The warmer days are coming, and even though you should be wearing sunblock EVERY DAY, you may end up with a sunburn this summer. Your skin burns when you get too much ultraviolet ray sun exposure without the proper protection, like sunscreen and protective clothing. You need to treat your sunburn as soon as you notice it. Here are some tips to help you relieve the discomfort of your sunburn.
The moment you notice your skin is burned from the sun, get out of the sun! Once out of the sun, use a moisturizer that contains aloe vera to help soothe the skin. Aloe vera can moisturize the skin and prevent the peeling that sometimes happens with sunburns. You should apply aloe vera a few times a day to the affected area. Lotions that contain aloe vera are available in stores. Avoid products that have additives like colors and perfumes. Choose a lotion with the highest percentage of aloe vera possible. If you have access to an aloe vera plant, you can use the gel straight from the plant.
Take cool baths or showers. These will help relieve the pain. Once you are done, apply your aloe vera moisturizer or lotion to trap the water in your skin. This will help ease the dryness of your sunburn. You can also apply a cool compress to the burned area. You should take aspirin or ibuprofen to help reduce any swelling or discomfort. Drink lots of water and stay hydrated. A sunburn draws fluid to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body. Drinking extra water when you are sunburned helps prevent dehydration.
If you skin starts to blister, allow the blisters to heal. When your skin starts blistering, you have a second-degree sunburn. You should not pop the blisters, blisters form to help heal your skin and protect you from infection. First-degree sunburn only involves the outer layer of the skin and causes mild pain, redness, and swelling. Second-degree sunburn results in damage to the deeper layers of the skin and causes blisters and white, shiny-looking skin. Your sunburn will probably heal on its own in one to two weeks. Take extra care to protect your sunburned skin while it heals. Wear clothing that covers your sunburned skin while outdoors. Stay out of the sun. More sun exposure will make the burn worse.
Want to try to avoid a sunburn altogether? Make sure you are wearing protective clothing and wearing sunscreen, daily! Even when it is cloudy, you need sunscreen. Wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen which blocks with UVA and UVB rays. Try to use a waterproof or water-resistant sunscreen. You should apply sunscreen to any part of your body that is exposed to the sun. This includes ears, lips, back of the neck, and tops of the feet. Reapply your sunscreen every two hours, after swimming, exercising, or sweating.
You should stay out of the sun between 10am and 4pm, that is when ultraviolet rays are the strongest. When outside, sit in the shade. Shaded areas give off less ultraviolet radiation. Use sunscreen even if you are in the shade. UV rays can reflect off other surfaces such as sand, cement, and water. Do not use tanning beds! Tanning beds can give you a sunburn and damage your skin just as much as the UV rays from the sun.
Although your sunburn might seem like a temporary condition, sunburns can cause long lasting damage to the skin. This damage can increase your risk of getting skin cancer, so it is critical to protect your skin from the sun. The second you feel a sunburn coming on, get out of the sun! Dr. Kurzman carries two sunscreens’, the Antioxidant Moisturizing Sunscreen, and the Tinted Physical Sunscreen. Both products help prevent sunburn, decrease the risk of skin cancer and early aging caused by the sun. Give us a call to get your sunscreen and other products today or if you have any other questions about treating your sunburned skin.