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Stay Safe in the Sun... Naturally!

Some hot health topics to keep us all safe and comfortable!


Stay Cool

In hot temperatatures, you MUST stay out of midday sun, even with sun protection. So avoid 12 - 2pm.  In extreme temperatures - suse a fan, a floaty scarf around your shoulders, wet towels on the neck, a lovely summer hat, ice cubes in front of your fan and keep curtains closed. If you feel too hot, these simple steps can really help. If the heat is really bothering you, try to get to a space that is cool or air conditioned, those that don't cope well in the heat need some respite.


Stay Hydrated

This comes first and is absolutely vital.  Your body is over 65% water (more in children), you lose a cup or two every day, more in very hot weather.  If you can, make it filtered or mineral water.  As much as 2 litres may be needed when the weather is this warm. Some people may need more, especially if exercising. 

Don't wait until you are thirsty and gulp down a litre at once! Tea and coffee don't count, herbal teas do.  Salads and fruits help your water levels too. The simple way to check if you are getting enough? Check your urine, if it's pale, you're ok, but still keep hydrating.

Thirst decreases with age, please make sure elderly relatives and neighbours are well hydrated and check on them regularly.


Signs of Dehydration / Heat Stroke

Mild dehydration will cause headaches and sometimes light-headedness, there will be thirst, and dark urine.  Extreme dehydration can cause a weak pulse, lethargy, rapid / shallow breathing and cold hands and feet.  This should not be taken lightly.  Confusion is common in severe cases, meaning an individual may not realise what is happening; so it's important to look out for friends and family in high temperatures. Seek medical advice in extreme cases. For mild dehydration, a cool room, wet flannels, water and rest will help fairly quickly.


Never Ever Go From Very Hot to Cold Too Quickly

This is a vital bit of health advice that everyone should know.  Never EVER jump in a cold pool / the sea when you are very hot. A sudden decrease in core temperature can be extremely dangerous.  Sometimes the sea can remain cold until quite late in the English summer, so whilst we may giggle at those who ease their way slowly into cold water, this is the very best way to stay safe. Safety before fun here.


Dehydration and NSAIDS

This can be a deadly combination for those engaging in prolonged exercise with the potential to cause dehydration, so please avoid NSAIDS such as Ibuprofen in the heat if you are engaging in sports.


Remember the Celtic Salt!

At any time of year "low salt" is flawed health advice, but especially when temperatures are high, and even more so for the elderly.  For the older generation, low salt can be very, very dangerous in the heat.   For athletes, or even just those working hard, salt intake (often referred to as electrolytes) becomes a critical issue.  These electrolytes play a critical role in hydration as well as many other functions. 

Real salt such as the incredible Celtic Salt is made up of many minerals including calcium and magnesium, as well as the sodium and chloride.  Also present are many vital trace minerals and elements. Here's an article about Celtic Salt as an Electrolyte supplement.    We recommend around a teaspoon a day whether on food or in warm water. In these temperatures, a little more would be well advised.    Please reduce toxic table salt whererever possible, but in the heat, this is better than nothing. Be mindful that "low salt" plus soaring temperatures, and especially if you drink too much water can be very dangerous - too much water without enough electrolytes can even kill.



It's wonderful to see how the sun lifts everyone's mood!  At all times of year, 20 minutes a day 3 or 4 times a week with arms exposed ensures good vitamin D and a smile on your face.   Vitamin D prevents many, many diseases, and many people are deficient.  It's natural and normal to enjoy the sunshine, and a foundation for good health.

In this summer heat, the feel good factor is enhanced, but care is needed. Avoiding toxic tanning means avoiding toxic sun creams.  Did you know that skin cancer was extremely rare before the 1930s, yet we spent more time outside, with no "protection".  We know that indoor workers have a higher risk of skin cancer than those who work outside, and that regular sun exposure without burning actually reduces risk.  And remember that sunshine prevents many other types of cancer.   Yet rates of skin cancer are soaring, even though we are indoors more of the time, and more "protected" when outdoors... Clearly, its not about the sun exposure.

Firstly, please don't ever, ever burn, this is absolutely vital. 

And those that are very fair or red headed, and young children should be even more careful.

