Preventing a burn from happening in the first place is always ideal — but that's a lot easier said than done. If you get a gnarly sunburn , we've got some remedies that can help cool you off, stop the itch and keep you from being one big mess of flaky skin.
Even if your burn isn't super-wicked, these aftercare ideas can help to soothe irritated skin when you've spent too long at the beach.
How long does it take for sunburn to heal?
Typically signs occur within a few hours of prolonged exposure to the sun and can sometimes take days or even weeks to subside.Mild sunburn usually gets better between four and seven days after your skin has been exposed to UV rays.
What are the symptoms of sunburn?
*Red, sore skin
*Skin that is warm and tender to the touch
*Flaking and peeling skin after a number of days
The inflamed skin is often accompanied by pain, headache, tenderness, swelling, blistering, fever and fatigue.
What you should do if you are peeling;
1. Cool it down
If you notice your skin start to peel, the first thing you should do is take a cold shower or bath. The cold water will help your skin cool down and slow the peeling process. When you are drying your skin, be sure to pat it dry with a clean, soft towel and avoid rubbing. By rubbing your skin, you can actually speed up and spread the peeling of your skin — and you definitely don't want to do that.
2. