by Tara Tiger Brown

May 25, 2021

Spending time outdoors and taking in all that nature has to offer can enhance your mental and physical health and wellbeing. It can also expose you to the sun, insects, and plants that can result in a multitude of dermatological issues: sun exposure can put you at risk for sunburn and skin damage, insect bites can induce an array of dermatologic manifestations, and plant exposures can result in allergic contact dermatitis. It is important to understand potential exposures and come prepared with treatment strategies to make the most out of your time in the wilderness. 

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These are wilderness dermatology recommendations by researchers at Brown University Department of Dermatology for prevention and treatment. Learn more about bugs, plants, and other nuisances that may ruin your hike.

STEAM outside

 

Over-The-Counter

Prescription

These items may require prescriptions from your doctor.

Prevention

*Broad brimmed hat

*UV protective long-sleeved clothing

*Broad-Spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more

*Sunglasses

*DEET-containing insect repellant

*Permethrin-treated clothing

 

Treatment
(Ointments)

*Hydrocortisone 1% cream or ointment
*Vaseline
*Neosporin or other antibiotic ointment
*Anti-itch creams such as Sarna

*Clobetasol 0.05% ointment
*Hydrocortisone 2.5% ointment
*Mupirocin antibiotic ointment

Treatment
(Oral medications)

*Antihistamines (eg. Zyrtec, Benadryl, Claritin, Allegra)

*Prednisone 10 mg tablets
*Doxycycline 100 mg tablets

Dressings

*Bandaids
*Gauze
*Medical Tape
*ACE bandage
*Tegaderm dressing

 

About the author 

Tara Tiger Brown

Tara Tiger Brown is a technologist and author exploring the intersection of the environment, education, and wellbeing. As founder and CEO of KitHub, she develops STEAM education programs focused on hands-on learning and environmental monitoring.

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