How to treat sunburn
So you love tanning but after lying on your lounger for hours under the sun, instead of getting the beautiful caramel-ish tan that you desire, you end up looking like a lobster. Frustrated much? Then you need to know some facts about sunburn and how to keep your skin safe and how to treat sunburn.
Causes of sunburn
If you stay out under the sun for too long then the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays may penetrate the topmost layer of your skin and damage the newly formed sensitive skin cells. This may cause pain, redness, irritation or swelling of the skin. Large sunburns can even cause headaches, fever and fatigue. In some cases the UV rays may even damage cell walls or cause severe damage to the DNA of the cell itself which leads to dangerous diseases like skin cancer. The extent of sunburn depends on your skin type, sun’s intensity and duration of exposure to the sun.
If your sunburn covers a large area and is causing blisters, extreme pain, high fever, nausea and home care is not making things better than you must see your physician immediately. Otherwise, there are some things that you can do at home to treat your sunburn and keep your skin safe.
- Stay out of the sun: Don’t even think of going out under the sun before your sunburn heals.
- Apply cool water: Use a towel or a cloth to compress your sunburnt area with chilled water. Take cool showers frequently.
- Apply ointments: Ointments can speed up the healing and reduce the pain and swelling. Apply a low dose of about 0.5 to 1 percent of hydrocortisone ointment on treatment area.
- Use moisturizers: Mild sunburns can be cooled down by using lotions and moisturizers that contain aloe vera, menthol or camphor. This will soothe your skin and help reduce the itching and soreness.
- Take anti-inflammatory medication: This will reduce the inflammation and redness on your skin caused by the sunburn. Take aspirin, naproxen or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) on a regular basis, according to the label.
- Take painkillers: This will help relieve the pain. Take Paracetamols which can reduce the pain and cure fever caused by the sunburn.
- Stay hydrated: Sunburn can cause your body to become dehydrated because of loss of fluids through your body and your skin. So drink plenty of water and other fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Don’t break the blisters: If sunburn causes blisters on your skin then do not break it. It slows down the healing process. If it breaks by itself then use an anti-bacterial cream on it.
- Don’t peel by yourself: When your skin is peeling it is just getting rid of the damaged skin. Do not peel by yourself. This may increase risks of infection. Use moisturizers while your skin is peeling.
So next time you are out for a tan, do not spend hours under the sun and do not forget to use sunscreen. The sun is fun, but it is your skin’s biggest enemy.