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Posts Tagged ‘sunscreen’

Tips to Treat Sunburn, Undiagnosed Heart Problems in Elders, Health Risks of Odd-Hour Jobs

August 3, 2012

Friday Roundup:

Fried Skin? Soothe it Now

It’s August, which means we’re more than halfway through the hottest time of year. That also means you’ve probably been exposed to intense UV rays. The Skin Cancer Foundation reports that 42 percent of people get a sunburn at least once a year.*

Hopefully you’ve been protecting yourself with sunscreen, but if you accidentally “forgot” and are now face-to-face with angry, red skin, these unique tips may help.

Tip #1: Drink Water

When you get sunburned, your skin dries up and your body loses fluids. Drink lots of water to replenish the lost fluids and help the burn heal faster.

Tip #2: Moisturize…with Potatoes

You read that right—potatoes are known pain-relievers. Grind some up in a blender until it’s smooth, pat it onto your burned skin, let dry, then wash it off in the shower. Want something less messy? A cold, soothing gel like aloe vera will stop the stinging of your fried skin. Rub on a decent amount until it soaks into the skin. Repeat this multiple times a day.

Tip #3: Bathe in Baking Soda

Fill your bathtub with cool water and soak for a while. The water will soothe your skin and temporarily relieve some of the pain. Bonus: add a few tablespoons of baking soda to the water to soothe skin even more, but only soak for 15-20 minutes. Let your skin air-dry instead of towel-drying.

Tip #4: Relieve the Pain

You can get more temporary pain relief by taking one or two over the counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. These will also get rid of any headaches or chills associated with your sunburn and decrease inflammation.

Tip #5: Don’t Pop Blisters

If your sunburn forms blisters, don’t pop them. Doing so can increase risk of infection and slow down the healing process. Let your skin take its natural course by covering the blisters with gauze and leaving them alone.

The best thing to learn from sunburn is to not let it happen again. Wear sunscreen to protect yourself whenever you might be under the sun’s rays. After five or more sunburns, your risk of melanoma—the most deadly form of skin cancer—doubles.*

Do you know another great way to treat sunburn? We’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below.

For more information on properly treating sunburn, read the full article by the Skin Cancer Foundation:

* Skin Cancer Foundation: Facts about Sunburn and Skin Cancer.


Study: Undiagnosed Heart Problems Common in Elders

According to a recent ABC News article, a study shows that undiagnosed heart conditions in older people are more common than you think.

The study tested the heart function of about 375 people between the ages of 87 to 89. Results showed that one-third of the participants had a heart with reduced ability to pump blood and another twenty percent had a condition called diastolic dysfunction, which is when the heart muscles can’t relax enough to fill the heart’s chambers with blood. For 26 percent of the participants with heart conditions, the problems had never been diagnosed by a physician.

The article says the reason for the participants never being diagnosed is unclear, but doctors think it could be because they simply didn’t realize there was a problem. They also may have thought that any symptoms, like shortness of breath or fatigue, were just a common part of old age.

“We should keep our antenna up at all times for treatable diseases that may reduce symptoms and improve the quality of life,” said Dr. Clyde Yancy, chief of cardiology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and past president of the American Heart Association.

Life Line Screening urges all individuals who may be at risk for cardiovascular disease to undergo screening to become aware of the state of their health so that treatment may be sought sooner. If you or someone you know has heart-related risk factors, schedule a preventive health screening today.

To read the full ABC News article on heart disease in older people, view this link:


Health Risks of Odd-Hour Jobs

It’s old news that working late shifts or untraditional hours can be hard on your body. New research shows it may increase risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels which can lead to diabetes, heart attack or stroke.

A review of 34 past studies of more than two million people showed that people who work night shifts, rotating shifts, split shifts or any non-daytime schedule have higher risk of developing these conditions. Night shift workers have the highest risk, especially in the first 10 to 15 years on the job.

Specific results show that when compared to people who worked during the day, shift workers were:

  • 23% more likely to have a heart attack
  • 5% more likely to have a stroke
  • More likely to die from one of these conditions

Tips shift workers can use to better their health and stay healthy longer include things like getting enough sleep, eating healthier foods like fruits and vegetables, taking enough breaks to relax, not smoking and exercising regularly.

If your risk of heart attack or stroke is increased because you work odd hours, consider scheduling a health screening with Life Line Screening. You can gain knowledge about your health and be better prepared to treat a potential problem before it becomes a serious or even fatal condition.

To read the full details of this study on shift worker health risks, view this link:

Sunscreens Take a Hit

July 8, 2010

A group called the Environmental Working Group just released a new report on the effectiveness of sunscreens, and the findings are shocking… According to this report, most sunscreens do not do what they claim. For example, the SPF numbers above 50 are a fiction. Plus, some sunscreens actually have ingredients that can speed up the creation of free radicals, leaving you more at risk for skin cancer.

If you want to read our summary article and link to the full report, please visit our Sunscreen Update page.

As a mother, this report is incredibly frustrating. I slather sunscreen on my kids before camp. I send sunscreen with them in their backpacks and request that the counselors remind them (and help the younger one) reapply after swimming. Every morning I pull them out of bed and make them apply the stuff.

Besides the fact that we buy so much sunscreen that it has become an expense item on our family finance spreadsheet, the groans of annoyance and despair can probably be heard at your house, wherever you live.

The only benefit here is that I feel somewhat vindicated. Despite all of my sunscreen lathering, both of my girls suffered sunburns on their cheeks and noses. I blamed myself. Maybe I wasn’t applying correctly? Maybe they weren’t re-applying during the day?

Now I just know I was buying the wrong thing and making the mistake of believing the packaging. When a sunscreen claims to be broad spectrum and a higher SPF, I assumed that meant it actually was. Clearly, this is not so. Consider this statement by the EWG report,

“In August 1978 FDA began developing comprehensive regulations for sunscreen safety and effectiveness. Nearly 32 years have passed, yet the agency has yet to issue final regulations. As a result, sunscreen manufacturers in the U.S. are free to market products that do not offer the best available combination of safety and effectiveness. As well, manufacturers can make advertising claims unsupported by mandatory testing.”

So now we know. Buyer beware, and in the meantime, wear a hat and find the shade.

See tips from Life Line Screening on ways to have fun safely in the hot sun.


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