Try as You Might, Sunburn is a Possibility!
- Posted on: Jun 15 2018
We know enough at this point to understand the hazards of too much UV exposure. Just a few decades ago, it was not uncommon for pool decks and sandy beaches to be scented with Baby Oil through the multiple bodies covered with that substance. Today, more people are wearing sunscreen when they spend the day outdoors. Still, try as you might, the upcoming months of summer hold the potential for sunburn. Here, we discuss what should be done to minimize the symptoms of this UV damage.
Let Heat Escape
The primary objective immediately after sunburn is noticed is to let heat escape. A sunburn causes inflammation in superficial tissues and, if heavy products are applied, heat will become trapped beneath the surface. To minimize the amount of damage that occurs in skin cells, it is vital that heat is released. One way to do this is to physically cool the skin under tepid water. Because of underlying heat, cold water is overwhelming to the senses. Lukewarm or cool water is sufficient for initial cooling. Then, aloe vera can be applied to soothe irritation further. If you don’t have access to straight aloe vera, choose a minimally processed gel containing this ingredient. In a pinch, soak a small cloth in milk cooled with ice cubes and apply that to the reddened skin.
A sunburn disrupts the barrier that protects the uppermost layers of skin cells from damage. Immediately upon noticing a sunburn, hydration should be prioritized. Drinking several glasses of water each day provides the internal hydration that is necessary for dermatologic healing. After the initial treatment for redness and irritation has calmed inflammation (this may take a day or two), the focus turns to replenishing moisture to the skin’s surface. There is still no need for heavy creams and lotions. Instead, it can be beneficial to apply a light bath oil to skin after showers. Light lotion can be layered on top to help lock in moisture.
We hope that you and your family are able to avoid even a single sunburn this summer. In the event of overexposure, know that we are here to help you improve comfort and minimize damage. Call or Midtown Manhattan dermatology office at (212) 391-8600.
Posted in: Skin Care