It’s finally summertime and it seems like we are all getting a double dose of heat and sun. Coming out of isolation and into the outdoors can be tricky for your skin. With record breaking heat and bright sunshine we are also likely dealing with sunburn. It goes without saying, the goal would be not to get sunburn because you’re wearing sunscreen but if you get caught here are some steps to help you get some relief and to heal.

First, Get Relief

By the time you realize your skin has been burned you’re going to be in some pain. Your skin will likely be red and hot to the touch. One way to get some relief is to take frequent cool baths or showers. The cool water will help to cool your skin temperature. As soon as you get out of the bath or shower leave your skin pat (don’t rub) your skin with a towel and leave it a bit damp. If you apply moisturizer the moisture of the water will help to trap the lotion on your skin and help ease dryness.

When you apply moisturizer you should seek something that has aloe or soy it as that helps to sooth skin. If you want a list of the top recommendations check here from vey well health. You may have a a specific area that is more burned like near your bathing suit lines or on the back of your neck, if so cream may not be enough but you can try hydrocortisone cream. Be prepared to apply and reapply cream as your damaged skin may absorb it quickly. Do not treat sunburn with “-caine” products (such as benzocaine), as these may irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction.

Sleeping can be a major challenge when your skin in sunburned. You’r sunburned skin will heat up the sheets and finding a comfortable position can be nearly impossible. If you’ve followed the steps above and are still feeling discomfort try taking aspirin or ibuprofen to help reduce swelling and redness. Also be sure to drink extra water. Sunburned skin draws fluids to the skin surface so it can become very easy to become dehydrated.

Second, be sure to treat your skin so that it can heal.

With an average sunburn following the relief steps above should be enough but If you got a more serious sunburn then you may wake up to skin blisters. Blistering skin means you have a second-degree sunburn. The most important thing to do is to allow the blisters to heal. Do not pop the blisters, as blisters form to help your skin heal and protect you from infection. Continue to follow the relief steps as needed.

In order to ensure that you do not have scaring or any permanent damage to your skin you’r going to need to “baby” your skin while it heals. Be sure to wear clothing that covers your skin when you go outdoors so that you don’t reignite the sunburned skin. Be sure to wear clothing that is thick enough to block sunlight. A good test is when you hold the fabric up to a bright light, you shouldn’t see any light coming through. Continue drinking water, taking cool showers or baths and applying cream.

Since we believe in organic and natural remedies. There is a good article from Parents highlighting some natural remedies that are particularly safe for children. Options include ice cubes, oatmeal, honey, milk and more – check here.

Mild sunburn will exhibit symptoms for approximately 3 days while moderate sunburn lasts for around 5 days and is often followed by peeling skin. If you get a severe sunburn you could have symptoms for more than a week. If you continue with pain for over a week then you should seek medical attention.

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Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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