From sweat to sunburn, we turned to the experts and asked them to solve some of the season’s most embarrassing body issues
South African summers are nothing short of amazing but, as much as we appreciate the gorgeous braai weather and spending time outdoors, we can’t help but complain about feeling uncomfortable from the high temperatures. To help you enjoy those glorious summer days in comfort (whether you’re staying at home or heading off on holiday), we’ve rounded up some of the best ways to stop you getting hot under the collar and to keep your cool…
Summer Sweats & Body Odour Photo Gallery
PROBLEM Summer sweats & body odour Take comfort in the fact that you can’t help perspiring – it’s down to biology, and some of us having more sweat glands than others. SOLUTION Apply your antiperspirant at night after you’ve showered – your skin will be cooler and drier at this time of the day, which helps the active ingredients stay in place. Because most antiperspirants offer 24-hour protection there’s no need to reapply in the morning. Wearing loose clothing in And drink plenty of water – when we’re hydrated our sweat smells less. If you’re still suffering, you could take a leaf out of the celebs’ book and try a touch of Botox (called underarm hyperhidrosis injections), which block the nerve messages that stimulate sweat production. PROBLEM Sunburn Living under an African sky makes a daily application of high SPF sunscreen a no-brainer. If you’ve overdone the sun (and haven’t used the right protection), then your skin will be sore, hot, itchy and SOLUTION The best way to soothe sore skin is to take a cool shower. Once you’re feeling refreshed, apply a liberal layer of aloe vera.
This magical stuff forms a protective layer, which hydrates your skin and helps it recover more quickly than it would be able to on its own. If, however, you’re all out of aloe, then a favourite beverage. Yes, we mean teabags. Soak a few in hot water until it turns black and top up with ice. Soak a cloth in your sore skin. The tannin and cool water will work together to bring down the burn. PROBLEM Heat rash This red, bumpy skin condition is likely to appear in hot, humid weather (Durban, we’re looking at you). Friction is usually the culprit, which means it’s most irritating in areas that rub together, like underarms and thighs, but it can crop up across your chest and on forearms where they’ve been in direct sunlight, too. SOLUTION Prevention is better than cure in this case, so keep susceptible areas covered from the sun with loose, cool clothing. Some sunscreens can irritate and make a heat rash worse, but we found Nivea Protect & Refresh Invisible Cooling Mist was effective and gentle enough to keep bumps at bay. To bring heat rash down fast, turn up the air con and have a cool shower. Next, apply calamine lotion – as it evaporates, it creates a cooling sensation on the skin and acts as an anti-itching agent.
PROBLEM Athlete’s foot This yucky fungal infection is often the result of bare feet inside sweaty shoes, which causes cracked skin and can lead to a bacterial infection. as it might be, holidays are not the time to ditch your socks as they will help keep your feet dry. Also, always observe good foot hygiene by keeping feet clean and drying them thoroughly after getting wet. And if you do get struck down, use an anti-fungal cream or powder available in pharmacies. If that doesn’t work, see a GP. PROBLEM Insect bites Mozzie bites are annoying for all of us, but for an unfortunate few, they’re not just irritating, they’re sore, swollen and intensely uncomfortable. If you are unlucky and are prone to getting bitten, then you’ll want a fast-acting solution, and luckily we’ve got just that. SOLUTION Before you venture out at night make sure you’re protected with a long-wearing repellent. Then, as soon as you notice a bite, make a cold compress or ice pack and leave it on the affected area for as long as you can bear it.
This will help reduce any swelling and partially numb the area. Afterwards, apply an over-the-counter anaesthetic cream to tackle the itch as scratching can cause infection and make the bite a whole lot worse to deal with. For a natural solution, try Zap Bites Mini Roll-on (aromatic.co.za) – a handy sanitising gel base that contains essential oils like tea tree and chamomile, which act as natural antihistamines. If you have managed to catch too much sun along with your bites, we suggest applying your after-sun soothing lotion, then follow with an insect repellent.
PROBLEM Food poisoning It’s easy to fall foul of food poisoning on holiday when you’re trying new tastes, but no one wants to waste days of their trip holed up in the hotel bathroom. As tempting as that buffet looks, it’s probably best to err on the side of caution. SOLUTION It’s not always the obvious culprits, like seafood and undercooked chicken, that cause catastrophe when it comes to food poisoning – anything has the potential to upset your body’s balance if you’re not used to it. It’s always safest to eat only freshly-prepared and properly cooked food. If you do get food poisoning (and can keep liquids down), rehydrate with an electrolyte-replenishing formula (like Rehidrat) and use over-the-counter solutions, like Imodium and Valoid. If you more than three days, have a very high temperature or extreme abdominal pain, it’s time to see the doctor.
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