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How To Treat A Sunburn

How To Treat A Sunburn

When summer comes around everyone seems to be on the beach tanning and trying to get that summer glow. However, when you get too much sun exposure this can result in a very bad and painful nightmare . . . a SUNBURN.

Sunburns are really painful, look bad, peel, cause wrinkles and can increase your chances of developing skin cancer. Sunburns also can cause people to experience headaches and mild fevers because of dehydration.

However, there are a few ways to prevent and treat sunburns.


Act Fast - if you can feel a sunburn developing by the heat and the redness of the skin make sure you act quickly. By getting out of the sun and starting treatment. However, sometimes it can be hard to tell if you are getting a sunburn because it usually takes a few hours before you start showing signs that you are burnt.

Use a Cold Damp Towel - Sunburns can cause your skin to heat up so applying a cold damp towel can help with releasing some of the heat. Allow the towel to sit on the sunburn for 10 to 15 minutes. Also make sure you have cool showers as this will also help with the pain and the heat. But remember to pat as rubbing can cause more pain.

Moisturizer - after a cool bath or shower use a moisturizer to soothe the skin. This will also allow reducing and helping with the peeling process of a sunburn. It is also a good idea to use a moisturizer that contains vitamin C and vitamin E which can help limit skin damage and scars. Make sure that you do not use a moisturizer that contains petroleum, benzocaine or lidocaine as it can cause further pain and discomfort.

Hydrate - as a side effect of a sunburn it causes many people to experience a headache or a light fever because of dehydration. So make sure you drink lots of water, juice and sports drinks for a few days.

Leave Blisters Alone - as an affect effect of a sun burn blisters may develop on the skin. However, it is important not to pop or play with them as it can cause the sunburn to become worse. Allow the blisters to heal on its own and avoid an infection.

Avoid Soap - using soap on your skin can make your sunburn worse. As soaps can dry and irritate burned skin. However, you can use Aveeno (and other moisturizers) which can help when you have a large area of skin that is sun burnt.

Use Hydrocortisone - this ingredient can be found in lotions, sprays and ointments. It can help soothe skin from irritations and inflammation.

Food Treatment - common household foods can be a great way to help out with the pain of sunburns. For instance take a oatmeal or a milk bath; this will help with the pain and the itchiness of the sunburn. Yogurt is another great cooling agent; apply yogurt to the sun burnt areas of the skin and rinse off in a cool shower after its been applied for awhile.

Something Cool - sunburn's are painful so it is a good idea to apply something cool on to the burnt skin. Therefore, an icepack would be a great tool to help reduce heat from the burn and help with the pain.

Medications - are sometimes the best solution when experiencing a sunburn. It is recommended to take ibuprofen as soon as you can tell that you have a sunburn. It reduces inflammation and swelling from the sunburn. Tylenol can also be used to treat the pain but it will not help reduce the symptoms.

Take Extra Care - while your sunburn is healing it is important to take the appropriate extra care. For example, make sure you wear clothing that covers up the sunburn to avoid further damage.

When To Let The Doctor Know - if you find that your sunburn is getting worse and you are experiencing nausea, chills, fever, lightheaded, extensive blistering and itching; these are all indications that you need to see your doctor to find the right treatment.

Preventative Measures

Avoid Sun Exposure - this is a best way to avoid a sunburn. Make sure you especially avoid peak time of sun exposure; this is usually from 10:00am to 4:00pm. This may be hard so try and stay in the shade.

Cover Up - make sure you protect your skin by wearing a hat and light clothing that covers your arms and your legs.

Use Sunscreen - make sure you apply sunscreen that has a SPF of 15 or greater every 2 hours to get optimal protection. It is also important not to forget your lips, so also make sure you use a lip balms to protect them from the sun.

Wear Sunglasses - make sure you wear UV protective eye glasses as this will help protect your eyes from serious damage.

Avoid Tanning Products - these products will damage your skin even more then direct sun exposure. This can also increase the chances of getting skin cancer and winkles.

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IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.


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