Your best weapon against the sun may be your trusted Sunblock. But what do you do when it’s just not enough?
Sun, Sand and Sea
These elements make for a fun-filled summer, but they can also lead to scorched skin and sunburn. Human skin can actually handle a bit of sun because of melanin – our skin’s built-in sunblock. The darker your natural skin color, the more melanin you have. This dictates how much sun you can take. Going over that quota of sun exposure will get you sunburned. That means it exceeds the capacity of your skin from damage underneath.
The ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun cause our skin to tan and burn. Burns sting because the nerve endings on the topmost layer of the skin are stimulated. Ultraviolet B (UVB) light is responsible for that. And then Ultravilet A (UVA) light penetrates deeper into the skin layers, producing your bronze glpw (and unfortunately, skin damage from over exposure.)
But didn’t you just apply sunblock? So why are you still all red? The Philippine Dermatological Society says most people are given a false sense of security after putting on sunblock, thinking they are protected from burning. Of course, you are protected, but only up to a certain level. Your skin will burn eventually, and especially if you failed to use it properly. Sunblock must be applied 30 minutes before heading out under the sun, and must be reapplied regularly while you’re outdoors. If you’re swimming, go for a waterproof formula, but you must still reapply every time you dry yourself off with a towel.
HOT, HOT, HOT!
When you begin to feel really hot, and your skin is hot to the touch, get out of the sun. You may not be hurting yet, but chances are you’ve already got sunburn. This is because sunburn develops. A few hours after sun exposure, you’ll notice your skin will turn red. It starts stinging during the first six hours, but it doesn’t stop there. It depends on the degree of sun exposure. It can take as long as two days before you see the full extent of your sunburn; on the third day, you start peeling.
This is not true to everyone. Those with lighter skin tone usually suffer more, since they react and burn faster. Darker skinned people tend to tan.
Treat the Burn
Burning continues even after you’re out of the sun. Though there is nothing much you can do to stop it once it has begun, certain things can help ease your pain for the next few days.
Take a cold bath
It’s much better to use the tub if you have one. A shower with strong stream will definitely hurt. The water temperature shouldn’t be too hot, especially for children. Water from the faucet will do, with half a cup of oatmeal mixed in. Here’s a tip: A ten-minute soak should provide soothing relief. Remember to just soak, and not to rub the oatmeal on your skin.
Apply lotion or gel afterwards
Aloe vera gel is the most recommended. Any lotion will do, except for those whitening lotion which has harsh ingredients. You can apply a mild and soothing baby lotion to your right and left arm. Try a compress soaked in apple cider vinegar (they have medicinal properties). For some, wet towels as compresses is enough. Stay away from mentholated too as they cause more discomfort.
Puff a Paracetamol or Ibuprofen Pill to Minimize Pain
As for the redness, doctors can prescribe a mild steroidal cream than cab be applied on the skin. Stay away from the sun, because whatever you applied may not react well with sun exposure and may cause further skin damage. Resist the urge to peel your sunburn too! That will cause darkening in the area where you force to peel them. The reason why the skin is still sticking to the underneath surface is because it’s still healing. If it’s ready, it’s tough enough, then the damaged’ skin will fall off on its own and your skin will even out.
Seek Medical Attention
That is if you feel symptoms of sun poisoning and/or find blisters on your sunburn, head to a hospital. Dehydration can be treated with intravenous drip. Antibacterial medicines can prevent infection. You might be confined for a night. Young children are more prone to dehydration.
MORE THAN A TAN LINE
What you’re really experiencing is your body’s reaction to the heat it was exposed to. The damage has been done. The scars that may be left in you will depend on 4 factors: 1.) The severity of the burn 2.) What you applied to it 3.)If you peeled off the skin 4.) If you keep on having sunburns.
Be careful when you are out under the sun as you may get more than the scarring of the sunburn effect. Changes underneath can lead to skin cancer (the cumulative effects). What you get from frolicking under the sun can be more than just a nice bronze glow!