SUNBURN

IHT Summer Series

Protect yourself from sunburn caused by overexposure which can lead to skin cancer. As the warmer weather arrives, it draws you outdoors. Whether it is to the beach or the mountains, you want to make sure you are prepared. Sunburn is a red painful skin that feels hot to the touch. Sunburn appears within only a few hours of too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. You can get exposure to UV light through the sun or sunlamps.

Prevention

To prevent the risks of overexposure, prepare. Always use sunscreen with at least SPF 30. You want to apply to all areas of the exposed skin. Apply the sunscreen every 2-3 hours. If you are in and out of the water, you want to reapply the sunscreen more frequently and when you get out of the water.

Treatment

To heal and soothe the skin, you want to begin treatment as soon as you notice it. First and foremost is to get out of the sun. Dermatologist recommend going indoors. Once you are indoors you can take steps to soothe the discomfort of sunburn.

  • Take frequent cool baths or showers to help relieve the pain. Gently pat yourself dry but be sure to leave a little water on the skin. Then apply a moisturizer to help trap the water and ease dryness.
  • Use a moisturizer that contains aloe vera to help soothe the burn. If you have an area that is especially tender, you can apply over-the-counter (OTC) hydrocortisone without a prescription. Do not use products containing ingredients ending in “-caine”.
  • Consider taking aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce swelling.
  • Drink extra water. The sunburn draws water out to the skin surface and lead to dehydration. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • If your skin blisters you have a second-degree burn. Allow the blisters to heal. DO NOT pop the blisters.
  • Protect the sunburn with clothing while it heals.

Although sunburn discomfort is temporary, the over exposure can cause long-lasting damage. It can also lead to skin cancer. Protect yourself with sunscreen. If you have any questions or concerns, you can schedule with Intimate Health Telemedicine. Check out our website and Facebook page.

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Sharon Zell NP