One of the best parts of summer is spending time outdoors with family and friends. Whether you enjoy backyard cookouts, picnics at the park or swimming at the pool, lake or beach, you should take extra care to help identify and prevent common summer skin wounds.
Check for Wounds on Your Feet and Legs Every Day
This is especially important for people living with diabetes, vascular disease or other coexisting health conditions that may affect the body’s ability to heal. A small blister can quickly develop into a non-healing wound. Puncture wounds have a high rate of infection. Seek medical care if you have a wound that is not healing or shows signs of infection such as redness, fever or chills.
Prevent Bug Bites and be Aware of Allergies
Most insect bites are harmless and can be avoided with bug repellent and protective clothing. If you have a bug bite, use a topical anti-itch cream to avoid scratching your skin. Watch for signs of an allergic reaction. Seek emergency care if you are experiencing chest pain, difficulty swallowing or breathing, nausea, cramps, vomiting or severe swelling.
Protect Against Sunburn and Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is more common than all other types of cancer combined. You can help prevent cancer and sunburn with the right sunscreen, clothing and shade. Mild sunburns can be treated with over-the-counter remedies. Seek medical attention if you experience chills, dizziness, rapid breathing, nausea, extreme thirst, faintness or a rash.
Avoid Summer Shoes Like Sandals or Flip-Flops
Choose supportive shoes with closed toes and flat heels. Sandals, flip-flops and other open-toed styles do not provide good support and often cause blisters. Always wear socks. Ask your physician or podiatrist to check if your shoes are a good fit.
A non-healing wound can limit your ability to enjoy your summer. If you are living with a health condition, such as diabetes, vascular disease, obesity or advanced age, you may be at greater risk for chronic wounds. The longer a chronic wound goes without proper care, the greater the risk of infection, hospitalization and amputation.
This article was originally published by Healogics, Inc. Through a partnership with Healogics, MidMichigan Health is able to offer expanded specialized wound care and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Healogics is the nation’s leading wound care management company, providing high-quality wound care and consulting services to more than 500 hospitals across the United States. Member hospitals have access to advanced healing technologies including hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) management.