Ah, summer! It conjures up images of blue skies, beautiful flowers, baseball games, and ice cream. But summer is also the time when we engage in a little riskier behavior. And those risky behaviors can lead to sunburns, insect stings, cuts, bruises, and scrapes.
To help prepare you for the onset of summer, here are tips for combating the five most common health complaints associated with summer fun in the sun.
Bug Bites: Help ease the sting of pesky critter bites with a little peppermint and lavender oil. Both these oils have a soothing effect on the immediate redness and inflammation that follows a bug bite. One other tip: don’t scratch! I know this is hard, especially when a mosquito has bitten you, but scratching a mosquito bite just makes it worse.
Sunburn: These days, there’s no reason to suffer from sunburns. There are all sorts of chemical-free options for keeping the intense heat of the sun off your skin. You can buy all-natural sunscreen. You can also now get some stylish SPF clothing. These fashions are made particularly to protect you from UV radiation. If you do get sunburns—and let’s face it, everyone stays out in the sun too long at least once every summer—try spreading a little aloe vera on the affected area.
Cuts and Bruises: To heal a cut, the best and quickest remedy is to wash it right away with mild soap and water. Once that’s done, you can also try these two folk remedies that people swear by: honey and sugar. These sweet treats both have superb anti-bacterial properties. Honey and sugar have been shown to reduce the risk of infection and speed up the healing process. Use these as a paste (add a little water to sugar) and apply directly on the cut.
Stiff Muscles: If your muscles are stiff, doing some gentle stretching can help. After you do this, apply some arnica cream to reduce painful inflammation. Getting a massage is also a great way to relieve stiff and sore muscles. Another trick, and one that’s a little less pricey, is to take an Epsom salt bath.
Sprains: Stretching can also help prevent sprains. Sprains typically heal on their own but need four to six weeks to do so. The best alternative remedy for a sprain is not to get one in the first place! When it comes to summer footwear, splurge and get shoes with great support. This will keep you squarely on your feet and distribute your weight properly through your ankles, knees, and hips (you can do almost three times the amount of walking in the summer than what you might do in the winter). One other bit of health advice is to warm up before any strenuous activity.
Source(s) for Today’s Article:
“Safe Summer Fun,” Health Canada, accessed online April 17, 2013.