Stay out of the sun between 11.30 and 2pm, or stay covered / in the shade. There's a reason why they siesta in hot countries!  Try to fit your busy activities in the early morning or late afternoon  / evening.

Build up your exposure gradually and you ensure the greatest health protection for your skin, and the natural glow that many people love. Natural, gentle tanning protects against skin cancer.

Let's get back to the tanning products.  Just like most skin "care" products on the market, most sun creams are packed with an array of chemicals.  But in terms of tanning, there are certain chemicals that have a specific role in terms of blocking the sun's rays.

Quoting Dr Keith Scott-Mumby

"All chemical sun blocks work by ‘absorbing’ some of the sun’s radiation. The chemicals lock the rays up into their structure, thus the skin is not directly impacted by the sun’s radiation, as much. Great idea, one would think. However, by locking up or concentrating this radiation into the chemical molecules, we are turning these molecules into miniature nuclear power plants, which then radiate back at us and cause immense damage. One could call it ‘point blank’ radiation of the skin cells.

Think about it, under normal sun exposure without a sunscreen, the sun’s rays get absorbed by millions of skin cells as well as penetrating the body tissue under the skin. Therefore, the radiation from the sun becomes dispersed over millions of molecules of skin and body tissue (which is the way we are designed to receive the sun’s rays). No ‘one’ cell gets overloaded with concentrated radiation.  On the other hand, when you put on a chemical ‘radiation absorbing’ sun block, you are concentrating the radiation into a very small amount of surface skin cells by way of the chemicals in the cream sitting on and in the cells"

Even the FDA has stated that certain chemicals cause photosensitivity, and this can increase burning risk, and subsequently skin cancer risk.  And sunsreens are just one of many products that contain these chemicals (as do many modern products).


What about natural sunscreens?

So, normal chemical sunscreens are certainly not for us! But there are some natural options. If you need to be outside for long periods of time, then a cool long sleeved white shirt, and a wide brimmed hat is the natural solution.  If you do want to expose skin, then our first advice would be build that up slowly.  Or, use a more natural sun screen, the ones from companies such as Green People tick most boxes.  Do remember that organic does not necessarily mean natural, and organic skin care can legally contain synthetic ingredients; this may or may not be important to you!

But to go one step further, look for ones that are Zinc Oxide based screens, these are the only ones that truly block UVA, UVB and UVC.  These will typically look white on the skin, and that's because they are effective! One of the best we have found is the Badger range - just Google "Badger Sunscreens".  Do note that "non-whitening" zinc oxide sunscreens have been chemically processed, and are no longer the best option.


Diet and Skin Cancer

So now we now that the sun is not the issue here (but is a factor when burning is involved) we must highlight that the modern diet and its associated nutritional deficiencies clearly has a role to play alongside the chemical sun creams.  And whilst the Cancer Act 1939 basically prevents us giving good advice here (what a crazy world we live in),  the basic advice is to make your diet as natural as possible, free from processed foods (especially vegetable oils) and packed with naturally protective antioxidants, especially vitamin C, and E, and plenty of natural fats.


Stay Safe and Have Fun!

We hope this article has been of use to you.  As ever, any questions, do let us know.  Have a wonderful summer, and we all hope you enjoy these glorious sunny days!



Can sunshine prevent cancer? Dr Damien Downing MBBS, MIBiol

Sunlight and Melanoma by William Campbell Douglass, MD

Sunlight Robbery by Oliver Gillie

The Sun and Skin Cancer: Examining the Truths, Pseudo-Truths and Lies of Mainstream Science By Dr. Michelle Kmiec

Get Tanned Not Skin Cancer! Dr Keith Scott-Mumby

Virtual Medicine by Dr Keith Scott-Mumby

Is there more than one road to melanoma? Jason K Rivers FRCPC. The Lancet Volume 363, Issue 9410, Pages 728 - 730, 28 February 2004

Newton-Bishop, J et. al. Relationship between sun exposure and melanoma risk for tumours in different body sites in a large case-control study in a temperate climate. European Journal of Cancer 2011; 4 7; 7 3 2 –7 4 1

Changes in body core temperatures and heat balance after an abrupt release of lower body negative pressure in humans. Minoru Tanabe, Osamu Shido

Making Sense on Salt and Salt Awareness Week, Seventh Wave Supplements Ltd. See here

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