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      Skin care and wounds

      Latest update: - Authors: Ula Maniewski, Mieke Croughs

      Any wound or insect bite that has been scratched can become infected and can evolve into an infection of the underlying tissue (cellulitis) or surrounding tissue (“erysipelas”).

      The risk of severe skin infections is greater in warm climates.

      A skin infection causes the skin to become red, swollen and painful and it will feel warm to the touch. General symptoms, such as fever, can develop at a later stage.  

      Travellers can also suffer from annoying skin problems such as pricky heat, or get infected by scabies or bed bugs

      Prevention

      Insect bites

      Protect yourself against insect bites.
      If necessary, use a cortisone ointment on itchy insect bites to prevent scratching yourself.

      Clean the wound

      Wash any wounds and insect bites that have been scratched open with soap and water.

      Disinfect the wound

      Disinfect the wound with a disinfectant, for example povidone-iodine or chlorhexidine for children younger than 12 years.  Disinfecting the wound once is usually sufficient. Do not use alcohol swabs for this.

      Follow-up care

      Keep the wound clean and dry. Cover with clean dressings during the day.

      Footwear

      Never walk on bare feet, even at the beach.

      Pricky heat

      Avoid  excessive sweating.
      Seek coolness.
      Wear loose cotton clothing.

      Scabies

      Use always clean bed linen. Do not share your bed linen or towels. 

      Bed bugs

      Check your bed, bed linen and mattress for signs of bed bugs

      In case of symptoms

      Seek medical advice if you suffer any symptoms.

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