RA & Summer Heat: Tips For Staying Cool This Summer

Vanessa Collins Health Guide
  • It is summer time in Missouri, and it is HOT! The temperature is 91, but the heat index is 106 at the moment. You see, we have humidity in Missouri. Lots of green, lush forests and lakes cover the countryside. With all that lush, green vegetation, comes humidity.


    I have never been a fan of heat. If I had my way, it would be 85 every day, with a cool, gentle breeze to make the day even more pleasant.


    My heat issues were bad enough before my RA diagnosis. Since RA has set up camp in my body, I am even more adverse to extreme heat.


    We RA'ers take medications that make it necessary to protect ourselves from the sun. A good sun screen, such as the one Neutrogena makes is a must. My dermatologist recommends Ultra Sheer Dry-touch Sunblock, SPF 70.

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    I did some online shopping this Spring and I am happy with the products I found there. One of the best things I bought is called Icy-Cools.


    My Icy-Cool is a bandanna that comes with a strip of plastic filled w/some type of fluid. You put the strip in the freezer. After it is frozen you insert the frozen strip into the slot in the bandanna, and tie t around your neck. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. The cooling effect lasts for hours.








    I also purchased some herbal towelettes online. The are called Cool Off. They come in boxes of 24 and they are easily carried in your purse or pocket. I have used these twice in church and once at another outing.


    The Cool Off towelettes are infused w/natural herbs, plant botanicals & essential oils. I wipe the back of my neck with the towelette, and then hold it on my wrists for a minute or less.


    The towelettes have a bit of a burning sensation at first, but that quickly fades. The residue they leave behind on my skin somehow keeps me cooler for a couple of hours. When I don't have my bandanna, I use these cooling towelettes. They are handy when you find yourself unexpectedly and uncomfortably hot.





    The last item I purchased this Spring is called a Frogg Togg Chilly pad. I purchased a purple one. Why not, right?


    The Frogg Togg is an evaporative cooling towel that is 33” by 13” in size. Interestingly, you can cut the towel to size for fit and comfort.


    My cooling towel is easy to use, too. Simply rinse the Chilly Pad in warm water. It then begins to evaporate and claims to keep you cool for hours.


    When the Frogg Togg Chilly Pad begins to dry out, simply re-wet the towel. Easy enough! I have not used my Chilly Pad yet this summer, but I will be using it this month. There are a lot of outside summer activities scheduled for July. We shall see if it lives up to its claims. I must say that I do have friends that have used this product, and highly recommend it.






    Since my RA has been active, I struggle with the heat. The sweat literally pours off of me, as my husband wonders why I am so hot. That is definitely a new development. Thank you, RA!


    Too much heat just wears me out, and zaps my energy. So far, these are the best products I have found to help me venture outside in the summer time. I absolutely love the bandanna. I bought one for my husband, too!


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    What tips do you have for dealing with summer heat and exhaustion? Of course, we all know to keep cold water available at all times. Do you have any other suggestions that might help our RA Community get comfortably through the summer?

Published On: July 12, 2013