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Health problems that affect people in UAE during the summer

Tuesday, August 1, 2017/ Editor -  


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Attributed to: Prof. Dr. Elham Abd El Zaher, Consultant - Dermatology and Venereology, Burjeel Hospital Abu Dhabi
What are the common health problems once faces during summer? How can one treat or avoid it?
  • Dehydration: Dehydration can happen quickly and suddenly during summer, especially with old people and children. Also after a heavy exercise. 
    • To Avoid/ treat:  Drink lots of water to stay hydrated
  • Heat stroke: It is a very serious condition that is characterized by high body temperature, confusion, short rapid breathing, sweating and fast pulse. In case of a heat stroke, the person needs to call the emergency. 
    • To Avoid/ treat: Stay away from the direct sun ray and heat. 
  • Food poisoning: If the food is not well protected, refrigerated properly, and kept away from the heat; it can cause food poisoning
    • To Avoid/ treat: keep food away from high temperature areas.
  • Eye damage: The heat can lead to the dehydration of the eyes.  
    • To Avoid/ treat: Always have sunglasses on.
  • Car accidents: the drivers are less focused because of the heat
    • To Avoid/ treat: Avoid driving during the peak hours of heat
Which are the common skin problems during summer? How can one treat or avoid it?
  • Sun burn: It occurs mostly to people with less melanin (people with light skin color) however it can still occur to others with darker skin color. It would look like chemical burn and blisters
    • To Avoid/ treat: It is essential to use sunscreen before being exposed to the sun. After sun exposure a person need to have a Full body bath and after-sun moisturizing. 
  • Summer rash: Excessive sweating caused by the heat could cause a rash or even reach the stage of eczema.
    • To Avoid/ treat:  Wearing thick clothes. Person should wear light clothes and take a shower after sweating or being exposed to high temperature.
  • Summer acne: Mostly occurs to women who apply heavy makeup. The makeup blocks the pores and with high temperature the pores will not be able to breathe. 
    • To Avoid/ treat:  Applying heavy makeup. Deep face clean is required during the summer. One should apply light foundation and makeup. It is essential to clean the face properly after that with special cleanser. 
  • Dry skin: Skin because of dhydration. 
    • To Avoid/ treat:  One should use moisturizers, and ensure drinking lots of water. 
  • Skin Fungal Infection: Fungal infection can increase. 
    • To Avoid/ treat:  To treat, keep the skin clean.
  • Athlete foot: Fungus in the foot, 
    • To Avoid/ treat:  Keep the foot dry. Dry the foot with disposable tissue. 
  • Skin cancer: It occurs mostly to people with less melanin (people with light skin color) however it can still occur to others with darker skin color
    • To Avoid/ treat: It is essential to use sunscreen before being exposed to the sun. Avoid the sun at its peak hours.
What precautions should one take as the summer season starts?
  • Drink a lot of fluids specially water to stay hydrated
  • Must wear very light clothes
  • Take regular showers during the day
  • Avoid being exposed to the sun during its peak hours  10 am to 4 pm
  • Eat healthy food
Do sunscreens or other sun protection methods work?
Sunscreens are effective if the right sunscreen is used in the right way. 
What to choose? 
The best choice is to get the broad spectrum sunscreen protection from UVA & UVB rays with the SPF being 30+ onwards. It should also be fragrance free. 
How to apply?
  • Clean skin before applying the sunscreen. 
  • Put first layer of sunscreen half an hour before going outdoor. 
  • Once outdoor, apply a second layer of sunscreen.
  • It should be re-applied every 2 hours
  • In case of washing the skin or drying the skin with towel, again a layer of sunscreen needs to be applied.
When should one avoid going out in the sun? When is the sun’s rays strongest? What happens if one is exposed to harsh sun rays?
Avoid sun exposure between 10 am – 4 pm. Instead, look for shady places
The direct sun exposure can cause sun burn, eczema, heat stroke, dry skin, eye damage, skin cancer. 
Which foods should one eat or avoid during summer time? And why? Please name atleast 5 of each.
  • Almonds (nuts): contains omega 3 , protein, vitamin E, calcium and zinc (helpful for the skin)
  • Avocado: contains vitamin a, c and e, iron, potassium (neutralizing to the cell damaging free radicals) 
  • Blue berries: contains antioxidants
  • Pineapple:  contains alpha hydroxy acids
  • Salmon: contains omega 3, zinc
  • Water
  • Food such as:  oyster, liver, baked beans, lean beef and lamb
  • Beverages such as: coffee and tea
  • Food such as: Spicy food, oily junk food, sauce, rich meals (fried fish & chicken) 

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