It's the start of summer which means all the more reason to protect yourself against sunburns!
Sunburn treatment starts with prevention. Correctly using sunscreen will help prevent burns. Sunburns are caused by UV radiation rather than heat (i.e., we get sunburns on cold, snowy days). Sunburns destroy skin, which controls the amount of heat our bodies retain or release, holds in fluids, and protects us from infection.
You can never have too much sunscreen! Reapply your sunscreen ever 2 hours for best prevention of sun damage.
Treatment of Sunburn:
- Get out of the sun. Staying in the sun after the burn is present will make it worse.
- Look for blisters. Blistering means the skin is completely damaged and complications are likely. If the area with blisters is bigger than one entire arm or the whole abdomen, seek medical attention.
- Take a cool shower or bath to soothe the pain.
- Apply aloe or another cooling agent. Whatever you use - DO NOT APPLY BUTTER OR OIL TO ANY BURN!
- Burns cause swelling. Burns of the face and neck can sometimes swell enough to cause difficulty breathing. If that happens, seek medical attention.
- Burns that completely circle the hands or feet may cause such severe swelling that blood flow is restricted. If swollen or tight hands and feet become numb and tingly, blue, cold, or "fall asleep," then seek medical attention immediately.
- While the burn is healing, wear loose natural clothing like silks or light cottons. Harsher fabrics will irritate the skin even more.
- Too much sun can also cause heat illness.