Are you feeling burned while flocking at the beach or swimming under the sun. You might have got sunburns. Sun damage should never be underestimated. Sunburn can be more dangerous than normal sun damage. Many people enjoy their time under the sun to get a tan look and think that a suntan makes a person young and healthy. But overexposure of sunlight, especially in the peak hours, between 11:00 PM – 3:00 PM can cause various skin problems including sun burns and skin cancer.
Types of sunburn:
There are two main sunburns types – the first degree and the second degree
First degree sunburn: It affects only the outer layer of skin and causes mild pain and redness. The red skin might hurt when you touch it. The symptoms can appear within 1 to 24 hours after exposure to the sun and can be treated at home. The symptoms of first degree sunburn include:
- Pinkness or redness
- Pain or tenderness
- Skin that feels warm or hot to the touch
- Headache and fatigue
Second degree sunburn: These are also known as blistering sunburns. The burn goes deeper into the skin’s layers damaging small blood vessels and elastic fibers in the skin. This type of sunburn is usually more painful and takes longer time to heal. If large area of your body is affected by blistering sunburns, it can be an emergency room case. The symptoms of second degree sunburn include:
- Extreme reddening,
- Increasing swelling
- Severe pain or tenderness
- Blisters cover a large portion of your body
- High fever, headache, nausea or chills
- Drainage of pus from an open blister
Keep burned skin cool: Use cool cloths or wrap ice in a damp cloth and gently place/hold it on your burned skin. Also take frequent cool showers or baths.
Keep sunburned area moist: Apply aloevera containing moisturizing lotions to the sunburned area. Aloevera is the most commonly used treatment that soothes as well as heals the skin. As per Mayoclinic, topical steroids (such as 1% hydrocortisone cream) may also help with sunburn pain and swelling.
Drink plenty of fluid: When you are exposed to sun, your body loses water and necessary salts. Dehydrated skin takes longer time to heal that pesky sunburn. Increase your intake of water for hydration.
Don’t break blisters: If blisters form, don’t touch them and leave them alone. Avoid wearing clothes or shoes that rub or irritate the blisters until they have healed. If clothing is rubbing against the blisters, apply a loose bandage or gauze.
Treat gently your peeling skin: After a few days of sunburn, the affected area starts to peel, which is natural process of skin regeneration. It is recommended to use moisturizer or cream while your skin is peeling.
Take over-the-counter pain killers: If needed, take anti-inflammatory medication — such as aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). This will reduce inflammation, swelling and redness associated with sunburn.
Health sites are loaded with queries regarding sun burn. You are anxious to enjoy your summer and want to you out get tanned. I would say, go out enjoy your sun bathing, but be aware of a thin line between suntan and sun burn.
Healthy sun bathing!