HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - When the cold comes in, health experts say the biggest health concerns are for your immune system, heart and skin. Lots of layers are key to staying warm this weekend. Although the cold itself won't get you sick, during cold weather, people spend more time inside, and that's what will increase your chances of catching a sickness bug.
Chilly temperatures mean more people in stores, malls and restaurants. So the flu, coughs, and colds are more easily spread. Dr. Douglas Swartz with Tidelands Health said cases of the flu are on the rise now in South Carolina. To help prevent getting sick, wash your hands, get your flu shot and cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not your hand.
Dr. Swartz also said to take care of your skin. The cold air dries it out. In order to help prevent that, moisturize and take a luke-warm shower, not a hot one.
Most importantly, Dr. Swartz said people with heart conditions need to be especially careful.
"Cold, as you know, when you have a hurt injury...you put ice on it, to reduce the swelling," Dr. Swartz said. "Well, the cold itself, the cold air, causes your blood vessels to constrict...and what that does is it increases the stress on the load on your heart. That's why it's important to one, avoid the cold, or, two, if you're going out in the cold...to make sure you're wearing proper clothing."