DermTV – Preventing Beach Sand Sickness [DermTV.com Epi #67]


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Hello, I’m Dr. Neal Schultz [pause] and welcome to DermTV. On the rare occasions that I go to the beach
I am usually worried about the sun, but there are many beachgoers that are
concerned about getting sick from beach water and we have certainly heard
in the news about beaches being closed because garbage and waste washes
up on the shore. But what about the sand, does the sand pose any peril
to your health, you bet it does. It turns out that the sand is a very
large reservoir for all sorts of bacteria from bird dropping, to other animals,
and even from sewage that washes up from the water. The way in which
that bacteria makes us sick is usually because it gets on our hands and from
our hands we transfer it to our mouth. Recently a collaborate study was done be a
private organization and the environmental protection agency, they questioned
25,000 beachgoers about an illnesses that they developed within a few
days of having gone to the beach, and it turns out that less than 10
percent of them reported any illnesses in those few days. But of the people
that played in the sand and particularly the people who dug in the sand,
there were 13 percent more apt to have a stomach illness, 20 percent more
apt to have diarrhea, and with children under the age of 11 the numbers were
even higher. Be careful before you decide to bury yourself in the
sand because of the people that did that of the adults 27 percent were more
apt to have diarrhea and 44 percent of the children were more apt to have
diarrhea. So just the way I do not tell you to not go
into the sun but rather I tell you how to protect yourself in the sun, I
am not telling anybody not to go to the beach and not to dig in the sand, I
am just telling you how to do it more safely. So at the end of the day and
when you are finished digging in the sand, make sure you have hand sanitizer
with you to clean your hands and shower off as soon as you can, and of
course wear sunscreen.

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