Tis the season. The season of the sun. While the best course of action is to take preventative measures to avoid sunburns – namely wear sunscreen, reapply as needed and seek shade when sun is at its most intense – it’s important to know how to properly care for your skin in the event that you do get burnt.
Most sunburns are taken care of at home. However if you feel sick, have chills or a fever, along with severe blistering, go get it checked out.
Assuming it’s your standard sunburn that you will care for at home, here are some tips to help you reduce the pain and recover quickly.
- Take A Cool Bath: It’s important to cool the skin down. A bath is a gentle way to reduce your skin temperature without being pelted by the shower. Also, avoid soap during this time; it will further dehydrate your skin.
- Take A Pain Reliever: Over-the-counter painkillers help reduce the swelling and inflammation and help reduce the pain.
- Use Lots Of Lotion: Be generous with the lotion. Go with an unscented lotion that will hydrate your skin. You can look for ceramides, glycerin, oatmeal, or soy. You can also find creams with antioxidants like vitamins C and E, which help with the inflammation. Avoid petroleum, because they trap heat in your skin. Additionally, small amounts of 0.5 percent or 1 percent hydrocortisone cream is helpful. You can buy it over the counter.
- Use mint tea: Mint naturally cools and soothes. Tannic acid and theobromine found in green tea helps relieve pain and heal damaged skin when applied topically. Make your own green or black tea and add mint leaves, let it steep for an hour. Chill it and then apply with a soft cloth or cotton pad.
- Use Aloe: Blot the burnt areas with a cold compress that has aloe vera gel on it. You can also spread the gel on your like a cream. You can use the gooey juice straight from an aloe plant or you can buy gel from the store.
- Try plain yogurt: Live cultured plain yogurt contains probiotics and enzymes that help heal our skin. Ensure it is plain and has probiotics to get the true benefit. Apply it to your skin directly and let it sit for about 5 minutes and then gently rinse it off.
- Double check your meds: Many medications increase your photosensitivity. Find out if any of your medications cause this and take extra precautions to avoid burns.
- Cool As A Cucumber: A cool cucumber is soothing to the burn and it has antioxidants and analgesic properties to promote healing and further relief from discomfort. Blend the cucumbers and make a paste to apply to your skin or place cold slices on your burnt areas.
- Drink! Water That Is! Sunburns cause a process where your blood vessels dilate and you lose water from your skin very quickly. This can leave you tired and dehydrated. Drink water consistently. Try coconut water for some added electrolytes.
- Leave Your Blisters Alone! Picking at or popping blisters and peeling burned skin can lead to permanent scarring.
Taking care of your skin is important and as you age, you’ll be glad you took the time and attention to do it properly.