How to deal with the common ailments of summer

August 10, 2015

Itís a beautiful summer ó and youíre an itchy, sunburned, broken-boned mess stuck inside.

Sadly, summer is the time when many people are inclined to have a multitude of ailments, ranging from broken bones to bug bites.

"In the summer, rather than staying at your safe little desk, youíre out doing things," said Roy Archambault, a podiatrist based in Wilmington, N.C. "Youíre on your skateboard, Rollerblades and off your go ó and you tend to fall down and break your arm."

Donít let those summer ailments keep you indoors. Here are some solutions.

Problem: Broken bone

Solution: DRYPro Cast Cover

Why it works: In the past, broken bones kept swimmers out of the pool ó or at best, you had to wear a leaky garbage bag over the cast. "Our biggest competition is garbage bags and tape, and they would still leak," said Archambault, the CEO of DRYPro. This is a 100 percent waterproof cast cover, which comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on the bone. It slides over the cast and comes with a pump that removes the air and vacuum-seals the area so no air can come in and the cast cover canít come off, even if children are wrestling in the pool. "Itís basically a rubber sleeve," Archambault said.

Get it: Starts at $35.95 at

Problem: Swimmerís ear

Solution: Ear Band-It

Why it works: Developed by a board-certified ear, nose and throat doctor, this holds earplugs or ear molds in place so you can still swim and play in the water. It keeps the water out and keeps your earplugs in.

Buy it: Starts at $13.95 at

Problem: Bug bites

Solution: Mix baking soda with a sprinkle of unseasoned meat tenderizer and just enough ammonia to turn it into a paste. Apply it to the bites, said Neal Schultz, cosmetic dermatologist in New York, founder of the BeautyRX skin-care line and host of "DermTV," an online skin-care show.

Why it works: "The paste has three active ingredients to quickly relieve the stinging, itching and swelling," Schultz said. The only reason you need to treat insect bites is because they itch, and when they itch, you scratch them. The problem with scratching is that it actually causes more itching, and you get a rebound flare, and you go into an itch-scratch cycle. Also, scratching insect bites can cause dark staining of the skin, the way picking pimples can cause a dark staining, and those dark stains are very difficult to treat. And most important, scratching can cause infections, Schultz said.

Get it: Purchase the ingredients at your local supermarket.

Problem: Sunburn

Solution: Aspirin followed by a milk and water compress. Apply cortisone ointment three to four times daily.

Why it works: The aspirin will relieve the pain for a few hours, and the milk compress will help with the burning sensation. "The evaporation of the milk and water causes a cooling sensation, and the protein in the milk buffers the irritated skin and makes it feel much better," Schultz said. When you apply cortisone, use an ointment rather than cream because ointment is thicker, not as messy and simply works better than cream, Schultz said. If the sunburn is over most of your body, you should take a lukewarm or cool bath instead of a shower because the pressure of the shower will hurt. Pat, rather than rub, your body dry, then apply aloe vera. Avoid topical anesthetics like benzocaine, lidocaine or lanocaine or antihistamines like Benadryl cream, which can irritate. If the sunburn blisters, then get Burowís solution from a pharmacy (available sans prescription), and use this instead of the milk compress. If you have signs of a fever or if symptoms get worse after 12 hours, see a doctor, Schultz said.

Get: it Purchase at your local pharmacy

Problem: Green hair in the pool

Solution: Argan or another hair oil

Why it works: The reason bleached hair can turn green in the pool has to do with the copper in the water, said Kitty Nadel, color director at Ted Gibson salon in New York. Copper can be found in pool water because itís a component of algicides (used to kill algae), which are commonly added to pool water, Nadel said. "When you dip unprotected hair into the water, the now oxidized copper binds to the blond in the hair, making it appear green," she said. Protect your hair by using a good moisturizing shampoo and leave-in conditioner, followed by Argan oil. If your hair has already turned green, then wash your hair right away with a shampoo with the word "clarifying" in it, Nadel said. Leave the shampoo in for three to five minutes. You also can mix a few teaspoons of baking soda with warm water, and scrub it through your hair.

Get it: Products can be purchased at any drugstore.



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