Health tips for the summer
At one time of our lives or another, we all have headaches. Most headaches are due to stress and muscle tension, but, when headaches recur often, another type of headache may be present. Migraines are headaches caused by abnormal activity by blood vessels. Migraines usually last from 4 to 72 hours, often (but not always) affect only one side of the head, are made worse by routine physical activity, noise and light, can be preceded by an "aura", a visual or other sensation, such as flashing lights, wavy lines or an odd smell. Migraine sufferers describe feeling nauseated during their headache and a feeling that they need to lie still in a dark and quiet room.
Headache sufferers should see a health care practitioner to insure that their headaches are, indeed, migraines and not a rarer, more serious form of headaches. Your health care practitioner can discuss with you treatments for migraines and, if frequent, preventive medications. Not all treatments are medication-based: diet and stress management can reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Simple, over-the-counter medications are often sufficient for treatment of migraines, but, if necessary, there are effective prescription medications to treat and prevent migraines.
Skin Cancer Prevention Tip
Despite increased awareness of skin cancer, the incidence of the disease continues to increase.
Knowledge is power, so here are some quick facts on skin cancer and how to prevent it:
Skin cancer is not a single disease, rather a grouping of diseases. Nearly all types of skin cancer are caused by or made worse by exposure to ultraviolet light, most commonly the sun. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are skin cancers commonly found in older adults after many years of sun exposure. Although they rarely spread or are fatal, they can be extensive and require disfiguring surgery to remove. Malignant melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer characterized by the appearance of a pigmented mole and rapid spread to other parts of the body. The risk of death from malignant melanoma, while lower than in the past, remains frighteningly high.
Ultraviolet (UV) exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Practicing "safe sun" every time you are outdoors is essential. Avoid lengthy exposure to sun, wear clothes that protect exposed areas, including the face and head (a wide-brimmed hat is ideal) and use a water-resistant sunscreen with and SPF of 30 or higher to reduce risk.
Sunscreens need not be expensive. Look for sunscreens with the ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Generic sunscreens containing these ingredients are usually very affordable.
Apply sunscreen often. Even if you choose a water-resistant sunscreen, apply after swimming or if you sweat. If you remain in the sun, reapply every two hours
Remember to see your health care practitioner if you find a new mole on your body or if an existing mole changes color, size or bleeds. These may be signs of skin cancer.
Choose my plate is about healthy eating habits that the students can use for ideas on different food groups, healthy eating, recipes, different food groups and foods to explore and learn about.