Thursday, July 12, 2018

Sunburned? Here’s What To Do Next

A bad sunburn can totally spoil your beach vacation or summer barbecue.  Even if you are using--and frequently re-applying--sunscreen, you can still suffer burns.  Fortunately, what you do AFTER the burn can affect how quickly your skin heals, so follow these tips to ease the sting and begin recovery.

When You're First Burned...

First, get out of the sun!   Seek shade or go indoors as soon as you notice symptoms.  Burns can take several hours to several days to manifest, so if you're looking even slightly pink, the damage is done and it's time to take cover.

Once indoors, take a lukewarm bath rather than a hot shower--less painful, and the milder temperature will soothe your skin.  Adding baking soda or milk to your bath will help relieve the sting.  Avoid using soap, which will further dry and irritate skin.  Repeat these baths as often as necessary until the pain subsides.

After bathing, apply aloe vera gel.  This product relieves discomfort while providing much-needed hydration.  It also seals the skin's top layer to prevent infection.  Chill your aloe in the fridge for extra cooling effect.

Take two ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and ease irritation.  Another option is to grind the pills, add enough water to make a paste, and apply directly to the burn.

Tips For Treating Sunburn

As your burn heals, follow these recommendations for speedy recovery:

--Drink plenty of water.  Exposure to sunlight can dehydrate you, so increased hydrating
    will help repair your skin.  Avoid alcohol, which causes further dehydration.

--Steer clear of products containing synthetic ingredients or fragrances, as these can
    irritate your skin in its compromised state.

--If your burn peels, don't touch it!  Hydrate the area with a heavy-duty moisturizer.

--Outdoors, protect burned areas as they heal with clothing that covers the affected
    skin.  Remain in the shade as much as possible.

--Apply cold compresses to ease pain.  Wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply for
    cooling relief.

--If your face is burned, dial back your facial skincare routine, since many of its
    ingredients may be too harsh for damaged skin.  Avoid acne treatments, anti-
    aging products, exfoliants, and harsh toners until your skin heals.  Stick to a simple
    cream cleanser and fragrance-free moisturizer.

--If your burn results in serious symptoms like blistering or fever, seek medical

Though burns will generally heal within a week, they can result in long-lasting damage to skin. To help prevent premature aging and skin cancer, take steps to protect your skin this summer.

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