Have you taken too much sun on your beach holiday? These remedies might help you get through the rest of your journey from water to cold compresses.
For months, you had been planning your tropical beach vacation. Unfortunately, the epidemic exacerbated travel stress. You went to the beach to get some rays when you arrived. You had a great time, but you saw the following: You have sunburn.
Sunburns may be irritating and even embarrassing. The US Department of Health and Human Services says that more than one out of every three Americans gets sunburned yearly.
So, don’t worry! It’s easy to treat your sunburn and keep it away from spoiling your vacation.
How You Get Sunburn?
The Skin Cancer Foundation says sunburn is an autoimmune condition due to UV radiation damage in the skin’s outermost layers. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) states that it occurs when your skin is exposed to too much UV radiation without enough protection from sunblock and clothing.
You’re undoubtedly aware that the best method to keep your skin fresh and healthy is to avoid the sun during its peak hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), and when you go outside, apply sunblock and proper clothing, as the Skin Cancer Foundation suggests. So, what’s causing your discomfort?
According to Allison Arthur, MD, a board-certified dermatologist from Sand Lake Dermatology Center in Orlando, Florida, the most common reasons people become sunburned are because they forget to reapply sunscreen or wait too long to reapply it. “Sunblock should be used at least every two hours, or sooner if swimming or sweating profusely,” Dr. Arthur advises. Under those conditions, sunscreen efficacy can range from 40 to 80 minutes, so read the label carefully. Also, don’t forget your ears and the tips of your feet, which Arthur says are usually overlooked.
You may have overlooked how intense the sun’s rays are, which is another reason you got an unwanted sunburn.
People living on a tropical beach vacation are at greater risk of sunburns because they are close to the equator, where the sun rays have vigorous intensity.
A trip to the beach can also raise your chances of summer sunburn since sand and water reflect the light at you, increasing your UV load, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. (This is why when vacationing in snowy areas, you are in danger of getting a sunburn – snow is also reflecting.)
Finally, just because the sky is cloudy doesn’t mean you won’t be sunburned. “People don’t see the sun, and they forget that they need protection from the UV rays passing through the clouds,” Arthur adds, adding that she often sees the worst sunburns following a gloomy day.
How to Treat Sunburn At Home
According to Marisa Garshick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist of MDCS Dermatology in New York City. She said “a sunburn can form in minutes yet take several hours to occur: “It can frequently peak 24 to 48 hours after sun exposure and then gradually decline, requiring days to weeks to heal up.”
Unfortunately, there are no quick treatments for sunburn, but understanding how to manage it will relieve your ache and help you get back on track with your trip.
How to Relieve And Enhance Recovery from Sunburn
Try these sunburn treatments at home to ease the pain and feel comfortable.
- Take Yourself Away from the Sun
According to the AAD, the first step in curing sunburn is getting out of the sun (preferably moving indoors to air-conditioning). Then, cover sunburn fully with lightweight, protective clothing or a hat when you go outside, and get shade often until it heals completely.
- Get a Shower or Cold Compress to Refresh
According to the AAD, if the discomfort and heat of your sunburn are bothering you, having a brief cool shower or bath or using cool compresses (such as a damp towel) to the damaged areas may give some relief. Then, after a quick washing, wipe yourself dry gently, leaving your skin slightly wet. (Remember that, while you can use ice in a cold compress, it should not be applied directly to burnt skin, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.)
- Maintain Skin Moisturization
The AAD recommends using aloe vera gel on sunburned skin to relieve it and help ease some symptoms. Because your skin is more susceptible to adverse allergens right now, Arthur recommends sticking to bland, aroma-free, chemical-free balms and keeping an eye out for neomycin (a common allergen found in Neosporin): “When people who are sensitive to these chemicals apply them to burned skin, it can trigger more pain and swelling, blisters, itching, or discomfort.” In addition, the AAD recommends avoiding “-caine” medications such as benzocaine, which can cause an allergic response and inflammation.
- Reduce Inflammation with Pain Killers
If you have discomfort, use a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve). “Pain medications can help minimize swelling and redness associated with a sunburn by lowering inflammation,” adds Dr. Garshick.
- Keep Hydrated at all Times.
Spending long periods in the sun makes it easy to become hot and dehydrated. Additionally, as the AAD points out, a sunburn can pull fluid in your body toward the skin’s surface, increasing your risk of dehydration. Drinking plenty of water and other nonalcoholic drinks is healthful to stay hydrated. (Hydration Calculator can determine how much water to drink based on personal parameters such as age, gender, and activity level.)
- Refrain from Peeling
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, it is removing skin a few days after a sunburn indicates that your body is mending and discarding damaged cells. However, they caution against peeling the skin yourself; instead, let it fall off naturally, knowing that it will cease removing on its own after the sunburn has cured. While your skin recovers, be careful with it and avoid using harsh cleaning agents or scrub brushes.
- Learn from Your Mistakes
Finally, although it will not instantly repair sunburn, stay kind to yourself. According to Arthur, people shouldn’t beat themselves up if they acquire a slight sunburn. Instead, she suggests that you learn from your mistakes: “I think a sunburn is a good wake-up call,” she explains. “Try to figure out what happened wrong that caused the sunburn, and be more proactive in avoiding future sunburns.”
When Sunburn Needs to Seek Emergency Care
According to the Cleveland Clinic, sunburns are assessed in degrees, which classify the burn based on the severity of skin damage.
First-degree burns, which damage the skin’s outer layer, are the most frequent; they usually recover on their own in a few days to a week. However, your sunburn blister is probably a second-degree burn, destroying the skin’s inner layer and may take weeks to cure. It may even need medical attention.
Third-degree sunburns are uncommon, but the Cleveland Clinic reports that someone may obtain one by sleeping in the sun for several hours near the equator or by taking a prescription that boosts UV sensitivity. These sunburns are severe enough that they are classified as a medical emergency.
According to the FDA, antibiotics, antifungals, and cholesterol-lowering medications may raise your risk of sunburn; topical skin-care treatments, such as alpha-hydroxy acids and retinoids, can also enhance your skin’s photosensitivity.
Whatever the severity of your sunburn, Arthur and Garshick recommend canceling your plans and getting emergency medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Severe pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blistering that covers a large surface of the skin
- Blisters in sensitive areas like the face
- Painful or gritty eyes
Tips to Protect Skin
- Reduce sun exposure
- Keep your skin hydrated
- Use soothing skin care products
- Check your skin
- Use health precautions
- Avoid damaging skin products