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Dr. Oz Tackles Your Most Embarrassing Questions, Offers Summer Skin Soothers

Summer Embarrassing Questions

Summertime, and the livin' is easy...well, sort of. In reality, summer can bring a host of health-related problems, from how to handle a child who pees in the pool to dealing with painful sunburn and rashes. On his July 9 talk show, Dr. Mehmet Oz tackled some of the most embarrassing and common summer-related questions and concerns. Before you dip your toe into another pool, read this.

Embarrassing Summertime Questions
Oops. Someone's child (maybe yours?) peed in the pool. Is it safe, or should the lifeguard close the pool? The secret's in the chlorine, which effectively sterilizes the pee. However, if there's poop in the pool, it's time to get out. Particularly dangerous: If someone with diarrhea poops in the pool. In fact, reported Rodale News recently, one survey showed that a shocking one in five people pee in the pool. "Even when chlorine levels are at proper levels, some illness-causing organisms can survive. For example, about two-thirds of all recreational water illnesses (or RWIs) are caused by Cryptosporidium, a chlorine-resistant microorganism that causes diarrhea. “Crypto can survive for as many as 10 days, even in a well-maintained pool,” says Michele Hlavas, Epidemiologist in the Division of Parasitic Diseases for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Another common and embarrassing problem in the summer: Adult acne, which can make you self-conscious. Why does it occur so much more in hot weather? The heat results in an increase in oil production, and when we sweat through our makeup and sunscreen, our pores get clogged. Solution: Try using glycolic or salicylic-acid containing products. By using toners or cleaners with these ingredients, you can exfoliate your skin and eliminate the dirt that can clog your pores. When you exercise, be sure to clean your skin prior to your workout as well as after your fitness session.

Itchy skin can feel even more miserable when it's hot. Whether you're dealing with a rash from a new brand of sunscreen, an insect bite or poison ivy, take the time to alleviate the problem with home care solutions such as 1% hydrocortisone cream. Warning: Does your rash cover a large area? Call your doctor to see if a prescription cream is needed. And if you've had a close encounter of the itchy kind with poison ivy, be sure to wash your clothes thoroughly. If you have pets, you may need to bathe them as well.

Sunburn Warnings
Sunburn is highly dangerous: Just one serious case of sunburn in childhood more than doubles the risk of the life-threatening skin cancer, melanoma, later in life. Prevent it by using a broad-spectrum (blocks both UVA and UVB rays) of at least SPF 30. Reapply it every two to three hours when you are in the sun. In addition, if you sweat a lot or go swimming, reapply immediately. Not sure whether to use spray sunscreen or a cream? Skip the spray and go for the gel, cream or lotion for better coverage. When you buy sunscreen, look for zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide to block harmful UV radiation. In addition, be sure to read the expiration date.

In addition to sunscreen, use long-sleeved, light clothing, hats and sunglasses. If you do suffer a sunburn despite these precautions, apply a cool compress followed by a light moisturizer. To reduce inflammation, take 400 mg of ibuprofen with food. Be sure to replace lost fluids with a sports drink or water.