Spring and Changes to Your Healthcare Needs

Michael Stan

Looking forward to the warm spring weather? The downside of warmer seasons is often not thought about until we get hit by symptoms of allergies, insect bites, or sunburns.
 
Make sure you are prepared by getting advice from your pharmacist so you can fully enjoy the season. Don’t allow preventable conditions to ruin your spring or summer fun.
 
Addressing allergies before they start prevents a stuffy nose, headache, cough, or feeling ‘under the weather’. If you know what triggers your allergies, take an antihistamine beforehand and continue until there is no more exposure.
 
Ask your pharmacist about non-drowsy, once-daily antihistamines to get you feeling better quickly and keep you alert. Fast treatment will reduce the severity and length of your symptoms.
 
It doesn’t take much to get a sunburn. Depending on your complexion, less than 15 minutes outside unprotected could be enough to burn. Healing usually takes a few days and can be very uncomfortable. Here is a tip to maximize those sunny summer days.
 
Using sunscreen every day before you go out will extend your ability to bask in the sunlight, enjoy your activities, and feel great after. Don’t forget to apply your sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every 2 hours or more frequently if you are swimming or sweating.
 
Did you know you can get a sunburn even in cloudy conditions? Ask your pharmacist about sunscreens tailored to your activity and areas requiring protection.
 
Discuss the topical and oral treatments of sunburn with your pharmacist and have medications handy when you travel or on vacation.
 
Bugs and their bites are annoying and preventable with the proper planning. Insect and tick bites may transmit disease, but at minimum, cause irritation, itch and swelling. You can help avoid insect bites by wearing loose, tight knit clothing, covering exposed skin as much as possible, and wearing shoes instead of sandals.
 
It may not be possible to prevent bites altogether with clothing, so using an insect repellant or avoiding exposure to biting insects are essential strategies.
 
Remember, mosquitos are more active in shady areas, early morning, evenings, and less likely to be seen in full sun or dry, hot weather. Ticks are like grassy areas, and it is important to check for ticks and remove them properly within 24 hours. Mosquitos may transmit viruses like West Nile disease, while ticks may transmit Lyme disease.
 
The use of insect repellant is highly recommended when these insects are in season and their bites are likely. The type and strength of insect repellant should be selected for age, the sensitivity of the individual, and the duration of protection required. Your pharmacist can help you pick out appropriate insect repellants, tick removal kits, and treatments for insect bites.
 
With a little planning, you can have the best spring and summer yet. Avoid discomfort and maximize your season with some simple strategies and a trip to your pharmacy.

Michael Stan
Wakaw PharmaChoice
Wakaw, SK
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