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Summer is back again and who doesn’t love relaxing on a hot summer days, spending their time on the beach, lake and pools. But, do you know, it only takes 30 minutes to get sunburn. No matter how hard you try to follow sun safety rules, you may still get burned. Sunburn is one of the issue during summer months.

So, what actually is sunburn?
Sunsurn is an acute cutaneous inflammatory reaction that follows after excessive exposure to ultraviolet light source. This source may be direct sun, tanning beds or phototherapy lambs. Usually, individuals with skin phototype I (pale skin, blue/hazel eyes, and blond/red hair) are easily prone to sunburn than those with darker skin.

My skin peels after sunburn, is it normal?
Peeling of your skin after sunburn is a natural process that removes the dead or damage cells caused by excessive exposure to sun. To make it easy, it’s a repair mechanism of your damaged skin with new layer of cells. Once you get sunburn, you are sure to peel and you cannot control it, but there is always a way to prevent the skin from sunburn.

What can I do to prevent sunburn?

  • Try to minimize excessive sun exposure during mid-day (10am to 2 pm).
  • Always wear protective clothing, hat and sun glasses during the day.
  • Don’t forget to apply sunscreen that provides UVA and UVB protection with sun protection factor (SPF) of atleast 30.
  • Apply sun screen lotion 15-30 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapply every 30 minutes or so.
  • If you are on some medications like antibiotics, acne medications or antipsoriatic medications, try to avoid sun as much as possible.
  • Always get suggestion from doctor before going for summer vacation.
  • Most of the sun screen are not water proof as they claims, so reapply sunscreen after activities like swimming and sweating.
  • Take plenty of water before going on sun exposed areas.

Oh no, I already have burned my skin. What to do for sunburn?

  • The first thing you need to do is move away from the sun to some cool or shade area and cover your skin.
  • If your burn is mild, apply cold compress. This can be done with towel or piece of cloths. Either dip towel in very cold icy water or you can wrap ice pack in a towel, then apply on the affected area for at least 15-20 minutes.Repeat this process every 2-3 hours.
  • Apply calamine lotion to the affected area. It soothes and cools your skin.
  • You may also take an oatmeal bath.
  • Avoid other bath salts, oils and perfumes as they may further cause sensitivity reaction to your skin.
  • Avoid any creams or lotion with anesthetic effect as you may become sensitized and allergy reaction may occur.
  • Avoid scratching and scrubbing of the skin.
  • Make sure you are well hydrated.
  • Apply moisturizing creams and Aloe Vera gels which will provide comfort to your skin. Avoid fatty creams, as they prevent skin from cooling.
  • Avoid sun exposure for at least 48-72 hrs.
  • You can take drugs like ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin to relief pain and discomfort. Don’t give aspirin to a child below 12 years of age.

Here are some more: Home Remedies for Sunburn

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