Spring is here in Missouri and summer is close on its heels. All the health challenges of a typical spring are still with us. I'd like to offer a few ideas to help you through them
POISON IVY: I saw it yesterday in the woods, starting to leaf out. I've already recovered from my first case this spring, so it is possible to get it on your skin before it has any leaves. It's an oil that causes the reaction. The higher your exposure (more oil for more time) the more of a rash you will develop. Best to not get it on your skin at all, but if you do, the sooner you get it off, the happier you will be. Warm water and soap are your friends. Wash like you got motor oil or something even more like wax on your skin. Friction and lots of rinsing help. If you get the rash, it is going to be there for about 3 weeks, cause that's how long it takes for you to make new skin. It tends to develop slowly, getting more itchy and red over about a week, stays stable about that long, and then resolves over the third week. I have found that hot water run over the skin for about 30 seconds really helps with the itching. The water should be hot enough to sting but not hot enough to cause a burn. Other home remedies that can offer relief are witch hazel and oat meal baths or soaks.
SEASONAL ALLERGIES: Like poison ivy, avoiding exposure is your best bet, but when that doesn't work, you might consider quercitin, probiotics, reducing inflammatory foods from the diet and my favorite herb; stinging nettles. Spring is a great time to embrace nettles as a cooked green, raw in smoothies, or dried and made into a tea.
SUN EXPOSURE: The sun feels so good on the skin and the weather is really inviting right now. About 10-20 minutes of sun exposure each day from April to October in Missouri is a great way to get our Vitamin D and the great benefits to mood and energy that sunlight provides. It's important to be careful easing into sun exposure after a winter under clothes and inside our buildings. Sunburn is no fun and isn't good for our skin. The best sunscreen is a roof, shade, or dark clothing. I wear a hat in the garden to protect my eyes and the skin on my face. If you get burned, cool water, unscented lotions, and witch hazel can be soothing.
What else is concerning you this spring?