Thursday, May 7, 2015

Just kick start with the summers and beat the heat::

Summer Special: Beat The Heat Seven days into the month of May, the summer season has truly begun in the Capital. Temperatures are already on the rise and the loo (dry and hot seasonal wind) is right around the corner. It's important, in these early stages of the season, that one takes precautions against the problems that come up in summers. So,lets list out the possible problems: "Short-term overexposure can cause burning. The skin becomes red, painful and may peel. A cool shower, soothing cream and emollients may help. Another effect is heat exhaustion, when the temperature within the body may increase from 37 degree celsius to 40 degree celsius leading to headaches, excessive sweating, sudden fainting and dehydration. Drinking plenty of cool fluids will help. Heat stroke occurs as a progression from heat cramps, syncope and exhaustion. Solutions for heat stroke include going to a shaded space, drinking plenty of fluids and taking a cool shower."


Says Dr. Kiran Lohia, medical director and MD at Delhi-based Lumiere Dermatology that focuses on the skin-related issues: "Excessive sunlight can cause a multitude of problems. Tanning, the most commonly known one, is caused by UVB light. UVA light, on the other hand, causes freckles, sun spots, wrinkling and even skin sagging. In fact, 80 per cent of the signs of aging are caused by the sun. The heat can cause clogged pores, blackheads, whiteheads and pimples." Simple precautions There are several steps one can take to ensure that the summer heat does not have adverse affect on one's health. "First, try to avoid the sun from the time between 12 pm to 4 pm. This is when the weather outside is the hottest and can cause the most damage. Second, try to wear a hat or use an umbrella to physically protect from the sun's rays. Finally, wear your broad spectrum sunscreen. Look for both UVA and UVB protection and apply copious amounts to your face and neck. Apply it 30 minutes before going outside," says Dr. Lohia. Kiran Sawhney, personal fitness trainer and owner of Delhi-based Fitnesolution, says that it's important to replenish fluids and essential salts lost. "If you're about to exercise heavily, a sports drink can help replace electrolytes. Drink in proportion to how much you perspire, but remember that too much too quickly can harm you. It's best to take frequent, moderate portions. You must know that too much sugar, as is found in soda, can undermine the benefits of the liquid. Alcohol can dehydrate you outright," she adds. Malhotra reiterates Sawhney's advice of increasing water intake. "Also," she says, "avoid caffeinated, carbonated, alcoholic beverages and even those high on sugar. Eat non-fatty meals, avoid extremely salty, spicy and hot foods. Increase intake of cool beverages like water, lassi, coconut water, lemon water and unsweetened jaljeera. Also, increase fresh fruit and vegetable intake. Apart from maintaining a healthy diet, Sawhney says that another practice one should be aware of is applying perfume in the correct manner. She says, "Avoid spraying perfume on your skin in the sun. The psoralen in perfume (especially in citrus perfumes) can permanently stain your skin when they react with the sun. During the summertime, it is recommended that you spritz your clothes with your fragrance rather than your skin." Even if one takes these precautions, the danger of falling ill does not go away. It is important to take a number of steps to ensure that no damage has been incurred with the time spent outside. Malhotra says, "Take a cool shower after drying up all your sweat. Moisturise your body and face as soon as possible, and drink a lot of water. Also, remember to mois turise your lips." Dr. Lohia adds, "I would recommend washing your face with water and a foam-free cleanser or cleansing oil to rid your skin of the pore-clogging sweat. Then, it's best to reapply the sunscreen. Remember, the sun's rays can penetrate through the windows as well. So, you can get sun exposure even while at home." The other dangers Beyond the effects of direct heat on a person's well-being, there are many other issues and diseases that become common during the summer months. Malhotra says, "Other health dangers can be herpes, diarrhea and gastroenteritis. Those suffering from herpes should avoid direct sunlight and consider wearing sunscreen when going outdoors. The most common causes of diarrhea during summers are infections caused by microscopic parasites named cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis which can spread from one another in humans and even from animal to humans by contracting illness from these agents. To treat diarrhoea, drink plenty of fluids, replenish your body electrolytes, wash hands regularly and avoid undercooked food. In the end, if one takes the precautions and is careful in keeping oneself hydrated, the gruelling heat of the summer months can be faced without the eruption of any health issues.