Understanding Summer Rashes
Rashes and other skin problems are one of the most common
complaints brought to doctors in the summer. While many rashes may seem the
same, think about some common causes if you get summer skin problems.
Think about your activities and how they might be related
to the onset of the rash. Were you out in the woods? Are deer ticks common
in your area? If so, you may want to be aware of the "bull's eye" rash typical
of Lyme disease. Were you picking weeds and getting into poison ivy instead?
This can be a very localized rash that spreads quickly, and is generally very
itchy. It is also highly contagious between people who are sensitive to it.
Insect bites of many kinds are more common in the summer.
In addition to ticks, be aware of chigger, gnats, spiders, mosquitoes, ants
and bees. People who are allergic to insect bites should wear medic alert bracelets.
Beach swimmers need to consider sea lice, jelly fish bites, or other marine
exposures. Other allergies are important to consider: allergies to sunscreen
products, chlorine or other pool chemicals, or insect repellents are common
but often overlooked summer offenders.
The sun itself can also cause not only sunburn, but sun
poisoning and related rashes. The bottom line is that if you see something
unfamiliar or uncomfortable on your skin, consult your physician.
Created: 6/21/2001  - Donnica Moore, M.D.