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How to Treat a Sunburn

Although we know how important applying sunscreen is, sometimes we are not as diligent as we should be. The sun can be extremely dangerous, especially when it isn't out and shining, so in case you need it, here are some tips to help you care for a sunburn.

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  • Prevention is key, so always remember to wear SPF 15 when you are going to be outside. Even if the sun isn't shining per se, the UV rays can still burn your skin so be sure to protect yourself
  • Sunburns destroy the skin cells which helps protect our bodies from retaining and releasing heat and fluids so once you feel the first sting of a burn, get out of the sun immediately
  • Sunburns cause swelling, so an over the counter anti inflammatory will help with the pain. A cool shower or bath will help cool the skin and lower your body temperature
  • Avoid using soap on sunburned areas as it will strip the skin of natural oils that your body needs to heal the skin
  • Burns dry out the skin, so apply plenty of moisturizing lotion and/or Aloe Vera to bring moisture back to the skin. Make sure to hydrate. Symptoms of dehydration multiply with a sunburn
  • If your skin begins to blister, you could be suffering from a skin infection and should speak to your healthcare provider immediately. Do not pop any water blisters, but if they open on their own, apply an antibacterial ointment to the blister
  • A severe burn can cause dizziness, nausea, headache, fever and even vomiting. Just like any other kind of illness, the body will heal itself but keep it nourished and hydrated
  • Burned skin is very sensitive, so wear loose fitting clothing while your skin heals itself
    • I hope these tips are helpful. Obviously the best way to protect yourself is to stay out of the sun altogether and to wear sunscreen whenever you are outside. Be safe out there... the sun is only getting stronger.

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A_Kat A_Kat 10 years
I just recently found out from a friend of mine, who is a health major, that noxzema is the best substitute for aloe. I know... random but I believe it. So... if you don't have aloe laying about, I hope you have some noxzema! :)
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 10 years
I love all this summer talk, even if this topic is about sunburns!
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
Luckily I've never had a bad burn! The worst I've had is a little red on the face and shoulders. One of my pet-peeves is parents who let their kids run around in the sun with no sunscreen! It's so dangerous as just a few bad burns in childhood can up your chances of getting skin cancer later in life. I'm glad my parents taught me early on the importance of sun-block!
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 10 years
My grandmother would boil several tea bags. Maybe 8-10 tea bags in a small pot. Just like you would make ice tea. Then let the pot cool in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour or until the liquid is very cold. The water turns into very thick murky tea water. Don’t be alarmed. It’s gross to look at. But so worth it. She would remove the tea bags from the pot. She would then take a couple old wash cloths (ones you don't care to ever use again - unless for this treatment) She would then take the wash cloths and soak it in the tea. Now she would instruct me to lie down on a beach towel and place the wash cloths where ever the burns were. The tea naturally draws the heat out of the burn. It will not cure the redness - but it really does help - A LOT. Let your skin soak it in until the wash cloth was 75% dry. Repeat. Try to keep the icky tea mixture in the fridge. The cold liquid feels 900% better than room temp. After a couple applications she would take fresh aloe vera and apply it to my back in gobs. I mean gobs of it to soak in. Tea draws out the heat – but also zaps moisture from your skin. So be sure to reapply the aloe.
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