Summer is a popular time to partake in all that nature has to offer us, which is so much! Glistening lakes, centuries-old trees, impossibly deep caverns, flowers in an array of vibrant colors…so many things to see! While you’re out exploring, don’t let skin problems hold you back! Here are a few things to pack & remember for your outdoor adventures this season.
Use Bug Spray
I know we all hate the smell of bug spray, especially DEET. There are also concerns circling around about the safety of bug sprays. Dermatologists & other physicians still recommend that you use it, especially if you are going to be in an area that may have a lot of biting bugs and/or areas where insect-carried diseases have been noted. A lot of these diseases can be potentially life-threatening or dangerous, without an easy cure (if a cure at all!). For your skin, bug bites can be highly irritating at best and may cause a severe (possibly deadly) allergic reaction at worst.
Avoid perfumes, dark clothing, and clothing with floral patterns
These all attract bugs to you. The reason behind the perfume and floral patterned clothing is pretty obvious, but why dark clothing? Dark colored clothing tends to trap your body heat making you almost like a beacon for bugs; they are drawn to your heat.
Pack Hydrocortisone and Antihistamines (for mild reactions)
Hydrocortisone is great for reducing inflammation, itching and pain that is associated with bug bites or rashes from poisonous plants, swimmer’s itch & a variety of other skin rashes. Antihistamines also work at reducing inflammation and the body’s allergic reaction to the bite, bacteria, plant oil, etc.
Don’t Burn Poisonous Plants
The title makes this seem obvious, but people often do this without really realizing what they are doing. It can be as simple as someone finding a piece of the plant on his clothing, picking it off and throwing it in the fire. When burned, these plants (poison oak, poison ivy, poison sumac) release their poisonous oils into the air which may then by inhaled by someone and cause a deadly serious reaction because the reaction is now happening in the throat or nasal passages!
For More Information:
Beverly Dermatology blog – The Great Outdoors: Bug Bites
Beverly Dermatology blog – The Great Outdoors: Leaves of Three
Beverly Dermatology blog – The Great Outdoors: Prickly Heat & Other Fun Skin Problems