ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – Hotter weather can be a good time to enjoy outside, but if you do- make sure you’re safe. As part of WesTex Wednesday, Dr. Terry Beck from WesTex Urgent Care joins us to talk about how to protect yourself from the sun. When you’re outside, you can get Vitamin D.
” Vitamin D is an important vitamin in our bodies, and one way to get Vitamin D, is if you’re out in the sun. It’s converted in the skin from the inactive form of Vitamin D to the active form of Vitamin D. But also, you don’t want to get excess sun because of the risks associated with that, and skin cancer.”
Dr. Beck says you can always take over-the-counter vitamins if you feel more comfortable with that option. The hot weather, in addition to the global pandemic, makes this a critical time to get the supplements you need.
” Just as a side note, there is some concern that low Vitamin D could put poeple at risk for COVID-19…It is important in our immune system, Vitamin D, it can be important in our immune system.”
It’s unlikely to get an overdose of Vitamin D, but he warns about the dangers of dehydration and heat exhaustion, and what those symptoms look like.
“It’s kind of a spectrum if you will. Anything from just mild dehydration or head prostration, where the symptoms can be- your nauseous,you might have a headache, you might be pale, you might- instead of perspiring, you might not perspire when you should…and that spectrum of illness can go on from heat prostration or mild, to significant heat exhaustion, to heat stroke. “
Children and the elderly are more susceptible to heat illnesses, because they might not always recognize when they are dehydrated. The doctor says it’s important to stay in the shade, drink water or a sports drink with electrolytes, and wear the right clothes.
“Even though you might think that short sleeves are better to wear, actually some type of very light, long sleeve shirt, and something to cover your head is recommended when you’re going to be out in the sun a lot.”
Doctor Beck also recommends you check any medications you are on- some prescriptions can impact how your body responds to sun exposure. For more information about sun safety or to schedule and appointment, visit WesTexUrgentCare.com