Medicine cabinet must-haves for summer

May 6, 2010 at 3:25 p.m. ET

Indulging in some summer fun - though it is pleasurable - can have its pitfalls; especially if your medicine cabinet is lacking a few must-have items to treat any number of summertime problems. What are the absolute necessities you need to stock on your shelves? Read on to find out.

Woman taking medicine in bathroom


Great for plucking stray hairs from your eyebrows, tweezers are also great for removing small items – like wood or metal slivers – that get caught in bare feet or skin. They can also be used to remove dirt, which can be full of bacteria, from underneath nails. Just remember to sanitize the tool before using it.

Product example: Tweezerman Tweezers

Allergy medicine

Great for treating seasonal allergies, medicines, like Benadryl or Claritin, are also important to have on hand during the summer. Not only can you use them to combat the swelling and itching that accompanies rashes from plants, they're also great for treating the swelling from bug bites or wasp stings. In instances where serious allergic reactions result from being outdoors, popping an allergy pill could also save your life.

Product example: Claritin

Pain reliever

Tylenol is great for treating headaches or for general pain relief (from a sunburn, for example), but it's also important to have in your medicine cabinet in case you overdo it outside and wind up with a case of sunstroke. Unlike most other pain relief medications, Tylenol contains ingredients that can also combat fever, a common and dangerous side effect of sunstroke.

Product example: Tylenol


The smile you have is evidence enough that toothpaste is a miracle product. But you can also use it throughout the summer to treat everything from bee stings and insect bites (it will dry them out) to pimples (courtesy of all of the extra sunscreen you lather on your skin). Opt for a sensitive toothpaste so you can also prevent tooth sensitivity (something that could hinder your summertime ice cream or popsicle habit).

Product example: Crest Pro-Health Sensitive Shield Toothpaste


With the change in season comes a change in eating habits. The summer is a common time for barbeques and roasting a hot dog or two over a fire. And though you are also more likely to dig into fruits and vegetables, eating all of those fatty foods can leave their mark on your digestive system. So when heartburn strikes, you'll want to have a package of antacids at the ready. (Note: if heartburn or acid reflux lasts for more than 24 to 48 hours, it's important to talk to your doctor to ensure something more serious isn't going on.)

Product example: Alka-Seltzer

Rich moisture cream

Our skin takes a beating in the summer. On top of lathering up with sunscreen before heading outdoors, it's also important to protect your skin post-shower and after a day in the sun with a rich moisture cream with soothing ingredients. This will help stave off many of the signs of aging that result from sun exposure.

Product example: Dermalogica's Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque

More on summer injuries and illnesses