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Summer and Vacation Skin Hazards

Skin Problems to Watch for During the Summer and While Vacationing

by Michelle Devon

With summer and vacations comes a whole new crop of skin hazards. I’ve spent the summer in the Galveston area of Texas, enjoying the sunshine, the beach, and the mosquitoes. Okay, maybe not enjoying the mosquitoes so much. That’s what I wanted to talk about: special skin hazards and concerns for the summer and vacation!

Let’s look at summer skin care concerns first.

Summer Skin Hazard: Sunburn and Dry Skin

The most common skin hazard during the summer is sunburn. We all know spending too much time in the sun and not using sun protection to prevent burns can lead to peeling, itching, dry, flakey and painful skin. There are several ways to prevent sunburn, such as staying inside during the worst heat of the day, using sunscreen liberally and regularly, and wearing clothing that keeps sensitive skin covered when in the sun.

Staying hydrated will help with itching and drying skin as well as keeping lotion and moisturizers on the skin, so be sure to drink plenty of water and slather moisturizes so your skin can drink too.

Summer Skin Hazard: Insect Bites and Stings

Summertime and parts of spring are the most likely times for getting bitten or stung by insects and spiders. Part of the reason is that the heat and climate changes, making insects more common, and another part of the reason is that people spend more time outside during the summer. Mosquito bites, wasp stings, bee stings, tick bites, chiggers, ant stings and others.

When you and/or your children and/or pets come inside from a vacation jaunt or just from spending time in the yard, be sure to check your body for signs of bites and research the proper treatment for bites. Bee stings are known for allergic reaction while tick bites can spread some serious illnesses you should be prepared to watch for and know when there is cause for concern.

Using insect repellant, preferably the type that doesn’t have to absorb into the skin and can be sprayed on clothing (if it kills or repels insect, just imagine what those chemicals are doing to your body!), can help prevent some bites.

Watch out also for spider bites and snake bites during the summer, both at home and while on vacation. These can cause serious skin conditions.

Vacation Skin Hazards: Beach and Water Hazards

If you’re on vacation around the beach or a lake or other bodies of water, you’re going to have hazards that won’t be common in your own back yard. Some of these hazards include: jelly fish stings, stingray stings, and other biting, stinging or leeching animals.

You should also be careful to never walk barefoot on a beach or around the shores of a body of water. Buried under the sand or pebbles can be sharp rocks, broken glass, pieces of broken shell or other hard items that can cut your feet or ankles.

Vacation Skin Hazards: Poisonous Plants

Chances are, you have scouted your own backyard and removed any plant hazards, but while on vacation, you will likely come into contact with indigenous plant life that could be poisonous. Familiarize yourself with the look of plants like poison ivy, poison sumac, poison oak, and others. Also be familiar with things like cactus and other plants that can stab or poke or jab you and leave marks and scrapes on the skin.

Summer and Vacation Skin Hazards: Heat Rash

Heat rash can be itchy, painful and very uncomfortable, but it is completely preventable! Stay inside during the peak sun hours, use plenty of antiperspirant where necessary, and use a soft talcum or corn starch powder to keep skin dry and prevent rubbing and chaffing. Get treatment at the first sign of unexplained rash.

Keeping skin safe and healthy during the summer or on your vacation is not hard to do, but we tend to get so caught up in our fun activities we forget to take the necessary precautions. It might seem mundane to worry about sunscreen and repellants and learning about plants, but if you don’t, trust me, the time spent treating these skin hazard conditions and the pain and suffering from them will ruin your fun!

If you take care of your skin and skin hazards this summer or on your vacation, you’ll have a lot more fun and more time to enjoy your fun. Have a great summer!

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