All posts filed under: Health Conditions

Adults doing squats in the gym

How to Prevent and Treat Skin Chafing

So you started a new exercise program. Way to go! You’re making serious efforts to improve your physical and mental health, even your quality of life — and you should be proud of yourself. However, you might be experiencing a few negative side effects of the new routine, making it harder to feel proud and easier to feel, well, annoyed. Sore muscles you might expect, but if your skin starts chafing? That may be an irritation you weren’t ready for, and certainly one you don’t want to deal with. Luckily, there are ways to prevent and treat skin chafing. What is Chafing, Exactly? Chafing develops when areas of skin rub together repetitively in a warm, moist environment, producing an uncomfortable or painful irritation. Whether you’ve been attending Zumba classes regularly, going for runs outdoors or hitting the elliptical a few times a week, if you notice red patches of skin that are tender or painful, you might have skin chafing. The repetitive motion that accompanies physical exercise, coupled with increased body temperature or warm weather …

elderly man sweating in garden

Heat Illness: Protect Yourself from Heat Exhaustion, Heat Stroke

During summer, Tennessee gets hotter than Prince’s hot chicken. So it’s important to understand heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Both conditions can occur after too much time in high heat and humidity, yet the symptoms of these two conditions are quite different. What Is Heat Exhaustion? According to the Mayo Clinic, heat exhaustion can occur when you’ve been exposed to high temperatures, humidity and/or overexertion. Ultimately, this heat illness occurs when your body can’t cool itself through sweating. Symptoms include a rapid pulse, profuse sweating, dark-colored urine, nausea/vomiting, muscle cramps, headache and clammy skin. It’s important to seek medical treatment if you think you have heat exhaustion, as it could lead to heat stroke. What Is a Heat Stroke? Heat stroke occurs after you’ve been in the sun so long that your body’s temperature stays at 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. The risk of heat stroke is higher for those who work outdoors and those with mental illness, as well as overweight and obese individuals, the elderly and children (especially infants), those …

bees chasing a man

The Best Bee Sting Remedy is… a Credit Card?

Have you ever wondered why baking soda is used as a bee sting remedy? It’s a common misconception that the venom from some bees is acidic, while others jab you with an alkaline punch. That school of thought suggests neutralizing the bee sting with something alkaline, like baking soda. While it’s true that bee stings are acidic and wasp stings are slightly alkaline, that difference isn’t much of a factor in how you care for their stings. Keep in mind that each insect’s venom is made up of many chemicals and proteins — so the pH balance isn’t what makes their stings so painful. Take a look at some of the stinging insects in Tennessee and what you can do if you get stung. Bees Tennessee’s native bees are typically not aggressive, and are actually great to have around because they’re good pollinators. If you get stung, though, the bee will leave its stinger in your skin. The first bee sting remedy is to quickly remove the stinger before it can release all its venom. …

poison ivy plant

A Quick Guide to Poisonous Plants in Tennessee

Few things can ruin a camping trip like an encounter with a poisonous plant. As you take in Tennessee’s great outdoors this summer, be on the lookout for the ones most likely to cause painful problems. The main culprits – poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac – share several characteristics. The oil in these plants, called urushiol, is what causes a reaction when you touch it. The oil typically causes itching, blisters, rash and inflammation between 12 and 72 hours after contact. What to Do if You’ve Touched a Poisonous Plant If you think you’ve touched a poisonous plant, wash the area with soapy water as soon as possible. Oil can remain on some surfaces for up to five years, so remember to clean your clothes, tools and anything else that may have come in contact with the plant. You can soothe the symptoms with antihistamines, steroid creams and home remedies like oatmeal baths and cold compresses. For severe cases, particularly those that involve trouble breathing, seek medical care immediately. Not everyone who touches …

hiking boots

How to Overcome and Treat Foot Blisters

There’s nothing better than getting faster and stronger as a runner – and nothing worse than facing a setback due to something as bothersome as blisters on feet. As a runner, it’s incredibly important to take care of yourself from head to toe (literally!) by preventing and treating blisters with the right tools and techniques. Try these tips for avoiding painful blisters. Wear the Right Shoes Running is a simple sport that only requires one key piece of equipment: the right shoes. Before you set out on a long run, visit a local running store to make sure you find a shoe that fits your unique stride and the shape of your foot. Most running store employees can assess your cadence and form to make sure you have the right fit. You’ll want a pair of shoes that fit snugly along the sides with ample room near your toes. Because feet swell during a run, it can be a good idea to buy running shoes a half-size larger than usual. Don’t buy your shoes too …