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Life Lessons: Summer sense

Published On: May 28 2013 05:00:00 AM EDT

Life lessons debunking some summer myths

With summer just around the corner, most of us will be looking forward to spending some time outside.

We take a look now at five summer health myths and see what's true and what's not.

Sunburn fades into a tan, is that fact or fiction?


Doctors say this one is fiction. Dr. Laura Ferris, Dermatologist with University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, says the color on your skin after a burn will not stick around.

"It's really not going to be a nice attractive tan. It's really going to look sort of like a healing wound or a healing burn, which is really what a sunburn is."

Avoid a burn by filling a shot glass with suntan lotion. The American Cancer Society says use the full amount with every application and always avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., that's when the rays are the strongest.

Be sure to protect your kids each time they go outside.

Research shows that unprotected sun exposure in the first 15 years of a child's life doubles their risk of skin cancer later. If you use spray, choose a higher SPF than normal. If you think you need 30, apply 50 or 75.

On to the backyard barbecue.

All those spicy foods are going to cause an ulcer, right? Wrong. There's new evidence that hot peppers may actually stop the growth of the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers.

When you're watching your weight you should reach for the diet soft drinks, right? Pittsburgh Nutritionist Ginny Hines says, "Fiction. They are loaded with sodium; loaded with sodium, and it doesn't really help you lose weight."

Studies show artificial sweeteners may ramp up your sugar cravings. So skip the soda and stick to water.

Finally, your grandmother's favorite, don't play in the rain.

Family physician Dr. Amy Crawford-Faucher gets that question a lot. She says, "Being wet, especially when it's warm will not make you sick at all. You get sick, for the most part, from viruses and that's what causes the cold."

Finally, one more summer myth to debunk.

If you tend to get bitten a lot by mosquitoes it doesn't mean you have sweet blood, but there is some evidence that mosquitoes find people with type O blood more attractive.