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Summer Beauty, Health, and Fitness Dilemmas

Top experts share tips on how to sidestep some top seasonal ailments so you can savor your summer days.

Don’t Get Burned by Skin Cancer

Summer’s here, bringing warmth and relaxation. Yet long, light-filled days at the beach often also mean overexposure to the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet (UV) radiation. “Skin cancer affects more than two million Americans each year,” says Dr. Susan Stuart, a board certified at La Jolla Dermatology in California. According to Dr. Stuart, to protect yourself from harmful UV rays, you should try to stay out of direct sunlight during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cover up by wearing hats, sunglasses, and long-sleeved-shirts, or hanging out under shade – and of course applying sunscreen. Dr. Stuart recommends sunscreen with broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection and sun protective factor (SPF) 45. “Remember to reapply sunscreen at least every 1 to 1/5 hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off,” advises Dr. Stuart.

Food Bourne Illnesses

It’s the season for picnics and BBQs, but eating outdoors in extreme heat presents a food safety challenge. Bacteria in food multiply faster at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F, so summer heat increases the risks of food-borne illnesses exponentially. Here are some tips from Franci Cohen, certified nutritionist in New York City, to ensure safe bacteria-free eating this summer!

*Wash hands when handling any food, but particularly when handling raw fish, meat and poultry.

*Do not use a plate that has had raw meat/fish on it, until it has been thoroughly washed with soap.

*When marinating raw meats, discard any unused marinade. Do not refrigerate for later use.

*Cook foods completely. Summer is not the not time to be experimenting with sushi or rare meats when eating outdoors. Meat should be cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and poultry should be cooked to 165.

*Always refrigerate leftovers as soon as possible-within 2 hours is best. In heat of 90 degrees or more, cooked food should be refrigerated within an hour of serving.

Mosquitos, Bees, Wasps – Oh My!

Lazy days at the beach, pool parties and backyard BBQs are what we love about the summer. Unfortunately, if you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors, you’ll probably get bitten or stung by bugs. “Summer heat and humidity are heaven for insects; and since we’re all spending more time outside, we’re ripe for the biting,” says Dr. Susan Stuart. According to Dr. Stuart, DEET sprays are your best defense, but when you can’t or don’t want to use chemicals, try these more natural tricks:

*Wear light colored clothing. Mosquitoes are more attracted to dark colors.

*Time your outings. Stay indoors during dusk and dawn – that’s when many breeds of mosquito are at their peak biting time.

*Avoid flowery perfumes. Mosquitoes love nectar from flowers almost as much as they do humans, so stick with a less floral fragrance for the summer.

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