In the spring, you want to do something useful for yourself – and this is a good idea, because preventing a problem or illness is usually easier and cheaper than treating or fixing it later. We will tell you what healthy things and procedures are worth investing in instead of a curious, but not much useful genetic test or the purchase of unnecessary vitamins.
In order not to find yourself with unprotected skin in the sudden bright spring sun, we recommend buying several sunscreens at once: for daily care, to apply in the morning, and sprays, sticks or small bottles that you can keep in your bag, backpack and fitness center locker. Products with SPF have long ceased to be sticky, oily and unpleasantly smelling – you can choose from a variety of textures and formats (in this our selection there are more than fifty options). It is advisable to renew your sun protection regularly and this can be done even if you have makeup on your face .
Human papillomavirus is a cause of cervical cancer and several other types of malignant tumors. It is believed that the best time to vaccinate is the age before sexual intercourse, and in many countries the HPV vaccine is included in the national vaccination schedules for children and adolescents. Nevertheless, the indications are now being expanded – in Australia and the United States, the age in indications has been expanded to 45 years. In Russia, the vaccine is not covered by the compulsory medical insurance and it will have to be done at its own expense, the vaccination course includes three doses (the second and third are administered 1 and 6 months after the first).
In addition, adults need to be vaccinated against diphtheria and tetanus every ten years , and every year against the flu. The hepatitis B virus vaccine is recommended for anyone who has not received it before. Some adults need measles and rubella vaccinations. These vaccines are included in the national calendar and are made free of charge.
Light-skinned people with a large number of moles , that is, in fact, most of the population of Russia, have an increased risk of melanoma. It is even higher in those who have sunburned at least once in childhood . For the prevention of melanoma, it is important to avoid sunburn, do not go to tanning salons, protect skin with clothing and cosmetics, and try to stay in the shade. And it makes sense to examine moles once a year with a specialist.
It can be difficult to track changes in existing moles and the appearance of new ones on your own – especially on the back and in other places that are difficult to inspect. Therefore, it is worth regularly undergoing a digital dermatoscopy FotoFinder – this is a screening that includes photographing different areas of the body and examining individual moles under high magnification. All photos are saved in the system and automatically compared with new ones on the next visit.
Pedometer or fitness gadget
The official WHO recommendation for adults is at least 75 minutes of vigorous or 150 minutes of medium-intensity cardio per week. This is an acceptable minimum, and for the added benefit, it is recommended to train twice as much – that is, at a high intensity for 150 minutes per week or at an average, but already 300 minutes. At the same time, nowhere is it said about the specific number of steps per day, and the popular goal of ten thousand steps is not supported by scientific evidence.
This does not mean that you don’t need to walk and track your activity – just until it has been proven that ten thousand steps a day is better than eight or, for example, twelve. Devices and apps that track activity help you figure out what level it is at and take action for your health. We only advise you not to take the situation to extremes and not to scold yourself if one of the days you have gone much less than “expected”.
Prophylaxis for teeth
Dental health is an opportunity not only to avoid acute pain and expensive treatment, but also to maintain the cardiovascular system in good condition. The basic preventive visit to the dentist is an examination and professional dental hygiene every six months. For the prevention of caries, the doctor may recommend remineralizing therapy or sealing fissures on the chewing teeth, although the latter is more often done for children and adolescents.
If the teeth are unevenly located, you should go for a consultation with an orthodontist; crowding and problems with bite contribute to the development of caries and diseases of the temporomandibular joint. Another important preventive measure is a plastic night guard, which will relieve the load on your teeth if you have bruxism, that is, the habit of clenching your jaws tightly. Without protection from bruxism, the enamel of the teeth suffers, the bones of the jaws are heavily loaded, and a headache may occur.
Nearsightedness or hyperopia are uncomfortable conditions that glasses or lenses generally help to cope with. For many people, they do not cause inconvenience, but it happens that the glasses have a headache, and the eyes cannot get used to the lenses. Glasses can be forgotten, broken or lost; after all, they are not convenient to use in all situations. If you have already thought about laser vision correction , it may be time to decide on it. Recovery from surgery is usually quick and 90 % of patients are happy with the results.
If you don’t think about surgery, and your eyes don’t bother you, but you haven’t been to an ophthalmologist for a long time, you should make an appointment to check your visual acuity and eye condition, and if necessary, choose glasses or lenses.
Selection of contraception
Highly effective contraception is the ability to enjoy sex without worrying about the risk of unwanted pregnancy and without worrying about every day that your period is missed. Not everyone succeeds in choosing hormonal drugs the first time, but it’s worth a try; a bonus to the contraceptive effect is often the normalization of skin and weight, the disappearance of the discomfort associated with menstruation and mood swings.
If taking pills every day is difficult or you are sure you will forget about them, discuss long-term methods with your gynecologist such as implants, injections or intrauterine systems. The latter should not be feared – although in Russia it is often believed that they are suitable only for women who have given birth, in the United States they are one of the most recommended contraceptives among adolescents.
Tests for infections
Sexually transmitted infections may not manifest themselves for some time, so it is better to do tests regularly, and not only when something is bothering you. There are no unequivocal recommendations on the frequency of STI screening – it depends on the number of partners, prevention measures and the presence of risk factors. Women who change partners are advised to be tested annually for chlamydia and gonorrhea. An HIV blood test is also best done as part of a regular checkup.
As usual, we advise you to carefully choose a clinic or laboratory by studying reviews on the Internet or using the recommendations of friends. If gardnerrelosis, ureaplasmosis or mycoplasmosis are called STIs and are persuaded to treat, seek another specialist.
When choosing VHI insurance, you should look at the specific clinics that are included in it and study reviews about them. On the other hand, if you do not often have to go to the doctor, and the city polyclinic is conveniently located and generally satisfied, then you can do without VHI. Another good insurance option for yourself or loved ones is coverage for dangerous diseases , including cancer. Most likely, the standard VHI policy will not include the treatment of such conditions, and special insurance will allow paying for treatment of any complexity, including abroad.