Summer Bacterial Infections And How to Prevent Them

Hello, summer! It’s the season for beach outings, street parties, family holidays, vacations, and so many other fun activities. But before you go out in the sun, ride with the waves, enjoy the street foods, or travel overseas, you should know about some health hazards common during summer. One of which is a bacterial infection.

Warm Weather Raises Risk of Infection

Love sun-kissed skin? You can achieve it this summer. But just be a little careful. Instead of a tender, bright red skin, you might just get sunburn after too much sun exposure. Too much sunray can be damaging to your skin. It can cause anything from wrinkles to age spots to the worst skin cancer.

But sunburn isn’t your only problem. There could be worse. We’re talking about illnesses caused by bacteria!

Below are the most common bacterial infections in the sunny season and what you can do to prevent them.

Sore Eyes

Sore eyes can bring you extreme discomfort. It can be caused by viral infection, bacteria, or chemical exposure. Worse, it can easily spread from person to person simply by touching the eyes or eye secretions of the infected person and touching your own.

Prevention Tips:

  • Avoid people who have sore eyes to avoid the spread of the disease.
  • Do not use eyedrops without consulting a doctor.
  • Sore eyes may require a specific kind of medication that should only be prescribed by a physician.
  • If someone in your family has sore eyes, minimize hand-to-eye contact.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water.

Summer Colds

Yep – you don’t just catch a cold during winter. You can during the summer too! It is caused by enterovirus and it can cause more complicated symptoms than winter cold. Such symptoms may include fever, sore throat, headache and sometimes, mouth sores and rash.

Prevention Tips:

  • Stay hydrated. Drinking enough water every day does not only keep your body cool. It also strengthens your immune system, which is the best defense from the cold.
  • Get enough sleep. Stress lowers your immune system.
  • Eat foods rich in vitamin C, such as oranges, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, and more.
  • Consider taking supplements for added protection against enterovirus.

Yeast Infection

Summer means more sweat especially in areas like the armpits, breast, and down below – for girls. This increases your risk of yeast and bacterial infection. Overgrowth of bacteria in the female reproductive area (medically known as ‘bacterial vaginosis’) can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like itchiness, redness, and swelling of the vulva, vaginal rash and discharge, and burning sensation.

Prevention Tips:

  • Avoid douching and applying excessive fragrant creams to the pelvic areas.
  • Follow hygiene tips. When swimming, avoid sitting around afterward in a wet swimsuit. Moisture fuels the growth of bacteria.
  • Dress in layers so the areas under your breast stay as dry as possible.

Skin Infections

The soaring temperatures along with excessive perspiration prompt the onset of many skin infections. Among the most common are fungal infections which usually affect toes and the underarms. They appear as red patches and are associated with extreme itching. Another is impetigo which is more likely to occur when the skin has been scratched. It is characterized by a red area with some oozing, along with pain and irritation. During summer, the risk of tinea versicolor, a mild skin infection, also increases which occurs commonly on the back, chest, and arms. Folliculitis, on the other hand, can affect the skin around the beard, scalp or groin. It appears like a painful pimple that hurts when touched.

Prevention Tips:

  • It is important to keep body folds dry as much as possible.
  • Apply anti-fungal creams and tablets. For impetigo, folliculitis, and tinea versicolor, antibiotic creams are advised.
  • Change clothes as often as needed. Bacteria can easily thrive in sweaty, dirty clothes.

Respiratory Bacterial Infections

Certain types of bacteria have been shown to be more prevalent during summer. They include Streptococcus pneumonia which is the culprit behind pneumonia, meningitis, otitis media, and sinusitis; Staphylococcus aureus which is responsible for many infections like otitis externa; and Haemophilus influenzae which can cause acute otitis media and sinusitis.

Prevention Tips:

  • Increase your intake of vitamin C, water, fluids, and healthy food.
  • Use air purifiers at home. Clean air is crucial to a healthy respiratory system.
  • Avoid going to crowded places. Also, avoid contact with people who have already contracted a bacterial infection.

Staying Healthy in Summer

Summer is the best time to enjoy the outdoors, the beach, travel, and have a wonderful time with friends and family. However, it can also be a great time for bacteria to invade your body and cause you to get sick.

Always make good health a priority. They say “prevention is better than cure”. It will always be. Hopefully, this article has equipped you with the knowledge you need to fight summer bacterial infections.



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