Sunburn isn’t a condition that’s exclusive to the summer season or the beach. Hitting the slopes on your skiing holiday without properly protecting yourself from the harsh rays of the sun will also result in sunburn. Excessive exposure to UV rays and light can cause a lot of damage to the skin. The condition is not only painful, it’s also extremely dangerous, especially in the long run. Below is our guide on how to quickly soothe your skin in the event that you stay out in the sun a little too long:
This should go without saying, but once you realize you’ve been sunburned, get indoors immediately. Every second counts – the longer you spend out in the sun, the worse your burn will be. If you can’t go indoors immediately, find a space with lots of shade or get under a shade that provides protection from ultraviolet rays. Keep in mind, though, that even in the shade you can still be exposed to the sun, as UV rays reflect off of surfaces and can penetrate even heavy clouds and leaves.
Do everything you can to cool the burn down. You may want to take a shower with cool water, or apply a cold compress or wet washcloth to the burned area. Cooling down can help reduce the burn’s severity, but make sure you use only water. Soaps and body washes may contain chemicals and sulfates that may rob your skin of moisture, which it desperately needs at the moment. If drying off with a towel feels abrasive and chafing, just let yourself air dry. Avoid directly applying ice – it may cause more damage to your skin or irritate it further.
This is best done while skin is still damp. Avoid moisturizers that contain petroleum or oil, which traps heat and makes the burn feel worse. Instead, reach for a product that contains aloe, like CosRX’s Aloe Vera Oil-free Moisture Cream. It contains high concentrations of cooling aloe vera that soothes sunburns while replenishing moisture and providing extra hydration to your skin. You can also look into products that contain glycerin, or lotions that feature hyaluronic acid as a primary ingredient. Hyaluronic acid attracts moisture molecules from the environment, keeping your skin hydrated.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs can help relieve the inflammation and lessen the painful feeling that comes with being sunburned. Over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen are safe to use – take them as directed until the burn feels better. You can also look into over-the-counter 1% cortisone creams. Use this item on the affected area to calm swelling and redness.
For the duration of your sunburn, depending on severity, you’ll want to wear loose, light clothes made with breathable fabrics that don’t trap heat and don’t chafe the skin. You’ll want to steer clear of tight clothes and remove any accessories like bracelets, watches, and rings while your skin heals. Avoid further irritation by committing to staying out of the sun for a while, too.
A sunburn doesn’t merely rob your skin of moisture – it also dehydrates you by pulling water from the rest of your body to the surface of your skin in order to heal the burn. This explains the exhausted feeling you might experience after a long day of playing out in the sun. Counteract these effects by drinking the recommended amount of water every day while your sunburn heals, and supplementing your diet with water-rich fruits such as watermelon, honeydew, grapes or cantaloupe. You’ll also want to steer clear of diuretics like coffee and salt for a little while.
While exposure to the sun may leave a personfeeling happy, too much of it can cause irreparable damage to the skin in the long run. Keep these tips in mind and use them immediately to relieve sunburn and control sun damage on your skin in the future.