After being cooped up during the pandemic, people are starting to venture out again. Going to the beach for vacation is high on the list for vacations this year.
First of all, remember that your body has not been exposed to sun and sand for awhile, and protecting your skin with sunscreen is vital to enjoying your beach trip. You also cannot ignore your face. Many people will use a higher SPF on their face than other parts of their body. Always read your labels and pay close attention to ingredients especially, if you have sensitive skin. Many skin conditions are worsened by severe sunburns, causing issues long after your vacation has ended.
When we are home, we have a daily, established routine. For those who are health conscious, water intake is an integral part of our day.
At the beach, our normal routines are disrupted. We are in the heat for longer periods of time. It is easy to forget the amount of water we usually consume. Dehydration frequently occurs in the summer heat. Simply consuming liquid does not re-hydrate you or take the place of water. If you are using power drinks to substitute for water, be sure to know how much sugar is contained in your drink of choice.
Sand can be an irritant if trapped inside our swimsuits for prolonged periods. Proper care of our swimsuits after a day at the beach can help prevent irritation and infection.
Immediately remove your wet swimsuit. Kids are notorious for removing their wet suits and hanging them to dry for use the next day.
According to the Office on Women’s Health:
“BV and vaginal yeast infections are both common causes of vaginal discharge. They have similar symptoms, so it can be hard to know if you have BV or a yeast infection. Only your doctor or nurse can tell you for sure if you have BV.
With BV, your discharge may be white or gray but may also have a fishy smell. Discharge from a yeast infection may also be white or gray but may look like cottage cheese.”
We would also recommend using all cotton underwear when switching out of your wet swimsuit. Swimsuits are rarely made of cotton and do not breathe, thereby trapping moisture in your delicate parts.
Ladies, if you are unfortunate enough to be menstruating on your vacation and are wearing a tampon, BE SURE to change more often. In fact, some physicians recommend a menstrual cup if you can get past having to thoroughly sanitize and rinse it out.
Many women will try to adjust their birth control pills to ensure the fact they will not be menstruating at the beach. This can be risky to do if you are a novice at this.
The inherent problem with this is if you are sexually active, your chances of pregnancy may increase so most physicians will recommend using a condom when altering your birth control methods for at least a month.
Most women also prefer to not deal with the fluctuations in the hormones or a deviation in their normal menstruation calendar.
It is difficult to feel fresh as a daisy in scorching heat! Sweat gathers moisture in the folds of our skin. Staying clean with unscented and safe products will help to maintain the balance in your vaginal and rectal area.
Stay away from douching and highly scented products. You may be able to prevent an infection by being aware of what ingredients are in the products your want to introduce to a sensitive and bacteria prone environment.
In fact, here is what the Office on Women’s Health has to say about douching:
Douching is washing or cleaning out the vagina with water or other mixtures of fluids. In the United States, almost one in five women 15 to 44 years old douche. Doctors recommend that you do not douche. Douching can lead to many health problems, including problems getting pregnant. Douching is also linked to vaginal infections and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
If you are preparing for vacation and wax either your bikini area or your face, it is important to wait 24 to 48 hours before sun exposure after hair removal. This will help reduce irritation.
If you are going to shave:
Be sure to use a liberal amount of sensitive shave gel that is designed for women. ALWAYS use a fresh blade and NEVER share a razor. Also, be sure to shave against the grain to further minimize irritation.
Many people decide to completely shave their pubic region. Prior to doing so, you have to consider if this is a one time thing or, you are planning on performing the maintenance required to avoid itching, bumps and burn. Completely shaving is a commitment that requires more work than you might be willing to adhere to.
The sun will dry out our skin after exposure. Again, read the labels and be careful before you slather lotion that you are unfamiliar with. Who wants irritation and a rash while we are supposed to be enjoying ourselves?
When transferring from the ocean to a swimming pool, try to always shower/rinse off before and after to avoid irritation and/or infection. In fact, switching swimsuits can be beneficial as well.
Many hotels and condos provide a place or cubbyhole to store your shoes while going to the beach. We do not recommend this practice. No one but you should wear your flip flops. Sometimes, people pick up the wrong pair and wear them until they realize they have the wrong shoes on and return them. You want to avoid athlete’s feet and as many germs as possible while traveling.
Even if you are fully vaccinated, precautions still need to be taken. There is no way to know who has been vaccinated and who has not been and, even if you ask, there is no way to know if your are being given correct information.
Carelessness can ruin a much anticipated family outing.
Safety first. Pay attention to all beach instructions such as the beach warning flag system. We are listing it for your information:
Be safe, have fun and most of all, HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!
Editor’s Note: When you arrive at your destination, be sure to look up the location of the nearest hospital or urgent care facility for any emergencies.