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4 Summer health scares for women

Summer is all about longer days, vacations at the beach, barbecues and bathing suits. However, there are some less than desirable health risks that are more common during the summertime.

Woman with a migraine in the summer

Before you hop in that community pool or spend another day lounging around in your two-piece, check out these four common health hazards that come with the warm summer months and find out how you can avoid them!

Don’t let a pesky (and painful) yeast infection or migraine get in the way of your summertime fun. Check out how you can prevent these and other ailments and stay safe. Because really, who wants to spend their vacation in the gynecologist’s office or worse, stuck inside?

Migraines and headaches

Migraines and headaches happen all throughout the year, but many women say they get more of these horrible headaches during the summertime. Why is this? According to Redbook, squinting into the sun, heat exhaustion and too many UV rays are all culprits. When you squint, you’re causing your facial muscles to tense up, which leads to eye strain and can lead to throbbing head pain. Too much sun and heat exhaustion can lead to a migraine simply because you’re not producing sweat fast enough to dissipate the heat as your body temperature rises. You’ll also experience nausea, vomiting and fatigue if you’re outside too long.

So how you can prevent these? Simple! Wear sunglasses whenever you can to avoid the squint-induced headache. In addition, be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen and take breaks inside or in shade on a sunny day. To prevent dehydration and to make sure you sweat (which will make you stay cooler), stay hydrated with cool water throughout the day.

Yeast infections

This is one infection that will certainly ruin your beach vacation and keep you out of a bathing suit for much longer than you prefer. Yeast infections are very common during the summer since many women and teens spend more time in damp bathing suits. Dr. Pamela Rockwell, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Michigan, tells Redbook that yeast thrives in cold, damp locations and can also be caused by perfumed tampons, which negatively alters the bacteria inside the vagina.

To avoid this uncomfortable and often painful infection, be sure to change out of wet bathing suits as soon as possible after swimming, sweating or playing. In addition, wear looser underwear made of cotton and avoid mesh or silk, which will hold onto moisture. Also choose fragrance-free tampons. If you do find yourself with a yeast infection, see your doctor immediately.

Athlete’s foot

This isn’t an infection that just affects athletes or less-than-hygienic teenage boys. This fungal infection is quite common for many women during the hot summer months, especially if they are active in sports or visit their community or public pools. Since fungus is extremely contagious, you can catch it in just a second of going barefoot in a public shower or on the ground near your lounge chair. Fungus grows quickly in warm, muggy environments, like public restrooms or even your tennis shoes.

To avoid a fungal infection while on vacation, always bring and wear shower shoes or flip-flops in public showers, pools or saunas. In addition, immediately change your socks and shoes after you’ve been active outside. Also avoid plastic shoes, which make it hard for your feet to stay dry.

Food poisoning

Having just one bite of a warm potato salad at your aunt’s picnic could leave you with more than just an unhappy tummy — it could give you food poisoning! Studies have shown a higher percentage of cases of food poisoning in the summer months due to the increased chance of food spoilage. Because the summer months are warm and humid, foods spoil faster than they would any other time of the year. Red meat, dairy salads and salads with mayonnaise (like pasta and potato) and poultry can spoil quickly if not prepared right before eating or stored in a cool environment. Food poisoning can be fatal if not taken care of immediately.

To avoid getting sick, keep salads with dairy and raw meat chilled until serving. In addition, keep these items near or inside a cooler when not being eaten to avoid spoiling. If you’re going to be outside for a long time, avoid eating anything with mayo since it spoils very rapidly. In addition, be sure to cook your food thoroughly so you don’t get sick from undercooked meat.

Don’t let these common hazards keep you from having a great summer — take the necessary precautions and have a healthy, fun summer!

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