Too much fun in the sun without using an effective sunscreen poses the risk of sunburn. You may think you’ll know when you’ve “had enough sun,” but this is a misconception. It’s easy to get a sunburn because the reaction begins three to six hours after exposure and usually becomes maximal by 24 hours.
There are several ways you can relieve painful sunburn:
- Take a cool bath with 2 ounces of baking soda per tub. Don’t put soap on the sunburn.
- Apply aloe containing lotions to cool the skin
- Apply 1 percent hydrocortisone cream (an over-the-counter product) as soon as possible. If used early, several times a day for two days, it can reduce swelling and pain.
- Until you can gecream, apply a moisturizing cream, preferably one containing aloe. Avoid ointments or greasy substances, which can block the sweat glands and keep heat from escaping.
- Avoid first-aid anesthetic products containing benzocaine, which can cause irritation or allergic reactions.
- Since sunburn is an inflammatory process, take an anti-inflammatory pain reliever, such as ibuprofen.
- Blistering skin indicates more serious sunburn. Don’t cover the blisters. Call your doctor for advice.
- Wear your pajamas inside out to avoid the irritation of seams when sleeping.
Let this sunburn be a lesson, and never again forget to wear a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Choose a broad-spectrum product that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Lay it on thick, a half hour before going into the sun, and pay special attention to areas most likely to get burned.
By avoiding sunburn, you’ll not only avoid the immediate pain, but you will be protecting yourself from the deadliest form of skin cancer—melanoma—later in life, which has been linked to sunburns.
Learn more about UVs from this excellent site.
Can your eyes really get sunburned? Go here for the answer.
The Discovery Channel let you see the sun from the SOHO.
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