Healthcare :: Experts Provide Summer Health Advice

Working on a story about the summer heat rolling in? University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) experts share some very important pointers about staying healthy this season.


Marian Northington, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology, has this advice to avoid common summer skin problems:

Sun Burn: Apply self-tanners instead of lying out in the sun to bake. Not only will people avoid tan lines with self-applied tanner, they will also save their skin from damage due to ultraviolet radiation. ?Applying lotions, creams and spray tans are great alternatives to sun tanning since they do not cause skin cancer, sun damage and wrinkles,? she said.

Mosquito Bites: Applying an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can reduce redness, inflammation and itchiness, she said. ?In addition, you can use an anti-itch cream, such as Eucerin Calming Cr?me or Sarna lotion.?

Razor Burn: People usually show more skin during the summer, and to avoid embarrassing razor burn, Northington recommends changing the razor blade weekly, and using shaving cream or gel.

Sticky Skin: ?If your skin sticks to the seat of the car when it?s hot, keep a towel in the back seat so that you can sit on it when your clothes do not cover the back of your legs or your shoulders,? she says.


Debra Strong, UAB registered dietician, offers these tips to beat the summer heat:

Water: Drinking water is crucial to keeping the body working properly during hot weather. ?Sweating is the body?s way to maintain a normal temperature. You need plenty of fluids to produce perspiration.? Fluid intake is especially important during exercise. ?You should drink about 16 ounces two hours prior to exercising, eight ounces every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise and at least another 16 ounces after you finish,? she said.

Heat Stroke: Strong recommends avoiding the hottest part of the day ? between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. ? to prevent heat stroke. ?Wear light colors and light weight clothing, wear a hat, and remember that 100 percent cotton clothing tends to hold sweat, making it more difficult for your body to cool down.?

Overall Fluid Intake: In addition to drinking plenty of water, Strong recommends eating fruits and vegetables, and drinking sparkling water, non-caffeinated beverages and low-fat milk to keep the body hydrated.

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