Outdoor activities are more fun during the summer. However, exposing yourself to the heat of the sun can pose dangers to your health.
At Palm Springs Urgent Care, we encourage our patients to take necessary precautions to prevent common summer health problems such as sunburn and heat exhaustion.
Dangers of getting sunburned
Many people take advantage of the summer season to lie out in the sun and get a nice, natural tan. Too much exposure to the sun, however, can make your skin red, painful, and irritated - a skin condition known as sunburn.
According to the National Cancer Institute, there are 33,3000 sunburn cases yearly that require a trip to the emergency room.
Sunburned skin is considered a first degree burn, affecting the epidermis, or the outermost layer of the skin. In severe cases blisters and swelling may also develop. Sunburn develops differently depending on your skin type, the intensity of the sun, and the length of sun exposure. People with white skin have less melanin, so they tend to get burnt skin faster.
Heat exhaustion occurs when you do strenuous physical activities under the heat of the sun. A person suffering from heat exhaustion may feel faint and fatigued. Cool, clammy skin, profuse sweating, headache, rapid pulse rate, nausea, and muscle cramps also occur.
The body has a way of maintaining core temperature. However, under hot weather and extreme physical activity, your body may fail to cool itself efficiently. If not treated promptly, it can lead to a life-threatening heat-related syndrome known as heat stroke. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, 87 people died because of excessive exposure to heat in 2017.
How to Prevent Sunburn and Heat Exhaustion
Aside from sunburn and heat exhaustion, the sun also gives off harmful ultraviolet light that can harm not only the appearance of your skin, but also its DNA. This puts you at risk of having skin cancer.
Our doctors in Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches Walk-in Clinic in Forest Hill have outlined the following tips that will help you stay protected this summer:
- Limit sun exposure.
The sun is strongest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If possible, during those hours avoid doing strenuous activities outdoors. If your shadow appears shorter, stay out of the sun.
- Hydrate frequently.
During hot weather, you lose too much water through sweating. Rehydrate with non-alcoholic beverages to prevent sunburn and dehydration.
- Wear appropriate clothing.
Wear protective clothing when you have to stay outdoors to prevent sunburn. Your clothes should allow heat from your body to evaporate as well prevent heat exhaustion. Wear sunglasses, pants, and long-sleeved shirt whenever possible.
- Seek shade.
You can use an umbrella, or a wide-brimmed hat. If possible, do your errands before 10 a.m. or after 2 p.m.
- Apply water-resistant sunscreen.
Apply a generous amount of sunscreen with a minimum Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 to your exposed skin. Reapply every two hours and after swimming, or sweating for maximum protection.
Learn more about Urgent Care Lake Worth
Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches Walk-in clinic in Lake Worth offers a state of the art facility and specializes in providing high quality medical care to our patients and their families in a prompt and professional manner.
If you are suffering from sunburn, or heat exhaustion, don’t hesitate to drop by our clinic. We will be more than happy to help restore your good health. For inquiries, contact us.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.