February 04, 2023
Sometimes the summer heat can play a trick on us, since high temperatures can lead to serious health problems; especially when they are not treated on time.
Summer is the perfect season to enjoy several outdoor activities, as they help us improve our well-being in general. However, many times we are not aware that prolonged exposure to high temperatures and solar radiation can be very harmful to health and even fatal, as is the case with heat stroke.
What is heat stroke?
As Sandro Tucto, a dermatologist from Clinica Ricardo Palma, told Bienestar of El Comercio, sunstroke, also called heat stroke, is a frequent disorder in summer that arises when certain precautions are not taken. Basically, it is caused by the increase in body temperature due to the alteration of the body’s thermoregulatory mechanisms.
This condition is the result of staying in excessively hot, humid and poorly ventilated environments or performing strenuous physical activity without the possibility of recovery and hydration. Also, very tight clothing causes excessive sweating and dehydration, while cardiological, antihypertensive, diuretic medications and alcohol intake do not allow sweating to have a cooling effect.
What are the symptoms of heat stroke?
The specialist explained that, with this disorder, the body temperature can be 40°C or more. In addition, sensory disturbances, headache, disorientation, agitation, babbling, delusions, seizures, intermittent muscle cramps in the extremities, nausea and vomiting, rapid and shallow breathing, rapid heartbeat, dry and red skin, damage to the various organs and in extreme situations, death.
Although heat stroke is common, it can be especially dangerous for children, older adults and people with uncontrolled chronic illnesses, warned Dr. Tucto.
What is the treatment for heat stroke?
When heat stroke occurs, the main thing is to try to lower the temperature as quickly as possible, for this a good option is a bath with warm water or the use of cold compresses in the groin, armpits, and forehead. Likewise, it is important to place the affected person in a cool place with adequate air circulation. Similarly, maintain oral hydration with small sips and remove excess clothing.
If there are sunburns with erythema or redness, itching and a burning sensation on the skin, it is necessary to see a specialist to prescribe the most appropriate treatment. Also, if there is respiratory distress, increased heart rate, arterial hypotension, nervous compromise, confusion, or loss of consciousness; You should go immediately to the nearest health center, stressed the dermatologist.
Indeed, the patient’s health depends on the time and timing of the recovery measures, since this condition can last approximately 6 hours, time that allows for the recognition and diagnosis of the condition, treatment and recovery of the individual. However, sometimes it can exceed 24 hours, so it is important to consider that the longer the duration, the greater the risk of recovery and the possibility of death.
How to prevent heat stroke in the summer?
The doctor stated that, to avoid heat strokes, it is recommended not to have direct exposure to the sun between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon, as well as the frequent application of sunscreen, the use of sunglasses and hats. It is also key to maintain constant hydration; stay in cool and ventilated places; wear cool, light, loose-fitting cotton clothing and cool off throughout the day.
Dr. Sandro Tucto
Dermatologist at Clínica Ricardo Palma