How to protect yourself from heatwaves

How to protect yourself from heatwaves

According to meteorologists, the sweltering temperatures with a heat index reaching past the normal range will hold steady for the next few days. The heat can drain you off your energy, making you prone to infections, prickly heat and low blood pressure. Moreover, the harmful UV exposure can cause dehydration and damage your skin in the cellular level.

Impact of heat waves on health

Scorching sun and heat waves can cause number of illnesses. From mild heat cramps to serious heat- strokes, it cannot be taken lightly. Especially, people with respiratory and cardiovascular health conditions need to take necessary steps to prevent further complications in event of extreme heat.  Listed below are the health effects of extreme heat, in decreasing order of severity:

Heat stroke:

The most serious type of heat illness is a result of overload of body heat Signs of heat stroke may include a core body temperature of more than 40°C/104°F.

Heat exhaustion:

It is caused by excessive loss of water and salt. Symptoms may include heavy sweating, weakness, dizziness, and nausea.

Heat fainting:

It is caused when our body tries to cool itself but heat exertion dilates the blood vessels to such an extent that blood flow to the brain is reduced.

Impact of heat waves on skin

Heat waves cause increased sweating that makes the small particulate matter from pollution more likely to stick to the skin, causing free radical damage. UV radiation and pollution act cause damage to skin in cycles, causing damage at a cellular level. Moreover, people might also experience eczema and psoriasis flare-ups as hotter temperatures cause increased blood flow to the skin, which can in turn intensify inflammatory skin conditions.

While we can’t possibly do anything about the heat, we can take measures to protect ourselves from the rising temperatures and stay healthy. Here, five simple steps for keeping your body healthy—and your skin cool.

1. Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is very crucial during summer as it ensures that your body keeps functioning normally. Excessive heat causes sweating, which lowers energy levels and electrolytes from your body. You can replace the lost electrolytes in your body by intake of some flavored water with mineral rich fruits like watermelon, lemon, kiwi, etc. Consuming fluids in any form like- slushies and lemonades- also helps your body regain the fluid balance.

2. Know when to act

Be able to recognize the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and true heat emergencies (heat cramps, heat rash, heat exhaustion, heat stroke)

Image source:CDC gov

3. Watch your diet

watch diet

If you normally eat three meals a day, break that up five or six smaller ones to fight the natural fatigue that comes with heat. Avoid heavy, hot foods as well. (Meat and other heavy foods generate heat both when you cook them and when you digest them.) Stick with salads and fruit for something cool and satisfying.

4. Moisture your skin


Sun’s rays can cause pigmentation and wrinkles if you don’t protect your skin during the warmer months, as increased exposure to the sun’s UVA rays is primarily associated with skin ageing.
Moisturising after shower is the best way to keep your skin hydrated.  Water usually moves from high concentrations to low, meaning that you are more likely to get moisture loss after you get out of the shower. In hotter seasons this effect is increased, which can lead to dry skin.

Remember to apply a good quality moisturizer after you shower to avoid this from happening. Moisturizing not only keeps your skin fresh and hydrated, but it will also help to maintain your tan.

Look for ways to keep your surroundings cool

Air conditioning is the best way to keep your body under optimum temperatures.

However, there are also downsides of using AC as people in over air-conditioned environments may experience chronic headaches and fatigue. Those who work in buildings which are constantly being pumped full of cool air may also experience constant mucous membrane irritation and breathing difficulties. Their skin also loses moisture content and makes skin dry.

It’s always best to use an AC just as much as needed and look for alternate ways to keep your environments cool, here’s an entire blog to guide you on this.

Special measures are needed to protect your body against heatwaves. Grab refreshing drinks, wear loose and comfortable clothes and keep yourself cool.

Do you have any thoughts to add?  Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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