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You are here: Home > Know Your Skin > Sunscreen & Protection Info > Treating Sunburn

How To Treat Sunburn

Don’t Wait
The moment you see signs of reddening on the skin, it is being damaged.  Even your skin being tan is a sign of skin damage! With high UV Indexes, you can start to burn in less than a half hour, which is not a very long period of time. Using sun protective clothing with a UPF 15 (good protection) to UPF 50 and above, (excellent protection blocking 97.5% of UVA & UVB rays) is always the first preventative measure we can all take to make protecting your skin from the sun’s UV rays much more convenient. You won’t have to worry about applying sun block in hard to reach areas or worry about reapplying it. To protect your face a sun protective hat with a wide brim is  helpful as well.
Moisturize, Exfoliate and include Antioxidants in Your Daily Regime
One easy way to provide moisture and pain relief from sunburn is to use Aloe Vera gel. We recommend you store a bottle of in the refrigerator. It adds a nice cooling sensation when applying it. Sunburns also  tend to peel, and it’s a good idea to gently exfoliate your excess skin while you are in the shower. It’s also a good idea to use a luffa sponge as a part of your skin care routine to remove dead skin. Follow up by using products that contain antioxidants such as Vitamin E, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. When you sunburn, your skin cells become damaged by free radicals. Free radicals are oxygen molecules that become unstable and split because they are now missing an electron. (Read more about free radicals here) Their only task is to obtain an electron from another cell, thus damaging it and it become a free radical. The process repeats itself.  SPF recommends using Vitamin  C, A  & D as a daily part of your life. We encourage you to use products with these antioxidants on your skin and in your diet. You can also try adding a multivitamin that you take on a daily basis as well.
Stay Hydrated

When you sunburn, you usually notice that your skin in puffy. This is because sunburn draws fluid to the skin and the rest of your body. It’s important to stay drink plenty of water or sports drinks that contains electrolytes.
 In the heat, it is always important to be aware of heat exhaustion, which can lead to heat stroke. This can sneak up on you easily, and even more so in high UV Indexes. (Click here to find your heat index) We recommend that if you believe you are starting to show signs of heat exhaustion that you move to a cooler place immediately, drink cold fluids and keep yourself cooled down, even if that includes taking a cold shower if you start to experience any of the symptoms below -
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include: Dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, inability to stay focused, difficulty walking, exhaustion and tiredness and will eventually lead to heat stroke which can be fatal!
If someone loses consciousness it is imperative to seek medical attention at once. In the meantime, cool the person down by using a garden hose with cold water, using cold compresses in the armpit and groin area until help arrives.
Over-the-Counter Inflammatory Medications
Sunburns are painful, you can use ibuprofen or naproxen sodium which are both known anti-inflammatory pain relievers. You can use other pain relievers, but unless they are anti-inflammatory, it will not reduce  the swelling.
Severe Sunburns & Treatment
If you simply have reddening of the skin without blisters, you can use some of the remedies we mentioned above.
Treating sunburn can be tough if you have blisters, it’s important to start as early as possible. If you stay out in the sun without protection you are bound to sunburn with blisters. These types of sunburns are very painful and if you have blisters on more than a quarter of your body, you should seek medical attention.
Also, no matter how tempted you are, do not break the blisters intentionally. The fluid inside helps the healing process, if you break them you will extend the time it takes to heal, extend the healing process and possibly cause an infection. If blisters break on their own, care for them as you would any abrasion you have on your body.  Do not peel off any skin; leave the skin to lay as natural as possible. If you feel it is necessary to cover the blisters, do so only with light weight gauze.
If your blisters become infected or increasingly painful, it is best to seek medical attention.


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