What You Can Do For A Sun Burn

posted by Jennie James - 

Photo: Getty/picturegarden

I REALLY hope something like that picture doesn't happen to you.  Not only does it hurt really badly, but it will end up causing damage to your skin that will last a LOT longer than the sun burn.

Starting Thursday we're going to see temperatures almost hitting triple digits, and that doesn't include the heat index.  You'll probably be out in the sun...swimming, sunbathing, working in the yard...so be careful! 

The American Academy of Dermatology has a long list of ways to treat your skin if you do get a burn.

  • Put a cold, damp towel on your skin. Do this for 10 or 15 minutes a few times every day. That will help take some of the heat out of your skin. You also can take frequent cool baths or showers to help relieve the pain. As soon as you get out of the bathtub or shower, gently pat yourself dry, but leave a little water on your skin. Then, apply a moisturizer to help trap the water in your skin. This will help ease the dryness.
  • Use a moisturizer that contains aloe vera or soy to help soothe sunburned skin. Lotions that have something called aloe vera in them help make your skin feel better. Be careful not to use lotions or creams that have any of these things listed in the ingredients: petroleum, benzocaine, or lidocaine. Things with petroleum trap the heat in your skin (and you don't want that!) and benzocaine and lidocaine can bother and irritate your skin. If a particular area feels especially uncomfortable, you may want to apply a hydrocortisone cream that you can buy without a prescription.
  • Take ibuprofen if the sunburn really hurts. This will help reduce any swelling, redness and discomfort.
  • Drink extra water. Sunburn makes you get very dry inside, so you need to drink a lot. Drinking extra water when you are sunburned helps prevent dehydration.
  • Leave blisters alone. If your skin blisters, don't pop them because that makes the sunburn worse. Blistering skin means you have a second-degree sunburn. Allow the blisters to heal and protect you from infection.
  • Take heed if you feel sick. You might need to go to the doctor if you feel dizzy, weak, sick to your stomach, cold, or just not yourself. 
  • Take extra care to protect sunburned skin while it heals. Wear clothing that covers your skin when outdoors. Tightly-woven fabrics work best. When you hold the fabric up to a bright light, you shouldn't see any light coming through.

Photo: Getty/picturegarden

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