A Sunburn? How Did That Happen?

It happens to the best of us, when we’re out in the sunshine it’s easy to forget to reapply sunscreen after swimming, or we may just misjudge the strength of the sun when we are out and about. A sunburn can be extremely painful and it’s all too easy to end up with red and sore skin if you get too much sun if you didn’t use enough sun protection.

Although it’s common and seems temporary, a sun burn actually causes serious and long-lasting damage to your skin. It can also increase your risk of developing skin cancer as well as ageing your skin with wrinkles, lines and uneven skin tone. The best way to deal with a sunburn is not to get it in the first place – always remember to slap on your SPF 50 sun screen, stay out of the sun as much as possible and reapply sun screen regularly.

But, when sunburn hits, treat it as soon as you notice it developing and get out of the sun as soon as possible. Find some shade, or preferably get indoors. Then you can start to treat the burns.

Keep It Cool

It sounds obvious, but a cool shower or bath will help to cool down your skin and take the sting out of the sunburn. Once you’ve bathed or showered, pat yourself dry gently, leaving a little water on your skin, and apply a “after-sun” product with built in moisturizer liberally to help keep the water in your skin and prevent it from drying out.

Treat the Soreness

If you feel very sore in any particular area, an over the counter hydrocortisone cream can help soothe the burn. Avoid products like benzocaine or anything that ends in ‘caine’, even if it starts to itch, as these will irritate the damaged skin and could even cause an allergic reaction.

You can also take mild painkillers like aspirin or ibuprofen to help reduce any swelling and deal with the discomfort.

Stay Hydrated

When you’ve been burned, your body reacts by drawing extra fluids towards the surface of your skin to deal with the damage, taking them away from the rest of your body. This could lead to dehydration if you’re not careful. Avoid making yourself feel even worse and load up on water and cooling fluids to take the heat off.

Now I know that plain water is now fun when trying to stay hydrated during these hot months. Try drinking some cucumber water with mint, coconut water infused with fruit, or even a delicious herbal tea like hibiscus, rose or chamomile. Not only are you staying hydrated but getting in some additional benefits to your body with fruits and herbs. Here are some additional ideas to help you stay hydrated!

Leave the Blisters Alone

There’s a reason that your skin produces blisters after a sun burn – they protect your skin from what’s actually a second-degree burn! If your skin starts to blister, don’t be tempted to burst them, just leave them to heal naturally. Blisters are there to help your skin heal and protect you from infection, so popping them just increases your risk of getting the burns infected. Just keep them covered if they are too tempting and pretend they aren’t there…

Stay Protected

You’ll need to be extra careful to protect your skin while it heals, as the damage has been done and you really don’t want to make it worse. Wear clothes that cover up your skin as much as possible when you’re outdoors, especially the areas that have been burned. Look for tightly-woven fabrics that you can’t see light through if held up to a bright light. Wear a hat and sun glasses too.

Slather on extra SPF 50 sun screen after a burn, be very vigilant about reapplying it and if possible, stay in the shade.

Need Help?

Please call for a free consultation or to schedule an appointment. We have hydrating masks and treatments for the entire body to help ease and soothe the skin after a sun burn. Together we’ll develop a plan to get your body healing and back on track!