Dermatologists and skincare gurus have been preaching the importance of wearing and reapplying sunscreen for years now. With so many different sun protection options on the market, sunburn should be a legend from yesteryear.
Unfortunately, we all know that even when we’re careful, summer seems to get the better of us. Whether you fell asleep on the beach or just went one too many hours between sunscreen reapplications, accidents happen.
What Is Sunburn?
Sunburn is the result of overexposure to damaging ultraviolet rays. In particular, dangerous UVB rays.
“Sunburns may seem temporary but can cause long-lasting damage to the skin by significantly increasing the risk of skin cancers, wrinkles, and sunspots,”explained Shari Marchbein, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, to Allure.
How Do You Know You Are Sunburnt?
We’ve all experienced that painful burn where even the slightest touch makes you want to scream. Some sunburns leave you blistered and even cause your skin to peel.
“Sunburn causes direct damage to DNA, resulting in inflammation and death of skin’s cells. The skin can become hot, red, tender, swollen, and blistered. This normally develops two or six hours after sun exposure and peaks at twelve to twenty-four hours.”explains Dr Mahato.
How To Treat Sunburn
Immediately After Getting Burnt:
Usually, a sunburn takes a few hours to show up on the skin. However, if you notice you look a little more red than usual, Dr. Sturnham advises to immediately start treating your skin as though you have a sunburn.
Start by cooling down your skin using ice wrapped in flannel. Once the initial redness subsides, take a cool shower or bath and apply a generous amount of aftersun gel or aloe gel.
For Blisters Or Peeling
“When someone gets a bad sunburn, I usually recommend staying out of the sun completely to let it heal. If you start to blister, Aquaphor is a great option.”said board-certified dermatologist Rebecca Baxt, who runs BAXT CosMedical in Bergen County, New Jersey.
Continue using aloe-based gel and aftersun lotion. Once the blistering and pain have eased, give your skin some extra love and hydration by moisturizing with shea butter.
Long Term Care
In the future, always remember that prevention is better than cure. While your skin is healing from the burn, avoid being outdoors, and apply copious amounts of sunscreen.
It is also advised to drink plenty of water and apply a calming moisturizer to help repair your skin barrier. To reduce the redness, swelling, and pain, use an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pill and avoid touching any of the blisters.