womens timberlands boots How to Treat and Avoid
Few things are more maddening than an itch. And summer is prime time for all kinds of creepy crawly sensations, often accompanied by mysterious lumps, bumps, cracking, crusting, swelling, and oozing (delightful!).
“Most itching has an obvious cause, such as bug bites or dry skin,” says Ronald Brancaccio, MD, director of the Skin Institute of New York and clinical professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine. “But sometimes an itch or the rash that goes with it can be hard to figure out, even if it has a straightforward cause like an allergic reaction.”
Treat it: Heat rash usually goes away on its own after a few days. Wear lightweight, breathable fabrics to allow sweat to evaporate, and avoid heavy creams or ointments that might block sweat ducts.
See your MD if the rash lasts for more than three to four days, gets worse, or if you have signs of infection, such as fever or increased pain, swelling, or redness.
Your first line of defense: Wash right away with soap and water to remove the irritating oils. (Also wash clothes, shoes, even pets that could have come in contact with the plants or their oils.) Topical OTC corticosteroids (like hydrocortisone) can reduce swelling and help skin heal faster. Relieve itchiness with cold compresses, calamine lotion, and/or an oral antihistamine.
See your MD if you have a severe reaction or if the rash covers more than 10 to 20% of your body. Also see your doc if the rash doesn’t clear up after two to three weeks, gets worse, or seems to keep recurring; you could be allergic to something else in your environment.
If this isn’t your first yeast infection, and you recognize the symptoms (redness, swelling, itching and irritation, and/or a white, clumpy vaginal discharge), go ahead and use an OTC treatment.
See your MD if you’ve never had a yeast infection before (or if you’re at all unsure). Your doctor can determine if it’s something else, such as bacterial vaginosis (the most common vaginal infection among women of childbearing age) or a sexually transmitted disease.
Also check in with your gyno if the condition doesn’t clear within a week or returns within a month.
The name conjures up grimy locker rooms, but you can get athlete’s foot even if you’d never dream of strolling around barefoot at the gym. This fungal infection can take hold if your feet get sweaty in closed toe shoes, if you have a minor skin or nail injury, or even if you get a pedicure with poorly sterilized tools. Its calling card: cracked, flaking, peeling skin between the toes, along with oozing and crusting blisters.
Treat it: Apply OTC antifungal creams (Lamisil, Lotrimin) as directed until the condition clears.
See your MD if it turns into a nail infection, or if symptoms persist for a few weeks. Your MD can prescribe an antifungal cream or pill.
Mild hives may disappear on their own within hours. Calm itching with an antihistamine (such as Benadryl or Zyrtec); avoid hot showers and tight fitting clothing.
See your MD if mild hives don’t respond to antihistamines; your doc may want to rule out other illnesses or refer you to an allergist. Call 911 if hives are severe or you have signs of anaphylaxis (a life threatening allergic reaction), such as fainting, tongue or face swelling, shortness of breath, tightening of the throat or wheezing.