Fortunately, there is no need to suffer from sunburn if we just learn about ways of keeping the skin safe. When it comes to sunburn, there are also many effective sunburn treatments that can help us get through the burning sensation.
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Treatment for sunburn is provided in order to relieve the redness and inflammation; and ease the pain. There are many remedies that can help with sunburn such as:
- Applying cold compresses on the damaged skin area
- Taking a cool bath in order to soothe the burnings
- Using certain sunburn creams. These often include menthol, aloe and camphor
- Nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofen to relief the swelling and burning sensation in the body
Aside from this, there are many home remedies and lifestyle changes used as treatment for sunburn. This include avoiding the sun while the sunburn is still present and staying hydrated.
Home treatments are usually effective when it comes to minor sunburn, but one must immediately visit a doctor if more serious sunburn signs occur. These signs include:
- Fever that reaches 102 degrees or even higher
- Constant chills
- Sunburn blisters in over 20% of the body
- Severe pain
- Thirst and dehydration
- Reduced urination
- Fatigue and dizziness
The best sunburn treatment is actually sunburn prevention. There are several things one can do to prevent sunburn:
- Stick to shady areas in time when the sun’s rays are strongest. You can always sunbathe when the sun is not too dangerous for the skin and get some nice tan. The rays are known to be strongest between 10a.m and 4 pm
- Wear clothes that are sun-protective. If you cannot miss going out when the sun is bad for the skin, make sure that you cover the body with sun-protective clothes such as a broad-brimmed hat, UV-blocking sunglasses and long-sleeve clothing
- Use sunscreen when exposed to sun rays. You should literally cover any possible exposed area of skin with broad-spectrum sunscreen. The quantity of sunscreen should always be at least one ounce on the skin. This cream is supposed to protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. However, you must always pick the one with a sun protection factor of at least 30 and apply it 30 minutes prior to being exposed to the sun. Sunscreen is also recommended for usage in overcast days too. UV rays are known to penetrate the clouds.
When sunburned, the skin normally starts to peel and flake after a couple of days. It is presumed that sunburn should heal completely in 7 days, if it is not too severe.
Normally, sunburn is not long-lived and is mild, but it is very important to avoid it. It may not seem so at the moment, but sunburn can increase the risk of developing other serious health problems in later life.
You must be really careful when exposed to sun rays. It is very easy to underestimate the power of the sun rays when exposed to it, especially because the redness does not develop until much later. Sometimes you may feel burning on your skin as a pointer, but in many cases people get sunburned without even noticing.
Best Treatment for Sunburn
If you or someone close to you suffers from sunburn, you should get out of the sun and move indoors or into a shady spot. Mild sunburn can be easily treated by some effective home remedies at the commodity of your own home, but sometimes there are circumstances when one needs to seek for medical help.
If severely sunburned, there are several steps to follow immediately after noticing the damage of the skin:
- Sponge the skin with cold water. Have a cold shower or bath. Apply a cold compress to an affected area
- Drink a lot of water or other fluids to prevent dehydration
- Take painkillers to relieve any pain. These include ibuprofen or paracetamol. Aspirin is not recommended for children under the age of 16.
- Apply petroleum jelly such as Vaseline or a water-based emollient that will maintain the skin cool and moist.
- Avoid contact with sun, including the indirect one through windows. You should also cover up affected skin areas while your skin is suffering from sunburns.
When visiting the doctor’s office, you may be recommended to use hydrocortisone cream for duration of a few days. You could purchase this cream at pharmacies. It is used to reduce skin inflammation.
When it comes to sever sunburn, there are special burn dressings and creams that can be recommended or provided by the GP or the nurse at the GP’s office. In some serious cases, hospital treatment may be recommended too.
People at Risk of Sunburn
Every person who is exposed to the sun and the UV lights is at risk of getting sunburned. However, some people are more vulnerable and prone to getting sunburned than others.
You are at higher risk of sunburn if:
- You have white, pale or light brown skin
- Tend to burn often rather than tan
- Have red or fair hair
- Have freckles
- Have many moles
- Have other skin problems
- You are not often exposed to intense sun
- Have a family history of skin cancer or other skin related conditions
- Are exposed to the sun for long periods
The sun is more intense at high altitudes and you may also get sunburned by its reflection in the water, concrete, snow or sand. This is why it is important to always take the right precautions when exposed to the sun.
There are certain short-term dangers of sun exposure. The first one is of course, sunburn. The second one is allergy.
However, what you should be more concerned about are the long-term risks that include:
- Skin cancer such as melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer
- Actinic keratoses (pre-cancerous skin spots that are scaly and rough)
- Eye issues such as cataracts and photokeratitis
- Premature skin aging
Sunscreen as a Sunburn Treatment
When you are purchasing sunscreen, you must make sure that it is good for your skin. Bad sunscreen can limit your defense from sunburns. Therefore you must find one that will block both UVA and UVB light radiation.
The label of the sunscreen should have:
- A circle logo with the letters UVA and UVB on it
- At least 4 star protection of UVA and UVB
Another thing to pay attention to is the applying on the sunscreen. The majority of people suffer from sunburns because they do not apply enough of the sunscreen. The amount of sunscreen the body needs is around 8 teaspoons of lotion. Also, sunscreen should be applied several times, especially if one is taking baths in between sunbathing.
If the sunscreen is too thin when applied, it will provide people with less protection. If you are concerned about not applying enough of it, you can always switch to another sunscreen that is stronger than the one you already use.
Generally, if you are planning on spending longer time out in the sun, you should try and apply sunscreen twice. The first time should be 30 minutes prior to going out and the second one just before you step outside. Sunscreen should be applied to all skin areas that are exposed and not only to the low body parts, but also to the face, the ears and the neck. However, when it comes to the head, the best solution is a wide-brimmed hat.
If you are sweating or are in contact with water, make sure that you always use water-resistant sunscreen. This type needs to be reapplied frequently, liberally and according to the given instructions. This normally includes applying sunscreen right after getting out of the water or after towel-drying or sweating.
The time and severity of skin burns varies from person to person. You could always check online for the skin type you have and check if you are at high risk of sun burning.
Babies, Children and Sunburn
Children that are aged under six months should not be exposed to direct strong sunlight. In the periods when the sun is dangerous, children should always be:
- Covered with suitable clothing that does not allow sun to penetrate the gentle skin
- Kept in the shade, especially in the period from 11 am to 3 pm
- Protected with strong sunscreen that is applied more often than it is in adults
- Given additional doses of vitamin D, even if they are not directly exposed of the sun
Sunburn is not a pleasant thing to experience, especially because of the burning and itching sensation. People who are suffering from sunburn must immediately take some measures to get sunburn relief, especially if the sun burning is severe. In severe cases, treatment should include medications and visits at the doctor’s office. In some cases, patients need to spend the night at a hospital and the period of skin heeling may last longer than the usual. However, most of the sun burns are mild and go away in as little as a few days, but they are still uncomfortable. In order to avoid this, one needs to take all possible measures to prevent their skin from getting sunburned. The only reason to do this is not because of the uncomfortable sensation, but also because of the many serious diseases that can occur as a result of many types of sunburn after some while. Skin cancer is something that is more commonly occurring now that the sun is more dangerous than before. This is why people need to use sunscreen and other preventive measures to avoid damage to the skin. Remember, skin damage is not only what is visible to the eye.