Talk about summertime sadness, sometimes it feels like it’s impossible to get through a summer without at least one sunburn no matter how careful you try to be. The overexposure to the sun can put a true damper on our fun summer activities. Not only does looking like a lobster feel horrible but it has long-lasting damaging effects that can double your risk of skin cancer. But since you already made the mistake of getting burned here are a few tips to help make you more comfortable until it fades.
Since a sunburn actually draws the bodies fluid to the surface you want to make sure you drink extra water. If you do not you are putting yourself at risk of dehydration which can make you feel awful. Look for signs of dizziness, excessive thirst or headaches. All of which are red flags that you need to drink up the agua. If this sounds boring try a sports drink such as Gatorade with electrolyte to help re-hydrate your body.
Get Over-the-Counter Relief
Don’t wait to medicate! As soon as you start feeling the burn take a small dose of ibuprofen (example: Advil) and an acetaminophen (Tylenol). Since the redness in your skin is inflammation the over the counter medications will help reduce the swelling and hopefully reduce the sting making the severity of the symptoms easier to bare. Take as instructed on the bottle, and call your doctor if you have any problems or concerns.
With the loss of moisture you skin experiences during a bad burn it is very important to slather on the lotion. Keeping your skin as moist as possible during the healing process will aid in its recovery. Try to use products that have natural emollients, with ingredients such as: Aloe, Vitamin C & E. So keep generously lathering on the lotion. Just a side note it feels good to let it dry in front of a cool fan.
Loose Fitting Clothing
One of the most uncomfortable feelings is trying to squeeze on your skinny jeans with burnt thighs, or even worse putting on a top with tight straps! Just the thought of it makes me cringe. Avoid tight fitting clothing. If it doesn’t feel good, then don’t do it! Wear a loose fitting t-shirt and shorts. Keep yourself as comfortable as possible.
Cool Bath Vs. Hot Shower?
Avoid taking a high temperature bath/shower. Your water should be cool, just below lukewarm. The cooler temperature should ease the pain, and will not irritate your skin as much as the hot water would. Avoid using soaps because they can irritate your skin even more. When you get out of the shower/bath make sure to pat dry yourself…DO NOT RUB this can cause more discomfort.
Above ALL- DON’T BURN NEXT TIME
Not only does a sunburn cause premature aging but a sunburn causes a higher risk of developing both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. Reduce this risk by protecting your skin: wear sunscreen, sun protectant clothing and stay in the shade.