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Intimate hygiene tips for summer sports

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in women's health | Posted on 25-09-2017

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Intimate hygiene tips sports

Women are becoming more and more concerned about their health and personal care, now that summer has arrived, increased enjoyment of sports has added to the equation. Sport improves mood, increases respiratory capacity and brings numerous health benefits… It therefore plays an important role not only in preserving well-being and preventing disease and injury, but also in improving self-image.

Thus summer is a key time for exercising body and mind, with the number of people participating in sporting activities increased; but exercise needs to be performed differently to during winter in order to prevent problems such as heat stroke and infection.

With this in mind, one factor which concerns women most when playing sports is intimate hygiene. Dr Esperanza Martín, Head of the Gynaecology Department at Vithas Xanit International Hospital, provides some straight forward tips for personal, intimate hygiene during and after sporting activities.

Importance of intimate feminine hygiene when practising sports

Maintenance of appropriate, intimate hygiene helps to prevent gynaecological conditions, including infections. The following is helpful advice:

  • Change tampons every two to three hours.
  • Use soap which is appropriate for intimate hygiene, soap which preserves the acidic pH of the vulval and perineal area and which cleans efficiently but hydrates, helping to prevent infections.
  • Do not use vaginal douches as they alter the protective balance of the vagina and can push germs towards the uterus.
  • Dry with a towel which is for personal use only and keep it clean.
  • Do not use panty liners daily. Only use them when really necessary as they increase humidity in the vulval area which can lead to infections.
  • Do not stay in a damp swimsuit after sporting activities in the pool; wash it at the end of the activity as dampness can lead to urinary infections.
  • Do not use intimate deodorant.
  • Use unperfumed hygienic wipes with no additives which may irritate.
  • Wash hands before and after going to the bathroom.
  • Attend medical check-ups and gynaecological check-ups regularly.

Follow these simple recommendations when practising sports and intimate hygiene will not be a problem this summer. Now there is no excuse for not exercising the body…. or the mind.

Skin care in summer

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in dermatology | Posted on 25-09-2017

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The sun, the heat, the beach, together the combination can have dramatic effects on the body. For this reason we need to take special care of our skin during summer, the time of year when we are encouraged to spend most of our time outdoors.

Below Dr Enrique Herrera Acosta, Head of the Dermatology Department at Vithas Xanit Hospital, gives us a few tips.

Foods which help to protect the skin

There is no doubt that a varied and balanced diet, based on fresh, seasonable produce, including vegetables, fruit and fish, helps to keep the body strong and healthy and therefore, also contributes to a healthy skin. Drinking plenty of water is essential.

Swimming pools and beaches, how can they affect the skin?

Skin care in summer is vitally important at the beach or at the pool, sunscreen is a priority:

  • It should be applied 30 minutes before leaving the house and renewed every two hours afterwards, it is also necessary on cloudy days.
  • It is best to avoid sun exposure between 12 midday and 4 in the afternoon, and avoid spending hours at a time in the sun. Every precaution should be taken with children and the elderly, or those with very sensitive skin.

Regarding the pool, some of the products used to maintain the standard of swimming pool water can cause skin reactions in certain people, it is important to consult a dermatologist if this occurs.

Taking note of the appearance of blemishes or moles is essential, observing for worrying signs: asymmetry, changes in the edges, colour, diameter, growth… If you notice changes in shape or colour, or have any discomfort or pain, you should make an appointment with a Dermatologist immediately; there is no good reason to wait, but every reason to act as soon as possible.

The importance of sleep on the skin during summer

Whilst we are sleeping, skin regenerates and rests after spending the day dealing with UV radiation, air conditioning, pollution and other daily “challenges.” As a general recommendation at least 7 hours’ sleep is advisable and whilst on the theme of skin care, it is important to sleep with the skin clean and moisturised. There are many products, creams, serum, tonics which can be used, but the special characteristics of each skin type need be taken into account alongside recommendations from Aesthetic Dermatology Specialists.

How can we fight the sun?

As well as never forgetting sunscreen, there is a greater need for skin protection measures such as hats, caps, sunglasses and appropriate clothing in summer, fundamental for improved UV protection.

Remember that not all clothes offer the same protection against the effects of the sun. Shirts and other fine materials may be made of a more breathable fabric, but may not provide enough protection. Ideally at times of high exposure, specifically designed tops or dark coloured, cotton shirts (such as T-shirts or polos) should be worn.

 

In a nutshell: sun yes, but in summer (especially) skin care as well. Don’t forget!!

