Our biggest organ and greatest defence against the environment; the skin takes a beating in the summer months - luckily Homeopathy can help keep it healthy!
From bug bites to sunscreens, we're going to cover it all - let's break it down into two topics:
1. How to naturally reduce risks and protect your skin
2. How to use homeopathy to soothe the skin
But first, what are we up against?
Bugs and Bug Spray
Dependent on where you live, but here in Winnipeg we're up against: mosquitos, wasps, flies, ants, hornets, ticks - they sting, burn, itch, and can even lead to chronic illness.
Is there an effective natural alternative to those stinky bug sprays?
Sun and Sunscreen
As much as I love that sun, I'm a happy redhead when there's shade nearby. Sunburns are bad, but is your sunscreen doing more harm than good?
Allergens & Nature!
You know those kids who roll around in the grass and come in covered in hives? Or my brother, who can catch a poison ivy rash from a mile away? Read on.
Scrapes and tumbles and cuts and burns - it happens. Homeopathy can help.
1. How To Naturally Protect Your Skin In The Summer
The EWG offers a thorough guide to bug protection in the summer
Active ingredients that EWG deems safe include: Picaridin, DEET (less than 30%) and IR3535 (at 20%).
Two alternative active ingredients that offer similar protection, tough potentially for shorter duration are: Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus and its synthetic derivative PMD, and 2-Undecanone.
Follow the guidelines on all products to avoid overexposure; many are not safe for small children or should not be used for an extended period of time. Do not use on infants under 6 months of age.
Choose lotion or non-aerosol application methods to prevent inhalation.
Avoid repellant candles that emit fumes to prevent respiratory issues.
Consider preventative measures before using a repellant:
Cover up skin as much as possible when going outside.
Tuck pants into socks when entering brush covered areas.
Check for ticks (and listen to this amazing song) and follow proper protocol following a tick bite.
Place outdoor clothing in the drier for 60 minutes on high heat to kill any unseen ticks.
Stay in covered areas such as tents, or use netting to protect small children.
The EWG has their 2019 Sunscreen guide out now - give it a look over and ensure your sunscreen is safe! ThinkDirty App and Good Guide are two more great resources for checking ingredients. Some quick tips:
Choose active ingredients like avobenzone, zinc oxide, mexoryl XS, and stick to an SPF below 50.
Use sunscreen only when necessary. I'm a red head and grew up reapplying Sunscreen at the beach, but as an adult, I'm quite conscious that rather than slathering it on all day everyday, I...
limit my time in direct sun during peak hours (10:00-3:00)
pay attention to how my skin feels, reduce exposure when possible
seek shade when possible
wear protection: hats, sunglasses, light clothing that covers skin
Homeopathic Remedies To Heal the Skin from Summer Ailments
Ledum: For any kind of puncture wounds, or wounds with cold, blue/purple swelling, stinging pain. Ledum is great for relieving the pain and irritation of most bug bites - especially mosquitos and tick bites. Repeat Ledum twice a day for at least three days following a tick bite (pets too!) - and ensure you follow proper protocol for Lyme prevention.
Apis: For stinging, burning pain with swelling that looks shiny and feels hot - great for bee/wasp stings or any exaggerated reaction to a bite where swelling is the main symptom.
Arnica: For the initial reaction of a bite/sting, great for those who are "stunned" by the sting. Great if you don't have any other remedies, or to take while you're on your way to your kit.
Cantharis: For serious burns that are raw, smarting, stinging and itchy. There may be blisters that ooze. Worse from touch, iced drinks. Better from cool applications. Good for sunburns but also chemical burns, electrical burns, and scalds to the mouth.
Belladonna: For intense sunburns, lots of burning pain, throbbing, dry hot skin. May be associated with sunstroke - delirium, fever, dehydration. Better from quiet, dark rest and worse from getting over heated or chilled.
Apis: Skin is sensitive, swollen, puffy, red or pale. Intense stinging pains and may be sweaty, the patient is whiny and anxious. Worse from heat and touch, better from cold.
Rhus Tox: For reactions to poison ivy/oak, other plants, and from cold exposure. Will present as fluid filled blisters, intense itching and redness. The skin may be sensitive to cold air, be red hot and may turn scaly. Worse from cold applications and scratching, better from warm applications. Do not combine with Apis.
Urtica Urens: Hives, stinging nettle rash: itching with raised, pale welts on red skin, in blotches. Worse from cool applications, better from rubbing. (also good for jellyfish stings!)
Apis: hives with rapid, puffy swelling that is red and shiny. Itchy, sensitive to touch and patient may be restless and anxious. Better from cold applications and cool air. Do not combine with Rhus-tox.
Minor Cuts, Abrasions, and Wounds
Calendula: For any minor cuts or lacerations, 2 pellets orally aid in the repair of skin, prevention of infection, and to reduce scarring. Also good for blisters.
Silica: For expelling foreign substances, especially for the eye but anywhere in the body. take 3 times a day for two days to encourage the suppuration of injuries such as: foreign objects in the eye, slivers, stepping on glass, or road rash where foreign matter may be embedded. Seek medical attention when necessary.
Remember, if symptoms do not improve or are serious in nature and require medical attention, do not hesitate to visit your nearest hospital/doctor. Homeopathic remedies are safe to take alongside other medications but it is always beneficial to consult a Homeopath when applicable.
If you want to order a personalized homeopathic summer kit, contact Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org
Want these remedies on handy travel cards? Download the free remedy cards for this blog post here!