Summertime means going out to play, taking vacations, and inevitably – some booboos. Luckily there are plenty of minor injuries that can be handled at home with a little know-how, and a lot of love. Here are ways to treat common summertime booboos.
This plant is probably solely responsible for the success of the oatmeal bath industry. It’s a vine with a red stem, and its little branches end in three-leaved bunches. The ends of the leaves also have very distinctive notches. Although it’s not contagious from person to person, it is important that the afflicted person properly cleans their skin, their clothes, and anything else that came in contact with the plant. Follow these steps to treat poison ivy:
- Clean the affected area with rubbing alcohol – it will dissolve any lingering toxins.
- Rinse with cool water – this will make your pores close and hopefully prevent further spread of the rash.
- Clean the affected area thoroughly with an oil dissolving soap, and any other area that touched the rash. If left under your nails, you can spread it to additional areas.
- Take the clothes you were wearing, and any towels used to clean the rash, and wash them separately from the rest of your laundry.
- Do not scratch the rash, and do not pop any blisters that form. Even though its no longer contagious, popping the blisters allows bacteria to get in. And you don’t need this to get infected on top of everything else.
After all of that, it’s simply a matter of managing your discomfort. You can: apply cold compresses or chilled fruit rinds, take an oatmeal bath, use topical creams, take an oral antihistamine (be mindful that most of these cause drowsiness), create a baking soda paste and apply to the rash, dab it with cold coffee or chamomile tea or apple cider vinegar, and apply aloe vera.
Minor cuts, scrapes and abrasions
Playing outside can result in small cuts or scrapes. Luckily these are fairly easy to treat.
- Clean the wound with soap and water – remove all dirt and debris
- Apply pressure to stop the bleeding
- Cover with sterile gauze or bandages
Call a doctor if:
- Blood spurts from the wound
- You can’t properly clean it – especially if the injury came from a very rusty or dirty surface
- It’s an animal or human bite
- You can see fat or muscle, or the cut is jagged or gapes open (you may need stitches)
- The injury is on your face
- It’s a puncture and you haven’t had a tetanus shot in the past five years
Spending too much time in the sun without proper protection can cause sunburn. Although uncomfortable, as long as it’s not severe, it’s easy to treat.
- Avoid additional sun exposure
- Take acetaminophen to reduce inflammation
- Apply cool compresses
- Use aloe or other cooling gels designed for sunburn
- Don’t pop any blisters that form
- Stay hydrated
These common summer injuries are all annoying, but as long as they aren’t dire – you can handle them at home. If you are uncertain of the severity of the injury, come to the Urgent Care and we’ll check it out!