Local doctors offer tips about safety in severe heat


NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The days of summer are numbered but the temperatures just keep rising. In New Orleans, today’s scorching heat made it feel like 107 degrees. Folks across the area tried to keep cool while enjoying the sunshine, but doctors say there are important things to keep in mind while you’re outside.

“It’s really the extremes in age that are most at risk, so that’s your younger kids and the elderly. It’s due to the fact that their bodies can’t regulate heat as well as other adults,” said Dr. Jeffrey Elder, Medical Director for Emergency Management at University Medical Center and LCMC Health.

When the temperatures feel hotter than 100 degrees, these at-risk groups could experience serious medical emergencies.

“Heat exhaustion is the first thing you may see, and those are people that become overheated. They may get nauseated, feel weak, they just don’t feel good when they’re out in the heat. That’s the moment when you really need to start doing things really quickly so it doesn’t lead to heatstroke, which is a true emergency which can kill someone,” said Dr. Elder.

Dr. Elder says staying hydrated and in the shade can prevent this from happening. In addition to making sure you’re staying cool, it’s also important to protect your skin.

“Over a lifetime, we build up DNA damage that eventually will turn into skin cancer, and we’re getting DNA damage all the time. Every sunburn your skin doesn’t forget, so it’s really important to use sunscreen on your body, on your face, in your clothing to just protect yourself as much as you can,” said Dr. Christel Malinski, owner of Malinski Dermatology

We also asked Dr. Malinski how to prevent getting maskne as the temperatures keep climbing.

“I recommend using cleansers that have acids that can help to unclog the pour, also using a spray on the inside of the mask which can help to decrease the bacterial content inside the masks that can build up throughout the day,” said Dr. Malinski.

Both doctors recommend wearing light, loose-fitting clothing and to stay out of the sun during peak hours of the day, from 12 P.M. to 3 P.M.

Extended interview with Dr. Malinski about protecting your skin in the sun.
Extended interview on heat safety with Dr. Elder

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