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How to treat sunburns?

The Best Treatment for Sunburns 

Grace Michaeli

With fall being just around the corner, it’s time that we address the harms of that summer sun you’ve been bathing in all summer. se, catching some rays every now and then shouldn’t be a big deal if you’re properly protected. But if you have suffered from sun overexposure it’s important that you take action as soon as possible. In fact, the faster you apply the treatment, the more likely you are to minimize any potential damage the sun might have caused your skin. Though some might be irreversible, there are plenty of damages that can be completely prevented. 

 

It should be noted, however, that sun exposure isn’t all bad for your skin. So, when and how is the sun beneficial for your skin (if at all), and what kind of damage can it actually cause? 

 

Sunburns - what are they
Sun exposure isn’t all bad for your skin

 

Your Moment in the Sun; Good or Bad? 

Sun exposure, like many other things in life, has both pros and cons. For instance,  sunlight is the best source for Vitamin D, which can have many positive impacts on your skin’s health. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to accelerated skin aging, skin cell apoptosis, and even recurring skin inflammatory responses. However, balanced vitamin D levels have been proven to reduce multiple sclerosis, improve skin’s elasticity and general health. 

 

The ideal time to spend in the sun in order to soak up all that goodness is 15 minutes. But when you go over and lack efficient protection, such as sunscreen and protective clothes, the sun has numerous cons. The obvious one is sunburns. But over-exposure can lead to anything from freckles, a change of skin tone, through age spots, sores, and all the way to melanomas and carcinomas, also known as skin cancer. The latter of course is the most severe impact the sun can have. Believe it or not – there’s plenty you can do about it. 

 

Sunlight is good
Sunlight is the best source for Vitamin D

 

A Slow Sunburn

While sunburns aren’t harmful at first, with time, and repetitive sun exposure, they can worsen and eventually develop into other conditions. Which is exactly why acting fast is of the essence. By treating the affected skin layer you will be able to heal your skin, allow the cells to repair and renew themselves and regain their vivacity and health. 

 

So, if you’re suffering from a sunburn, the first thing you should do is address your pain and discomfort. That can be achieved by cooling your skin down using cold compresses, and better yet, cool showers. Furthermore, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends leaving the cool water on your skin, and then applying a moisturizer that would trap the water and prevent it from drying out. You can also apply aloe vera in addition to the moisturizer, if you’re looking to soothe your skin. 

 

Another great way to prevent your skin from drying out (which happens to be one of the many side effects sunburns have) is drinking up. While taking showers and trapping the moisture under your skin is important, hydration should also come from the inside. Make sure you drink more than usual, both for hydration as well as boosting your blood circulation. 

 

Last but not least, you should watch out to see if your skin blisters. If that is indeed the case, then you are suffering from second-degree sunburns. This usually means that the sunburn is much deeper and the blisters can leave scars and even become inflamed if mistreated. Whatever you do, make sure not to pop the blisters. Instead, treat your skin with extra care, and monitor the blisters. If they do not disappear within a week, it’s time to consult your health specialist. 

 

Always use sunscreen
Always leave the house with sunscreen on

 

Prevention is Better Than Cure 

Though the guide here is the best and fastest solution to treating a sunburn, an even better way is prevention. So in case you haven’t known: always leave the house with sunscreen on (yes, even if you’re just going to work), don’t hit the beach between 10 AM and 2 PM, make sure to seek shade and cover your skin, and naturally, don’t skip rocking those sunglasses. When it comes to your skin, there is a limit to how much you should let the sunshine in. 

 

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