Summer often brings much needed holiday time in the sun, but the warm weather doesn’t come without some risks: sunburns, allergic reactions, rashes, mosquito and tick bites and heat stroke – just to name a few.
Watching for symptoms of tick bites is important if you are in a high risk area. Ticks live in forests, woodlands, tall grass, gardens, landscapes and fallen leaves. They don't fly or jump, but they wait for the right moment to cling to you as you walk by. It’s possible to develop Lyme disease after being bitten by an infected tick.
Wearing light coloured and long clothing, as well as closed shoes may help you limit the risk of being bitten. Tuck in your shirt and tuck pants into your socks to limit “openings” for a tick to get though. Applying insect repelled to exposed areas can also be helpful. Once back home, you can do a thorough inspection on every part of your body just to make sure. Putting your clothes in the dryer on a high temperature will also kill any ticks that may have been hidden in your clothes. Taking a shower will help remove any ticks that are not firmly attached to your skin, if there are any. Infected ticks must remain attached for at least 24 hours to transmit Lyme disease1, so getting rid of any ticks as soon as possible can help reduce your risk.
Taking care of your skin in the sun
Sunscreens use mineral and chemical blockers to prevent harmful UVA and UVB rays from penetrating the skin.
Sunscreens provide numerous health benefits2 including:
protecting from sunburn
helping to prevent skin cancer
protecting against premature aging
Health Canada3 recommends choosing a sunscreen that is:
A minimum of SPF 30
Broad-spectrum (this means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays)
Not past its expiration date
If you’re planning to spend time outside, use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, but not more than 60. Sunscreens with an SPF higher than 60 may not provide any extra protection, but they can encourage people to stay outside longer, or reapply their sunscreen less, because they feel more protected. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays.
Virtual care is available anywhere you are in Canada
If you find yourself concerned about any bites, rashes or sunburn throughout the summer, having access to virtual care is a way to help ensure you can enjoy your holiday without worrying about potential health-related problems.
With TELUS Health Virtual Care, you can speak directly with a registered nurse who can assess your concerns before connecting you with a nurse practitioner – meaning you may not need to needlessly interrupt your holiday with a visit to the local walk-in clinic.
"Skin problems like rashes or infections, contact dermatitis from various plants, acne breakout, sunburns or bites can in most cases be safely and efficiently addressed virtually on the app with the use of photos and during the video call with our clinicians" says Camille Lalonde, Head of Clinical Services at TELUS Health Virtual Care.
Service is available 24/7 so you can get the care you need for you and your family* as soon as you need it, without an appointment, no matter where you are in Canada.
*Spouse and children under 26 years old. In some instances, virtual care may not be the most appropriate form of medical treatment. If this is the case, a member of our team of health care professionals will redirect you to the most appropriate means of care for your needs.
1. Government of Canada. Lyme disease: Prevention and risks. Retrieved March 28, 2022, fromhttps://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/lyme-disease/prevention-lyme-disease.html.
2, 3. Gouvernement du Canada. (2017, November 7). Government of Canada. Canada.ca. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/sun-safety/sunscreens.html