Being outdoors, especially during warmer months is something that millions of people enjoy every day. Sometimes people are out in the sun for pleasure and some people work in the sun all day long. Both can result in prolonged exposure to harmful rays. Regardless of whether it is warm or cold outdoors, exposure to sun can still lead to painful burns, referred to as sunburn.
On average, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns in their lifetime. Daily use of at least SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing melanoma by as high as 50 percent.
While avoiding a sunburn altogether is the best advice, if you end up needing to treat a sunburn it’s too late for that! Let’s take a look at ways you can not only treat your burns, but also prevent further damage to your skin and relieve painful discomfort associated with sunburns.
While you don’t want to introduce ice directly to the burned area because of the increased irritation and possible shock to your skin, it’s important to keep your skin cool if possible, to help reduce discomfort. This could include one more swim in the pool or lake before retiring indoors, or running a cool (NOT cold!) shower for a few minutes.
Allowing your skin to dry out could increase the negative effects of the sunburn. Use moisturizing lotions to deliver moisture directly to the affected areas to keep your skin as healthy as possible. Also avoid using harsh cleaning soaps, as these can accelerate the process of skin drying out.
Aloe Vera can be used to relieve some pain on light burns, as it delivers a cooling sensation to the area where it is directly applied. Just be sure to avoid applying Aloe directly to broken skin, as this will sting. Also take advantage of aspirin or other NSAID pain relievers, as this will avoid damage to your body while also providing short-term pain relief.