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Sunburns | How to Treat Sunburns
Despite our best efforts or lack thereof (like in my case), sunburns can still happen. Maybe you missed a spot with your sunscreen, or perhaps the sun’s rays were just too darn strong. Whatever the case, it’s essential to recognize the signs of a sunburn and know how to treat it, so you can get back to enjoying your fun in the sun as soon as possible.
A. Signs of a Sunburn
- Redness: The most obvious sign of a sunburn is red, inflamed skin. This redness usually peaks between 12 to 24 hours after sun exposure and can last for several days.
- Pain and tenderness: Sunburned skin can be quite painful, especially when touched or exposed to heat. This pain is typically most intense during the first 48 hours after sun exposure.
- Swelling: In some cases, sunburns can cause swelling, particularly in more severe cases or if the burn covers a large area of the body.
- Sunburn Blisters / Sun Blisters: Severe sunburns can cause fluid-filled blisters to form on the skin. These blisters can be painful and are at risk of infection if not treated properly.
- Peeling: As your skin heals, it may begin to peel, revealing new, more sensitive skin beneath.
B. Sunburn Treatment: Soothing the Sting and Speeding Up Recovery
If you find yourself sporting a not-so-trendy sunburn, don’t fret! Here’s a step-by-step guide to treating your sunburn and getting your skin back to its happy, healthy self.
- Cool down: Take a cool bath or shower to help soothe your skin and reduce inflammation. Avoid using hot water, as this can make your sunburn feel worse.
- Moisturize: Apply a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer or aloe vera gel to your sunburned skin. This will help to hydrate your skin and reduce peeling.
- Drink up: Sunburns can be dehydrating, so make sure to drink plenty of water to help replenish your body’s fluids.
- Pain relief: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or aspirin can help to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation associated with sunburns. Be sure to follow the label instructions and consult your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.
- Protect your skin: Keep your sunburned skin covered and out of the sun while it heals. Wear loose, breathable clothing to avoid further irritation.
- Don’t pop blisters: If your sunburn has caused blisters, resist the urge to pop them. Popping blisters can increase the risk of infection and slow down the healing process.
- See a doctor if necessary: If your sunburn is severe, accompanied by fever, chills, or severe pain, or if it shows signs of infection (such as pus or increased redness), consult a healthcare professional.
With these sunburn treatment tips in hand, you’ll be well-prepared to bounce back from even the most stubborn sunburn. But remember, prevention is always better than cure!