With the arrival of warm weather comes an increased need to apply sunscreen to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun, and Health.com has seven important rules to follow when buying and applying sunscreen:
- Get a sunscreen you love — one that’s not too pasty, thick, or smelly — so that you’ll actually use it.
- Use a sunscreen that’s at least SPF 30, and choose SPF 50 or higher if you’re in the tropics or have a family history of skin cancer.
- Make sure your sunscreen is labeled “broad-spectrum” or at least has ingredients that include zinc or avobenzone.
- Use two layers of sunscreen: most people don’t apply enough.
- Give your nose extra attention when applying sunscreen: it’s the body part most likely to get sunburned. Your feet, hair part, ears, chest, and the backs of your hands and legs are other areas that commonly get missed when applying sunscreen.
- To reduce sun damage from rays that get through your sunscreen, get more antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and green tea, found in food, supplements, and in some sunscreens and skin lotions.
- Don’t rely solely on sunscreen for protection: wear a hat and protective clothing, and stay in the shade when possible.
- It’s never too late to start being sun-smart, especially since your skin repairs itself more slowly as you age.
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A report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that traces of E. coli bacteria — found in feces — was disturbingly common in public swimming pools. The news is pretty gross, although there’s small consolation in the fact that no outbreaks of bacterial illness were reported at the pools tested.
The old joke about “no P in the OOL” is bad enough, but while urinating in the pool isn’t exactly unheard-of, researchers were disturbed to find that some people might be defecating in the water, too, NBC News reported May 16. Researchers found traces of E. coli in 58 percent of water samples taken from pools in four Florida counties.
“We don’t know how it got in there. It either washed off somebody’s body or somebody had a bowel movement in the pool,” says Michele Hlavsa, chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Swimming Program. “It is time to stop treating the swimming pool as a toilet. Nowhere else except for the pool is it acceptable to poop in public or pee in public. In other places if we did this in public, we’d be arrested.”
Hlavasa said the fecal matter could be accumulating as the result of poor hygiene among swimmers. “Let’s imagine 1,000 kids go to a water park. They have as much as 10 grams of feces on their rear ends,” she says. “We are now talking about 10,000 grams or 10 kg. That translates to 24 pounds of poop in the water.”
Outbreaks of disease at public pools do occur — anywhere from 20 to 80 are reported annually in the U.S., says Hlavasa. Apart from not swimming in public pools, you can protect yourself from possible illness with one simple precaution — don’t swallow pool water when you are swimming.
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A study of 17,000 men conducted over a 30-year period found that those who exercised the most were 68 percent less likely to get lung cancer and 38 percent less likely to develop colorectal cancer than the most sedentary men, CNN reported May 16.
Further, even when men did get these cancers, regular exercise was shown to reduce the risk of death, according to researchers at the University of Vermont.
The research was slated to be unveiled at the upcoming American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, where other researchers were set to report that:
- new drugs are using the body’s own immune system to fight cancer
- higher doses of radiation don’t appear to be more effective in killing off cancer cells
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Pain medication and anti-inflammatory drugs are the typical remedies for arthritis flareups, but there are some ways to ease the pain and swelling of arthritis without drugs, Fox News reported May 15.
Columnist Manny Alvarez, M.D., says that natural arthritis-management techniques include:
- Regular exercise, including range-of-motion exercises, strength training, and aerobic or endurance exercise.
- Eating a healthy diet with a variety of foods, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, vitamins and minerals, and moderate amounts of fat, cholesterol, salt, and alcohol.
- Try dietary supplements like ginger, willow bark, chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine for pain, or fish oil with omega-3 fatty acids to reduce swelling and soreness.
- Control your stress.
- Try applying heat and cold to your aching joints.
“Patients should always exercise caution when considering any other alternative therapies,” cautions Alvarez. “Before beginning any alternative or complementary therapy, talk with your doctor to see if it is right for your particular situation, and ask about possible side effects and harmful interactions, especially if are taking any additional medications for other conditions.”
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