Skin Cancer & Moles:
Look for abnormal shapes, growing moles. Check out the Skin Cancer Foundation's (www.skincancer.org) website for pictures of normal vs. abnormal moles. Best protection against skin cancer is wearing sunblock or sunscreen. Sunscreen is like the screen in your windows, allowing penetration of some rays, about 89% filter. Sunblock is more protective. It often has physical blockers like titanium dioxide and will filter out about 97% of UV rays, giving maximum protection against the sun at an early age. SPF-number refers only to UVB protection, not UVA. You need to look for certain ingredients to assure UVA/UVB protection. Look for products containing: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, mexoryl, helioplex. If you are in doubt about a mole of mark on your skin, see a dermatologist.
Many people think this is contagious, but it is caused by the oil from plant leaves. For a mild reaction the treatment should be aimed at comfort: use oatmeal bath (Aveeno) or over the counter hydrocortisone. Take Benadryl and/or Advil to reduce swelling. If rash continues for more than a few days, itching is severe, or involves skin around mouth, eyes or genitals should see your dermatologist because you will likely need some oral medication.
Bug Bites (Mosquito):
Don't scratch. Use anti-itch cream, like over-the-counter hydrocortisone, if severe itching occurs. Often worse in patients with underlying skin conditions such as eczema.
Fungal Infections (Athlete's Foot, Intertrigo-Rash):
This is made worse with moist , sweaty, wet/humid environments--summer in Chicago! Wear sweat-wicking workout materials (socks, sports bras, shorts, etc.) like Dry-Fit and Coolmax. Use a talcum powder, Aquaphor where chaffing might occur. If you have a baby, use diaper rash cream. Use OTC anti-fungals cream for 2-3 weeks and if infections are not better, see a dermatologist.