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Sunburn Tips & Precautions

Posted: September 9th, 2019

Sunburns are bad! They can cause pain, peeling, and pre-mature aging of the skin in the form of wrinkles and age spots. One blistering burn in childhood doubles your risk for malignant melanoma. By using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and seeking shade, you can prevent sunburns but sometimesmistakes happen. The following tips are ways to ease the pain of sunburn and possibly lessen the damage. 1. Act Fast: If you feel the stinging signs of a burn, or notice yourself or your child’s skin getting pink or red, get out of the sun immediately and begin treatment. Sunburns have a tendency to creep up on us and the symptoms may not develop for four to six hours. 2. Keep it Cool: Apply cold compresses, such as a washclothor towel dampened in cool water, to the sunburned skin or take a cool bath. 3. Moisturize: After applying cold compresses or taking a cool bath/shower, soothe the skin by spreading on aloe or a moisturizing cream or lotion. Avoid products that contain alcohol, which can dry out the skin. Do this several times to lessen the peeling and flaking. It may be beneficial to use a cream or lotion with vitamin C and vitamin E. Also using a hydrocortisone cream for a couple of days can relieve discomfort. It is advised not to scrub, pick or peel your skin, or bust blisters. 4. Hydrate:  A sunburn pulls fluid to the surface of the skin and away from your body, so it is important to rehydrate your body with extra water, juice, and sports drinks for a few days. Be watchful for signs of dehydration which can take the form of dryness of the mouth, thirstiness, reduced urination, headache, dizziness, and lack of sleep. 5. Medicate & Don’t Wait: Take (or give your child) a dose of ibuprofen (ex. Advil) right away after seeing signs of a sunburn and continue for at least 48 hours. This will reduce swelling, inflammation, and redness, and may prevent long-term damage to the skin. 6. Evaluate the Damage: The majority of sunburns can be treated at home, but if the blistering burn covers 20% or more of the body (ex. A child’s entire back), see a dermatologist. If someone is experiencing fever and chills, they should also get medical help. In conclusion, let the sunburn be a warning that you need to be more careful in the future. Always use sunscreen, cover up with hats and protective clothing, and try to stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. 7. Warning: For a baby under the age of 1, sunburn should be treated as an emergency. Call your Doctor right away. For a child over the age of 1, call your Doctor if there is sever pain, blistering, lethargy or fever over 101 F (38.3 C). Sunburn can cause dehydration in children so give them plenty of water or juice. 

Source: Skin Cancer Foundation