WHAT WE DON'T SEE OF SUMMER
Article by our colleague Adrian Domingo published this month in La Gaceta Náutica.
The fantastic summer, the same one we've been waiting for all winter and all spring, the same one that brings us so much desire to live it, but as we don't take care of ourselves, it can cause us problems. The heat is greater because the earth is closer to the sun and this makes the radiation more solar, with its benefits and disadvantages.
But today I wanted to talk to you about these problems and how to solve them, prevent them or treat them if we cannot avoid them.
SOLAR RADIATION, BURNS AND OXIDATIVE STRESS
A lot of damage for the same causative agent: the SUN.
It is true that it helps us to synthesize vitamin D (and that the snack in the shade does not taste the same) but we all know that in summer it is not the most convenient to be under the sun, so we leave it for the first rays of sunshine that spring gives us, which, with only 15 minutes a day of sun on our face and arms, three times a week, we can synthesize an optimal amount of vitamin D.
Why do I say this? Because solar radiation is greater in summer, and the benefits it can bring us do not outweigh the risks it makes us take. Let's start with the burns that the skin suffers, they could be avoided if we use a correct solar protection and we apply it every two hours, always with a high protection factor. If we have not arrived on time, and we suffer burns, we will always have to moisturize the burned area with a good cream or lotion.
And if you have never hated talking about oxidative stress, I will simply tell you that when we subject our skin to solar radiation, it responds by generating many free radicals, which our own organism is unable to neutralize with the antioxidants it has, and therefore they are neutralized by oxidizing the cell walls and our own DNA. Now, how can we avoid this? By using oral antioxidants! And always better those that are specific for exposure to the sun, without forgetting how important a balanced diet is, above all because of the contribution of natural antioxidants that it provides us with: vitamin E or tocopherols, vitamin C or ascorbic acid, polyphenols and carotenoids: all of them contained in fruits and vegetables for the most part.
Now let's talk about heat, heat in general, that which makes us sweat ''the big drop'', and it is true that it is easier to get dehydrated in summer than at any other time of year. To avoid it is very easy, if we can, to stay in the shade and hydrate ourselves with water constantly, even if we are not thirsty, but always with water that is not too cold. We have to know that excessive sweating, after a great effort or intense activity, leads to a loss of liquid and electrolytes in our body, and that is why we will have to replace mineral salts with the right product and avoid other commercial drinks because of their high sugar content.
WATER AND BEACH
It could be the case that we are quietly swimming and suddenly, that quiet is over, a jellyfish has crossed our path. What do we have to do in that case? Get out of the water, remove the remains of tentacles if there are any with a rigid card (identity card or credit card) and clean the area with sea water (NEVER SWEET WATER!) or saline. Once the area is clean, we can apply our roll-on or specific cream after the bites.
If, on the other hand, we are in a swimming pool, there are no jellyfish there, but if the surroundings are landscaped it is very easy for wasps to appear. In this case, the first thing we will do is remove the sting and then apply the treatment for the stings that we must always carry as a must in summer.
Remember to consult your pharmacist at all times if you have any doubts or want to know more, he will be happy to help you.
Adrian Domingo. Assistant Pharmacist.