Monday, July 26

The 8 most common summer health problems (and how to treat them)


Summer has officially entered weeks ago, ushering in the long, sunny days. Longer days that invite you to do activities to make the most of this season. But it is also a good time to consider some general health precautions.

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Although most of us already have some measures well integrated, such as the importance of staying hydrated or using sunscreen during the warmer months, heatstroke and sunburn are not the only health problems that appear especially during the summer.

The heat, the sea or swimming pools and life outdoors increases the risk of infections and diseases such as:

External otitis (also known as swimmer’s ear)

An infection appears on the skin of the external ear canal. It occurs mainly during the summer due to the greater contact with water from swimming pools and beaches. To prevent, the Spanish Society of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery (SEORL-CCC) advise dry the outer part of the ear and the entrance of the canal when leaving the water, use plugs or bathing caps, do not use swabs or sprays that can change the pH of the skin of the canal or go to the otolaryngologist in case of discomfort and symptoms .

Skin infections

Athlete’s foot, which encompasses different processes of infections, both by fungi and bacteria, shows more symptoms in summer, which is when the conditions of temperature and humidity. The same would happen with the white spots that appear on the trunk, which are more visible with tanned skin and which need a degree of humidity and temperature of about 30-32ºC to proliferate.

Another common infection is Candida vulvovaginitis, which is estimated to be 90% of women suffer from it at least once in their life. Although this fungus is part of the normal flora of the vagina and digestive tract, in summer the episodes of vulvovaginitis increase with increasing humidity and temperature (wearing a wet swimsuit for a long time).

Dehydration

It is one of the most common problems that occur in summer. It appears when the body loses more water than it takes in. Lack of fluids in the body can make us feel dizzy, with a dry mouth. On hot sunny days, when we sweat more than normal, it is important to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, even before feeling thirsty. We must pay attention to extreme thirst, fatigue, dry mouth, dizziness or irritability because they can be a sign that we are dehydrated.

Insect bites

Mosquitoes, flies, wasps, and various types of ants tend to thrive in hot, humid climates. Hopefully, if we are not allergic, we will have a skin discomfort, with a sensation of itching and burning in the area, redness and swelling. But if we are allergic, the pain will most likely go further and exaggerated reactions such as blisters, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, etc. appear. In these cases it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

Using insect repellent or, even in the heat, wearing long-sleeved shirts will help us keep them a little further away. Although many times it is unavoidable, it is best not to scratch the bite because it will take longer to disappear and will leave a mark. Instead of scratching it is preferable to use a cooling gel to relieve itching.

Heatstroke

This serious medical condition causes the body’s core temperature to rise. Like fever, extremely high body temperatures can cause permanent damage. It can occur after prolonged exposure to excessive heat (working or exercising outdoors). Some signs that should alert us are confusion, short and rapid breathing, and a rapid pulse.

Sunburn

They occur when we spend too much time exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. It affects living tissues such as skin, burning it and making it red and irritated and sometimes blistered. In the case of severe burns, the skin may even swell and begin to peel off.

Although people with lighter skin type are more prone to sunburn, everyone should prevent them with sunscreen. Most of the time a sunburn gets better on its own as the days go by. But we should seek medical attention if we have a fever, headache, and pain. We must bear in mind that sunburn also increases the risk of skin cancer.

The best way to prevent sun damage is to apply sunscreen SPF 50, about 15-25 minutes before sun exposure to allow the skin to absorb the sunscreen. In addition, we must avoid exposure to the sun in the central hours of the day (from 11 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon).

Stomach flu

Warmer temperatures and more outdoor activity (picnics, barbecues, etc.) are perfect allies for pathogenic bacteria such as Staphylococcus aereus proliferate in our food and water. Symptoms of food poisoning, which can be mild to severe, often include vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, and headaches.

It is important to ensure that food is prepared and stored properly to prevent the growth of bacteria. Clean, separate, cook and cool They are the basic principles of food safety.

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