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Sunny Weather – Staying healthy during the Dry Season




If the meteorological office is correct, we are in the last month of a what has been a very harsh dry season. Rains are expected at the start of June 2019, so there is still an entire month of intense sunlight and humidity expected. 
 
Some may prefer sunny days, but in the tropics, the excessive levels of Sunlight can have disastrous effects on both the environment and on your health.  
 
It is with this in mind that we wrote this blog with health tips on staying healthy during the Dry Season. 
 
1. USE SUNSCREEN! – This cannot be stressed enough. Sunscreen is specially designed to protect your skin from the harmful cancer-causing UV rays in sunlight. This is particularly useful for the intense sunlight experienced in the Caribbean during the dry season. For those who spend much time in direct sunlight on a regular basis, it is recommended that you apply sunscreen to all exposed areas of your skin. This includes face, arms and neck.  
 
Some additional benefits of using sunscreen include: 
 
- Decreased risk of developing skin cancer. 
- Protects from and lessens the effects of sunburn caused by overexposure to sunlight. 
- Promotes healthy skin.  
- Keeps complexion and skin tone even. 

 
2. STAY HYDRATED! – The popular saying is ‘Drink 8 glasses of water a day’ but did you know that this is an outdated recommendation? Based on information found on https://www.onemedical.com/blog/live-well/daily-water-intake/ 

Actual recommendations have been made for 15 cups (3.7 liters) of water to be consumed by adult males and 11 cups (2.7 liters) of water to be consumed by adult females; this recommendation takes into consideration differences in environmental factors. 
 
It makes sense when you think about factors such as temperature and geographic location; human beings living in hot and dry regions, such as the Caribbean during dry season are at a higher risk of dehydration due to sweating and therefore require more water intake than someone living in a cold region.  
 
 
3. AVOID EXPOSURE TO SUNLIGHT! – The simplest recommendation we can provide you with. Avoid exposure to sunlight by staying indoors or in the shade and taking any opportunity that you can find to not be exposed to direct sunlight, unless you absolutely need to. Even limited exposure to sunlight can have adverse effects on your health, with symptoms ranging from headaches and blistering to deliriousness and damage to your eyes.  
 
 
Unfortunately, some of us may have no choice in this matter as our daily commute or even jobs require us to be in direct sunlight for hours on end. If so, ensure that you follow Tip #1 and Tip #2!  
 
 
4. INVEST IN POLARIZED SUNGLASSES – Everyone living in the tropics should own a pair of polarized sunglasses. Polarized sunglasses lens’ are coated in a special film that works by blocking or reducing glare. During the dry season the sunlight is at its brightest and most potent, which can create blinding glare that not only creates discomfort to your eyes but can damage your eyes in the long-term. 
 
 
If you do not own a pair of polarized sunglasses, you should definitely bump that priority higher up on your list of things-to-own. These sunglasses may be pricey depending on the brand but it is a useful product that gives great benefits in both the short and long-term. 
 
5. CHOOSE PROPER COSMETICS – If you use cosmetics, especially foundations, you must be very mindful of the effects the intense sunlight of the dry season on your skin. While some cosmetics may offer built-in UV protection and sunscreen, many do not, and when combined with intense sunlight and the accompanying sweating, this can cause severe skin ailments, particularly acne and blistered skin.  
 
Choose facial cosmetics that are compatible with heavy exposure to sunlight experienced during the dry season or use cosmetics that are compatible with sunscreen to mitigate the effects of the sun.  

 

We hope that these tips are useful to you in the rest of the dry season. Do join us next week for our next installment!  


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