No matter how much our doctors harp at us about avoiding sunburn, some of us are going to end up with sunburn anyway. It might be because we forgot to apply our lotion. It might be because we stuck our arms out the open window of our car. It might be because we pay no attention to what our doctors tell us. We know people ignore what medicine teaches because there are still adult smokers.
Regardless of the reason we get our sunburns, whether accidental or excuseless (like in my case) it’s good to know how to go about treating sunburn.
Before we get into the subject of treating sunburn, there are a few things that are important to know about the types of sunburn.
Types of sunburn
- 1st degree sunburn – The skin reddens, but no blisters. This is a minor burn as burns go. However, even mild burns can ultimately lead to skin cancer. We just say no to that!!!
- 2nd degree sunburn – The skin reddens and blisters appear. This is a more serious burn that requires caution against infection.
Treating sunburn step one
- The first goal is to cool down the burn.
- Apply cool water to burned area. DO NOT apply butter, mustard or ice.
- If the burn covers a larger part of your body such as your legs, take a barely lukewarm shower.
- Cool off in a colloidal oatmeal bath.
- Some people, including some dermatologists, swear by applying milk to the burn or taking a lukewarm milk bath. Not to be used if the skin is broken as this can increase your chances of infection.
- Try a soothing baking soda bath. Add one cup baking soda to tepid bathwater.
- If you are in a lot of pain, an aspirin, acetaminophen may help.
***If the burn covers a large part of your body or doesn’t respond to treatment, see a doctor. If an infant or small child has sunburn, particularly if it’s a second degree burn, see a doctor. If you experience nausea, headache, weakness or other physical symptoms after a sunburn, see a doctor immediately. There have been deaths associated with severe sun exposure.
Treating sunburn step two
- After cooling the burn, apply aloe vera gel or aloe vera cream. If you grow your own aloe plants, you can simply cut a section off, open it up and apply the juice directly to the burn.
- Apply vitamin E oil (second degree sunburns – it will help the burns heal faster and prevent scarring.
- Drink plenty of fluids – sunburns dehydrate. The more severe the sunburn the more dehydration there will be.Do not pop blisters. If your clothes rub against them, put a loose bandage on them.
- Do not expose the sun burnt area to the sun. Duh!
There are other remedies for sunburn, but the ones I’ve given you here are simple and effective. You of course know that the best remedy for sunburn is to protect yourself. If you do that, you won’t need to be treating sunburn. You’ll save yourself a lot of pain. Plus, you won’t have to endure the gift of ugliness that peeling skin gives. I’m not sure, but I think that’s our skin’s way of getting even for damaging it.
Oh and FYI, my favorite sunscreen is Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch SPF 30. I also use vitamin C serum on my face every other night at bedtime for added protection. I don’t burn easily and don’t have fair skin and I live in the Seattle area. I would probably use something stronger or avoid the sun altogether if I was more prone to burn, lived at a higher elevation or near the equator.
All you fair skinned divas, what’s your favorite sunscreen? How about you dark skinned goddesses? What is your favorite sunscreen? Share with us.
Now go have fun and relax.