We all anticipate the summer months, throughout the year; there’s nothing better than longer days and sunny weather. Unfortunately, the sunshine and warmth aren’t all the summer brings and there are a few common health issues that many people struggle with throughout the season. We’ve compiled some top tips on dealing with them, so that you can enjoy your summer undisturbed!
Sun safety is paramount all year round, but even more so during the warmer months, when we tend to be out and about more. Wearing a high factor sun cream and keeping to the shade as much as possible to avoid burning is the best way to tackle sunburn. However, if you do find yourself a little sun-kissed, make sure to keep the area cool with a cold compress or water, use plenty of aloe vera to soothe skin and reduce inflammation and make sure you stay hydrated. Anti-inflammatories can also help to bring down redness and relieve discomfort.
Unfortunately, there’s not much that can be done to avoid getting insect bites, and the reaction tends to vary from person to person. If you tend to react badly to bites, using cortisone cream or taking anti-histamine tablets are sure-fire ways to relieve itchiness and swelling. It’s also essential to make sure you leave bites alone as much as possible; scratching can make bites painful and break the skin, leading to the possibility of infections and scarring.
You can find out more about tackling bug bites here.
1 in 5 people experience hay fever and summer allergies to varying degrees and there are many ways to tackle it. It is possible to minimise your exposure to pollen; stay near the beach and away from grassy areas, keep the windows closed to avoid pollen entering the house and try to stay inside until later in the day when pollen counts tend to be lower. However, when the sun’s shining, avoiding the great outdoors can be easier said than done. Luckily, there are plenty of over-the-counter allergy treatments, including anti-histamines, nasal sprays and eye drops that work for the majority of people. Eating foods high in omega 3s is also a great way to tackle the inflammatory symptoms of hay fever, whilst alcohol and certain fruits can aggravate symptoms.
You can find out more about hay fever here.
Heat stroke can be a dangerous condition if it’s not properly managed, so knowing what to do if it hits is crucial. Heat stroke occurs when the body can’t cool itself and the body temperature becomes dangerously high. It can cause fainting, fatigue, dizziness, headache, muscle cramps, nausea and sickness and symptoms of dehydration. It can be avoided by staying in the shade, covering the head and wearing loose fitting clothing. If you do notice symptoms though, it’s important to get to a cool place and lie down, expose as much skin as possible, cool the skin with cold water and drink plenty.
Tummy bugs are especially common in the summertime, when more of us are travelling. If you’re travelling, make sure you stick to bottled water, even when cleaning your teeth, avoid ice and be sure that all the food you eat is prepared in clean environments and properly cooked through; avoid uncooked meat, unpeeled vegetables, cold or reheated rice and be careful eating shellfish. If a summer tummy bug does hit, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and avoid any foods containing a lot of dairy and protein, as these are more difficult for your body to digest.
If you have any concerns about your health this summer, seek advice from your doctor or a health professional to make sure you stay healthy and enjoy the sunshine!