18 July 2017

5 Tips for Protecting Your Skin from Nature This Summer

I don't know about where you live, but it's been really hot and humid here! Gus and I still try to get some exercise in the evenings by taking walks. A couple of our favorite places to walk are a nearby park and the county arboretum. Both offer paved walking trails that wind through some wooded areas, which is great because it provides some shade. However, there are also some things we have to be aware of as we walk through these areas.

Gwen Lewis is back today to talk about how to protect your skin from Mother Nature this summer - there are more dangers than the sun!


5 Tips for Taking Care of Your Skin This Summer - you're already wearing sunscreen and staying hydrated, so what else can you do to protect your skin from Mother Nature this summer?

Summer days are often spent outside--on beaches, near pools, camping, playing sports or just lounging and enjoying the warm sun. With the warmer temperatures, most of us dress to stay cool with breezy dresses, shorts, tanks or bathing suits. While the rising temps influence us to bare more skin, fewer clothes also expose our skin to irritants, harmful plants, and, of course, the sun’s damaging rays.

Dressing loose and light might feel great, but if you’re not proactively protecting your skin during the summer, you’re putting your body at more risks that you realize.

While many of us know that the sun leads to burns and premature aging, summer holds many other hidden dangers that can damage and irritate the skin.

How to protect your skin from Mother Nature this summer!
 
Poison Oak, Poison Ivy and Poison Sumac

The trio of poisonous plants is a common skin irritant during the spring and summer. Poison ivy and its leaves of three (let them be!) are well known. But poison oak and poison sumac have the potential to bring on just as many itchy rashes as the well known ivy. Like poison ivy, poison oak also has three leaves. However, poison sumac looks very different. This plant often features seven to 15 leaves. These three plants have one thing in common, though. All three contain urushiol, which is the nasty oil that actually causes the rash and all that itching. If you’re one of the many who is allergic to urushiol, these plants will turn your skin into an itchy red mess. Be mindful of these plants and learn to identify them. If you come into contact with the leaves, wash the area with soap and water…and wash your clothes, too! The Mayo Clinic also recommends scrubbing under fingernails and washing a pet who has come into contact with the plants.


Mosquito Bites

Mosquito bites are the worst, and, usually, those pesky bugs take you by surprise. Unfortunately, mosquito bites aren’t just itchy and annoying to see on your skin, the bugs and their bites also can transmit other diseases like West Nile and Zika viruses. Keep your skin and your body safe from these harmful bugs by using a protective bug spray and wearing more skin covering clothing at night.


Ringworm

No, ringworm isn’t an actual worm (Yuck!). Ringworm is a fungus that is usually found in the soil. The fungus creates a round itchy rash on the skin. And one of the easiest ways to catch it also is from your furry friends at home. Dogs and cats that play in the garden may bring home the fungi on the fur. According to DrBarchas.com, animals with weak immune systems or who are young are most at risk for infection from the fungus. Many vets also warn that certain small breeds like Yorkshire Terriers and Jack Russell Terriers have a higher risk for ringworm.


Chiggers

Chiggers are tiny little arachnids (nope, they’re not bugs…but mites!) and the bites they inflict cause many itchy welts. Mosquito repellent sprays may keep chiggers away, and MedicineNet also recommends washing with soap and water to remove any lingering mites. If you’ve been bitten by those buggers, though, use Calamine lotion to soothe itchy skin. Or soak in a colloidal oatmeal bath.

Mother Nature can pose a lot of threats to your skin during the summer months - learn how to protect your skin!

Ticks

Ticks are a common warm-weather nuisance, and one that carries many health risks including Lyme Disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control, ticks also can transmit “Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, Powassan virus, and babesiosis.” Protect the skin and body from ticks, their itchy bites and their health dangers by following the CDC’s guidelines of using a repellent “that contains 20 percent or more DEET, picaridin, or IR3535 on exposed skin for protection that lasts several hours.”

This summer, after you slather the body with a water-resistant sunscreen to keep the burn away, you also should prepare to protect your skin from the many other summer skin dangers. Bugs, plants and even seemingly invisible fungi can all cause damage and irritation to the skin…and invade the body with sometimes devastating consequences. Be safe this summer…with your skin and your health!

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Gwen Lewis is a writer who lives in California. She has been in the makeup and fashion industry for years and loves writing on the topic to give tips from experience. In her free time she loves to stay active and has just taken on learning how to surf.

Don't forget to check out Gwen's other posts: Enhance Your Beauty With Yoga, Tips That Help Your Makeup Last Longer, The Complete Guide to Spring Cleaning Your Beauty Products, Beauty Threats: Why Sharing Makeup is More Dangerous Than You Think!, Beauty and Nutrition Tips for Spring, and Pampering on Purpose: Why treating yourself is healthy, not frivolous!

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