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Healthbeat: Cures for summertime ailments

Healthbeat

Summer can be a time for aches and itches with stings, bites and poison ivy. However, there are some remedies and over-the-counter options that can save you a visit to the doctor.

With more people looking to take a dip, jellyfish stings are possible. And CVS MinuteClinic nurse practitioner Linda Moghalu says treating it is easy.

“You can put some antibiotic ointment on there and a Band-Aid and that’s really all you need to do. Some common remedies that people use is urine and meat tenderizers and those are typically not effective,” Moghalu said.

She recommends you use the water right there at the beach since saltwater is a natural antiseptic. And whether in a pool or the gulf, another common summertime complaint is swimmer’s ear when water gets trapped inside.

“Especially if it’s dirty water, then it can cause bacterial infection in your ear,” Moghalu said.

Use a home remedy of half rubbing alcohol with half white vinegar to help prevent the infection or buy drops to save some time.

If you’re spending your days out of the water but in the woods, poison ivy and ticks are other common concerns.

For ticks, she reminds you to tweeze them out from the head, clean with rubbing alcohol and keep a close eye on it for several weeks to watch for signs of Lyme disease.

“It’s very important to keep an eye on that location where the bite occurred to make sure you don’t develop a fever or a rash, a bull’s-eye rash,” Moghalu said.

Rashes that may appear like hives could be poison ivy. If you don’t know how you got it, keep in mind dogs, which are rarely affected by poison ivy, can spread the oil from the plant to you.

“Most of the time we advise over-the-counter stuff like calamine lotion to help with it or an oatmeal bath,” Moghalu said.

Poison ivy can last two to three weeks. Antihistamines and hydrocortisone creams are not likely to work because they’re not strong enough and cannot be used for the long duration of the rash.


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