The UK is currently experiencing the hottest few days on record, with temperatures soaring past 40C in many parts of the country, leaving most of us hot and bothered. So, it’s only natural many of us will want to slide into a cold shower to cool down, but is this really the answer to combat sky-high temperatures?
While you might want nothing more than ice-cold water on your skin, this is, in fact, not the answer, as it could end up leaving you feeling even warmer.
Health and water expert Glen Coulson told the Metro that cold water will increase the blood flow to the skin. Therefore, it won’t lower the body’s core temperature, which is what you’d be hoping to achieve if you’re in one of the areas the Met Office has issued red weather warnings about.
He also advised against submerging in freezing water, as this could lead to cold-water shock, putting you at risk of hyperventilation or even a heart attack.
“It is always recommended to have a lukewarm shower, rather than indulging in a cold one,” Mr Coulson advised.
Consultant dermatologist at The Harley Street Dermatology Clinic Dr Abha Gulati also recommended readers stay in the shower for a little longer than usual, as this “[ensures] your body temperature is lowered enough to stop the sweating”.
This is particularly important for those who are vulnerable in the heat, including people over the age of 65, pregnant women, young children, and patients with medical conditions.
The Met Office’s red weather warning, which has been put in place for most places between London and Hull, stipulates “widespread impacts on people and infrastructure”, increasing the risk of water accidents, delays on roads and cancellations to air and rail travel, and a number of adverse health effects, from heat stroke to sunburn.
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