Monday, April 21, 2008

Heat Exhaution and Heat Stroke

Avoid succumbing to either heat exhaustion or heat stroke by resisting the temptation to lie in the hot sun for hours on end. Keep your body cool by going for a swim at regular intervals.

Don't fall asleep in the sun. If you begin to feel woozy or headache, retreat to the shade immediately and cool yourself sown with cold compresses or a tepid bath and sip liquids. Orange juice is good because it replaces potassium lost through sweating.

Drink at least two liters of water a day and don't rely on thirst as an indicator of dehydration. You could easily be dehydrated and yet not feel thirsty. Don't drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks as these have a diuretic effect, adding to dehydration.

If despite these precautions, you develop symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, take the following steps immediately.

Heat Exhaustion:
There are three types of heat exhaustion, all of which can be fatal: water deficiency, salt deficiency and anhydrotic.

The symptoms of water deficiency heat exhaustion include thirst, lack of appetite, giddiness, a dry mouth and rising temperature. Rest in cool surroundings and drink half a liter of water every fifteen minutes for two hours. Seek medical help if your symptoms continue to worsen.

Salt deficiency heat exhaustion occurs if you have been sweating heavily during the first few days of acclimatization to a very hot climate and have not eaten properly. Fatigue, giddiness and severe muscle cramp are symptoms of this type of heat exhaustion. If you thinks you may be suffering from this condition, see a doctor.

Anhydrotic heat exhaustion is a rare malfunction of the sweat glands, which occurs in people who have been in a hot climate for several months.

Heat Stroke:
The symptoms of heat stroke are that your body temparature rises but you do not sweat as this heat regulating mechanism is not functioning correctly. You develop a severe headache, feel faint or disorientated, stagger or start to convulse. The skin is hot and may feel dry. Sunstroke is an incorrect term you can get heat stroke without being in the sun.

Heat stroke can be extremely dangerous, or even fatal, so call an ambulance or ask someone to drive you to the emergency department of a nearby hospital.

Prickly Heat

The spotty rash occurs as result of blocked sweat glands, mostly appearing on the chest, back and arms and you can take steps to prevent it.

Avoid strong sunlight, especially between eleven in the morning and three in the afternoon when the sun is at its strongest. Wear high-factor sunscreens that screen out both UVA and UVB rays. Take cool showers or bathe frequently, patting the skin dry afterwards. Also avoid activities that make you sweat a lot. Application freshly ground sandal paste with rose water also yield good soothing result.

If you do develop prickly heat, stay in the cool, apply calamine lotion or talcum powder and wear loose cotton clothing. Prickly heat is often confused with polymorphic light eruption.

Sunburn - How to tackle the sunburn?

Sunburn has long term detrimental effects on the skin and should be avoided. Contrary to the popular belief, you do not have to burn to set a tan. And, just in case your are still wondering, you can still get a tan using high protection factors. If you do burn, however, keep your skin cool and clean and soothe it with calamine lotion or natural yogurt. Aloe Vera is another good sunburn calmer, as is the essential oil from the bark of the tea tree. Simple add 2-3 drops of it to 10ml of a carrier oil, such as wheatgerm or avocado, available in most health stores and chemists.

If you burn badly over most of your body you may need to rest in bed and drink plenty of fluids. You must not sunbathe the following day, or until the redness has gone. Seek medical advice for severe burns.


Most useful Summer Skin Care Tips

It is the time of year when we show more skin than ever, so of course we want it looking great.... But somehow we always manage to run into a few problems!! Whether it be our sweat glands over reacting and causing us to break out or soaking in too much sun and looking like a lobster there is help! Below are 5 problems many of us battle in the summer, and great, easy, quick fixes to go with them!

Breakouts The Problem - You're breaking out on your back, shoulders, and chest, and your regular soap isn't helping.

The Fix - Wash with a body cleanser that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, ingredients that unblock pores and dry up excess oil. (Don't scrub; it may inflame skin.) Try Neutrogena Body Clear Body Scrub ($6; drugstores). To prevent breakouts, dust talcum powder on your back and chest to help absorb perspiration, and look for oil-free products that are labeled noncomedogenic, which means they won't clog pores. Avoid form-fitting clothes that hold heat and moisture close to your skin, and change into fresh gear ASAP after perspiring heavily.

Sunburn The Problem - You got caught up in the excitement of your kid's Little League tournament and forgot to reapply sunscreen. Now your skin is beet red.

The Fix - Avoid the sun until the skin has healed completely. "Sunburned skin temporarily loses its protective barrier, so it's more susceptible to subsequent burns," says Fran Cook-Bolden, MD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
To reduce inflammation and pain, pop an aspirin and take as directed until the burn fades. Soaking in a bath of cool or lukewarm water laced with a handful of baking soda will also ease the burn. Afterward, gently pat on a topical over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream to help reduce swelling. Try not to pick or peel skin that's beginning to flake; those dry patches protect forming skin from the environment. Next time, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and reapply every 2 hours.

Ingrown Hairs The Problem - Your quest for an ultraclose shave left you with ingrown hairs around your bikini line.

The Fix - Wash with an anti-bacterial soap to quell inflammation. Gentle use of a loofah or washcloth every other day will help dislodge trapped hairs and prevent their return. For a chronic case, try Bliss Ingrown Hair Eliminating Peeling Pads ($35; Bliss) or Tend Skin ($20; Sephora); both contain salicylic acid, an exfoliant that keeps ingrowns at bay. In the future, shave in the bath or shower; the water plumps up hair, making it easier to cut. Change blades as soon as you feel any pull or drag--a dull blade is more likely to cause ingrown hairs, says David Bank, MD, director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery in Mount Kisco, NY.

Poison Ivy The Problem - That "grass" you rested in after your hike was poison ivy, and now you can't stop itching.

The Fix - Treat mild rashes with hydrocortisone cream. Bathing in tepid water with 1 cup of oatmeal may also alleviate the misery. If that's not enough, take an antihistamine such as Benadryl. Because heat and sweating can aggravate the itch, stay as cool as possible. See your doctor if the rash is on your face or genitals, is blistering or oozing, or doesn't improve after a week of self-treatment. On future outdoor adventures, steer clear of plants that have three shiny leaves coming from a central stem. If you act quickly to wash the plant's oily resin off your skin (it becomes irreversibly bound within 15 minutes of exposure), you can prevent or minimize a reaction.

Dry Skin The Problem - A beach vacation left your skin looking and feeling drier than a desert.

The Fix - After swimming, rinse with fresh water to remove any salt or chlorine buildup, which can further dry out and irritate skin. Keep subsequent baths and showers short (no longer than 5 minutes) and use a mild cleanser and warm water. Gently use a loofah, washcloth, or exfoliating scrub to slough off dead cells. After bathing, towel-dry and moisturize immediately with a rich lotion. "You need to seal in the moisture while you're still slightly damp," says Bank.

These are the most common skin problems that occur during summer. We will see a little more in the next session.