Summer is finally here! We hope you’ll get lots of time at the beach in the sun with your family and friends. Going to the beach should be fun, and you can keep it that way if you stay mindful of a few healthy tips.
Whether you’re an experienced outdoors adventurer interested in staying safe on some beautiful remote island, or you’re on vacation and want to make sure you’re practicing healthy beach behavior, our HealthTap doctors are here to provide you with the beach tips and facts that will keep you happy and healthy in the sun, all summer long!
“You should get evaluated if you noted any change in color, size, ulceration, irregular borders or symptoms such as pain, itching, etc. Don’t wait. See a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon. Best to you.”
- Dr. Humberto Palladino
“To prevent cold sores from occurring wash hands often. Maintain a healthful lifestyle (regular exercise, nutritious diet, adequate sleep, keeping stress at bay). Keep lips well moisturized & apply sun screen to the areas that your cold sores normally pop up. Talk with your physician about supplementing with Lysine.”
- Dr. Heidi A. Fowler
“Signs of dehydration may include the following: sunken eyes decreased frequency of urination or dry diapers sunken soft spot on the front of the head in babies (called the fontanel), no tears when the child cries dry or sticky mucous membranes (the lining of the mouth or tongue), lethargy (less than normal activity), irritability (more crying, fussiness with inconsolability), acute weight loss.” – Dr. Michael H. T. Sia
“Uv light is known to help acne but when you’re in the sun, you cannot calculate the right dose of it, so along with some advantage, there are also disadvantages such as overexposure with resultant risk of burns, increase risk of skin malignancy, etc. I would not just go to the beach to tan to get acne better. Talk to doc about uv therapy for acne whether it is right for you or not.” – Dr. Pavel Conovalciuc
“A skin fungus, tinea corporis, is a possibility. Especially if they occur on the back and chest. Also areas of old scars will not heal well. There are other conditions such as vitiligo that will not tan.” – Dr. Jack Hinkle
“Hydrate well. Consider using a warm air vaporizer. Mix several teaspoons of honey into herbal tea with a squeeze of lemon juice. Or make tea with 2 tsp of marshmallow root bark per 1cup of hot water (steep in a covered pot for at least 5 minutes). Drink several times a day or as needed to relieve coughing. See a physician if your cough is not resolving, difficulty breathing or temp > 104.” – Dr. Heidi A. Fowler
“Now that the event has already occurred, the first thing to try is artificial teardrops to help with any dryness that has resulted. If this does not help, you should see an ophthalmologist to consider starting anti-inflammatory eyedrops. In all honesty, the best idea is to try to prevent this from occurring by wearing uv sunglasses next time!” – Dr. Kyle Rhodes
“Skin is dried out. Avoid sun for now and use moisturizer with spf such as neutrogena. If itchy you can add hydrocortisone for a few days.”
- Dr. Morris Westfried
“You can apply vaseline petroleum jelly or a skin moisturizer.” – Dr. Oscar Novick
“[A]lthough sharks have a phenomenal sense of smell & can smell blood, there is no evidence that links menstrual blood to shark attacks. To date more than 90% of shark attacks have been against males. Enjoy your time at the beach.” – Dr. Heidi A. Fowler
“Neosporin or Polysporin ointment is a good first-aid treatment for sunburn blisters.” – Dr. Thomas G. Fiala
“Yes. Most people with seafood allergies are truly allergic to proteins in seafood. However, exposure to these proteins in ocean water and at the beach is so minimal, that the vast majority of seafood allergic patients have no reaction to them. Contrary to a popular misconception, seafood allergy is not due to iodine, and does not cause an increased risk of reaction to dyes used for x-rays and ct scans.” – Dr. Kenneth S. Backman
“When buying sunscreen, look for products that have micronized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in them. These broad-spectrum physical blocking agents protect against both uva and uvb rays without harmful chemicals. Find a product with a minimum spf of 30, but remember that spf only applies to the uvb rays. No standard measurement of protection is yet available for the uva component of sunlight.”
- Dr. Brock Ridenour
I have really fair skin and I am going to the beach. What is the best way to protect myself from the sun?
“The best way to protect yourself from the sun is to wear a sunscreen with at least spf 15 or higher (if you’re fair, 30-45+ is better) and to cover up with a hat and clothing. If you’re in the water, re-apply your sunscreen often; even if it is “water proof” it will wash off when you go in for a swim.” – Dr. Pavel Conovalciuc
“For razor burns in the bikini area, first of all stop shaving there for a week or more. Remember, razor burns come from a razor! Wash with an antibacterial soap and do not wear tight panties. An antibiotic cream or ointment applied a couple of time a day may cure any possible infection. If no better, see a dermatologist.”
- Dr. Jerome Litt