When it comes to getting burned by the sun, prevention is better than treatment. However, at least half of all young adults get burned each year. Unfortunately, some will get burned bad enough that they will suffer for several days. The good news is that sunburns are treatable. If you get burned, you can alleviate some of your symptoms with proper care. The following are three ways to care for your sunburn after the fact.
Avoid the Sun
If your skin is already pink and tender, the worst is yet to come. Sunburns keep getting worse long after the initial incident. In fact, some people end up with second and third degree burns from a burn that they thought was just getting started. So if you feel like you're getting burned, get out of the sun. You should also avoid sun exposure while recovering from a sunburn. If you have to go out, use sunscreen rated at SPF 30 or more. Avoid going out when the sun is most intense, between noon and 3 p.m., or intensified by other factors, such as snow and sand.
Treat your Skin
While it's gong to hurt a bit, take a cool bath to remove the heat from your skin. After soaking, pat your skin dry with a clean towel and apply a liberal amount of aloe vera. Avoid the temptation to keep running your fingers over the affected area and do not pop blisters as this can lead to infection. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water. Dehydration is a real risk associated with sunburns due to the fact that sunburned skin can't retain moisture very well.
See a Doctor
Some sunburns need urgent medical attention. If you have blisters covering more than 20 percent of your body, you need to see a doctor. You should also see a doctor if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, headache, severe pain, nausea, chills, confusion, or dehydration. If you don't see a doctor initially but don't see much improvement in your condition or if it seems to get worse, make an appointment with your doctor. You may have a skin infection or need prescription medications in order to heal properly.
Sunburns are no laughing matter. If yours is bad enough, don't hesitate to go to the doctor or walk in clinic like West Ocean City Injury & Illness Center. If you have a mild to moderate burn, take steps to care for it at home.