Sunburn? Here’s What to Do!
Posted on August 22, 2023
Category: Causes and Prevention
Ahhhh, the birds are chirping, the smell of fresh cut grass, and the warmth of the sun hitting our skin, all things that we crave in the long winter months of the year. It's true that we try and soak up most of our outdoor activities within a few short months of the summer. While we spend the summer months enjoying all our favorite outdoor activities, it is essential to stay aware of your sun exposure and the harmful UV rays.
The UV index is a measurement of how intense the sun's rays are. It is important to keep an eye on the UV index if you plan to spend time outdoors. Here’s a list of precautions we recommend to protect you from the sun:
- Always wear sunscreen outdoors, even if it's cloudy. We recommend at least using SPF 30 and reapplying every 2 hours, and more frequently if your skin is wet.
- Cover your skin. Wear loose, breathable clothing, protect your head with a hat, and cover your eyes with sunglasses. Seek shade whenever possible outdoors.
- Stay hydrated! When your skin starts to burn, it pulls your body's liquids to the surface and can cause dehydration.
- Be careful around water as it reflects the sun’s UV rays.
- Be time aware. The sun’s rays are most intense during the day from 10am-4pm.
A sunburn is damage to the skin barrier caused by the sun's UV rays. Your skin will become red and warm to the touch. Sometimes you may experience tingling and itching. A sunburn usually takes 1-2 weeks to heal fully, and your skin may peel in that time.
If you experience a sunburn, staying hydrated and avoiding the sun for further damage to your skin is important. Here is a quick list to relieve your pain:
- Take a cold shower without soaps and fragrances.
- Apply aloe to the skin. Avoid oil-based or petroleum moisturizers, as they can trap heat and worsen your burn. It is important to let your skin breathe in the healing process.
- You can take an anti-inflammatory to minimize inflammation and relieve the sting.
Most sunburns do not require medical attention; however, if your sunburn is blistering or you're nauseous with chills and fever, you should seek medical help. Intense sun exposure over time without proper precautions can lead to wrinkled skin and increased chances of skin cancer. Give us a call if you have any questions about your sunburn or symptoms.