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How to Avoid and Treat Sunburn this Summer

Written by erin__l  |  09. July 2019

Prevention

Sunburn is caused by excessive skin exposure to harmful UVB rays from the sun and can cause serious, permanent damage, even increasing your risk to skin cancer. Signs of sunburn are red skin that feels hot and blisters due to the outer layers of your skin being damaged. Prevent unwanted sunburn with these helpful tips.

 

  1. The number one tip is to ALWAYS wear sunscreen. Try applying sunscreen everyday over the whole year, even on cloudy days. The sun is always out, including over the winter, and is always harmful to the skin.
  2. The sunscreen you use should always have an SPF of 30 or higher. Over the summer months, try using sunscreen with even higher SPF and reapply often, especially if you know you’re going to be outside for prolonged periods of time. 
  3. Protect your skin from UVA as well as UVB rays from the sun by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
  4. If you’re going to be swimming or sweating, be sure to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours to ensure that your skin is protected.
  5. Even your lips are susceptible to sunburn, so use some lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher.
  6. Wear hats to protect your face and scalp and polarized sunglasses to protect the eyes. 
  7. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen on sensitive areas such as the ears, behind the ears, the neck, and the top of your feet. If your scalp is sensitive or you’re bald, apply sunscreen to your scalp. 
  8. Whether you’re at the beach or by the pool, try to stay in the shade as much as possible.

 

Treatment

Although prevention is the best way to avoid sunburn, sometimes that doesn’t go as planned. If you are suffering from painful sunburn, follow the following tips to relieve some pain and increase your skin’s healing rate. 

 

  1. Apply aloe vera or hydrocortisone cream, or both, to soothe the skin. Natural aloe vera is great, but if it’s not available to you, any aloe will help your sunburn feel better. 
  2. Drink a bunch of water! Sunburn moves water from the rest of your body to your skin, leaving you dehydrated. 
  3. Take cold showers or baths frequently to cool the skin and relieve some pain. Once you get out of the shower or bath, gently dry your skin without removing all the water from your skin. By leaving some water on and applying moisturizer soon after, your skin stays better hydrated.
  4. If your sunburn causes too much discomfort or pain, try taking an over-the-coutner pain medicine such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
  5. If blisters develop on your skin, DO NOT pop them! Let them heal on their own over time to prevent infections. 
 

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