Summer brings late nights, cold drinks, and hot weather, but with all of that also comes some skin ailments you might run into..
Here to clue us in on some of the most common summer skin ailments is Marlise Fletter, CNP at Apex Dermatology in Solon.
As a board certified family nurse practitioner, Marlise began her career in family practice in 1997 with St. Joseph Medical Group in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She enjoyed 10 years building a firm foundation in family medicine while obtaining additional training in dermatology.
Marlise’s interests include cosmetic dermatology and general adult and pediatric dermatology, particularly skin cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment of common skin ailments we’ll touch on in this blog post, including eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
Sunburns, and fireworks, and grilling, oh my! Most of us can agree these are great, fun things about summer, but with that you’ll be faced with certain struggles related to burns if you’re not careful.
“It’s always better to prevent a sunburn. The best way to do that is to use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater. Additionally, you must reapply sunscreen every 90 minutes while you are out. This is the step most people miss.”
If you do get a sunburn, apply cool compresses and try an after burn treatment like Banana Boat After Sun Soothing Aloe Gel.
If the sunburn is severe and you feel ill with it, seek treatment with your dermatology provider.
Initial treatment for a thermal injury burn is to cool the area by running it under cool water or applying cool compresses. Follow this with some petroleum jelly and a loose, dry dressing. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be taken to help with any pain.
Seek emergency treatment if the burn covers a large area, if blisters are greater than 2 inches, or if pain persists.
Summer has most of us spending far more time outdoors, and that means being faced with potential bites that can cause pain and irritation for your skin.
Mosquito bites should be cleaned with soap and water. Cool compresses and over the counter hydrocortisone cream or antihistamine creams can be applied to help with the itching.
Most of the ticks in our area are common dog ticks and are not associated with Lyme disease. Lyme disease is carried by a smaller tick called a deer tick. A tick must be embedded in an individual for 36 + hours to transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. 80 percent of people with Lyme disease develop a salmon-colored circular rash that may look like a bull’s eye target. Lyme disease is treatable with antibiotics.
Spider bites should be cleaned with soap and water. An antibiotic ointment may be applied to prevent infection. Cool compresses and pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen should be used to help manage pain.
“The affected area should be elevated. Spider bites should be closely monitored for infection. Seek treatment for any spider bite that becomes ulcerated, swollen or painful.”
Certain spiders are very toxic. Brown recluse and black widow spiders can be found in our area, and their bites can be very serious. If you suspect you have been bitten by one of these, seek treatment immediately.
Just like with bites, being outdoors more often with more bugs like bees and wasps coming out to play, it increases your chances of getting stung.
Bees and Wasps;
Most bee and wasp stings can be treated effectively at home. Wash the area with soap and water, apply an antibiotic ointment. Take an antihistamine to help reduce itching and swelling. Acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen and cool compresses can help alleviate pain.
Seek emergency treatment if you develop hives, severe itching, swelling of the tongue or throat, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea or dizziness. These are signs of an allergic reaction.
So far, there haven’t been any murder hornets migrating to Ohio. They’ve been identified in the Pacific Northwest. Their threat to humans is low.
Murder hornets’ primary target is the honeybee. They murder honeybees by beheading them swiftly. However, if you are unlucky enough to be stung by one, the pain of the sting may be like 3-10 yellow jackets stinging at the same time.
The summer makes prime conditions for rashes to appear. Here are some of the most common rashes you may be dealing with during this time of year.
Heat rash is best treated with a cool shower, followed by air drying or standing in front of a fan or air conditioner. Antihistamines may help with the itching. Additionally, it’s best to wear light, loose clothing. Most heat rash eases rather quickly.
Poison Ivy / Poison Oak:
Poison plant dermatitis, no matter whether it’s poison ivy, oak, or sumac is treated the same.
“If you know you have been exposed, wash the area immediately with Zanfel soap or Fels Naptha soap. This may prevent you from developing a rash.”
Urushiol is the oil found in poison plants that causes rash in approximately 85 percent of people. This oil can stick to anything, clothes, shoes, gloves, jackets, even cellphones. Until the oil is removed either by washing or with alcohol, it can continue to cause rash to those that come into contact with it.
Poison plant dermatitis isn’t contagious from person to person once they’ve had a shower and washed away the urushiol.
Once the rash has developed, manage it with cool compresses, hydrocortisone and antihistamine creams and calamine lotion. Oral antihistamines May be helpful with itching, too.
You may be tempted to scratch and scratch the affected area until it hurts so good! Resist that temptation. Scratching can lead to infection and scarring. Finally, if the rash covers a large area, or you have it on your face, or groin, seek treatment from your dermatology provider.