UV rays are damaging
Just as the sun can injure your skin, it can hurt the delicate tissue of your eyes, too. Long-term exposure to UVA and UVB rays contributes to cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Cataracts, cloudy areas on your eye’s lens, can be corrected with surgery; there is no effective treatment for macular degeneration, and it can lead to blindness.
Did you know you can also get melanoma of the eye? Unprotected UV exposure from the sun or tanning beds increases the risk of this type of cancer. And, of course, squinting against the sun’s glare … Continue reading
Infections can be expensive!
When my son was about 10 years old, he developed a nasty blister on his foot after a long hike in poorly-fitting shoes. I wasn’t aware of the blister until several days later when he came to me with what was obviously a badly infected sore between two of his toes.
I had to take him to the pediatrician to have the wound lanced (opened) and drained. He was then given a prescription for antibiotics (one of the expensive new ones, of course).
Altogether, that blister cost us about $300.
Not to mention my son’s misery. … Continue reading
Types of burns
Burns are very common injuries that can be caused by heat (fires, hot liquids), electricity (wires, lightning), chemicals or the sun.
First-degree burns only involve the upper layer of skin. The skin will be red and painful, but will typically heal within a few days. Most sunburns are first-degree burns.
Related reading: First aid for sunburns
Second-degree burns are also red and painful, but slightly deeper and blisters may appear.
Third-degree burns go through all layers of the skin down to the bone and muscle. Such burns may be black or even white rather than red. And … Continue reading
Health and Fitness Apps
I recently upgraded to a smartphone, and I’ve been having fun trying out a bunch of different apps (the free ones, of course!).
Coming somewhat late to the whole app thing, I’m amazed at how many there are, and especially how many health and fitness apps are available for free.
I’ve seen different numbers, but there are somewhere between 15,000 and 35,000 and the number is growing all the time.
Apps can be patient-centric, used for keeping track of diet, exercise, symptoms, health records, or doctor-centric, used for aiding in diagnosis, research, scheduling, and so on.… Continue reading
I didn’t see them coming
Early one morning last week, while strolling a Florida beach looking for sea shells, I was attacked by the area’s notorious “no-see-ems”, or sand flies or biting midges. I didn’t realize it, however, until later that evening when the itching started – the agonizing, I-want-to-flay-the-skin-off-my-legs itching. 😡
After a sleepless night, I sped to the drugstore to buy something, anything, that might help. As usual, I was faced with an aisle of products all promising “fast” relief.
As miserable as I was (I had over 50 bites!), I doubted that any product would be … Continue reading
Continuing my frugal first aid series, this post is about treating sunburns—appropriate since I am writing this as I sit on a beach in Florida!
That’s right, I’m on vacation 😎
For some, sunburns are a minor, seasonal annoyance and they don’t give them much thought. But if you’ve ever had a really bad sunburn, you know the days of pain and sleepless nights that follow. I’ve had a severe sunburn once in my life, in college, and I learned my lesson!
Sunscreen—Prevention is key
Use sunscreen! The American Academy of Dermatology says we don’t use nearly enough to be … Continue reading
Did you ever stop to wonder how the skin of your lips differs from the skin on the rest of your face?
The skin over your lips is very thin and highly vascular, hence their typical “vermilion” or red color. Your lips also have more nerve endings, making them very tactile and sensitive.
These anatomical differences make our lips attractive and nice for kissing, but they also make our lips vulnerable to dryness, sunburn and chemical sensitivities.
Painful and unattractive, chapped lips are especially common in the winter because of the dry, cold air outside, the dry, warm air inside, … Continue reading