DRS. OZ AND ROIZEN: Summer beach hazards
Beyond rip currents and sunburns, here are our solutions to three common beach hazards.
1. The Jellyfish Antidote: Thank heavens you don't have to do THAT anymore!
“Friends'” Chandler and Joey were mortified that they had to pee on Monica's leg to ease the pain after her encounter with a jellyfish. Well, joke's on them: That old wives' tale (what old wife would make that up?) either doesn't work or makes the pain worse, at least for the sting of many of these amorphous, tentacled creatures. Vinegar, baking soda and meat tenderizer aren't effective remedies either. For stings from most North American and Hawaiian jellyfish, relief comes from removing the tentacles and rinsing the area with hot water. None available? Seawater will work. Then apply a topical anesthetic (benzocaine or lidocaine). The exception: For Portuguese man-of-war stings, vinegar is an effective balm.
2. Seashell/Barnacle/Coral Slashes
A puncture wound or even a scratch from a marine animal can cause a serious infection. Wash, disinfect and talk to your doc about antibiotic treatment (and do it promptly). Don't ignore it.
3. Boogie Board and Body Surfing Bumps
If you get dumped off a boogie board or forced head-first toward the bottom while body surfing, you can avoid dislocating your shoulder or getting a head, neck or spine injury with some smart choices. While riding the waves, keep your arms in front of your head; and if you mistakenly float into intense wave-crashing areas, make sure to duck under breaking waves.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.RealAge.com.