If you’re a regular on the Versus Laser blog, then you must know we advocate for SPF and steering clear of the sun with every chance we get. But we know that people love the sun and…are forgetful. Which leads to getting sunburn.
So how do we treat sunburn?
First, let’s see who’s at risk for it.
Who Is at Risk for Sunburn
There are three factors that can easily lead to sunburn:
- Fair skin
- Long exposure to the sun
- Proximity to the sun
I know that the third one may be a bit puzzling, so let me explain. The sun is closest to us at midday – this is why everyone recommends you avoid exposure at that time. Next, the sun is currently closer to the Northern hemisphere. So if you live there or plan to vacation there soon, boost your protection.
How to Treat Sunburn
In a way, it could be said that sunburn is sun poisoning. The harmful UVB rays are more than the melatonin in your skin can take. This is when symptoms like redness, swelling, pain and even fever, nausea or low pressure appear.
In case either you or someone close to you gets any of these symptoms (be on the lookout for redness first and foremost!), this is what you need to do:
- Cool your skin with cold water compresses as often as possible. Change them when they get warm from your skin.
- Hydrate the burnt area with the blandest moisturizer you can find – avoid those that contain AHAs, as they can irritate the skin even more.
- Apply cucumbers to the affected area. They will chill your skin and reduce irritation.
- Apply cortisone-based creams in the first 6 hours after sun exposure. Later on, it will have no effect.
If you experience faintness, fever or rapid heart rate, seek medical attention immediately. Even more, as soon as your skin has healed, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor for cancer screenings. When you are pre-disposed to sunburn, you are also predisposed to skin cancer, so make sure you undergo the tests every year.
Sunburn and prolonged sun exposure can both have devastating consequences on your skin and general health. Remember to use a high SPF cream every day, even when you remain indoors, but especially when you are out for longer periods of time. Sun-blocking clothes are also a great investment!