Summer Body Questions, Answered

Shaun Dreisbach, Glamour magazine

Is mega-sweating normal? Does the sun make you tipsier? And what are "cancer hands"? Sit down. We'll explain.

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Is chlorine bad for my ladyparts? What about salt water?

Chlorine's job is to kill bacteria, so despite rumors to the contrary, it's not likely to give you an infection like vaginitis, says Katharine O'Connell White, M.D., chief of the division of general obstetrics and gynecology at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. Same goes for salt water. Both may irritate sensitive skin, though, so be sure to rinse off after you swim, she says.

I sweat a lot in summer. Normal?

"If you've always dripped sweat in hot weather, probably," says Pamela Peeke, M.D., author of Body for Life for Women. Consider an Rx antiperspirant, and stay away from sweat-inducing spicy foods. But if it's a new thing, talk to your M.D. Certain conditions and meds can increase sweat.

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When it gets hot out, alcohol goes to my head instantly. Why?

"Booze and hot weather are dehydrating," says Dr. Peeke, "which is why sipping cocktails by the pool can make you feel doubly woozy. Plus, alcohol interferes with coordination and judgment, and heat and sun exposure heighten those effects." Her advice? Don't overdo it, and have a tall glass of water after every cocktail.

I ran in my swimsuit, and now my breasts hurt. Did I do damage?

"Nope," says Dr. O'Connell White. "You strained the ligaments connecting your boobs to your chest, like you might strain your knee. So you'll be sore, but you won't get saggy."

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I've heard nail dryers give you "cancer hands." Is that true?

Maybe. Some research has linked UV dryers to skin cancer (they're essentially tiny tanning beds), and the rage for gel manis, which require you to dry under UV light, is raising concerns again. Try this tip from Manhattan derm Francesca Fusco, M.D.: "I bring SPF lotion to massage on before putting my hands under the dryer."


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