It’s a beautiful summer — and you’re an itchy, sunburned, broken-boned mess stuck inside.
Sadly, summer is when many people are inclined to have a range of ailments, from broken bones to bug bites.
“In the summer, rather than staying at your safe little desk, you’re out doing things,” said Roy Archambault, a podiatrist based in Wilmington, N.C. “You’re on your skateboard, Rollerblades and off you go — and you tend to fall down and break your arm.”
Don’t let summer ailments keep you indoors. Here are some solutions:
Problem: Broken bone
Solution: DryPro Cast Cover
Why it works: In the past, broken bones kept swimmers out of the pool — or at best, you had to wear a leaky garbage bag over the cast.
“Our biggest competition is garbage bags and tape, and they would still leak,” said Archambault, the CEO of DryPro.
This is a 100 percent waterproof cast cover, which comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on the bone. It slides over the cast and comes with a pump that vacuum-seals the area so no air can come in and the cast cover can’t come off, even if children are wrestling in the pool.
“It’s basically a rubber sleeve,” Archambault said.
Get it: Starts at $35.95 at store.drycorp.com
Problem: Swimmer’s ear
Solution: Ear Band-It
Why it works: Developed by an ear, nose and throat doctor, this holds earplugs or ear molds in place so you can swim and play in the water. It keeps the water out and keeps your earplugs in.
Buy it: Starts at $13.95 at earbandit.com
Problem: Bug bites
Solution: Mix baking soda with a sprinkle of unseasoned meat tenderizer and just enough ammonia to turn it into a paste. Apply it to the bites, said Neal Schultz, cosmetic dermatologist in New York, founder of the BeautyRX skin-care line and host of “DermTV,” an online skin care show.
Why it works: “The paste has three active ingredients to quickly relieve the stinging, itching and swelling,” Schultz said.
The only reason you need to treat insect bites is because they itch, and when they itch, you scratch them. The problem with scratching is that it actually causes more itching, and you get a rebound flare, and you go into an itch-scratch cycle.
Also, scratching insect bites can cause dark staining of the skin, the way picking pimples can cause a dark staining, and those dark stains are very difficult to treat. And most important, scratching can cause infections, Schultz said.
Get it: Purchase the ingredients at your supermarket.
Solution: Aspirin followed by a milk and water compress. Apply cortisone ointment three to four times daily.
Why it works: The aspirin will relieve the pain for a few hours, and the milk compress will help with the burning sensation.
“The evaporation of the milk and water causes a cooling sensation, and the protein in the milk buffers the irritated skin and makes it feel much better,” Schultz said.
When you apply cortisone, use an ointment rather than cream because ointment is thicker, not as messy and simply works better than cream, Schultz said.
If the sunburn is over most of your body, you should take a lukewarm or cool bath instead of a shower because the pressure of the shower will hurt.
Pat, rather than rub, your body dry, then apply aloe vera. Avoid topical anesthetics like benzocaine, lidocaine or lanocaine, or antihistamines like Benadryl cream, which can irritate.
If the sunburn blisters, then get Burow’s solution from a pharmacy (available without a prescription), and use this instead of the milk compress. If you have signs of a fever or if symptoms get worse after 12 hours, see a doctor, Schultz said.
Get it: At your pharmacy
Problem: Green hair in the pool
Solution: Argan or another hair oil
Why it works: The reason bleached hair can turn green in the pool has to do with the copper in the water, said Kitty Nadel, color director at Ted Gibson salon in New York. Copper is a component of algicides (used to kill algae), which are commonly added to pool water, Nadel said.
“When you dip unprotected hair into the water, the now oxidized copper binds to the blond in the hair, making it appear green,” she said.
Protect your hair by using a moisturizing shampoo and leave-in conditioner, followed by Argan oil. If your hair has already turned green, wash your hair right away with a shampoo with the word “clarifying” in it, Nadel said. Leave the shampoo on your hair for three to five minutes. You also can mix a few teaspoons of baking soda with warm water and scrub it through your hair.
Get it: Products can be purchased at your drugstore.