Understanding The Causes Of Sunburn and How To Recover From It

As we move into the summer months it’s more important than ever that we protect our skin from the ravages of sunburn.  Protecting our skin from the damage the sun can cause is something we should be aware of in every season, but with the sun high in the sky and more time being spent outdoors, it’s time for additional vigilance. While staying out of the sun is one way to protect yourself from getting burned, it doesn’t make for a very fun summer.  If you should get burned, we’ve got some tips for you on how to treat it.

What Causes Sunburn, and How To Prevent It

Let’s start with explaining how sunburn happens, and how even an overcast summer day doesn’t mean you can skimp on the skin protection. Sunburn can occur even when it’s cloudy, because it’s not the visible rays of the sun that cause it. Instead it is the invisible UV rays, or ultraviolet light, that causes our skin to burn. These rays can penetrate the clouds and cause serious burns if we neglect sunscreen on these days.  If you end up getting a sunburn in spite of taking precautions, take the following steps to treat it:

  • Aloe Vera – Derived from the succulent of the same name, this cooling substance is great for hydrating our skin and easing the sting that comes with sunburn.
  • Hydrate – Ensuring that you’re getting enough water is the best way to help your skin recover. It’ll keep the area hydrated, aid healing by moving away toxins, and help restore elasticity in the skin.
  • Cool Your Cream – Whether you’re using aloe vera or another skin cream to treat your burn, consider throwing it in the fridge first. The extra cooling effect will be very welcome.
  • NSAIDs – Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs like Advil or Ibuprofen can help reduce the swelling that comes with a sunburn, relieving discomfort and pain.
  • Avoid The Sun – Getting out in the sun can make your sunburn worse, so be sure to avoid it while healing. Wear sunscreen and protective clothing that covers the burned area to help it avoid becoming further burned.

No matter the time of year, your skin needs the protection that’s offered by sunscreen.  You can get a sunburn on a bright sunny day, and chances are even higher if you’re out on the water.  Water has the ability to reflect light and UV rays back towards the sky, so you’re getting a double dose that can lead to seriously burned skin.

Stay Safe This Summer, and Speak To Your Dermatologist For Tips

As we move into summer, it’s a great time to schedule a visit to your dermatologist so you can get advice on how to keep your skin healthy.  Getting too much sun has been connected to developing conditions like skin cancer, but it’s also been known to prematurely age skin and contribute to it becoming leathery over the years.  Your dermatologist can make sure your skin is healthy, and make suggestions as to the types of sunscreen they trust for their skin.

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