This month....

August 2019

Heatwaves, downpours, cloudcover, breezes, a proliferation of flowers, butterflies, bees. It's August.

As summer rolls on, clammy with on/off heat in an empty city, skin integrity becomes a priority. If you regularly wear compression for medical conditions such as lymphoedema or lipoedema it becomes increasingly difficult to resist the temptation to leave it off in the heat. Those who persevere reap the benefits but it may well be that periods allowing the skin to cool down & breathe during the day, preferably accompanied by a glass of water & a few minutes elevation are needed to make life more tolerable. It's a question of balance. If you are overheating, your skin sweating or compression chafing then a refit, rethink or brief absence may be necessary.

Then there are the times spent outdoors, possibly the garden or away on holiday. Skin must be kept moisturised, sun screen applied, cuts, scratches, insect bites avoided. No sunbathing, no exposing the affected area to direct sunlight for long periods. Rethink exfoliation & hair removal.

All to avoid an unpleasant condition called cellulitis, an infection usually caused by a break or tear in the protective covering of the skin which can cause complications quite quickly. A localised feeling of warmth or burning, redness or a rash, pain, a temperature or the chills, generally feeling unwell. All signs you need to visit your GP for targeted antibiotics or if things worsen a trip to A & E.

Prior knowledge needn't be a cause for anxiety rather, provide confidence if anything arises you are prepared. Know the signs to look out for & you can swiftly nip problems in the bud.

Making adjustments can be awkward & frustrating, a reminder that things have changed, but taking good care will all be worth it as summer fades & the year rolls on.

© Susan Mumford, 2019