From the beach to the backyard barbecue, there’s no shortage of health pitfalls. So test your summertime health knowledge. Can you separate fact from fiction?
Will sunburns fade into a tan? The color on your skin after a burn will not stick around. This one is fiction.
“It’s really not going to be a nice attractive tan,” explained Dermatologist Dr. Laura Ferris from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “It’s really going to look sort of like a healing wound or a healing burn, which is really what a sunburn is.”
Avoid a burn by filling a shot glass with suntan lotion. Use the full amount with every application and always avoid the sun between ten am and three pm, that’s when the rays are the strongest. Be sure to protect your kids each time they go outside. Research shows that unprotected sun exposure in the first 15 years of a child’s life doubles their risk of skin cancer later. If you use spray, choose a higher SPF than normal. If you think you need 30, apply 50 or 75.
Onto the backyard barbecue; all those spicy foods are going to cause an ulcer, right? There’s new evidence that hot peppers may actually stop the growth of the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers.
When you’re watching your weight you should reach for the diet soft drinks, right?
Fiction! Experts say they are loaded with sodium; loaded with sodium, and it really doesn’t help you lose weight. In fact, artificial sweeteners may ramp up your sugar cravings. So skip the soda and stick to water. If you really need something sweet, add a little juice to sparkling water.
Finally, your grandmother’s favorite…
“You can’t go out there, you’ll get sick. You need to put a coat on! I still say that to my kids,” said Judy Weissig.
Family Physician Amy Crawford-Faucher from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center gets that question a lot.
“Being wet, especially when it’s warm will not make you sick at all. You get sick, for the most part, from viruses and that’s what causes the cold,” said Crawford-Faucher.
Here’s one more summer myth to debunk. If you tend to get bitten a lot by mosquitoes it doesn’t mean you have sweet blood, but there is some evidence that mosquitoes find people with type O blood more attractive.