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Action Plan: What To Do When You Get Sunburned

Action Plan: What To Do When You Get Sunburned

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We don't need to tell you the importance of wearing sun-cream. It's likely that you're aware about the fact that skin cancer is one of the most prominent forms of cancer. It affects around one in five people, the American Cancer Society indicate.

Asides from this, it's crazy how much sun damage can age you. But hey, it happens. Whether you fell asleep in the sun or were a little too stingy with the lotion on this particular day, here's what you have to do to literally save your skin.

Josh Zeichner, M.D. said that treating a sunburn should actually be performed in two phases. The initial phase should be enacted immediately after burn and the second should be performed hours later.


1. Get a moisturiser that contains aloe vera or soy to aid sunburned skin.

According to Zeicher, “Immediately after a burn, the goal is to improve skin hydration and reduce inflammation,” he says. You need to ensure that you are staying away from products that are thick and potentially blocking and they could stop any damaging heat from leaving the skin.

The best approach is to apply aloe products that contain post-sun gels straight after a burn since they are breathable and light. This enables heat to leave the skin, Zeichner said.

Milk compresses are an excellent option if you do not immediately have any aloe vera around you. For treatment, combine ice cubes and skimmed milk in a bowl, immerse a washcloth in the mix, and, then apply it to the skin 'til it gets warm, and repeat! Zeichner informed “Proteins in the milk soothe and calm inflamed skin,” 

He stated that, on this occasion, you'll want to start soothing the damaged skin from the inside out. To minimise internal inflammation, Zeichner suggested taking an aspirin  or other NSAID (nonsteroidal drug).


Once initially burned skin has had time to settle, most likely the following day, the skin barrier is still incredibly sensitive. This is what results in peeling and dry skin, Zechner said. 

Among his recommendations are “petrolatum-based products to protect the skin

“The newest generation of lotions, including Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion remain based on triple purified petrolatum but are not greasy and are easy to spread.”

On the occasion of burns that blister, you should attend a dermatologist or a special care centre. Raw or open skin could need prescription burn creams, prescription anti-inflammatory medications by mouth, or topical antibiotic ointments, Zeichner says.

Since skin will remain extremely sensitive to the sun for a very long time, ensure that you always bring along a hat, and even an umbrella!

Sustained Action Plan

2. Take cool baths or showers often to support pain-relief.

Immediately after a shower or bath, get a soft towel and gently pat yourself dry, though leave skin damp. Afterwards, liberally apply a moisturiser to help the trapping of water in the skin. It can support the reduction of dryness.

3. If the skin steadily blisters, allow them to heal.

Skin that blisters is an indicator of a second-degree sunburn. Do not pop blisters, as blisters develop to aid skin's natural healing process and defend you from infection.

4. Ensure that you protect sunburned skin throughout it's healing process.

Select clothing that fully covers up the skin when you're outside. Materials that are tightly-woven work the best. When the material is held up to a bright light, you shouldn't see light piercing through.

5. Drink extra water.

Since sunburned skin brings moisture to the surface of the skin and away from other vital body organs, drinking extra water will help to prevent dehydration.

6. Think about taking ibuprofen or aspirin to aid the reduction of swelling, discomfort and redness.

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