Busting some popular summer myths

Published On: Aug 14 2013 09:17:18 PM EDT
Updated On: Aug 15 2013 07:40:00 AM EDT

To stay healthy the rest of the summer, make sure you know the facts. First myth – a base tan prevents sunburn? There’s no such thing as a base tan. Any sun exposure damages the skin.

You’ve probably heard that you can’t get sunburned on a cloudy day, but UV rays go through the clouds. Dr. Debra Jaliman, a New York City dermatologist, says that some of the worst sunburns she has seen were from patients who failed to use sunscreen on a cloudy day.

Can ocean water heal a cut? Ocean water is full of microorganisms. Sand, dirty water, and soil can all cause infection. Instead, use a sterile saline solution or bottled water.

You may have heard for a jellyfish sting that you have to pee on it, but it could actually make the pain worse. Salt water deactivates the venom, but the salt in urine is unpredictable and can cause venom to be released if it is too dilute. Try ocean water instead.

Another myth – any drink can hydrate you. Dietician Amy Jamieson-Petonic with the Cleveland Clinic says that certain beverages have a diuretic effect, which can lead to dehydration. So stay away from caffeine, alcoholic beverages, and drinks high in sugar like soda and fruit drinks. Water, low-fat milk, 100% fruit juices, low-sodium vegetable juices and herbal teas work best.

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