Natalie Yount
Natalie Yount

As you soak in the sun and hit the hiking trails this summer, don’t let some misconceptions and old wives’ tales get in the way taking good care of yourself or your family.

Natalie Yount, a family nurse practitioner with Novant Health Family & Internal Medicine South Brunswick, debunks some common myths.

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1. You can’t get sunburn on a cloudy day.

This one is completely false. Clouds don’t block the UV rays from the sun that cause sunburns. While you may not get as hot compared to a day with clear skies, the UV rays will easily cause sunburns if sunscreen isn’t properly applied.

I recommend putting sunscreen on 30 minutes in advance of going outside. The key is to make sure it is completely rubbed in and dry so it doesn’t easily wear off.

2. Saltwater is good for cuts and wounds.

While clean saline, like the saline used in hospitals and health care systems, are good, ocean water is not necessarily a good choice. There are so many pollutants and other things in the ocean that can irritate cuts and wounds.

Before heading to the pool or beach, make sure to clean an open cut with warm soapy water. Then pat the cut dry, apply antibiotic ointment and then put on a waterproof bandage.