Sunday, July 4, 2010

How to deal with sunburn



Spent too much time in the sun? Some tips on treating and preventing sunburn

Lets face it, sunburn is never a good look. The news that almost 3,000 people at Glastonbury this year needed to be treated for sunburn, dehydration and heatstroke - despite all the warnings - shows how we Brits have still not learned how to live with the sun.
What causes it?

If your skin gets too much sun, it will burn. It's the ultraviolet (UV) rays present in sunlight which do all the damage to your skin.

Although both UVA and UVB rays can penetrate the skin, UVB rays affect the top layers of the skin leading to redness, pain and swelling. UVA rays cause the skin to lose its elasticity, leading to premature ageing and leathery skin.

http://naturalmedicine.suite101.com/article.cfm/how-to-cure-sunburn--natural-remedies-and-tips-for-sunburn-cure


Both types of radiation can cause damage to cellular DNA, which is why being sunburnt also increases your risk of skin cancer.
How to treat it

If you have sunburn, the first thing to do is get out of the sun. There is no quick cure for sunburn, but there are things you
Keep the skin cool

Sunburnt skin is usually red, sore and feels warm when you touch it. You can cool your skin by applying a towel soaked in cool - not cold - water to the sunburnt skin. Or, have a cool shower or bath.
Keep the skin moist

Use a moisturising lotion to keep the skin moist. Aftersun lotions can also help the skin to feel cooler and Calamine lotion can help to soothe any itchiness.
Leave blisters alone

If the skin has blistered, don't burst them. If you do this, you increase the risk of developing an infection.
Drink plenty of fluids

Drink lots of cold drinks to replace water lost through sweating. Avoid all alcoholic drinks; they will cause you to dehydrate even more.
For the pain

Painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can be taken by adults for pain and swelling.
When to see a doctor

If a large portion of your body has been burnt and blistered, you should get it checked out by your GP. This is also true if the sunburn doesn't improve within a few days or you have severe pain or a fever.
Prevention; don't let it happen again

Sunburn can be prevented. To be safe in the sun:

* Avoid the sun when it is the most intense, between 11am and 3pm
* Wear a broad rimmed hat and a t-shirt to cover your shoulders
* Wear sunglasses which block both UVA and UVB sunlight
* Use a broad-based sunscreen which protects against both UVA and UVB sunlight, with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more


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