Dr. Zilkha’s Pre-Summer Swim & Sun Advice

May 22, 2019

By: Naomi Zilkha, MD (Telemedicine, Allied Physicians Group)

Hi Allied!

I am hoping that this weekend our family outdoor BBQ and swim season will begin.

So far, this season in Telemedicine I haven’t yet had any swim or sun related visits, but I know they are coming.

At the beginning of the season, I normally get a few visits for blistering sunburns (usually for staying in the pool too long without reapplying sunscreen, or from areas missed by sunscreen), and a couple for burnt toes (from the hot coping from the Pool).

My best advice is to set a timer on your phone to remember when to reapply sunscreen examples from my life:

when my kids were young, for my daughter who has fair skin and red hair, I needed to re-apply every 30 minutes, for my blonde-haired, but slightly darker skinned daughter, I could do 60 minutes, and for my dark haired-dark-eyed, darker skinned nephew even though maybe he could have gone longer, I made him also re-apply at 60 minutes.

Although it’s the most annoying kind to apply, I would always make them wear sunscreen that was rubbed in. Over the years, I have seen many sunburns from missed patches from sprays (and I’m a malignant melanoma survivor—when I was 15, I purposely lay in the sun without sunscreen and got severe 2nd-degree sunburn; 16 years later, melanoma)

Another great help is all the cute swim-shirts /rash guards that there are out there now. Personally, I love the Lands End ones made with SPF 50.

And, if you can get your kids to wear sun hats and sunglasses when they are not in the Pool, that helps a lot too.

About the burnt toes: try to remember to splash some water from the pool over the coping to cool it, and it really works well to avoid those beginning of the season toe blisters.

I hope we all have an awesome summer of 2019, and not too many sun-related issues, but if you do, they are perfect for a Telemedicine consult.

Remember, for after-hours urgent care, #ThinkAlliedTelemedicine first! 🌞🏊‍♂️ 🏖

-Dr. Z