Take the Sting Out of Sunburn
The hot weather and sunny days entices you to spend time outside – by the pool, at the beach, on the tennis courts, doing yardwork, even just taking a long walk. However, activities outside often lead to sunburn. It is critical to always apply sunscreen when outdoors, whether it is sunny or not. But there are times it doesn’t get applied evenly, spots get missed, you find yourself outdoors when not anticipating it, or sometimes we just forget all together. Dr. Timani at Johns Creek Dermatology, providing general dermatology, medical dermatology, and cosmetic dermatology services to patients in the South Forsyth, Gwinnett and North Fulton County areas, has some suggestions on what to do if you do suffer a sunburn.
Fast Relief Remedies for Sunburn
Take the Heat Out. Place a cool compress on sunburned skin for 10-15 minutes. Repeat several times a day to help take some of the heat out of your skin.
Take a Cool Shower or Bath. Add 1 cup of cider vinegar to a warm (not hot) bath to help balance the pH of sunburnt skin to promote healing. Or soak in an oatmeal bath, which is especially helpful for itchy sunburned skin. As soon as you get out of the bathtub, make sure to pat yourself dry, but leave a little water on your skin.
Moisturize with Aloe Vera to Soothe your Skin. Some products also contain lidocaine, which helps relieve sunburn pain. Use over-the-counter topical 1% hydrocortisone cream to help relieve pain, itch, and swelling
Stay Hydrated. Burns draw out fluid to the skin surface and away from the rest of the body. Drinking extra water is the best option. If you exhibit signs of dehydration – dry mouth, thirst, reduced urination, headache, dizziness, and sleepiness – step up the liquid intake.
Reduce Pain and Inflammation. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers help with pain and swelling, as well as Vitamin E oil either ingested or rubbed on the skin.
Relieve Sunburn Sting. Apply cool, not cold, milk with a wash cloth or towel onto your skin to create a protein layer that helps neutralize the irritation.
Restore the PH Balance of your Skin with Tea. Apply freshly brewed and cooled black tea to skin using a clean towel. The acid helps draw heat from the sunburned areas.
Cucumbers have Natural Pain Relieving and Antioxidant Powers. Chill cucumbers, mash then up in a blender to make a paste, and then apply the mixture to your skin that is affected, face included!
Leave your Blisters Alone. If your skin blisters, which indicates a second degree burn, do not pop them. Infection may occur.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
The most important thing when it comes to sunburn is prevention! If sunburn does occur, protect it from further damage, especially if it is peeled and pink. Ideas to avoid sunburn include:
- Always apply to all members of the family. Dr. Timani recommends wearing a minimum of 30 SPF to protect from harmful UVA and UVB rays.
- Make sure to wear protective clothing like a loose, long-sleeved shirt, a hat, sunglasses, and long pants depending on where you were burnt – or even when you aren’t protecting sunburned areas.
- Limit your hours in the sun.
- Find a shady area if you are very prone to sunburn or are recovering from a sunburn.
- If possible it is best to avoid the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
While minor blistering can be treated at home; if the blisters cover 20% or more of your body it is time to seek medical attention. Especially when fever and chills accompany the sunburn. If you believe that your sunburn is severe, visit your nearest urgent care office to seek treatment after normal Johns Creek Dermatology business hours.
At Johns Creek Dermatology we believe sunscreen and sunburn prevention to be very important! If you have experienced sunburns and extensive sun exposure in the past, and are looking for treatments to reduce the appearance of sun damage, schedule an appointment with Dr. Timani. Our convenient Johns Creek location serves patients all throughout the North Fulton area, as well as South Forsyth and Gwinnett Counties, and surrounding areas.