2The season of summer means more physical activities and outdoor exposures. People get a chance to flex their muscles finally and get out in the sun after the long winters. But the major drawback in this season is the skin irritation and infections it causes. It is obvious to sweat in summer, and that means it is easy to catch infections.

There are various kinds of skin infections that a person develops during summer. However, with proper care and attention, these can be treated well. A person needs to make sure he takes care of his skin, both before and during the infection. Some of the major skin infections and their treatments are given below.

Heat Rash: As the name suggests, this infection is caused due to the intense heat in the summers. It is caused due to the perspiration being trapped in the sweat ducts. It takes the shape of tiny red bumps in skin folds or other places where clothes cause friction.

Treatment: It usually heals itself if the skin is given enough air. It is advisable to wear clothes that are lightweight and breathable and avoid creamy and oily ointments. These rashes last for around 2 or 3 days, but if they still don’t cure, you should see a doctor as it can be an infection.

Poison Ivy: These plants are not specifically poisonous, but many people may be allergic to them, and this may cause them to develop allergic reactions. These may include red patches along with swelling, warmth and itching. It can normally be seen after 12 – 72 hours of contact.

Treatment: Prevention is better than cure, and thus, it is advisable to wash hands and clothes after any contact. If the infection still occurs, you can use OTC calamine or else antihistamine depending on the severity to control itching. Once the itching is sustained, use a topical cream. If this still doesn’t help, you should consult a doctor.

Athlete’s Foot: As the name suggests, it is an infection of the feet, where the skin between the toes cracks up and starts peeling off, along with crusting blisters. It can occur if you have a nail injury, you roam around barefoot, or even if you get sweaty in closed – toe shoes.

Treatment: Antifungal OTC medication can help you in fighting this infection in some weeks. You need to keep your skin dry and also avoid wearing shoes which can result in sweaty feet to control the infection from spreading. You need to consult a doctor if the skin doesn’t clear in 3 to 4 weeks, or the infection spreads to nails.

Hives: These are little red dots with clearly defined edges that occur as a reaction to allergens such as animal dander, skin bites, pollen, etc. They may also pop-up due to stress or even extreme cold, the sun and extensive sweating. They can spread to any part of the body, and may disappear and reappear.

Treatment: Avoid tight clothes and also warm clothes. These may disappear themselves in some hours, or else you can also take antihistamine along with calm itching. However, there may be other diseases with same red spots. If the hives do not respond to the medication, you might want to consult a doctor.

Bug Bites: Summer is the season of shorter clothes and also more bugs. Thus, it means there will be a lot more bug bites. These can get extremely annoying and also lead to various diseases such as Lyme disease and West Nile virus. These can vary in sizes. These can be a very minute bite or some massive welts. Scratching them just intensifies the infection.

Treatment: Apply a cold cloth or an ice pack for 15-20 minutes in the first 6 hours of the bite. It relieves pain and reduces the itch. Try using an antihistamine or apply a hydrocortisone cream on the bite. If the bite feels painful and is extremely itchy, you should consult your doctor.

Summer is a great time to enjoy the environment and surroundings. But proper care and attention must be given to the infections it may cause. These should be prevented if they can, and make sure proper hygiene is maintained. There may be other acute infections apart from those named above.

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