A 10 Step Action Plan to Manage Sunburn
Nobody wants to get sunburned, but we get it – it does happen. Sunburn can be painful, unsightly and in extreme cases, even dangerous. When your skin has had too much sun, it’s important to protect it and stop the damage from getting any worse.
Of course, the best cure is prevention, but if you do get a sunburn, what should you do? Let’s look at some more information about sunburn, and about the right steps to take when dealing with your sore, red skin.
What is a Sunburn?
The sun gives off heat and light, which we all enjoy. However, it also gives off radiation, which is not so enjoyable. Exposure to UV radiation can result in radiation burns, otherwise known as sunburn. Sunburned skin is usually red, painful and itchy, as well as being hot to the touch. For bad sunburn, the skin can blister.
The effects of sunburn can begin in as little as 15 minutes. Skin then goes red from two to six hours later, and continues to develop over the next 24 to 72 hours.
UV radiation can’t be seen or felt, which means that it’s possible to get burned even on days that are cloudy when your skin doesn’t feel hot. It also bounces off reflective surfaces such as water, sand, buildings, concrete and snow. That’s why an effective sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 30+ should be worn every day, such as any in the Carroten range.
How to Treat Sunburn
Once you have been sunburned, there’s no way to reverse the burn. Treatment consists of managing symptoms, helping keep your skin moisturised and comfortable, and reducing further damage.
Mild sunburn can be treated at home, but severe and blistered sunburn requires prompt medical attention.
To treat mild to moderate sunburn, you should:
- Get hydrated. Dehydration and sunburn often go hand in hand. A sunburn can draw fluid to the skin’s surface as your skin tries to cool down and repair the damage. Replace that fluid loss with plenty of water.
- Treat swelling. Your skin has been burned, so it will naturally swell. Treat the swelling with cool or cold compresses or with cool water, and treat from the inside out by taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory (like ibuprofen) which can also help with the pain.
- Care for your skin. Avoid products containing soap or harsh chemicals, which might irritate your skin even further. Instead, an aftersun product like Carroten’s Moisturising Sorbet Lotion can cool, soothe and moisturise your skin, keeping it calm and protected while it repairs.
- Protect blisters and peeling layers. Blisters and peeling skin can be itchy and feel like they’re begging to be popped and peeled. It’s much better to leave your skin alone – once you remove that last protective layer, you’re exposing your skin to possible infection. Cover big blisters with a wound dressing and use antiseptic cream to help keep peeling skin from becoming infected. When your skin is starting to remove itself, you can very gently remove it. Avoid peeling it, as you can easily take too much off and expose the sensitive underlayer.
- Avoid the sun until you heal. Once you’ve overdone the sun exposure, you’ll need to take a break until your skin is fully back to normal, as sunburned skin is particularly vulnerable to further burns. Stay full covered and under shade until your skin repairs, and don’t forget the Carroten sunscreen. Once your skin has healed you can head back out, but remember to protect yourself from burns this time!
When to Seek Help
Like any burn, if you have a severe sunburn it will require medical attention. There can also be accompanying issues along with a bad sunburn such as dehydration and sunstroke that can be extremely serious and need further action.
Your sunburn needs to be seen by medical professional if you experience:
- Very severe, painful sunburn with extensive blistering
- A large area of skin badly burned
- nausea and vomiting
- dizziness or altered states of consciousness.
If you experience these symptoms, speak to a pharmacist, GP or head to the emergency room, depending on severity. If you have any concerns, remember that it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially if experiencing vomiting, dizziness or any altered state of consciousness.
Staying Safe in the Sun
Sunburn can cause short-term discomfort and potential long-term damage, so your first line of defence should always be prevention. Carroten sunscreen provides high level protection against the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays, and when combined with sun safety techniques like seeking shade and wearing protective clothing, is the best way to keep your skin safe.
If you do get burned, Carroten have you covered with their Moisturising After-Sun Sorbet lotion, which helps protect your skin and soothe the symptoms of sunburn. While you’re in the sun and when you’re done, keep your skin both safe and soothed with Carroten’s wide range of sun care products.