Just a few serious sunburns can increase your risk of skin cancer later in life. You don’t have to be at the pool or beach to get too much sun. Any time you’re outdoors your skin needs protection. Here are some simple tips to help protect you from the sun’s harmful rays.
How to prevent a sunburn:
• Avoid the sun between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm. This is when the sun’s rays are the most intense.
• Use a waterproof, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF30 or higher.
• Wear sunscreen even on cloudy days. Clouds block some of the sun’s rays but, the ones that get through are the most dangerous.
• Check the side affects of any medications. Certain medications increase your sensitivity to the sun.
Consider wearing protective clothing, including rashguards or a wide-brimmed hat. Many new fabrics offer sunblocking protection.
• Never use a tanning bed! Tanning beds can be more damaging than natural sunlight.
Treating a sunburn
• Take anti-Inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen. It helps decrease the inflammation and reduce the amount of redness and pain.
• If your skin is not blistering, moisturizing cream or aloe vera may be applied to relieve discomfort.
• Apply cool compresses to burned skin. A cold washcloth works well.
• Avoid hot showers or baths. Take a lukewarm bath instead.
• Avoid any additional sun exposure while the sunburn is healing.
• If your sunburn skin develops blisters, resist the urge to pop them. The blister cover is protecting your raw skin underneath.
• Make sure your sunscreen is SPF30 or higher.
• Shake the bottle well and check the expiration date. Sunscreen can lose its effectiveness over time.
• Apply 1 oz. or more of sunscreen to cover the whole body. It’s ok to use more than you think you should.
• Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out in the sun. This gives the ingredients time to start working.
• Reapply the same amount of sunscreen every two hours.
• Reapply sunscreen as soon as you get done swimming, toweling off, or sweating heavily.