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Skin ailments and diseases can be a problem all year round. Dry, itchy skin is common in the winter while skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis can cause daily itching and redness. If you're athletic, athlete's foot and foot problems like calluses and blisters may be frequent problems. Plus, there's always the risk of injuring your skin resulting in cuts, scrapes and other types of wounds. Make sure you have products and supplies on hand to deal with skin problems.
Cuts, burns and scrapes can happen any time. Be prepared by stocking your medicine cabinet with the essentials you need for proper wound care. The first step in caring for any wound is to clean the area and remove dirt and debris. Your doctor may advise you to keep a bottle of isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on hand and apply it after cleansing to kill germs and lower the risk of infection. Individually-packaged alcohol swabs are available to carry on trips or keep in your first aid kit. You never know when you'll need them!
During the healing process, it's important to watch for signs of infection. Antibiotic ointments formulated with triple antibiotics help block the growth of bacteria that cause wound infections. Some contain an analgesic to help ease the pain and discomfort of cuts, scrapes and burns.
Summer offers lots of opportunity for skin problems - from sunburn to poison ivy. Topical analgesic spray can provide quick relief for pain and itching due to minor sunburn and irritation. Spray it on itchy or irritated areas for hours of relief. For skin irritation due to poison ivy or other allergic skin reactions, itch relief creams with antihistamine may help to ease inflammation and reduce itching. Keep some handy this summer when you'll be spending time outdoors.
If you work out at a gym or walk barefoot on public floors, your feet may be exposed to fungi that cause athlete's foot. When athlete's foot hits home, antifungal treatments are available to relieve redness and itching and help your feet heal. Choose from easy-to-apply creams, powders, ointments and sprays. Sometimes fungi that cause athlete's foot can also infect your nails. Liquid treatments made with an anti-fungal ingredient may help to heal infected nails. Many of the products also contain natural ingredients like aloe vera, eucalyptus oil and vitamin E. For those hard-to-reach areas under your nails, anti-fungal pens with very fine tips deliver healing anti-fungal medication to infected areas with a few strokes of the brush.
If you have athlete's foot, be sure to use the treatment for the recommended length of time. If not, the infection is more likely to return. To avoid future infections, wear sandals when walking on pool or gym floors and when using public showers. Keep your feet free of moisture by drying between your feet and between your toes after swimming or showering. Wear open or loose shoes that allow air to circulate.
If you have persistent skin problems or a wound that won't heal, be sure to see your medical doctor or health care provider.