Skip to content
    Font Size

    Tip Sheet: Treating Minor Summer Injuries

    Instead of following old wives' tales, try these tips to treat the dings and scrapes of summer.

    WebMD Feature

    Summer, with all the cooking, hiking, camping, sports, and travel, provides limitless opportunities for allergies and injuries. A quick guide to dealing with summertime mishaps:

    A burn is not a bun -- don't butter it. According to Richard O'Brien, MD, an emergency physician at the Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton, Pa., you should run cold water on the burned area for at least 10 minutes, then apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment. If it hurts, put a cloth bandage on and a cold, dry compress, like a bag of frozen vegetables. Butter just adds germs and foreign proteins.

    Pinch your nose, don't throw your head back, to stop a nosebleed. Press the fleshy part of your nose below where your glasses sit and hold it for 10 minutes by the clock. Don't keep checking to see if it stopped yet -- it may not have. Then you have to start over.

    Don't pull large embedded objects out of your flesh. If it's a splinter, that's one thing. But you may want an emergency physician to remove a thorn, barb from a fence, fish hook, nail, or other large objects. A tetanus shot may be needed.

    Clean cuts and scrapes with water and soap and bandage lightly. The old air-dry philosophy is losing favor. Bandaged cuts are less likely to be reopened. If a cut will not stop bleeding, seek medical attention. Peroxide, by the way, may slow the healing process. Stick with soap and water or just plain water. Smear on antibiotic cream and cover.

    If you twist a joint, apply cold if there is swelling. If swelling persists for days or even weeks, consult a doctor. If you cannot stand or walk, you should also seek attention.

    Put cool compresses on sunburn. Some people use vinegar and water, but this is not recommended. Put on cold compresses; to pull more heat from the skin, try something like Noxzema cream. To calm the irritation, take ibuprofen unless forbidden by your doctor.

    Don't squeeze a bee sting to get the stinger out. If the bee has left the stinger behind, as evidenced by blackish particles on the skin, try scraping these off with a credit card. Do not squeeze the stinger or venom still in the sac may get into your system. If you have trouble breathing, call 911. Allergies to bee stings can be fatal.

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    Balding man in mirror
    Treatments & solutions.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    sticky notes on face
    10 tips to clear your brain fog.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    Trainer demonstrating exercise for RA
    Exercises for your joints.
    apple slices with peanut butter
    What goes best with workouts?
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    Myths and facts.

    Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

    It's nothing to sneeze at.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.