Filling a first aid kit: Some new options for cuts, pain, and itch relief

August 15, 2013

August is a great time for many families to enjoy the outdoors before school starts. Anyone preparing for a camping trip, a hike, a boating adventure, biking, or just swimming should prepare a first aid kit for any unexpected mishaps. Some new items to add to the kit are described below.

 

August is a great time for many families to enjoy the outdoors before school starts. Anyone preparing for a camping trip, a hike, a boating adventure, biking, or just swimming should prepare a first aid kit for any unexpected mishaps. Some new items to add to the kit are described below.

Minor wound care

New-Skin Liquid Spray Bandage by Prestige Brands Inc. offers good coverage for large cuts and scrapes, protecting against bacterial contamination. This first aid antiseptic with its active ingredient, benzethonium chloride 0.2%, dries rapidly and forms a protective covering that is both flexible and waterproof. Hikers and runners can apply before exercise to prevent blisters. It is available in 1-ounce bottles. For smaller cuts and scrapes, New-Skin Liquid Bandage offers a brush-on applicator and is available in 0.3- and 1.0-ounce bottles. These products should not be used longer than 1 week, on infected skin or wounds that are draining, near eyes, or for deep, puncture wounds.

Tecnu First Aid Gel by Tec Labs is an antibiotic-free formula for the prevention of skin infections in minor wounds. For patients who are allergic to topical antibiotics, Tecnu First Aid Gel includes the antiseptic, benzethonium chloride 0.2%, and a pain-relieving agent, lidocaine hyrdrochloride 2.5%. Because the gel is water-based, it can easily be absorbed by the skin. The product is available in a 2-ounce tube or single-use packets, and can be used by adults and children.

Pain relief

For fast-acting pain relief, try Bengay cold therapy with menthol pain-relieving gel with Pro-Cool technology by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies Inc. The cooling active ingredients help to ease muscle and joint pain and offer long-lasting relief. The manufacturer noted that the same technology used by chiropractors and physical therapists is used in Bengay cold therapy. Its vanishing scent will disappear soon after application. The product should not be used on wounds or damaged skin, and should not be used with other products on the same body area at the same time.

Also, patients are advised not to use Bengay gels or creams with a heating pad as topical analgesics affect pain perception.

Water-Jel Technologies offers Muscle Jel for pain relief of minor aches and muscle and joint pain. The light, greaseless formula contains menthol and camphor to first cool and soothe backache, strains, and sprains, then it warms and penetrates deeply to alleviate pain. This is the same therapeutic analgesic used by physical therapists, chiropractors, and other health professionals. Muscle Jel is available in a 2-ounce spray bottle, 4-ounce tube, 16- and 32-ounce pump bottle, 128-ounce pump gallon, and in 24-pack dispenser for first aid kits. The product has a shelf life of 3 years.

NexcareInstant Cold Pack by 3M is ideal for the first aid kit as it does not require refrigeration. The cold pack, activated by squeezing, has a comfortable outer layer and a foam-insulated layer, so that it stays cold longer. It is recommended for minor muscle aches, sprains, tension headaches, minor burns, and insect bits. It is available as 1 pack that measures 5-in by 9-in. The Instant Cold Pack should not be chilled or frozen before use as this can cause skin damage, including frostbite.

Itch relief

Do you want itch relief without the mess? Consider Cortizone 10 Poison Ivy Relief Pads by Chattem, for adults and children 2 years and older. The active ingredient, hydrocortisone 1%, can be applied with a “touch-free applicator”. Just snap the applicator to release the product that releases from the top of the pad and rub into the skin until absorbed. The pads provide temporary relief from itchy skin due to poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. The product should not be used more than 3 to 4 times daily and beyond 7 days.

Tecnu Rash Relief spray by Tec Labs is a homeopathic medicated anti-itch spray that helps alleviate painful itching, helps prevent scarring, and dries oozing that occurs following exposure to poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. The area can first be cleaned with Tecnu Extreme Poison Ivy Scrub or Tecnu Outdoor Skin Cleanser to remove urushiol, keeping the rash from spreading. Tecnu Rash Relief spray is available in a 6-ounce nonaerosol spray bottle.

Foot relief

To soothe sore feet and toes, Health Enterprises has developed TheraPED and TheraTOES, two products offering hot or cold spa therapy after a long day on your feet. TheraPED has a therma gel to relieve cramped, achy feet and spacers to realign cramped toes. TheraTOES also has a therma gel to help pamper and refresh your feet. These products have received the seal of acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association.