Saturday, July 14, 2007

Summer Skin and Your Worst Enemies

Summer is vastly approaching and while we may love the warm weather, our skin will eventually pay the price. Sunburns and ticks are no stranger to summer weather or our delicate skin. Protection and first aid care are a must and while we hope you won’t have to face summer’s worst enemies, we’ve prepared a guide, just in case.


If you’ve ever stayed out in the sun without SPF for too long, then you know the consequences. Pale or dark skin, it doesn’t matter, sunburn can happen to anyone and eventually it can lead to skin cancer if you don’t protect yourself now.

Protect – Be sure to wear an SPF of 15 or higher and apply every two hours when you are out in the sun. Don’t forget the face and don’t skimp out on it. If you’re going to be out in the water, be sure to apply the SPF before and after you are in the water. Also, remember to wear sunglasses that will block UV light. Wear a big floppy hat to protect your face and ears. If you can, stay out of the sun when it’s at its harshest, which is usually between 10am and 3pm.

Symptoms – Generally sunburn symptoms will appear in 1 to 6 hours after being out in the sun. Your skin may look pink or red and hot to the touch. If you have severe sunburn you may be a very dark red with swelling and blisters. You may also have fever, an upset stomach, dehydration, headache and dizziness.

First Aid – Get out of the sun immediately. If your sunburn is minor, place a cool wet cloth on the burn or take a cool bath since showers could be very painful. Afterwards, apply an Aloe Vera gel to the affected areas. If you’re running a fever or have pain, take a medication such as ibuprofen and drink 6-8 glasses of water a day to re-hydrate. If the sunburn is severe and the blisters become infected, seek a medical professional immediately.

If you continue to expose yourself to sunburns, you could end up with wrinkled and saggy skin, brown spots, or skin cancer.


If you’ve never been exposed to those little blood-sucking parasites known as ticks, then you’re lucky! Ticks can be found living in tall grass, woods and mountains. They will attach themselves to you, latching onto your skin and digging in. Most tick bites are not dangerous, but there are a few that can cause serious illness.

Protect – To prevent a tick bite, stay away from tall grass or any areas that are infested with ticks. If it is impossible to stay away from the area, wear pants that are tucked inside of your boots or socks and a long sleeved shirt. You can also use an insect repellant meant for ticks, on your skin and clothing.

Symptoms – If you have a tick bite, you may feel pain and see some swelling where the tick has attached itself. You may see a very small bump with redness and experience some itching that should go away within a week. If you begin to experience headaches, chills or a fever or have any other flu like symptoms it could be the sign of an illness from the tick and you should see a medical professional immediately.

First Aid – If you find a tick on you, remove it immediately by soaking a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and clean the area around the tick. Next, grasp the tick as close as possible with a pair of tweezers and gently pull it out. Once you have removed the tick, dispose of it by lighting with a match or flushing it down the toilet. Clean the infected area with rubbing alcohol and cover with a bandage if needed. If the tick bite is bothersome you can apply an ice pack to the bite. If you cannot remove the tick or left part of it’s body inside of you, seek medical help.

Have a safe and wonderful summer!

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