How to Treat 5 Common Summer Ailments

As summer days are upon us, you might find yourself and your family spending more and more time outdoors. Going outside and exploring can be a lot of fun, but there are lots of ailments to watch out for too. Being prepared and knowledgeable about how to treat common accidents and illnesses can come in handy. You never know when you’ll run into trouble in paradise.

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5 Common Summer Conditions:

1. Sunburn

If you’re at the beach, playing a sport, or even if you’re sitting in your yard, it’s hard to escape strong UV rays from the sun. Even a few minutes of exposure can burn your skin. Luckily, FSA Store has items for both prevention and treatment. Slather on some sunscreen at least 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every two hours. After being out in the sun, put a cold compress on the skin. If burns are really bad, your doctor may prescribe FSA-eligible emollients, thick lotions, or aloe moisturizers (which require a prescription with your FSA).

2. Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

Hidden among the woodlands and tall grasses are plants with sap that cause allergic skin reactions. Contact with them can result in itching, burning, blisters, swelling, and other highly uncomfortable symptoms. Quickly wash affected area with soap and water within an hour of contact. Itching and painful swelling can be relieved using antihistamine ointments prescribed by your doctor such ashydro-cortisone cream, or calamine lotion. See a doctor if rashes become serious, appears infected, or spring up around your eyelids, lips, face, or genitals.

3. Food Poisoning

Foodborne illnesses are 2 times more common during summer months because bacteria grow fastest in hot and humid weather. Older adults and young children have weaker immune systems and are more susceptible. Symptoms include fever, chills, abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stools, nausea. The loss of water volume and electrolytes that comes with diarrhea can cause dehydration along with kidney, heart, and muscle problems. Prevent food poisoning by keeping perishable foods refrigerated or in a cooler with ice. Your doctor might prescribe you antibiotics for serious cases, and trips to the doctor are FSA-eligible!

4. Ear Infection

Also called swimmer’s ear, children who spend a lot of time at the pool can contract an infection of the outer ear. It can be quite painful so try to avoid it by wearing ear plugs or drying your ears thoroughly after swimming and showering. You can gently clean your ear with a cotton-tipped probe. Antibiotic ear drops prescribed by your doctor will usually solve the problem.

5. Prickly Heat

This is a rash that appears when the body experiences too much heat and excessive sweat blocks the pores. Raised bumps emerge on the neck, back, and warm creases and folds of your body, and have a prickly sensation when they burst. Prevent this by using talcum powder to soak up sweat and non-oil based moisturizers in the hot season. The rash usually goes away by itself within a few days, but you can soothe itchiness with cooling powder or cornstarch.

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