Bad to the Burn: Preventing and Treating Sunburns


Summer days can be all fun and games—until someone gets burned. From mild redness and tender skin to severe burns and blisters, sunburn can be uncomfortable and cause long-lasting skin damage. The best way to prevent sunburn is to limit your skin’s exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Here’s how you can be proactive about preventing sunburn and easing discomfort when it happens.  

Proactive Sun Protection

Protecting your skin does not mean avoiding the sun altogether. Stepping outside to be active and enjoy the fresh air can be beneficial for your mental and physical health. To limit exposure to UV rays while outside:

  1. Wear protective clothing, like long sleeve shirts, pants, hats, and sunglasses.

  2. Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays.

  3. Find shade and avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.

UV rays during the summer are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun is directly overhead. Stay cognizant of your sun exposure, and when in doubt, reapply your sunscreen.

Got a Bad Burn? Don’t Panic

Sunburn can be a frustrating and painful experience. Once you get burned, there’s little you can do to limit the damage to your skin. However, you can take action to ease the discomfort:

  • Cool the skin with a cool bath or compress.

  • Apply a moisturizer like aloe vera gel.

  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory medications like naproxen sodium.

As your skin heals, reflect on what you could’ve done differently to create more effective sun protection habits moving forward.

If a sunburn is severe or causes blisters, visit your Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician or a dermatologist. If symptoms of heat stress accompany your sunburn, call 911 or seek emergency medical care.

 

Sources:

Sunburn and Children

Sunburn  

Sun Safety

 

Recent Updates

5 bedtime yoga poses to get better sleep

SEP 07, 2021

Yoga nidra, or sleep yoga, is great to practice before bed to help alleviate stress and lead to better sleep

Read More Additional information about 5 Bedtime Yoga Poses To Get Better Sleep

Everything you need to know about boosting your immunity for fall 2021

SEP 03, 2021

After the break on our immune systems during the COVID-19 lockdowns, here’s our guide on how to prevent your chances of feeling under the weather this fall.

Read More Additional information about Everything you need to know about boosting your immunity this fall

Find a Doctor


Looking for a doctor? Perform a quick search by name or browse by specialty.