Are you enjoying some fun in the sun? We certainly hope so, but be careful. The summertime heat can really sneak up on you, and if you’re not careful, it can cause you no end of trouble. Here are the major things to watch out for:

 

Oedema

Ever notice that sometimes, after you’ve been in the sun for a while, it feels like your hands and feet are starting to swell? You’re not imagining things; that’s exactly what’s happening!

It tends to be more commonplace in women than in men, but make no mistake – nobody’s immune. It’s caused when the blood supply to your skin increases, which radiates heat. This, in turn, causes fluid to move out of your blood vessels and into your soft tissue.

It can range from a minor annoyance to being moderately painful, and it generally goes away on its own once you’ve properly acclimatized to the heat and humidity. If it doesn’t, head into the shade, or even better, indoors to enjoy some air conditioning for a while.

“Prickly Heat”

This mostly happens in areas with both high heat and high humidity. Children experience it more than adults, but again, nobody’s immune. It happens when your sweat glands become clogged, leading to a decidedly unpleasant prickling sensation in the affected area.

When it happens, it’s time to take a cool, refreshing shower to unclog those pores. To avoid it, wear calamine lotion and wear light, loose-fitting clothing.

Heat Exhaustion

This is mostly a matter of overexerting yourself in the hot sun, and it can be avoided with good planning. You’ll know you’re getting close to the threshold when you start feeling fatigue or dizziness, and it’s a sign that you need to take a break and rehydrate. Water’s good, but Gatorade (or similar) is even better, because it replaces the electrolytes you lose when you sweat.

Go out and enjoy some fun in the sun, but take care not to overdo it. Keep a good supply of water at hand and watch for the most common symptoms of heat-related issues.