What to do and not to do for Sunburn, Saving Your Hide
A wonderful day in the sun can quickly become a long-time pain if you forget the sunscreen and end up with a bad burn. Most of us have experienced a sun burn in one way or another. I have had my share of bad burns, some to the point of blistering and infection. So I thought it would be helpful to go over some do’s and don’t s of treating sunburns.
What to Do With a Sunburn
Using an over the counter pain medicine such a Tylenol or ibuprofen can help reduce the pain and also may help reduce any swelling that may be going on in relation to the burn.
Gently wash and use a cool compress on the burned areas to draw out the heat and ease the pain.
Keep the skin moist by using a non-greasy hypoallergenic lotion; I do this every time I get a burn, and it helps to lessen the duration and severity of the peeling that is inevitable with bad sunburns.
Aloe is a natural cooler and skin moisturizer and helps take the sting out of burns; they work so well I keep a potted aloe in my kitchen and use it on any mild burns I get while cooking.
Taking a nice cool shower or soak in the tub can do wonders for relieving the sting of a sun burn; just be sure it’s cool, not frigid.
Really bad sun burns may develop blisters; it is important to be gentle with them and try not to pop them unless they become infected- I have gotten them several times and they hurt, but they hurt even more once they pop.
Keeping yourself hydrated is also important as the more water you drink the more your body can heal and replenish itself; I always try to add on a few extra glasses of water to my daily intake when I am recovering from a bad sunburn.
Wearing loose cool clothes can also help by eliminating pressure on the skin and reducing the likelihood of the skin being rubbed by rough fabrics.
Protect yourself if you are going to be back in the sun- wear long loose sleeves and carry an umbrella to keep yourself cool and shaded.
Finally, contact your doctor right away if other symptoms present themselves such as fever, confusion, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, or headache.
What Not to Do with a Sunburn
Do not scrub any flaking skin off from a sunburn; usually the skin will flake off on its own.
If you do need to remove the flaking skin do so gently with a soft washcloth or soft tissue.
Never put butter on a burn, it can lead to an infection and cause more harm than good.
Do not pop blisters or remove the skin flaps from blisters- try and let them heal on their own.
Avoid using harsh soaps, oils, and lotions right after a bad burn; use only hypo-allergenic soaps and lotions.
Do not use ice to cool a burn- I learned the hard way that a freeze burn from ice is just as painful as a sun burn and combining the two is excruciating.
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