Warn weather means more people participating in outdoor activities. Skin conditions and wounds are prevalent during this time of year due to sun exposure, insect and spider bites, outdoor grill and firework activity, and other general mishaps.
Baptist Health Wound Care suggests these tips:
Use bug sprays and wear protective clothing
• While most insect bites are harmless, mosquitoes can transmit several serious diseases, including malaria, dengue, Zika and chikungunya.
• Seek emergency care if you are experiencing chest pain, difficulty swallowing or breathing, nausea, cramps, vomiting or severe swelling.
• You can help prevent bug bites by using bug repellent and wearing protective clothing. If you have a bug bite, use a topical anti-itch cream to avoid scratching your skin.
Limit sun exposure and prevent sunburns
• Sunburns are entirely preventable. During the summer months, skin can sunburn in just 10 minutes, so it is important to be vigilant and use the right sunscreen, wear protective clothing and take advantage of the shade.
• Mild sunburns can be treated with over-the-counter remedies.
• Seek medical attention if you experience chills, dizziness, rapid breathing, nausea, extreme thirst, faintness or a rash.
Check your legs and feet for cuts and scrapes
• Most minor cuts or scrapes will heal without medical intervention, but deep puncture wounds are at high risk for infection.
• Puncture wounds made by nails, teeth or knives are more susceptible to tetanus because of infectious bacteria found in soil, dust, manure and saliva.
• Seek immediate care if you have a wound and have not had a tetanus vaccine in 10 years or if you have a fever or chills.
Use common sense
• Sandals and flip-flops are convenient but often do not provide the greatest support and protection.
• Be mindful of the type of shoe you are wearing and determine if it is appropriate for the external environment to which your feet are exposed. In addition, ensure care is taken around grills and outdoor fires.
• Using fireworks? Do not be careless. Fireworks are fun but are a great source of wounds this time of the year.