Finally after one of the worst winters on record Spring is coming in. With it come warmth sunshine, southerly breezes, singing birds and new problems for the skin.
Healthy Skin Tips for the Spring
Since we are outside more and there are more things out there from flora and fauna, there are new challenges to keep our skin healthy. First and foremost, don’t forget to use your sunscreen with SPF 30 every morning. Your skin is not used to getting sun as much and can easily burn as well as accumulate more damage.
From the garden comes beautiful new flowers and poison ivy. Poison ivy is ubiquitous and virtually everyone is allergic to it. The old adage “leaves of 3, let them be” is true, but poison ivy dermatitis can also be obtained from the stem or even the root. It can grow as a vine, a shrub or even a little tree.
If you want to kill it, don’t try to cut it down but use a herbicide meant for poison ivy to do so—cutting it down exposes you to the juice. If you must work near poison ivy wear protective gloves and wash the gloves before removing them and then wash your hands and arms. If you do get the rash, which is usually blisters in a line, apply baking soda paste to dry up the blisters and 1% hydrocortisone cream twice a day for the itching. You can also take over the counter Benadryl 12.5mg every 6 hours if needed. If your eyes are involved and start to swell you should consult a doctor.
Another hazard comes from the various insects that begin to stir this time of year. Obviously, it is best to avoid any stinging insect, but not always possible. Certainly, if you know you are allergic to any type of sting you must carry and epi-pen with you everywhere you go and know how to use it. If you are stung by a bee, yellow jacket or wasp and are not allergic, take 2 aspirin and apply cold compresses. If there are multiple stings, go to the emergency room.
Some other secrets
There is also the possibility of snake bite but in the spring they are usually pretty sluggish and you should be able to avoid them. If; however, you do get bit do NOT self-treat. Go to the nearest emergency room and if possible take the DEAD snake with you—it sounds crazy but there is no other way to know what type of antivenom to give you.
Swimming pools and lakes create another hazard—drowning. On the lake wear a life jacket. Watch children in the pool every second and learn from the Red Cross how to do CPR on both adults and children.
Learning a few of these simple things can help you have a safe, happy and healthy Spring.