Managing a Summer Sunburn
By Megan Morrow
Published June 11, 2019
It has happened to everyone, particularly in the earlier days of summer. You think you will be fine without sunscreen for a few minutes and end up spending more time in the garden or on the golf course than planned, outlasting the sunscreen you applied. Then you start to feel it – that prickly, warm, uncomfortable sensation of a sunburn.
Caused by excess exposure to UV light, which damages the top layer of skin, sunburn can occur in just 15 minutes. Sunburns can not only lead to premature aging and discomfort, they can also increase your risk of melanoma.
While there is no magical cure for a sunburn, the following strategies can help you reduce discomfort:
- Take a cold (or cool) bath shower. The cool water can alleviate inflammation and will feel soothing on the burn. When finished, gently pat the skin dry, leaving a little moisture on the skin, before applying moisturizer. Choose a moisturizer with aloe vera or calamine, or try an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream for a more severe burn. Cold compresses, applied for 10 to 20 minutes at a time, may also provide relief.
- Drink lots of water. Sunburns draw fluid toward the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body, which can quickly lead to dehydration. Replenish with extra liquids like water and sports drinks that include electrolytes.
- Take a pain reliever. You can reduce further inflammation with an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or aspirin until the burn begins to feel better; take only as directed and talk to your doctor.
- Cover up. Wear clothing that covers your skin, and the burn, in particular, whenever you go outside. Tightly woven fabrics and sun-protective clothing are your best bets.
And, it goes without saying, but do your best to stay out of the sun until the burn heals completely.
While many sunburns can be treated at home, see a doctor if you have severe blistering and pain, headaches, nausea and vomiting, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat, confusion or a sunburn that covers a large area of your body.
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The material presented here is for information purposes only and is not to be considered an offer to buy or sell any security. This report was prepared from sources believed to be reliable but it is not guaranteed as to accuracy and it is not a complete summary of statement of all available data. Information and opinions are current up to the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. The purchase and sale of securities should be conducted on an individual basis considering the risk tolerance and investment objective of each investor and with the advice and counsel of a professional advisor. The opinions expressed by Ms. Morrow are strictly her own and do not necessarily reflect those of Herbert J. Sims & Co., Inc. or their affiliates. This is not a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell any particular investment. All investment involves risk and may result in a loss of principal. Investors should carefully consider their own circumstances before making any investment decision.