« Back to Blog

Summer Skin Preparedness

SHARE THIS POST

How to treat heat rash, sun poisoning, poison ivy and bug bites – all the yucky skin things the season brings us!

  • Bug bites: You should use insect repellent, but do not use sunscreen combined with insect repellant because you need to reapply sunscreen more frequently than repellant. Constant reapplication of the combination could cause toxicity from buildup of the repellant in the nervous system. If you do get a bug bite, take an antihistamine (Claritin, Benadryl) and apply ice and hydrocortisone cream. If VERY prone, take an antihistamine every day during high bug season to help prevent the swelling and itching.
  • Poison ivy: Take a shower right away – you need to get the rhus antigen (the chemical that is the allergen) off your skin. If you think you have been exposed, wash off and wash your clothes. Also, wash your dogs if they have been rummaging around in poison ivy. Usually you need a higher strength topical steroid than OTC, but you can try antihistamine, cortisone cream and Dome-boro compresses to soothe the skin.
  • Heat rash: Wear loose, cotton clothing, rinse or wash immediately after sweating, avoid hot tubs, and carry a water bottle with you to drink and douse yourself if sweating profusely. You should use cornstarch (baby powder) to affected areas to prevent heat rash. Also, avoid “waterproof” sunscreens… they tend to be occlusive, blocking pores which does not allow for the skin to breathe as easily.
  • Sun Poisoning: Use a physical sunblock with ingredients zinc oxide and or titanium dioxide – regular sunscreens without are not effective enough. Wear sun protective clothing (coolibar.com) and use cortisone cream to calm down the reaction.
  • Sunburn: Take ibuprofen or aspirin every 4 hours. Apply aloe gel and cool compresses. You may also apply Vaseline petroleum jelly or aquaphor but first make sure it is a new bottle and not applied on open skin.

You should use insect repellent, but do not use sunscreen combined with insect repellant because you need to reapply sunscreen more frequently than repellant. Constant reapplication of the combination could cause toxicity from buildup of the repellant in the nervous system. If you do get a bug bite, take an antihistamine (Claritin, Benadryl) and apply ice and hydrocortisone cream. If VERY prone, take an antihistamine every day during high bug season to help prevent the swelling and itching.


* Get an image next to your comment by visiting Gravatar.com and uploading a profile photo that links to your email address.

Post a Comment

All fields required unless otherwise noted.