House Calls

SUM 2019

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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24 { summer 2019 } h o u s e c a l l s exposure to ultraviolet rays. To treat, use soothing emollients and aloe to cool, apply cool (but not cold) compresses, drink extra fluids, gently exfoliate peeling skin, and take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain. Avoid further sun exposure by keeping irritated skin covered. The AAD warns against treating sunburns with bothersome "-caine" products such as benzocaine and lidocaine or heat-trapping petroleum. Sunburn usually resolves in two to five days, though dry, dead skin may peel for a week or more. When sunburn is so severe that it leads to blisters or rash/hives, fever, swelling, dehydration, and nausea, the concern becomes sun poisoning, an allergic reaction to excessive UV rays. "Seek medical attention if you have blisters or a rash, experience flu-like symptoms, or if a burn isn't healing," advises Dr. Rahbar. Eczema From a Greek word meaning "to boil over," eczema is a generic term for inflamed skin, explains Dr. Rahbar. Affecting more than 30 million Americans of all ages and races, according to the National Eczema Association (NEA), this chronic condition can be genetically determined, called atopic dermatitis, or a reaction to external allergens, known as contact dermatitis. Eczematous skin is marked by round, itchy patches with scaling, flaking, and/or weeping (small blisters may even appear on the hands). Broken-down skin allows moisture to escape and environmental allergens to enter. For many eczema sufferers, a seasonal shift from cool to hot triggers flare-ups, with higher temperatures and increased sweating exacerbating itchiness. Our humid climate also makes the condition difficult to control. Doctors often treat the symptoms using topical steroid creams along with generous use of unscented moisturizers, known as emollients, after showering with mild soap. The NEA also recommends increasing water intake, trying to avoid or minimize stress, wearing loose-fitting cotton clothing, promptly rinsing salt and chlorinated water off of skin, changing out of sweaty garments as soon as possible, and applying unscented moisturizer and hypoallergenic sunscreen. Oral antihistamines (Claritin, Allegra, and Zyrtec) may prove beneficial, as well. For chronic cases of eczema, your dermatologist may recommend additional treatment options, such as biologic immunomodulators, which work to regulate and change the behavior of the immune system. Rashes & Hives Sweat glands produce salty perspiration that, when evaporated, helps lower the body's internal temperature. But when clogged sweat ducts trap perspiration under the skin (which can happen due to extreme heat or humidity, thick creams, or heavy clothing), heat rash—also known as prickly heat—can occur, manifesting as anything from superficial blisters to deep, red lumps. Heat rash affects more than 200,000 people in the U.S. each year (infants included), with symptoms typically lasting a day or two. Overheating can also lead to itchy, tingly hives caused by nerves in the sweat glands. Mild cases of these red haloed bumps typically fade in less than an hour. A cool shower, light moisturizer, and a stint in the air conditioning go a long way to caring for both of these skin irritations. Hydrocortisone cream can also alleviate discomfort until the skin calms. Contact with poison ivy, oak, and sumac can also cause an allergic reaction on the skin. This rash, which is usually accompanied by Protect your Soles Walking barefoot on the pool deck, through the backyard, and in other environments where fungi thrive can lead to itchy, scaly, cracking feet, aka athlete's foot. To step up protection from this contagious infection, don't skip the flip-flops. Bee Smart Take the sting out of insect encounters: ➊ Wash with soap and water ➋ Ice to reduce swelling ➌ Apply hydrocortisone cream/ calamine lotion ➍ Take an oral antihistamine Question: If 22 square feet of skin cover the average human, and the body contains about 19 million skin cells per square inch, how many skin cells do you have? Answer: 60,192,000,000 P H O T O G R A P H S S K I N C R E A M B Y A L E N K A D R / S H U T T E R S T O C K ; F L I P F L O P S E K A T E R I N A _ M O L C H A N O V A / S H U T T E R S T O C K & B E E F E N G L U / S H U T T E R S T O C K

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