Summer is here and the rising mercury brings with it a lot of distress and a host of ailments. April to June are the warmest three months of the year. Several ailments are specific to the hot weather and we are discussing ten of them right here. It is best to get yourself tested if you experience the symptoms of any of these.
The word summer automatically draws you to the seaside and beaches. Long exposure to the sun on the beach without proper sunscreen is really dangerous for it can cause sunburns.If your bare skin is exposed to the Sun for prolonged periods especially during the afternoon, you can get a sunburn. Overexposure to ultraviolet rays can cause painful skin rashes. In severe cases, this can cause melanoma or skin cancer.
Always use sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Apply it to all exposed parts of the skin and repeat the application every 2-3 hours.
Have you noticed your skin breaking out in pinkish red rashes during summer especially around the neck and back? They look like tiny pimples and tend to itch a lot.Heat rashes develop on the body in hot and humid conditions. Heat rashes normally develop on the covered parts of the body. When the sweat ducts get blocked, heat rashes that look like red dots or pimples break out causing itching and severe discomfort.
Calamine lotion can be used to reduce the itching sensation. It is best to wear loose clothing and keep the body cool.
The summer sun is known to cause heat strokes if you stand in the open for a long duration in the afternoon without any protection for the head. It makes sense to wear a hat or carry an umbrella to avoid the direct rays of the sun.Hyperthermia, commonly known as heat stroke, results from prolonged exposure to high temperatures. It starts with symptoms like headache, dizziness and weakness and results in unconsciousness, multiple organ failure and eventually death.
One method to treat hyperthermia is to cool the body externally by using ice packs, air conditioning, cold water etc. Flushing of the stomach can be done to generate internal cooling. A simple salt water flush can be done as follows. When you wake up in the morning mix two teaspoons of salt (Himalayan Salt preferred) with lukewarm water. Drink it quickly on an empty stomach and you would probably feel the urge to empty your bowels in a few minutes. This will keep your stomach cool from the inside.
The body needs more water than usual during the summer months as vital body salts are drained due to sweating.Unless we replenish the same, this is bound to lead to dehydration.
You can prevent dehydration by simply drinking more water to keep the body hydrated and functioning normally. ORS solution, that can help the body to balance the salts should be taken at regular intervals.
A summer cold is a bit of an oxymoron, isn’t it? It is caused by one of the 60 strains of enteroviruses. It is similar to a winter cold but tends to be more uncomfortable as the surrounding weather isn’t very hospitable either.
Stay well-rested. If your immune system gets compromised you will be more prone to catch a summer cold. A good sleep can help you in this respect as it is often noticed that lesser hours of sleep can lead to a summer cold. Avoiding chilled food stuff while having a cold is highly recommended. Drink lots of fluids and keep your body hydrated.
If you are the kind who enjoys eating food from street side vendors, you need to be extra careful during summers.Summer is the peak season for food poisoning as bacteria tend to breed faster in warmer temperatures. Safe handling of food in the outdoors becomes difficult. If the food is undercooked or sitting out for too long it can become the breeding ground for e-coli and salmonella. The poisoned food enters the system and triggers stomach ache, nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting.
You can prevent food poisoning by ensuring that your food is fully cooked and having it hot. Avoid undercooked meat, food sold by street vendors and water from outside to reduce the risk of food poisoning.
Some viruses like Chicken pox are highly contagious and they normally spread during the hot summer months.Common symptoms include high fever, scabs, itchiness, redness, loss of appetite and headache.
It normally lasts for 7 days and subsides on its own. The body needs to be cooled down. Use cool compresses to reduce the itching sensation. Wear gloves so that you do not scratch the scabs and give yourself permanent scars. Calamine lotion can be gently applied to the affected areas.
To prevent chicken pox the best option is to get yourself vaccinated. Chickenpox is infectious for two days before the first spots appear and 5 days thereafter. It is best to stay away from people who are suffering from it to prevent the spread.
Another common summer ailment that children usually get is measles. This is a contagious viral respiratory infection. Symptoms include cough, high fever, runny nose, sore throat and red eyes. Subsequently, rashes develop around the face and hairline along with white spots in the mouth.
The best way to prevent measles is to get yourself vaccinated. Drink plenty of fluids and take sufficient rest.
In summers , we frequently drink water but we need to be careful about the water quality to avoid diseases like Typhoid. Typhoid is a waterborne disease that enters the body through the orofecal route. Symptoms include fatigue, high fever, weakness, abdominal pain, headache and loss of appetite.
The best way to prevent typhoid is by washing your hands frequently in warm and soapy water. Avoid drinking contaminated drinking water. Avoid consuming raw fruits and vegetables and prefer hot cooked food instead. It is best to get yourself vaccinated to prevent an attack of typhoid. Antibiotics will be needed for the treatment of typhoid.
The importance of drinking safe, potable drinking water cannot be over emphasized. Contaminated water can lead to many diseases.One of the most common water-borne diseases during summer is Diarrhoea. Symptoms include repeated loose and watery motions followed by fatigue.
It is best to avoid food from outside. Drink a lot of ORS solution and keep the body hydrated.
A few tips for a healthier Summer
It is best to bear in mind a few tips while dealing with the summer months. A few simple precautions can go a long way in preventing the common summer ailments.
- Keep yourself hydrated by drinking at least 10-12 glasses of water daily.
- Drink lots of fluids including coconut water, lemon juice, buttermilk.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes in light colours.
- Keep your body cool and do not let your body sweat.
- Avoid exercising in the heat.
- Park the car in the shade. Avoid sitting in a closed car in the sun.
- Apply ice compresses on sunburns.
- Wash your hands properly with soap and water.
- Avoid raw, uncooked food and food from street vendors
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables and food which is properly prepared.
- Keep the house cool by drawing the curtains.
- Ensure that your family is vaccinated against Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Chickenpox.
- Use a mosquito repellant.
- Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
- Do not expose yourself to the afternoon sun.
- Use a hat and sunglasses to avoid ultraviolet rays.
Stay safe during the summer months by following the basic precautions. These will reduce the risk of contracting common summer ailments.It is always better to be safe than sorry.