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Preventing & Treating Sunburn

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 10 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Sun Burn ;spf; Alcohol; Cool; Gels;

There are few people nowadays who do not understand the risks to health of getting sunburn or even sunbathing without using adequate protection.The evidence surrounding the links between exposure to the sun and diseases like cancer are well documented, but some people are still finding that they don’t fully understand how to protect themselves from the damage of the sun or what to do if they do suffer from sunburn.

Preventing Sun Damage

Always use a sun cream that has a built in sunscreen. The letters SPF (Sun Protection Factor) indicate that the product has some degree of protection included and the numbers that follow provide the degree of protection offered. For example an SPF15 indicates that the person is protected from the harmful rays of the sun for up to 15 times longer than those who wear none.

Even if your chosen product claims to be waterproof, always remember to reapply it regularly, especially if you are in and out of water all day.

Remember to protect those areas that often get forgotten like the toes, soles of feet, tips of ears and back of neck.These are as likely to get burned as anywhere else and will be extremely painful if they do get burnt.

Although it is tempting when on holiday, do not drink alcohol if you are planning to be in the sun all day as you may get sleepy and forget to apply your lotion and fall asleep for long periods in the sun which is extremely dangerous.

For Children

There is no better way of protecting your child from sun damage than to use a total sun-block and use caps, t-shirts and sunglasses at all times during the day.Their skin is particularly vulnerable and will suffer badly from sunburn.

Always encourage them to wear a hat when out in the sun as their scalps are at risk also, especially if they are very fair or have little or no hair.The use of a Vaseline based product applied to their lips, will also help them to stay free form burns.

It may be easier to use a spray product or a quick drying gel when applying sun block to children as they are absorbed quicker are less messy and will allow the child to help you apply the solution.

Treating Sunburn

If you are unfortunate enough to suffer from sunburn the most important things to do is to try and remain cool. Drink –plenty of water and rest as sunburn can make you very tired.

It has been recommended by many that a warm (not hot) shower will encourage any permanently damaged skin to be shed earlier and therefore free the irritation sooner.After sun lotions are specially designed to help heal a sun burn from within and are better than other types of creams or lotions.Ideally they can be kept in the fridge as this will cool them significantly more and will help to ease the burn further.

If a blister has formed, although it might be tempting, do not ever burst the blister. Apart form causing pain, this can introduce infection which can be dangerous and lead to permanent scarring.

If you are shivering without reprieve, feel nauseous, dizzy or unable to focus, seek help as you may be suffering more serious after effects of being in the sun.

Sun burn is a very unpleasant occurrence and potentially lethal to health. The sun can be enjoyed if you are using a good quality sun cream with built in protection. False suntans are now extremely good and a lot safer to use than by damaging the skin itself.

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