Monday, June 10, 2013

Treating A Sunburn

If your going to spend any length of time outside, enjoying a nice day, it's always important to put on that sunscreen to avoid getting a painful sunburn. It's also important to reapply it as directed to ensure that you stay protected the best you can. But let's face it, we're all human and we forget sometimes. Perhaps you forgot to throw it into your beach bag before you left, or it just completely slipped your mind. Or you may have remembered to wear it, but you forgot to reapply it after so may hours in the sun. Oops... But hey, it happens to the best of us once in a while, so don't fret, nobody's perfect, just don't purposely neglect to put on sunscreen. There are ways to treat that sunburn to help it heal a little faster, and feel a bit better. 

The first and most important thing when you have a sunburn is to avoid exposure to the sun as much as you can, you don't want to make the sunburn any worse. If you have to go outside, wear a stronger SPF sunscreen, or wear light, loose fitting clothing that covers the sunburnt area. If your face or neck is sunburnt, wear a cute sunhat when you go out to help protect your face and neck a bit. Try to stay in the shade if you can. However, it's best to stay indoors as much as you can until the sunburn heals, to best protect your skin from further burning.

If you like to take really hot showers like I do, you may want to consider taking a cool or cold shower. I've read somewhere before that cold showers are actually better for your skin than a hot shower, and I think I may actually try it without a sunburn sometime. There have been times that I've stepped out of the shower looking like I had an all over sunburn. Although it would clear up in less than an hour, and wasn't painful, it's still a sign that the water I shower with may be a bit to hot. Certainly water that hot would agitate skin that is already burnt. You'll notice that sunburn is warm to the touch, so it's best to try to cool it down, and I've noticed personally that cool water helps it out a lot. Oh... and don't forget to get a cold glass of water to drink. Water is always super important, especially in the summer, and when you have a sunburn.

It's always important to keep your skin moisturized, especially when you have a sunburn. The sun can really suck moisture out of your skin, and cause the sunburnt area to be extra dry. I like to apply extra lotion over my sunburnt areas to keep them as moisturized as possible, to help avoid peeling. I also like to apply sunburn cooling gel over my sunburn to help cool and ease the sunburn. Avoid any products that can dry out this skin, along with any rough cleansers or exfoliators. You don't want to do anything that can cause any further dryness or pealing. If you do start to peal, don't pick at it or rip it off, as tempting as it is. Trying using a light exfoliant if you wish to wash away some of the dead skin. Again keep it as moisturized as you can. Rough, peeling skin makes sunburn even more painful. If you are pealing or blistering excessively, or if your sunburn is extremely painful you may want to see a doctor. They can prescribe something that will help with the sunburn. 

If your face is sunburnt, it's best to avoid putting on any make-up at all. If anything use a tinted moisturizer with SPF, then maybe some mascara for the eyes. Sunburnt skin needs to be able to breathe, and heavy make-up can choke it. I wouldn't typically wear heavy make-up in the summer anyways, as it doesn't look so nice and can cause pores to clog (leading to breakouts) if you start sweating a lot. And obviously make-up is not usually ideal for swimming since it would just wash off anyways. 

We all know how painful a sunburn can be, and we certainly want to do anything in our power to avoid causing any more pain to it. Some sunburns may even only hurt when they are agitated in some way. One thing I like to do to avoid agitating my sunburn is to wear loose fitting clothing, as it allows for it to breathe and doesn't choke it up. It also doesn't rub up against it as much. Also be extra gentle when washing your skin, or applying lotion, and don't scrub or rub so hard. This is great practice for everyday skin care as well. While this may be harder to avoid for some, don't allow anyone to slap at your sunburn. Some people find it to be a funny joke to slap someones sunburn, but when it happens to you, it's certainly not funny! If you have a friend that does this as a joke, tell them calmly but firmly that you would really prefer that they didn't do that. Tell them that it hurts you, and ask them if they would want someone to do that to them. If you show that you are serious, they should back off.

I know that there are several other ways that you can help to treat a sunburn, and I would to hear how you guys treat sunburn when you get it. Keep in mind that these are all at home remedies, and any tips suggested in this blog won't replace any medical advice. If your sunburn is really serious, or doesn't start to get better within 2 weeks, then you may want to see a doctor. And always remember, it's best to prevent yourself from getting a sunburn in the first place and wear sunscreen when you'll be spending time outside. Always keep some in your beach bag, and even in your purse in the summer. It's always better safe then sorry. But hey, things happen sometimes. 

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