AS the warmer weather takes hold across the country once again – many of us may be left feeling a little burnt after a day in the sun.
So it's imperative to know how to treat sunburn and how to protect yourself from the dangers of the sun. Here's everything you need to know to manage the after effects of the heat.
How to treat sunburn
If you're noticing your skin is becoming red, sore and hot – then you may have had a little too much sun.
But the good news is – you can treat sunburn yourself, and it usually gets better within seven days.
Here's a step-by-step guide on how to relieve sunburn.
Step one – Get out of the sun as soon as possible
The first and most important thing to do is take a break from the heat.
If you're already starting to show signs and symptoms of sunburn – then the best thing to do is go inside and cool down.
Once you've started to burn – further time in the sun could lead to your skin blistering if your sunburn is severe.
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Step two – Cool the skin
This step will provide a short-term relief to any pain you're feeling – and will aid recovery in the long-term.
Take a damp towel and place on your skin for 10 to 15 minutes – this will help take some heat out of the skin.
You can also take frequent, cool baths or showers to help relieve the pain.
Step three – Moisturise
When your skin is exposed to too much sun, it becomes dehydrated – so it's important to rehydrate it with a moisturiser.
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After a cold shower or bath – make sure to put a good amount of moisturising cream or lotion on your skin.
This will help sooth the skin and making peeling and flaking less noticeable.
Step four – Hydrate
Whenever your skin is burnt – all fluids are drawn to the surface of the skin and away from the rest of the body.
So it's vital that you keep hydrated during the healing process.
For at least the first two days – make sure to drink as much water as possible and watch for signs of dehydration.
These include – dry mouth, thirst, reduced urination, dizziness and sleepiness.
Step five – Don't hesitate to medicate
If the pain is becoming uncomfortable or unbearable – then don't hesitate to medicate.
As soon as you see signs of sunburn you may want to take anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the severity and duration of sunburn.
However make sure that any medications you are taking are safe to do so.
Step six – Let your skin heal
You should never scratch, peel, pick or break blisters caused by sunburn.
The skin of the blisters is protecting the underlying damaged skin – so don't pop them.
Popping the blisters will mean that the skin dries out and can get infected – which can lead to other serious skin problems.
Step seven – Seek medical advice if needed
The majority of sunburns can be treated from the comfort of your own home – however, if a blistering burn covers 20% or more of the body, you must seek medical attention.
You should also see a doctor if you are experiencing headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness or severe pain.
How long does sunburn last?
Sunburn will usually subside within seven days – as long as you take the necessary steps to reduce symptoms and aid faster healing.
However, the healing time will depend on the severity of the burn.
Mild sunburns can last anywhere from three to five days.
Whereas, severe sunburns can take up to two weeks to fully recover.
Does sunburn turn into tan?
Many people think your skin will eventually go from burnt to golden brown – but the answer is not as straightforward as you might think.
Technically, sunburn does not turn into tan – instead your body’s response to sunburn from UVB rays triggers an increase in melanin to try and protect itself from the burn.
Is sunburn dangerous?
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