How to deal with sunburn
Exposing your skin to the sun for long hours without using protection can leave your skin red and sore. Extended UV exposure can result in blistering, dehydration and even fever. If you suffer more than 5 sunburns within the age of 15-20, you put yourself at a greater risk of developing melanoma. Melanoma is the deadliest kind of skin cancer. The effects of sunburn can take some time to show. However, you should start to treat it as soon as you can tell you’ve suffered sunburn. Let’s discuss some tips to help deal with sunburn –
- Retreat to shade – If you're beginning to notice symptoms of sunburn materializing, the first thing you should do is run for cover. Get out of the sun as soon as you can, or you will end up harming yourself more. If you happen to be on a beach and there is no shade available nearby, reapply a thick layer of sunscreen onto that skin. The sunscreen should at least be 30SPF if not more. Additionally, cover up any exposed skin with opaque clothing so the sun's rays cannot infiltrate it.
- Apply water – Jump into the shower or take a wet towel and gently rub it over your skin. Make sure the water is cold because warm water can induced more dryness onto your skin. If possible use a soothing soy or oatmeal-based soap. After you hop out of the shower, continue to keep the sunburnt area wet by touching a towel-wrapped ice pack to it. Repeat this every couple hours for the next few days. Apply moisturizer while your skin is still wet to help deal with the dryness incurred from the sunburn. Aloe vera is a natural anti-inflammatory and cooling agent. Use hydrocortisone if the area feels itchy. You will keep safe as long as you avoid fragranced products.
- Pop an anti-inflammatory drug – If you don’t want to suffer inflammation caused by sunburn, take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or apply some OTC cortisone cream over the sunburnt area. Similarly, if you are not fond of chemicals, you can opt for aloe vera to ease the discomfort of the burns on your skin. Wear loose clothing and stay out of the sun until you’ve healed.
- Ease up on the make-up – Sunburn can make your skin extra-sensitive. Products you use regularly can cause itchiness, rashes and even blisters. Relax your skincare routine for a few days and use products deemed for sensitive skin. Numbing agents can seem like a good idea but using them can cause your sunburn wounds to worsen, so avoid using them.
- Rehydrate – Sunburn dehydrates you, so it is important for you to replenish your bodily fluids by drinking enough water. Steer clear of alcohol as it can dehydrate you further.
- Leave your blisters be – Don’t irritate your blisters. You can end up causing yourself an infection. You don’t want this. Let them heal at their natural pace.
- Visit a doctor – If you suffer sunburn over a large area of your body or if you have the chills or run a fever and keep confused – it is time to consult a doctor. Dizziness, stomach-sickness and overall weakness are all signs that you need medical care.
Sunburn can seem insignificant and temporary, but it has long-lasting outcomes. Always carry a scarf, hat and sunscreen with you when the sun shines bright outside. A little Vitamin-D never hurt anyone but exposing unprotected skin to the sun for long durations can damage your skin for life. After all, prevention is always better than cure.