With many of us still practicing COVID-19 social distancing, we may find ourselves spending time at home and therefore may also find ourselves taking on household projects such as gardening, yard work, solitary walks, and other activities. Georgia summers have much to offer in terms of gorgeous weather and unique flora and fauna. Whether you are out spending time exploring Georgia’s mountainous landscape, rivers, or beaches, Dermatology Associates of Atlanta has tips for protecting your skin while you do so.
Wear Sun Protection
Protect your skin from the sun by wearing adequate broad-spectrum sunscreen reapplied when necessary—especially on exposed areas such as your neck, face, and arms. Another important line of protection against the sun is clothing that covers your skin well. Good outdoor clothing may consist of pants, shirts with sleeves, socks, gloves, and a hat. Avoid gardening in direct sunlight or when the sun’s rays are strongest, between 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Pro tip: Take regular hydration breaks. Drinking water throughout the day will not only help replace lost fluids, but it will also help keep your skin glowing, healthy, and plump.
Be Careful Handling Chemicals
To build a bountiful garden and beautiful outdoor space, you may want to use fertilizer, compost, pesticides, or weed killers. These products can contain harmful chemicals that can cause irritation or even burns. It is important to wear gloves when handling potentially harmful chemicals and wash your hands thoroughly afterward. If you come into contact with a substance that produces a severe reaction, call 911 or seek emergency help immediately.
Be Aware of Your Skin History
Learn about your risk of melanoma, skin allergies, and conditions such as eczema or rosacea. Take active precautions to avoid exacerbating any pre-existing skin condition you may have by using adequate sun protection, taking your medicine, or avoiding the plants and insects of which you may be allergic. If you do not have a baseline understanding of your skin, it might be a good time to see one of our providers.
Safeguard Against Bugs
Bugs can cause skin irritation in the form of bites and stings that range in danger from painful bumps to disease or anaphylaxis for those who are allergic. For personal pest protection, try wearing insect repellent containing DEET and avoid outdoor activities at peak bug activity times such as dawn or dusk. Regularly check yourself for ticks after gardening. For pest control in your yard, try planting mint or citronella in your garden.
Learn About Your Local Poisonous Plants
If you do not already know how to identify poisonous plants, now is a good time to learn. Plants such as poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac can cause severe skin irritation in the form of a red rash, bumps, or blisters. These plants produce a dangerous oil called urushiol. If you do come into contact with a poisonous plant, do not touch your face. Treat the affected areas with cool compresses, lotions, or creams. Contact our office if you need a skin diagnosis or tips for poisonous rash care.
We hope these tips help you to take preventative measures for your skin health while outdoors. For any suspected skin allergies, irritation, or sunspots, feel free to fill out a dermatology appointment request form or contact our office at (404) 256-4457. We are also offering teledermatology appointments available for those who prefer.