Looking on the sunny side of the times we are living in would be to acknowledge the number of families spending time outside, safely exploring parks, lounging in their backyards, and taking long walks together. With summer weather upon us, the time spent outdoors will come with a few ailments to look out for. Rather than deter our time outside, Integrity Urgent Care is ready to teach you how to be ready!
Ticks, mosquitoes, and other bugs are not just pesky annoyances we have to deal with when spending time outside. Many insects are transmitters of diseases we should be concerned about. The best recommendation for avoiding bug bites is by building barriers. When appropriate, long sleeves and long pants tucked into socks, can prevent a number of bug bites. Other times, a repellant sprayed over exposed skin will help reduce your risk of being bitten. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 10-30% DEET is the safe and effective concentration to seek in a repellant.
If you or your child are bit, remove the bug in the case of ticks or other similar insects. Try to avoid scratching, particularly with dirty hands and fingernails. Apply a cool compress and/or antihistamine cream to reduce itchiness or irritation. Monitor the site for excessive swelling or bull’s-eye rash and contact your physician as needed.
Unfortunately, it isn’t just bees that will sting you, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets also leave people running for cover when their territory is threatened. Their stings can be very painful and extremely harmful to an individual who may be likely to have an allergic reaction. The best-case scenario would be to avoid their nests, but we don’t always know where they lurk. By keeping fragrances to a minimum and by wearing less color, you may be able to keep them at bay. If you do find them flying around, try to stay calm and still. The more you swat to keep them away, the more agitated they become.
If someone is stung, stay calm and evaluate where the stinger is located. If the stinger is still embedded in the skin, gently scrape against the skin with an object like a credit card to see the direction of the stinger; this will help you use tweezers for removal. Once the stinger is out, you should wash the area gently with soap and water and apply a cool compress. Call 911 if the person who is stung experiences swelling in their lips or face or is having difficulty breathing or swallowing.
There are a number of plants that can produce a reaction to the skin. The resin released, causing the rash on humans, is a self defense mechanism in poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. Identification of these plants will help, but doesn’t always happen when tromping through the woods or clearing away large amounts of growth. If you cover your skin with clothing or gloves, you should be able to avoid touching these plants, but you will need to clean or wash these items as soon as possible. According to the Medical Center at Ohio State University, “[t]he toxin can live on these items for a long time.”
Avoiding itching an exposed area may seem impossible, but it will help prevent the spread of your rash. If an over the counter antihistamine does not help, getting a prescription hydrocortisone treatment may be a better solution. If your rash lingers or worsens over several days, with no relief, it is time to see your doctor for help.
We want our families, friends, and community to enjoy every moment of their outside time. If you experience any of these issues or the multitude of other outdoor issues there may be, come see our experienced and caring medical staff today. Our offices are open every day of the week from 8am to 8pm. We look forward to hearing from you today, in order to get you back on track.