Special Report

50 Health Tips Every Woman Should Know

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36. Recognize the signs of stroke

Stroke is the third-biggest killer of women in the United States (and the fifth-biggest in men). About 55,000 more women than men have a stroke every year, according to the National Stroke Association. Some signs are common among both sexes, such as sudden confusion and numbness in the face, vision problems in one or both eyes, as well as loss of coordination. But some symptoms are unique to women. They include vomiting, hallucinations, shortness of breath, disorientation, and hiccups. Taking birth control pills or being pregnant may increase the risk of stroke. What has once been thought to increase the risk of stroke were eggs and cholesterol, but now a new study says that may not be true.

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37. Never use tanning beds again

About 7.8 million adult women and 1.9 million adult men in the United States tan indoors. A 2017 study found that one in five white women who tan indoors get addicted. Dermatologists warn it’s better to never use tanning beds. Tanning is significantly linked to the development of all skin cancers, including melanoma, which can be deadly, according to Richmond. “I am seeing much more melanoma and basal cell carcinoma in young women as early as their 20s and 30s who have a history of tanning.” In addition to increasing the risk of skin cancer, tanning dramatically accelerates aging of the skin, resulting in earlier wrinkles, uneven skin tone, persistent redness, and brown spots, she added.

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38. Recognize symptoms of UTIs

Urinary tract infections are more common among women than men because women have shorter urethras — bacteria don’t need to travel as far to reach the bladder. UTIs can be painful but are not generally dangerous, unless left untreated, in which case they can reach the kidneys and cause permanent damage. Symptoms include a burning sensation when urinating, urine with a strong smell, pelvic pain, and frequently having to go to the bathroom. These are just some of the signs people always ignore but never should.

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39. ‘Feed’ your skin

Skin care is not all about what you put on the skin; your diet is a major factor too. Richmond, recommends eating a diet with foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc, and a variety of antioxidants. These can be found in fish, nuts and seeds, avocados, and more. Avoiding foods with high sugar content has been shown to prevent some breakouts such as acne.

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40. Don’t take long, hot showers

Hot water and long showers contribute to drying of the skin. In the winter, people are naturally prone to dryer skin because environmental humidity is low. Hot water, although it feels good when it’s cold out, further dries out the skin. That’s why Dr. Jason Miller of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New Jersey recommends lukewarm water and shorter showers during the winter.