Tips For Feeling Better When You Have a Sunburn
Many people see sunburns as the summer's necessary evil, but that doesn't have to be true. Sunburns are more than a painful inconvenience; getting multiple sunburns when you are younger increases your risk for skin cancer in the future.
While the best thing you can do for a sunburn is to prevent it from happening in the first place, taking the right steps to soothe a sunburn can help your skin feel better faster.
Types of Sunburn
Did you know that you can get a sunburn in as little as 15 minutes? Sunburns are caused by unprotected exposure to UVB rays. Your skin produces melanin as a defense against the rays, but too much exposure can overpower your skin's defenses and cause it to form first—and even second—degree burns.
First Degree Sunburn
Second Degree Sunburn
|In a first degree sunburn, blood rushes to capillaries close to the skin’s surface, giving the burn its tell-tale redness. At this point, the sun has physically burned your skin, and further exposure will cause more damage.||A second degree (a.k.a. moderate) not only reddens skin but also causes it to blister. With this type of sunburn, you should contact a physician for treatment recommendations.|
If a sunburn is severe enough, you may experience flu-like symptoms, such as headache, nausea and fever. If you have these symptoms, you may have developed sun poisoning. While sunburn symptoms show up shortly after exposure, it can take more than a day for the symptoms of sun poisoning to show. Contact a physician immediately if you think you have sun poisoning.
How to Soothe a Sunburn
1. Take a cold shower or a cool bath.
2. Apply aloe vera gel
The oils in aloe vera soothe the skin, helping to alleviate the burning sensation. If you have an aloe vera plant handy, you can cut the leaves open and use the oils inside as a natural aid.
3. Leave blistered skin alone.
4. Reduce swelling with anti-inflammatory painkillers.
6. Cover up to prevent the burn from getting worse.
7.Make sun safety a part of your routine.
The best thing you can do for a sunburn is ensure that you don’t get one in the first place. Applying sunscreen, wearing sun protective clothing (like long sleeve shirts, pants, hats and sunglasses) and seeking shade during midday peak sun hours are quick and effective ways to practice sun safety.
Learn more ways to keep your family sun safe here.
Learn more about sun safety here
Learn how mineral sunscreens protect skin from UV rays here
Read more about treating a sunburn from Mayo Clinic
Learn more about how we sunburn from Popular Science