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

India launches 'Modicare', world's biggest health scheme

September 23, 2018
India on Sunday launched the world's biggest health insurance scheme which Prime Minister Narendra Modi said would cover some 500 million poor people.

It's not just for kids—even adults appear to benefit from a regular bedtime

September 21, 2018
Sufficient sleep has been proven to help keep the body healthy and the mind sharp. But it's not just an issue of logging at least seven hours of Z's.

Patient-centered visual aid helps physicians discuss risks, treatments with parents

September 21, 2018
A series of illustrations and charts designed as decision aids for parents of children with minor head injuries helped them communicate with emergency medicine physicians and make informed decisions about their child's care, ...

Alcohol responsible for one in 20 deaths worldwide: WHO

September 21, 2018
Alcohol kills three million people worldwide each year—more than AIDS, violence and road accidents combined, the World Health Organization said Friday, adding that men are particularly at risk.

Smart pills dumb down medical care, experts warn

September 21, 2018
Enthusiasm for an emerging digital health tool, the smart pill, is on the rise but researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have published a paper in the American Journal of Bioethics that cautions health care ...

China's doctor shortage prompts rush for AI health care

September 20, 2018
Qu Jianguo, 64, had a futuristic medical visit in Shanghai as he put his wrist through an automated pulse-taking machine and received the result within two minutes on a mobile phone—without a doctor present.

0 comments

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.