Summer is here and that means many of us will be spending a lot of time outdoors, enjoying the warm weather. It also means that some of us will get sunburned. Sunburned skin is red, inflamed, and painful. Badly sunburned skin can blister and peel. While it is essential to protect yourself from getting sunburned, sometimes it’s inevitable. For the times when this happens, it’s important to know how to treat it.
If you get sunburned, here are some remedies you can use to feel better.
- Applying cool water on the skin helps relieve sunburn pain. Apply cold towels to your skin in 10-15 minute intervals. Another option is to take cold showers.
- Use moisturizer. Sunburned skin becomes extremely dry and this can cause cracks, irritation, and pain. Keeping sunburned skin moisturized can prevent these symptoms.
- Use aloe vera products. Aloe vera has moisturizing and cooling properties which help relieve sunburn symptoms.
- Take over the counter pain relievers to reduce pain symptoms. This will temporarily relieve pain while your skin heals.
- Drink water. Staying hydrated is just as important as applying moisturizer on your sunburned skin. Make sure you drink the recommended amount of water according to your weight and stay away from foods and drinks that are diuretic in nature (i.e. coffee and soft drinks).
- Perform total body exams regularly. This includes examining your entire body using a mirror to find any growths, spots, or other unusual discoloring of the skin. Since sunburns and over exposure to the sun increases the chance of skin cancer, it’s crucial to perform total body exams yourself and have your dermatologist perform them regularly to ensure you catch any unusual conditions early on.
If you get a mild sunburn, these remedies can help you feel better and keep your sunburned skin from getting worse. If you have a bad sunburn and are experiencing blistering or peeling skin, it’s best to see a dermatologist to make sure you don’t need medical attention.
Accumulating 5 peeling sunburns between ages 15-20 increases a person‘s odds of developing some type of skin cancer by 80% later on in life. This is why it’s better to prevent sunburns than it is to treat them. There are a lot of steps you can take to avoid getting sunburns. First, the peak sun hours are from 10 am — 2 pm, so try to avoid these particular hours. Second, wear clothes that cover most of your skin when you head out to avoid direct sunlight. Finally, wear sunscreen. A good tip is to always carry sunscreen with you whenever you go out. Sunscreen should be reapplied at least every 2 hours. This applies to all types of sunscreen, even the waterproof kind!
Dermatologists also can recommend ways to lower skin damage from solar exposure. So, if you love spending time outdoors, it’s time to see a dermatologist to see if you should make changes to your lifestyle and routine in order to keep your skin healthy.
If you are sunburned or have a skin issue, make sure to see a dermatologist to get professional help. If you live in the Southern CO area, contact Vanguard Skin Specialists. They can assess any risky looking areas and recommend ways to protect your skin. You can call them at (719) 355-1585 or, request an appointment online and get your skin the care it deserves!