Soothing the Burn: Effective Ways to Treat Sunburn

By Bravia Dermatology on 3/20/2024

Many of us are excited to enjoy the sun as the warm weather draws near. But even with our greatest efforts to shield our skin, sunburns can still happen. Sunburns can leave us red, uncomfortable, and seeking relief. They might result from underestimating the strength of the sun or from neglecting to reapply sunscreen. We'll go over how to prevent sunburns, how to cure them successfully, and when to seek medical attention in this guide. 

A sunburn is the result of overexposure of the skin to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun, which damages skin cells. The severity of a sunburn can vary depending on factors such as skin type, duration of exposure, and the intensity of the sun. Redness, tenderness and possible swelling are the characteristics of an ordinary or "mild" sunburn; with the right treatment, minor sunburns usually go away in a few days. In cases of moderate sunburn, blisters may occur, and the skin may become more uncomfortable and irritated. It could take a week or longer to heal. Extensive redness, blistering, swelling, fever, or chills are all signs of severe sunburns. These symptoms require prompt medical attention and may lead to complications if not treated properly.

What is the proper way to care for and treat a sunburn? To assist in calming your skin, take a cold bath or shower; do not use hot water as this could aggravate it or make it feel worse. Drink plenty of water to replenish lost fluids and prevent dehydration to make sure you're staying hydrated. To assist in hydrating your skin, moisturize! To help hydrate the skin and encourage healing, use aloe vera gel or a light, fragrance-free ceramide containing moisturizer. Ibuprofen is one example of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that can be used as needed to help reduce discomfort and inflammation associated with sunburn.

Knowing what not to do when you have a sunburn is equally crucial. To minimize the danger of infection and speed up the healing process, refrain from picking or peeling at your skin or any blisters that may occur. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to avoid aggravating your skin further. Avoid using harsh skincare products or exfoliants that contain alcohol or chemicals since these can cause skin irritation. You should also avoid direct sunlight by remaining inside, wearing clothes that protect your skin from the sun, and using lots of sunscreen.

While sunburns are a common occurrence, especially during the summer months, prevention is always the best approach when it comes to sunburns! It is recommended to wear an SPF 30 or higher, reapply every 2 hours when outdoors or immediately after swimming/sweating, and seek shade when possible. 

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