Nancy Greenwood is in her fifth year being the school nurse. She graduated from Wesley School of Nursing and has worked as a
registered nurse for 44 years. She has 3 sons and 11 grandchildren. She lives her in Caldwell with her husband Dale Struble.
NEWS FROM THE NURSE
Spring is here and that means spending more time outdoors which can also mean some skin problems such as sunburn, bug bites, and poisonous plants. The following are some common summer skin problems and what you can do to prevent them and simple treatment if needed.
Sunburn may cause red and painful skin, blisters and peeling. Sunburn may be quite uncomfortable, but it can also cause premature aging and may lead to skin cancer. Here are some ways to protect skin from sun damage.
Apply sunscreen generously to all exposed areas of the skin about 30 minutes before you go outside. Use a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30. Use a lip balm with the same SPF.
Reapply sunscreen every two hours while in the sun or right after swimming or sweating.
Wear sunglasses and a wide brim hat.
Limit the time you spend in the sun between the hours of 10am and 2pm, as that is when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
If you do get a sunburn, take a cool shower or bath and apply a moisturizer. Also an application of an over the counter hydrocortisone cream might ease the discomfort.
Bug bites from mosquitoes, chiggers, bees ,ticks, and other summer insects can cause itching, swelling and pain. Here are some ways to protect yourself from insect bites.
Avoid brushy areas and high grass. If you do go into these areas, wear long pants and sleeves and tuck your pant legs into your socks. Also avoid wearing bright colors and perfume/cologne.
Use an insect repellent when you are in the wooded or brushy areas. Those with DEET or picaridin as an active ingredient usually work longer than others. Follow directions carefully when using these repellents.
Check for ticks after you have been outdoors.
If you get bitten, prompt treatment helps. A cold compress or ice pack will help lessen swelling. For help with itchy bites, calamine lotion or over the counter hydrocortisone cream or antihistamine.
Be aware that some insect bites may cause a severe allergic reaction that may require emergency treatment.
Poisonous plants such as poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac can give you an itchy red skin rash that may blister. The best way to prevent a rash is to learn what these plants look like and keep away from them. If you do come in contact with one of these plans, wash your skin in cool water right away. Scrub under your fingernails to prevent spreading the oil to other parts of your body. Wash your clothes in hot water.
For relief, apply cool compresses to your skin. A luke warm bath using an oatmeal bath product may provide some relief. Calamine lotion, an over the counter hydrocortisone cream or antihistamine may help.
If you have a fever, rash is severe and or looks infected, or if rash is on your face or genital area, you will need to call your doctor.
Have a safe and fun spring and summer.