Sunburns – More About
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Sunburn can bring considerable discomfort, especially in the hot summer season.
Fortunately, in most cases, sunburn can easily be cared for right in the comfort of your home.
But whether dealing with a mild or more severe case of sunburn, it is best to address the condition immediately.
Here is a simple guide for dealing with sunburns…
1. When dealing with sunburn, it is very important to prevent further damage or irritation. To prevent sunburned skin from getting worse, keep from further direct exposure to the sun, and stay indoors as much as possible.
2. Closely observe the affected areas for blisters. When blisters are present, this means that the skin has been severely damaged, and complications are possible.
Don’t try to break them or you’ll increase the risk of infection. If blisters are present on a large area of the skin, get to a hospital’s emergency room immediately.
Other instances that warrant medical attention right away are when severe swelling causes breathing difficulty, when pain on the affected area is terrible, and when serious swelling occurs around the limbs such that it threatens to constrict blood flow and cause hands or feet to go numb or turn bluish.
Too much sun exposure can also cause other related ailments, such as sun poison or heat stroke. When any of these are suspected or when a high fever is detected, consult a doctor immediately.
3. Over the counter pain relievers may help to ease the pain and swelling. Aspirin and ibuprofen are examples of oral medications commonly taken to minimize these sunburn symptoms but do avoid giving aspirin to a child or teenager unless your doctor tells you to. Also, consult a doctor before taking any painkiller if you are also taking prescribed medication.
4. Drink lots of water. This will help you regain lost fluids in your body, as well as aid your system in its recovery from sunburn. Fresh fruit juice, such as watermelon, is also a good alternative. Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, as these may cause further dehydration.
5. Keep the affected area moist. Vitamin enriched lotions and moisturizers may help speed recovery.
When dealing with moderate to severe burns, 1% hydrocortisone cream has been reported to be effective. However, consult with a doctor before using this cream on a child younger than age 2, or using it in the rectal or vaginal area in children under age 12.
Avoid using butter, oil, and strong ointments on burned skin, as these will only irritate and worsen sunburn symptoms.
6. Shower with cool water whenever possible. This should help ease the discomfort on your skin. Use very mild soap, and refrain from using abrasive personal skin products, such as exfoliating skin formulas and body scrubs to avoid irritation.
7. Wear loose-fitting clothes made of natural fibers, such as cotton or silk, as sunburned skin tends to be extremely sensitive, and harsher fabrics will do more harm than good. When heading outdoors, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants that cover the affected areas.
8. Leave peeling skin alone. When your skin starts peeling, try your very best not to scratch, scrub or strip the dry skin off. The layer of skin underneath the peeling is still very sensitive, and will only lead to further skin damage when forcibly exposed. As your skin improves, continue to keep it moist.
9. Avoid tanning salons.
Prevention is Always Best
Don’t perform outdoor activities between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. if you can possibly avoid it. The ultraviolet rays are at their most intense around noon. You should also remember to wear a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 15. They really do work.
According to an article on Web MD, “…the Skin Cancer Foundation advises people to use a moisturizer containing broad-spectrum sunscreen (which means it blocks both UVA and UVB rays) with an SPF rating of at least 15. Ingredients such as zinc oxide, avobenzone (Parsol 1789) or ecamsule (Mexoryl), combined with octocrylene and avobenzone work best with makeup and provide broad spectrum sun protection.”
In the event you get a sunburn, Aloe Vera can help deal with the symptoms. Aloe Vera is often referred to as “the burn plant” and can help all types of burns, especially sunburns. Aloe Vera contains lignins. Lignins are a chemical compound that is an integral part of the skin’s cell walls. Lignins help the skin to heal much faster.
Aloe Vera also acts as a cooling agent on the surface and it also contains salicylic acid. The same pain killing agent found in aspirin.
Aloe Vera plants can be grown at home in your windowsill but it’s often more convenient to purchase a tube of 100% Aloe Vera gel. If you are using an Aloe Vera plant, take as many leaves as necessary and refrigerate them. This will add an extra cooling effect when applied to the affected area. Then simply split the leaves and open them up to expose the gel inside. Cleanse affected area and apply liberally as needed until the condition has been corrected.
If you use an Aloe Plant or 100% Aloe Vera gel, you can apply Aloe Vera as often as you like.
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