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How to take care of a sunburn

Fashion and Beauty
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 Always remember to apply sunscreen when leaving the house (Photo: iStock)

 If you’ve never had a sunburn before, you’re extremely lucky. You definitely don’t want to know how it feels like because they are absolutely dreadful.

A sunburn is only temporary but it can cause symptoms like painful skin, swelling and blisters. In more extreme cases, patients can experience nausea, dizziness, fever and headaches and severe blistering on the skin, which requires you to go to the hospital for proper treatment.

These symptoms can last from a few hours up to a couple of days. The first thing to know is that you should take preventative measures like applying screens before you leave the house and during the day, wearing protective clothing and avoiding direct sun exposure during peak hours.

But if it still happens that you get a mild sunburn at some point, there are a couple of remedies you can try until you heal without having to check into the hospital:

Take a cool bath

When you have a sunburn, the immediate thing you want to do is get out of the sun. The burn is a sign that your skin has already been exposed excessively, so continuing to sit in the sun will make it worse.

The next thing you should do is take a cool shower or cool bath. This is better than a hot shower, which could irritate the skin further.

Moisturize

Your skin right now is very sensitive. It needs some extra care, and one way to accelerate healing is to keep it moisturized so it doesn’t dry out.

The best option right now is a light moisturizer. An alternative that adds more benefits is applying a prescribed ointment that you can get over the counter.

You could also choose a natural remedy like aloe Vera gel which can help relieve some of the symptoms or a moisturizer with aloe Vera in it.

Don’t disturb the blisters

A sunburn is literally a burn to your skin. And just like other severe types of burns, it could cause painful blisters.

You should know that the worst thing you can do if you have blisters is to pick or pop them. If you do, it increases your risk of infections.

What you should do instead is moisturize or apply a healing cream and keep the area covered until it pops on its own.

Drink extra water

It’s also recommended that you drink plenty of water while your skin heals. A sunburn can cause the skin to draw fluid to the surface, which could leave you dehydrated and slow down the healing process.

So, make sure you drink enough water to replenish your skin and body in general.

Protect your skin

As you heal, you need to do everything possible to prevent further damage. You probably still need to go outdoors so you should be cautious.

It’s advisable to stay out of the sun and wear heavier clothing that won’t expose your sunburnt skin more. Also, remember to moisturise then once those areas heal, you should apply sunscreen daily to prevent it from happening again. 

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