Tips and recommendations for exercise during summer

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in women's health | Posted on 22-09-2017

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recommendations for exercise

In the summer months our bodies have to cope with high temperatures. It’s the time of year when playing sports or doing any form of exercise can pose a much greater challenge. Today, Dr Gomez Doblas, Head of the Heart Centre at Vithas Xanit International Hospital answers some of our most common queries regarding exercising during summer, and provides a few tips to allow us to play sport without risking our health at this time of year.

What time is it best to exercise?

In summer we should avoid the hottest time of day. The ideal time is first thing in the morning or in the late evening. The ideal time, and probably the freshest time of day, is between 7:30 and 9 am.

What type of clothing is recommended for summer exercise?

It is important to wear lightweight, light coloured, clothing to reflect the heat. Cotton clothes can also help with evaporation of perspiration. It is possible to buy clothes at specialist shops which are specifically designed to avoid the heat. Also if playing sport in the sun it is very important to apply sunscreen.

How are dehydration and heat stroke avoided?

This is straight forward, drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise. Drinking water at regular intervals, even when not thirsty, is recommended.  It is important not only to replace water but also to replace the electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, which we lose through perspiration. Drinks containing electrolytes, which have been specially designed for drinking whilst active, are ideal. If it is very sunny it is important to cover your head with a cap or similar. When exercising the best advice is to look for areas which are in the shade. If there are high levels of pollution, as can happen in some large cities, sporting activities should be avoided.

What type of exercise is advisable during summer?

Aerobic exercise is always best, especially when it is very hot. It is essential to avoid high risk activities such as mountaineering at this time, the heat can cause dizziness which may lead to a fall and severe injury.

Nutrition, another thing to bear in mind…

A balanced diet including a high intake of fruit and vegetable is essential. Eating only a small amount prior to exercise is recommended whilst maintaining fluid intake with drinks such as natural fruit juices. Eating foods which contain electrolytes such as potassium and sodium is also advisable, fruits, such as bananas, can provide us with these.

There is no reason not to exercise during summer, but it should always be in moderation, early in the day and with the necessary equipment. Remember to always take a bottle of water!

Your eyes and chlorine

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Ophthalmology | Posted on 11-09-2017

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Your eyes and chlorine

During summer there is no better place to be than in a swimming pool. High temperatures and holidays encourage us to spend more time soaking in the pool to cope with the heat and cool down our bodies. But this type of water has drawbacks, one of them being the treatment required to keep the condition of the pool perfect throughout the summer. We are, of course, talking about chlorine, a potent disinfectant which keeps our pools clean but which affects our eyes. How? Dr Cilveti, Head of the Ophthalmology Department at our hospital explains.

The chlorine added to pool water eliminates the germs which cause contamination. Its ability to act as a disinfectant agent is achieved by mixing with the water and forming hydrochloric acid and hypochlorous acid, the latter being the disinfectant, oxidising the walls of bacteria and destroying them.

The mixture of hypochlorous acid and products which contain nitrogen, such as perspiration and urine (both frequently found in swimming pools), as well as other chemical products such as deodorant, creams, etc. form chloramines. Chloramines have no disinfectant capability and are highly irritating to the eyes and even the skin.

Chloramines are therefore the main irritant to the eyes in swimming pools, they become more abundant with less careful use of the pool. The amount of chlorine used is also significant, if the amount of chlorine is excessive, the concentration of hypochlorous acid and hydrochloric acid will be high and, therefore, the pH excessively acidic, this can also be a source of irritation and redness.

On the other hand, if chlorine concentration is low, the bacterial contamination of the water will be increased, this can also sometimes cause eye problems, including for example, conjunctivitis of infectious origin with the resulting conjunctival redness and irritation.

So how can I protect my eyes in the pool?

The best protection is maintaining optimal chlorination of the pool and making sure there are no products there capable of giving rise to chloramines. For this reason a proper shower is essential before getting into and after getting out of the pool. If you are going to dive or swim under the water it is advisable to wear goggles.

Contact lenses should not be used in the swimming pool due to the increased risk of serious corneal infections. The use of artificial tears is also recommended after getting out of the pool, they have a cleansing effect on the surface of the eye.

Swimming pool conjunctivitis can affect children and adults, however, it is more common in children as they are usually less careful. Children are also more predisposed to certain eye infections that can be contracted in the pool.

