Expert debunks summer health myths

June 12, 2018, Baylor College of Medicine

Summer is here and that means many families will be spending time outdoors at the beach or by the pool. To help families prepare, Baylor College of Medicine expert Isabel Valdez, a physician assistant and instructor of family and community medicine, debunks four common summer health myths.

False: Saltwater is good for cuts

"This is a myth because saltwater from the can actually contain germs or bacteria that can infect an open wound," Valdez said. "You should wait until the wound is healed and sealed completely before submerging it in fresh or saltwater."

To help heal, Valdez recommends washing the wound with warm, soapy water and to see your doctor if the wound becomes red, sore or warm to touch.

True (to a certain extent): You can get stomach cramps if you go swimming too soon after eating

If you go swimming or do any vigorous activities too soon after you eat, Valdez said there is a small chance you can get abdominal cramps or have an upset stomach because your food has not had time to settle.

She added that while swimming on a full might be uncomfortable, it is not life-threatening. Swimming is a great exercise that you can enjoy, just be sure you've had time to digest.

False: You do not have to wear sunscreen when it is cloudy

"You definitely want to wear even when it's cloudy because you are still going to be exposed to some UV rays," Valdez said. "I recommend always wearing an SPF over 30."

You also should reapply your sunscreen throughout the day, especially if you are swimming or sweating, she said.

False: If you are in need of hydration, any drink will help

Drinking a cold soda or an alcoholic beverage is not going to hydrate you, Valdez said. In fact, excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption actually can cause dehydration. Alcohol and caffeine are diuretics and can cause your body to lose fluids.

"While you are out at the beach or hanging by the pool, the best way to hydrate yourself is to simply drink water," Valdez said.

Explore further: How to tell if your symptoms are cold, flu or allergies

Related Stories

How to tell if your symptoms are cold, flu or allergies

January 22, 2018
A runny or stuffy nose can be a symptom of the flu, a cold or allergies, and it can be hard to discern which one you have. So how do you know what's really going on with your nose?

Exercising in the great outdoors

May 14, 2018
(HealthDay)—Outdoor exercise can be invigorating and a great morale booster. But always take a few simple steps to stay safe, no matter the season.

Preventing the skin cancer, not just the sunburn

March 14, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- With the first day of spring just one week away, anyone who spends time in the sun should be aware of new sunscreen regulations designed to help prevent skin cancer.

Here comes the sun, and kid sun safety

May 25, 2018
(HealthDay)—Summer sun brings childhood fun, but experts warn it also brings skin cancer dangers, even for kids.

Smart steps for sun protection

July 17, 2017
(HealthDay)—You know you're supposed to slather on a high-SPF sunscreen before going out in the sun, but these five steps will help you double up on that protection.

Recommended for you

Yes please to yoghurt and cheese: The new improved Mediterranean diet

December 11, 2018
Thousands of Australians can take heart as new research from the University of South Australia shows a dairy-enhanced Mediterranean diet will significantly increase health outcomes for those at risk of cardiovascular disease ...

Licence to Swill: James Bond's drinking over six decades

December 10, 2018
He may be licensed to kill but fictional British secret service agent James Bond has a severe alcohol use disorder, according to an analysis of his drinking behaviour published in the Medical Journal of Australia's Christmas ...

Obesity, risk of cognitive dysfunction? Consider high-intensity interval exercise

December 10, 2018
It's fast-paced, takes less time to do, and burns a lot of calories. High-intensity interval exercise is widely recognized as the most time-efficient and effective way to exercise. In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers ...

How to survive on 'Game of Thrones': Switch allegiances

December 9, 2018
Characters in the Game of Thrones TV series are more likely to die if they do not switch allegiance, and are male, according to an article published in the open access journal Injury Epidemiology.

Expert calls for strong, sustainable action to make world roadways safer

December 7, 2018
According to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) report on road safety, more than 1.3 million people die on the world's roadways each year—and millions more are injured or disabled. Yet despite the huge cost to families ...

Hazelnuts improve older adults' micronutrient levels

December 6, 2018
Older adults who added hazelnuts to their diet for a few months significantly improved their levels of two key micronutrients, new research at Oregon State University indicates.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.