Summer’s burning questions
What’s the best way to treat insect bites?
“Scrape off the insect’s stinger if it’s still in your skin – use the edge of a knife, fingernail or something similar, and do so as quickly as you can,” says Professor Baker. “Avoid pulling out the stinger as this may squeeze more of the poison (venom) into your skin.
“Wash the bite or sting with soap and water and, if possible, place a cold compress on for at least 10 minutes – use an ice pack or a cloth cooled with cold water. “Avoid scratching the bite or sting to reduce your risk of infection.
“Keep the area raised if possible to help reduce swelling and take painkillers and antihistamines, or use creams for bites if you have a lot of – or ongoing – pain, swelling and itching.
“In rare cases you can develop symptoms of anaphylaxis such as breathing difficulties, swelling, a red raised rash or abominable pain after a bee sting. This is a life threatening allergic reaction and you should call 999 immediately,” adds Professor Baker.
Using an aloe-vera based gel or lotion can soothe and cool the skin
Are there any natural remedies for sunburn?
“Aloe vera is the most well-known natural remedy for sunburn and there’s good evidence that using an aloe-vera based gel or lotion can help soothe and cool “You can help manage a hangover by drinking a pint of water before going to sleep after an evening drinking alcohol,” says Professor Baker.
This may reduce your risk of becoming dehydrated. You can also ease a hangover by:
■ Taking painkillers for headaches and antacids to settle your stomach. A pharmacist can advise on the best medicines to take for a hangover and how to safely take them
■ Eating sugary foods may help you feel less trembly
■ Drinking a vegetable broth, to top up depleted vitamins and minerals
■ Drinking water or isotonic drinks.
■ Find out more about staying well on holiday, or have your personal health questions answered, at livehealthily.com ■ DEET and alcohol free (not that you should be drinking it anyway, ha ha), Jungle Formula Kids Lotion (£7.49; Holland & Barrett) is more suited to young skin than your average bug spray, warding off bitey critters for those over 12 months for up to six hours. It’s non-greasy too.
■ Even with the best intentions, it’s all too easy to burn without meaning to. Delph After Sun Lotion (£1.99 for 150ml; Amazon) hydrates and comforts singed skin, using vitamin E and aloe vera for their antiinflammatory and soothing benefits. It can’t undo the damage, but it can help you feel better while you heal.