While you may be tempted to bask in the sun as you work on your tan, it is very important that you avoid getting sunburned. Sunburns can be very painful, and they increase your risk for skin cancer. If you happen to forget your sunscreen one day and end up getting burned, there are some things you can do to make yourself more comfortable as your skin heals.
Find Shade Immediately
If you notice that you are getting burned, you should immediately get out of the sun. While it may seem as though you are just starting to get burned, it can take several hours before you notice the symptoms. Even if you are only a little pink, you should sit under a tree, pop open an umbrella or go inside before your tender skin gets worse.
Once you have gotten out of the sun, you need to take a cool shower or bath to reduce the heat and then treat your skin to a gentle layer of moisturizing lotion. You may even want to apply a lotion that contains vitamins C and E to help skin recover and to minimize flaking. If your skin starts to peel or blister, avoid picking it so that you do not cause an infection.
When your skin burns, it uses up extra fluids in your body, which means that you need to drink more water to stay hydrated. If you feel symptoms of dehydration, such as dry mouth, dizziness or headache, you may want to drink even more water.
Sunburns can make you feel as though you are feverish, and they cause your skin to become inflamed and sore. You can alleviate some of these symptoms by taking ibuprofen as soon as you notice the burn. If you prefer, you can take acetaminophen, but this will not reduce the inflammation. You may also want to apply hydrocortisone cream or an aloe vera gel to help reduce the pain and swelling.
Take Cool Baths
Your sunburn may continue to hurt for several days, but it will gradually get better. If hot showers and baths seem to irritate your skin, then soak in a cool bath. You can also add chamomile to the water to make it even more soothing.
Avoid the Sun
If you are already burned, then you will need to avoid spending time in the sun until your skin has healed. If you have to spend time outside, wear loose-fitting clothing in light colors. Be sure to apply plenty of sunscreen so that your sensitive skin is protected against further damage. Once your skin has healed, continue to slather on sunscreen before you head outside to protect yourself from getting burned again.
Summer is the time for pools, beaches, and fun in the sun, but while you are enjoying the warm rays always remember to wear sunscreen to avoid getting burned.