SUMMER HEALTH MYTHS DEBUNKED
- Switching from heat to air conditioning causes colds. The truth is temperature shifts don't make you sick, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Proximity to other people is to blame. Many people spend more time indoors during a heat wave, raising the odds that germs will jump between them.
- Chlorine makes you lose your hair. The truth is dips in the pool may leave your hair coarse but not make it fall out. Chlorine can damage the cuticle, a strand's outer armor, but not the follicle, says dermatologist Paula Bourelly, M.D. Protect hair cuticles by using a clarifying shampoo and a conditioner after your swim.
- Hot weather puts a strain on your heart. The truth is the rate of heart disease deaths peaks in the winter. Blood vessels constrict to help the body retain heat, causing a spike in both blood pressure and risk of a heart attack, says Joseph Verbalis, M.D., chairman of Georgetown University's department of medicine. In the summer, blood vessels are more relaxed and stress levels drop, leading to lower blood pressure and less strain on the heart.