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Date posted: February 4, 2012

Dr Harsha Joshi

Sun , oh Sun ,
You take away all our fun .
Heat cramps , Sun stroke ,
Buying sunscreen makes us broke !
Our skin you burn and tan ,
And all the time we need fan .
There’s Dehydration and Exhaustion ,
And Prickly heat causes so much irritation !
How can we forget, you make us perspire ,
Quick relief from you we aspire !!

With April – May nearing and the mercury rising , all of us are surely feeling the heat . But besides just feeling the heat there are a number of ailments one can suffer from during summer

Let us see what these ailments are and how to beat them .

Why the sun harmful
Hot and humid environment slows down the evaporation of sweat . While atmospheric temperature continues to rise, our body cannot cool down fast enough . There is a state of elevated core temperature or Hyperthermia . This can lead to Heat Exhaustion and in severe cases ( core temperature > 40 degree Celsius ) Heat Stroke .

Extracellular sodium depletion following electrolyte loss as a result of persistent sweating with replacement of water but not salt can lead to painful cramps called as Heat Cramps .

Dehydration can occur if fluid loss due to perspiration is not compensated .

Skin problems are the commonest ranging from simple sun tan to skin cancer due to harmful effect of Ultra Violet rays of the sun . As Patricia Farris , a famous dermatologist has rightly said – “ Your skin remembers every bit of sun it ever had ! ”

Bad effect of sun heat leads to
Heat Exhaustion- Elevated core temperature associated with hyperventilation and symptoms of tiredness , fatigue , muscular weakness , dizziness and collapse .

Heat Storke – Life threatening condition when core temperature of body is > 40 degree Celsius .Symptoms of heat exhaustion occur in addition to headache , nausea , vomiting .Coarse muscle tremor and confusion which may
progress to loss of consciousness may be seen as a neurological manifestation .

Heat Cramps – Painful muscle cramps occur most commonly in the legs of young people following vigorous exercise in hot weather.

Heat Rash – Skin redness , dryness , irritation from excess sweating .

Prickly Heat / Miliaria Rubra – Papular itching eruption of the skin due to blockage of sweat ducts .

Cataract – Long term UV exposure increases formation of free radicals which injures the lens and can cause its opacity .

Photoaging – More the exposure to sun , more are the signs of aging like dry rough skin , sallow complexion , etc .

Sun Burn – Erythema caused by exposure to critical amounts of UV light .

Sun Tan – Brownish discolouration of skin from exposure to sun .

Freckles – Asymptomatic small circular brownish macules appearing on face , forearms , and other sun exposed areas of the body .

Solar Purpura – Easy bruising , bleeding into the skin with bleeding from mucus membranes .

Skin Cancer – Main risk factor for most forms of skin cancer is exposure to UV radition in absence of adequate melanin pigment .

Heat Tetany – Hyperventilation on exposure to heat leading to respiratory alkalosis manifesting as tetany .

Solar Keratosis – Actinic keratitis ( inflammation of cornea )

  • Heat syncope / fainting
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Dyspepsia
  • Vertigo
  • Epistaxis from nose particularly
  • Excessive offensive or staining perspiration
  • Sun headache

Homeopathic Approach
With homoeopathy as our weapon we can surely beat the heat ! Following are useful homoeopathic remedies for these solar ailments .

Heat exhaustion – Antimony crude , Gelsemium , Natrum carb , Selenium , Lachesis , Nux mosch .

Heat stroke
– Glonoine , Natrum carb , Belladonna , Lachesis , Amyl nit .

Heat cramps
– Colocyinth , Cuprum met , Gelsemium , Belladonna , Natrum mur , China .

Heat rash
– Kali bich , Ledum pal .

Prickly heat – Acon , Bry , Jaborandi , Ammonium mur , Arsenicum album , Ledum pal , Syzigium , Urtica urens .

Cataract – Pulsatilla , Natrum mur , Euphrasia .

Heat syncope
– Gelsemium , Aconit , Antimony crude , Lachesis , Nux vomica .

Freckles – Lyc , Phos , Antimony crude .

Solar keratitis – Acon , Bell ,Kali bich ,Merc cor .

Conjunctivitis with
< HEAT – Acon , Bell , Ferrum phos , Puls , Kali bich , Natrum mur , Calcarea carb , Nux vomica .

Dyspepsia in summer – Antimony crude , Bryonia , Lycopodium .

Sun headache
–Gels , Glon , Natrum carb , Bell , Kali bich , Lach , Antimony crude , Bry , Calcarea carb .

Vertigo with
< HEAT – Acon , Agar , Bell , Natrum carb , Nux vomica .

Epistaxis
from nose with < HEAT – Acon , Bell , China , Nux vomica , Croc , Lach , Puls , Natrum mur .

Offensive perspiration with < HEAT – Lycopodium , Nux vomica , Pulsatilla , Graphites .

Perspiration staining linen with < HEAT – Lachesis ,Belladonna , Graphites .

Protect Your self

  • Stay in a cool shady place as much as possible specially during afternoon .
  • Wear light coloured light weight loose clothes .
  • Do not go out without a hat or scarf or an umbrella
  • Use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher .
  • Reduce the consumption of tea , coffe ,cola , alcohol .Do not drink liquids with large amount of sugar .
  • Drink lots of water , clear juice , electrolyte containing drinks .
  • Eat small meals and more often .Avoid foods high in protein which increase the metabolic heat .
  • Do not exercise too hard .Cool down yourself with a cool shower .
  • In case of heat stroke use cold wraps and fan the person . Seek medical help as quickly as possible .

References
Oxford medical dictionary
Davidson Medicine
Kent’s repertory
Boger Boenninghausen

Dr Harsha Joshi Pune
Email : drharshajoshi@yahoo.com

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