How To Deal With Sunburn

by pinksoda

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.

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.

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!

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Gaylee February 6, 2012 - 11:21 am

I was a beach lover during my younger years and thanks to the quite severe sunburn I had, I finally decided to shift my attention to beautifying my skin. I still use sunblocks to my kids though honestly I don’t have much faith that it really helps. 😉

pinksoda February 6, 2012 - 2:31 pm

@ Yeah, sunblock doesn’t give that much assurance so it’s best to be very conscious when under the heat of the sun.

Clara's Thoughts February 6, 2012 - 2:59 pm

Sunblock may help a bit but it does not guarantee you for a 100% protection. I must say, that it’s best to stay under the coconut tree!

leira February 7, 2012 - 8:44 am

thanks for the information. i stay out of the sun because i’m not getting any younger i need to protect my skin

Ane February 7, 2012 - 10:35 am

Great tips! 🙂 I love the beach! I am so white so I know I will burn more easily, but the good thing is I heal fast and peel fast afterwards.. 😀 Still, getting a sunburn is not fun at all.. 😛 I remember when I was younger my grandma would put on aloe vera gel on my skin to soothe the discomfort it did work, but I knew better the next time and went for a higher SPF on my sunblock and made sure to reapply vigorously all throughout the day.. 😛

BEBE February 7, 2012 - 10:51 am

I remember when I was a kid before all I did was to put a powder para smooth yung skin at di ma irritate. 🙂 It also helped lessen the pain. 🙂

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Matsumoto February 7, 2012 - 3:21 pm

I also apply sp50 or up…moisturizer and as much as possible I stay away from the sun…that’s walking under an umbrella and shadowy areas…ahehe. Now I have a better way to get burn — peeling lmao.

sunburn peeling skin February 8, 2012 - 11:53 am

Sunburn is caused due to sun’s ultra violet rays. You can use lotion which includes Aloe Vera to get rid of itching. Drink a lot of water every day. Do not apply greasy stuffs like butter or creams on that skin, they cause more damage by trapping the heat.

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