I go to the beach a lot, but I can never seem to avoid a sunburn. How can I prevent, and overall treat a sunburn?
Danik Expert Advice:
First of all, lets make sure we all know exactly what causes sunburn. Once the suns uv rays strike your skin, your skin starts over producing melanin – that is what give you a tan. But there’s only so much melanin that your skin can produce. Once it exceeds that amount, your skin starts to burn, causing the common sunburn.
– Stay away from the sun when its at its strongest – 10 am to 4 pm.
– Cover up with long sleeves, a brimmed hat, or try those clothing lines specially designed to protect your skin from the sun.
– Apply sunscreen a half hour before you head out into the sun and re-apply every two hours after that. Even if there are clouds or you’ll just be driving, the rays of the sun can still reach you through the clouds or the windows in your car.
– Use a lip balm with SPF to prevent chapped lips.
– Avoid tanning the old fashioned way (laying yourself out to fry in the sun) and try spray tanning or tanning gels/lotions.
Obviously, the best treatment is prevention. But here are some tips for when its a little too late to prevent the sunburn.
– Take over the counter medication for the pain and discomfort.
– Apply cool compresses; this helps cool your skin and help the discomfort ease.
– Use aloe vera to soothe your skin and help the healing process. It also help moisturize to control peeling.
– Drink lots of water to help your body continue to heal the skin as quickly as possible.
– Don’t pop the blisters if you get them, but if they pop on their own, apply an anti-bacterial cream to avoid infection.
– See your doctor if your skin blisters or shows signs of infection, have symptoms of fever or nausea, or if the skin does not heal after a few days.
What are the risks of sunburns? Well, short term risks include uncomfortableness and/or risk of infection through blisters. Long term risks include advanced skin aging, and worst of all – skin cancer.