Health

How to Treat Burns, Bites and Bruises

Summer is the time to enjoy nature’s bounty as we walk barefoot along the shore or climb mountains. But when accidents happen, what can we do if our skin gets injured? We talk to Pharmacist Birgit Emde.

What can we do in the case of bruising?

Birgit Emde: In case of bruising, consider treating it using the RICE method. This means rest (R), stopping any activity that caused the injury. Cool the affected area with ice (I) or a cold pack. Then use compression (C), meaning wrapping the affected body part with an elastic bandage or similar. (E) Elevate the injured body part to decrease pressure and help minimize swelling. A helpful medicinal herb in this case is arnica. 

And what helps with scrapes or abrasions?

Birgit Emde: Abrasions are superficial damages to the skin, which we can usually treat well on our own. It’s important to clean the abrasion as soon as possible to avoid contamination. Calendula, also known as pot marigold, is a common garden plant and has long been appreciated as a valuable medicinal herb. Scientific studies have proven its wound healing capabilities. In addition to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, it also stimulates the formation of new of skin tissue, helping a wound to close quickly.

How does the body react to insect bites?

Birgit Emde: Insect bites can cause a harmless itch, but they can also be quite painful. They can result in a bite hole that is barely visible, or cause the whole limb to swell. If still present in the skin, the bee or wasp stinger should be removed using a pair of tweezers. Don’t scratch the bite, as this could lead to infection. Cooling wraps relieve itching, swelling and pain. Any allergic reactions to an insect sting warrants a visit to the doctor.

How much sun is good for us?

Birgit Emde: Sun is the elixir of life for our body. We absorb its light and heat through the skin. The rays of the sun support the formation of vitamin D, which is important to our health. However, if we stay too long in the sun, its UV rays could give us a sunburn. The term “sunburn” refers to a range of symptoms, from a feeling of tightness across the skin to redness or light burns. In the case of sunburn, it is important to quickly alleviate any resulting pain and to ensure the regeneration of healthy skin, down to its deeper layers. Medicines with nettle extract can help. 

 

Summer without Sunburn

  •  Avoid excessive and direct exposure to sunrays
  •  Wear a sun hat and wear clothing to protect the skin
  •  Allow the skin to gradually get used to the sun
     

Author

Birgit Emde

Pharmacist

is a writer and lecturer on Anthroposophic Pharmacy.