Summer is not just sunshine and roses (okay, most of the time, it is), sometimes the season brings with it a plethora of problems such as skin, hair and health problems like sunstroke and heat boils.
Here are some summer health care tips to keep in mind this summer season.
• Heat stroke occurs when the human body absorbs more heat than it can dissipate. It is important to lower the temperature of the body. You can prevent heat stroke by wearing loose and light clothes, drink water and do not exert yourself during summer.
• Heat cramps, muscle pains or spasms usually occur in the abdomen, arms or legs. Spasms usually occur during strenuous physical activity. Rest in a cool place and drink clear juice or electrolyte-enriched drinks. Do not go back to strenuous activity even after cramps subside since it may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
• Dehydration. Dry mouth and eyes, dry skin, muscle cramps, nausea, heart palpitations and light-headedness. Prevent by rehydration with water, clear broths and any other water replacements that contain electrolytes.
• Rosacea is when your skin turns red due to overexposure to the sun and the heat. The redness appears as the excess heat causes the blood vessels to dilate. Avoid direct sunlight. Always use a good sunscreen with SPF 30+.
• Sunburn. The ultraviolet radiation burns the skin when you spend long hours under direct sun. Sunburn symptoms include patches of darkened skin peeling away. It is recommended to stay indoors during 10am to 4pm when the sunlight is at its peak.
• Prickly heat is a result of sweat and humidity that causes a bacterial infection on the skin. Having cold showers, wearing loose clothes, putting talcum powder on after a bath and applying calamine lotion on the rashes will help.
• Foot infection. Sweating and humidity can increase your chances of a foot infection during summer. There are several anti-bacterial powders available in medical stores. And scrub your feet and the toes thoroughly to wash off the bacteria.
Information supplied by Zelda Fourie, qualified Therapeutic Massage Therapist and member of the SA Natural Health Practitioners Board (SANHPB).