Thursday, May 17, 2018

Getting Ready for the Long Weekend!

Who doesn’t love long weekends? Whether you’re going hiking, camping or simply getting out of the city, there’s always something to do.
Here are some tips for your weekend getaways that will take you right through the summer.

1. Lather on that sunscreen
As most of us know, the sun can damage our skin, while sunscreen can act as a form of protection. The sun has two types of radiation: UVA and UVB. UVB rays damage the surface of the skin by causing sunburns and tanning. On the other hand, UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin to cause signs of skin aging, such as wrinkles, uneven colour, and leathery skin. Broad spectrum sunscreens can protect us from both types of radiation.
Where many people tend to get confused is the different SPF (Sun Protection Factor) options available. SPF tells us how much time the sunscreen will protect us from UVB rays. For example: If it takes 30 minutes for your skin to start turning red without sunscreen, using a sunscreen with SPF 30 should theoretically take 30 times longer to get a sunburn. However, this does not consider sweating, swimming and other ways the sunscreen can be removed.
Fun Fact: SPF 15 absorbs 93% of UVB radiation while SPF 30 absorbs 97%! It’s not twice the protection.
So how do you choose a sunscreen?



The Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) recommends sunscreens with SPF30 for daily use. Look for the CDA logo, as it indicates the sunscreen is perfume free, hypoallergenic and has a minimum SPF of 30.

Fun Fact: Sunscreen should be applied every day, not just during the summer.

How much should I use?
The average adult needs 1 oz (i.e. a shot glass) of sunscreen for their body and 1 teaspoon for their face and neck. This should be applied 20-30 mins before entering the sun to give sufficient time for absorption and reapplied throughout the day, preferably every 2 hours.

Other tips:
  • Wear long sleeves, wide brimmed hats and sunglasses
  • Avoid the sun between 10 am – 4 pm when the sun’s rays are strongest
  • Stay in the shade

But what if you get burned?

DO
DON’T
  • Apply cold cloth to sunburned areas to relieve pain
  • Wear loose clothing to prevent more irritation

  • Break or pick at blisters
  • Peel skin
  • Spend excess time in sunlight


2. Get away bugs!
With the great outdoors, there also comes a plethora of insects that bite and sting. Here are my top tips for avoiding the annoying, inflamed bump to follow.

Stings
Bites
  • Avoid using scented cosmetics, perfumes, hairsprays that can attract insects
  • Avoid or caution eating outdoors and cover drinks to avoid swallowing wasps or bees
  • Limit the time outdoors at dawn and dusk
  • Wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible and tuck in pant legs when near nesting areas
  • Avoid infested areas (tall grasses, marshes, swamps)
  • Dispose of any sources of standing water (rain barrels, bird baths, clogged gutters)
  • Avoid being outdoors at dawn and dusk because this is their peak times

But if you get stung..
  • Remove the stinger or insect to decrease local reaction.
  • Remove it by gently scraping side to side with a fingernail, tweezers or even a credit card 
  • Clean the site with warm water and soap to prevent an infection
  • Apply a cool compress to the site to reduce swelling
  • For pain, try acetaminophen, ASA or ibuprofen
  • For pain, itching and inflammation, try an oral antihistamine over a topical one (diphenhydramine, loratadine, cetirizine)
  • If you really want a topical option, try an over the counter local anesthetic like benzocaine, lidocaine or pramoxine

3.  Stay hydrated
When you’re so busy having fun in the sun, your water intake may not be keeping up with all the loss from activity. Each person has varying water intake recommendations depending on age, weight, activity level – but a general rule of thumb is 8x8, or 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water each day.
Some tips to increase your water intake are:
  • Invest in a reusable water bottle
  • Drink a glass of water before you eat
  • Eat fruits and vegetables filled with water (cucumbers, celery, watermelon)
  • Infuse your water with fresh fruit (lemon, berries, oranges)
  • Make a water schedule and stick to it

Well that’s all I have for you this week. Happy Victoria Day!

Cheers,
Ingrid

Friday, May 11, 2018

World of Uncertainty

Hi rxBriefCase!

My name is Ingrid and I'm the new pharmacy student here. This is the first rotation of my fourth year before I become a full-fledged pharmacist. As I enter my final year of pharmacy school, I'm frequently bombarded with questions of my future career – Do I want to work in hospital or community? Do I want to stay in Canada or move to the US? Do I want to stay in Toronto or move to a smaller city?

The truth is, I have no idea!

Pharmacy is a career option that has many opportunities: community, hospital, industry, consulting, government - the opportunities are endless and I want to explore it all. The APPE rotation system is fantastic in that it allows students to get a feel of areas we would otherwise never be exposed to (like my time here at mdBriefCase!). Alas, to my dismay, there is limited time and positions making it impossible for me to dip my feet into it all but I shall revel in each rotation as they come.

While my future may be filled with uncertainty, there are a few fun facts I am certain about: 

1.      Travelling - The act of travelling is a pain but immersing in the food and culture of the destination is indescribable (most recently South Korea and the peanut butter grilled squid!)
2.      I'm a major foodie - I love both cooking and eating. I'm open to trying just about any food/cuisine at least once (Curry fish balls in Hong Kong is one of my favourite street foods!)
3.      I absolutely love aerial yoga – “What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”
4.      I'm starting to get into hiking - Don't let me fool you, I'm not as active as I may sound, I need to balance my eating habits somehow
5.      I enjoy knitting while watching Netflix – This is my true form, wrapped up in a warm blanket with my needles and my latest binge 

I'm looking forward to exploring the realm of continuing education here at mdBriefCase and I'll check in with you next week.

Cheers,
Ingrid