How To Treat And Prevent Sunburns

Thursday, November 11, 2010

If in the past a tanned skin meant a healthy body, nowadays it is associated with the side effects of the ultraviolet rays: a higher risk of skin cancer, premature aging, wall-eye etc.. But it’s summer time, the sun shines bright and it’s impossible not to have a sun-bath, at the pool or at the sea-side. And most of us forget to look at the time and by the end of the day the sunburn reminds us that we should have stayed less.

Sunburn is an acute cutaneous inflammatory reaction that follows excessive exposure of the skin to ultraviolet radiation (UVR). It is generally classified as a superficial or first-degree burn, but sometimes, the sunburn may be so severe and diffuse that it results in second-degree burns, dehydration, or secondary infection. And unfortunately, there is no safe tanning because the tanning itself is a process of producing more melanin in order to protect the epidermis against the UVR. It’s true that exposure to solar radiation has the beneficial effects of stimulating the cutaneous synthesis of vitamin D and providing radiant warmth, but when the skin gets too much UVR, the side effects appear.

So let’s see what we can do if we’ve stayed too much at the beach and we’ve got a sunburn:

- Aspirin can help relieve the pain, itching, and swelling of a mild to moderate burn. Take two tablets every 4 hours.

- Drink 3 l of water a day in order to prevent dehydration.

- Apply yogurt to all sunburned areas to cool and sooth your skin. Rinse off in a cool shower, then gently pat skin dry.

- If your eyelids are burned, apply tea bags soaked in cool water to decrease swelling and help relief pain.

- Apply soothing compresses dipped in oatmeal water or skim milk for 20 minutes at every 2-4 hours.

- Start eating 4 carrots a day or take supplements of beta-carotene.

- Sprinkle talcum powder on your sheets to minimize chafing and friction and try to sleep as much as you can. You will recover faster.

- If blisters are present, don’t open or burst them. Keep the blisters uncovered if possible and use vinegar & honey remedies as well as antibacterial products to avoid making an infection.

There are plenty tips to treat a sunburn, yet some of them will not work on you, depending on the type of your sunburn and your skin. So, if you do not want to get there and try all kind of treatments for relieving your pain, follow the rules:

- Apply a sunscreen about 30 minutes before going out, even if it’s cloudy. Protect your lips, hands, ears, and the back of your neck and reapply after swimming or perspiring heavily.

- Take extra care between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. as the sun is at its hottest.

- If you insist upon getting a tan, do it very gradually. Start with 15 minutes’ exposure and increase it only a few minutes at a time.

- Wear protective clothing when not swimming or sunbathing. Hats, tightly woven fabrics, and long sleeves help keep the sun off your skin.


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