Playing in the sun is not fun if you have to deal with sunburn afterward. On long, hot summer days, we are all tempted to spend the day relaxing
poolside or at the beach, and most of us have suffered the consequences of too much sun exposure. The desire for the perfect golden tan can sometimes lead to sunburns, which is very harmful for the skin. If you suffer from acne, a sunburn can further damage your skin and cause permanent scarring.
Sunburn is a delayed inflammatory reaction when the skin is exposed to excessive ultraviolet radiation. Symptoms of mild sunburn, including redness,
tenderness and pain, often occur a few hours after exposure, and can last for several days. The pain, itching and peeling is the skin’s reaction to excessive UVA and UVB ray exposure. Although the skin needs time to heal, there are some remedies and treatments available to help the skin repair itself.
Get out of the sun
It may sound simple enough, but we often do not realize we are sunburned until it is too late. Since it is a delayed reaction, the full extent and severity
of the burn may not appear until up to 12 hours after exposure. Stop your sun exposure by seeking shade from trees, umbrellas, hats, etc. Drink lots
of water, since sunburn causes dehydration. Get some immediate relief for the pain by adding baking soda to a cool bath, and wear loose clothing that
does not stick to the body.
Reduce the pain
Anti-inflammatory medicine such as Advil or Ibuprofen can help relieve the redness and pain associated with sunburn. Aloe vera is a popular treatment
for sunburn thanks to its ability to moisturize and repair the skin. Apply a moisturizing cream containing Aloe vera, and if possible, apply the gel from
the actual plant to the affected areas. Once the burn heals, the skin will begin to peel and may become itchy. Fight the temptation to pick and
scratch, which can irritate the skin a slow the healing process. Instead, keep the skin moisturized by applying a moisturizing lotion, which can reduce
The best way to deal with sunburn is to not get one. Sunburn may only seem harmless and temporary, but can have lasting effects on the skin and
overall health. Serious sunburn can cause blisters, shock, lead to cancer and even death if left untreated. Protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays
by applying sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside. Wear loose, protective clothing and avoid staying outside for too long during peak
hours (10am to 4pm), when sunrays are harsh. Choose a sunscreen with SPF of at least 30, and use sun-protection products that contain zinc oxide,
an inorganic ingredient that can deflect UVA rays. Try Vivoderm’s zinc cream, a natural product that can be used as a nontoxic sunscreen.
By Van Le
Van Le is a staff writer for the CSU Daily Titan and writing intern for Vivoderm Laboratories in Los Angeles, California. She is currently pursuing a Journalism degree at California State University, Fullerton.
For the latest findings on natural skincare, you can also link to http://bestorganicnaturalskincare.com
Your skin type affects how easily you become sunburned. People with fair or freckled skin, blond or red hair, and blue eyes usually sunburn easily. Your age also affects how your skin reacts to the sun. The skin of children younger than 6 and adults older than 60 is more sensitive to sunlight.
You may get a more severe sunburn depending on:
- The time of day. You are more likely to get a sunburn between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon, when the sun’s rays are the strongest. You might think the chance of getting a sunburn on cloudy days is less, but the sun’s damaging UV light can pass through clouds.
- Whether you are near reflective surfaces, such as water, white sand, concrete, snow, and ice. All of these reflect the sun’s rays and can cause sunburns.
- The season of the year. The position of the sun on summer days can cause a more severe sunburn.
- Altitude. It is easy to get sunburned at higher altitudes, because there is less of the earth’s atmosphere to block the sunlight. UV exposure increases about 4% for every 1000 ft gain in elevation.
- How close you are to the equator (latitude). The closer you are to the equator, the more direct sunlight passes through the atmosphere. For example, the southern United States gets 1.5 times more sunlight than the northern United States.
- The UV index of the day, which indicates the risk of getting a sunburn that day.
Preventive measures and home treatment are usually all that is needed to prevent or treat a sunburn.
- Protect your skin from the sun.
- Do not stay in the sun too long.
- Use sunscreens, and wear clothing that covers your skin.
If you have any health risks that may increase the seriousness of sun exposure, you should avoid being in the sun from 10 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon.
Home treatment measures may provide some relief from a mild sunburn.
* Use cool cloths on sunburned areas.
* Take frequent cool showers or baths.
* Apply soothing lotions that contain aloe vera to sunburned areas.
Topical steroids (such as 1% hydrocortisone cream) may also help with sunburn pain and swelling. Note: Do not use the cream on children younger than age 2 unless your doctor tells you to. Do not use in the rectal or vaginal area in children younger than age 12 unless your doctor tells you to.
A sunburn can cause a mild fever and a headache. Lie down in a cool, quiet room to relieve the headache. A headache may be caused by dehydration, so drinking fluids may help. There is little you can do to stop skin from peeling after a sunburn—it is part of the healing process. Lotion may help relieve the itching. Other home treatment measures, such as chamomile, may help relieve your sunburn symptoms.
Medicine you can buy without a prescription Try a nonprescription medicine to help treat your fever or pain:
* Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol
* Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs):
Ibuprofen, such as Advil or Motrin
Naproxen, such as Aleve or Naprosyn
* Aspirin (also a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug), such as Bayer or Bufferin