), please seek medical attention for further treatment.

Poison Ivy: Taming One of Nature’s Most Troublesome Plants

Spent some time in the woods and now your legs are itchy? You probably brushed up against some poison ivy (or sumac, or oak).

If you think you might’ve been exposed recently, you should take a shower – ideally one on the cooler side – as soon as you can. This helps wash off the oils that can spread the rash.

If you do develop a poison ivy rash, over the counter antihistamines like Claritin, Zyrtec and Benadryl (or generic equivalents) can help. These should help reduce the itch and overall lessen your allergic response. Soothing lotions containing aloe, cocoa butter or shea butter can also help ease the irritation.

You can also try over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream and/or ointment (topical steroid), which can further reduce the rash and itch. It is not uncommon for a poison ivy rash to last multiple weeks, so don’t be surprised if this doesn’t get better in a matter of days.

If your rash seems to be spreading over multiple parts of your body and/or you are concerned that you might have developed a skin infection, please seek medical attention. Signs of skin infection can include worsening redness and pain. In some cases, patients require oral steroids and/or antibiotics.

Hot Tub Rash: Yes, Your Hot Tub or Pool Can Give You an Infection

Love jumping between the pool and the hot tub?

It turns out hot tubs and some swimming pools can also give you a rash! One such rash to watch out for is called hot tub folliculitis: an infection of the hair follicles.

Hot tub folliculitis is an itchy, bumpy skin infection that first appears a few hours to a few days after exposure. Mild rashes will most likely pass on their own with help from some topical antibiotics and/or silver sulfadiazine.

If it’s more serious or persistent (painful, spreading, not resolving), please seek medical attention as you may need oral antibiotics to get rid of this.

Now that you are stocked with knowledge (and a bunch of creams!), you have what you need to take full advantage of making the most of this summer without any hassles or ailments.

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