To relieve irritation it is important not to fall into the trap of self-medicating and confusing irritant conjunctivitis with infectious conjunctivitis, the infectious type needs to be assessed by a doctor and specific treatment prescribed. To differentiate one from the other, note whether or not there are any secretions and if so what they are like. If the irritation and redness is accompanied by secretions (a crust) which are yellowish or greenish, advice should be sought from a doctor.

If eyes are stinging but are simply red and watery they can be treated with cold artificial tears and increased hygiene measures.

Problems caused by chlorine, symptoms and tips for avoiding them

  • Very often non-specific irritant conjunctivitis is caused by chlorine, especially its derivatives as previously mentioned.
  • Bacterial conjunctivitis predominantly produces thick and dirty looking secretions.
  • Viral conjunctivitis usually presents with very severe reddening and secretions which can be variable in appearance.
  • Allergic conjunctivitis is less frequent in this case.
  • Much less frequently keratitis can develop, on rare occasions caused by protozoa such as amoeba, which can be extraordinarily dangerous to sight. Fortunately this is very uncommon in our environment, but consideration should be given to this when those who wear contact lenses have been swimming in very hot or tropical countries, especially in places with natural, and therefore non-chlorinated, fresh water.

The main symptoms are usually reddening, stinging, itching, a feeling of something in the eye and photophobia. Different types of secretions may be present with the eyelids stuck together first thing in the morning. The majority of cases only produce mild redness. If symptoms involve more than just reddening, you should always consult a doctor. Symptoms including pain and/or any alteration in sight should be symptoms for alarm!

The best way to avoid damaging our eyes is to use common sense. We should not expose our eyes to overly chlorinated, cloudy or dirty swimming pool water. When swimming in the sea we must avoid areas where there is floating debris and be careful with stagnant freshwater when there is little or no flow. If in doubt it is better to avoid swimming or to wear goggles. A good shower is recommended after swimming to remove traces of pool water from the eyelashes and eyelids.

Although not directly related to this matter, wearing sunglasses as much as possible is essential during summer to protect ourselves from harmful UV radiation. We need to remember that children should also wear appropriate sunglasses. It is important to bear in mind that in childhood the retina suffers from sun damage just as much as the skin does, and we continue adding to this throughout our lives every time we are exposed to the sun. As regards eyesight, the sun is an important factor in the development of AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration), a disease which is becoming more and more common.

It is possible to enjoy the pool in complete safety, with no ill effects on our body. We simply need to follow these recommendations and remember to go to see a specialist in the event that we develop any problems with our eyes after spending a day at the pool.

Healthy eating during summer

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Various | Posted on 11-09-2017

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Healthy eating during summer

Summer is holiday time, a time for enjoying the sun, the beach and the open air. The resulting increase in social events and never ending changes in routine alter our eating habits, including the times we eat, the temperature of the environment and our whole attitude to food.

This has an effect on our digestive system, frequently eating out in bars and restaurants leads to eating foods we might not usually eat.

Today our dietitian, Rafael Estrada, provides a few tips on preventing problems with our digestive system whilst on holiday, so we can enjoy ourselves throughout summer.

It is essential to be careful with certain foods at this time of year and to be vigilant with food quality to prevent conditions which could make us feel unwell (gastroenteritis, viruses…). Physical exercise at the beginning or the end of the day is still important, and helps us to keep in shape during summer.

To maintain a healthy routine during the holiday period it is best to avoid certain foods, particularly very processed foods.  It is also important to be careful where we buy our food and where we eat, selecting produce carefully and only eating in places we trust. Avoidance of alcohol and keeping hydrated with appropriate fluids are very important, mineral water is always the best option.

Eating a variety of seasonal fruit and vegetables, without overindulging in red meat and other meat products, is recommended. The Nutrition Department at Vithas Xanit International’s advice is to follow a varied diet and stick to fresh produce, as well as enjoying traditional, Mediterranean cooking to create healthy meals (salmorejo, ajo blanco…). Overeating should be avoided and is a mistake, only eat when hungry and stop when full.

Precautions and common mistakes

Daily physical exercise, sleeping well and avoiding unpasteurised egg or dairy products are some of the most effective solutions for avoiding gastrointestinal problems in summer.

Being too relaxed and carefree when on holiday are common mistakes, relaxing on holiday should not lead to eating what we want, when we want, we should always choose the most healthy foods available, and eat as little processed food as possible.

Ultimately we should eat a varied diet, in reasonable quantities, and continue with our usual dietary routine throughout the summer, including eating seasonal produce and avoiding processed foods as much as possible. Eat out, but choose where you go and what you eat wisely. Your stomach will thank you!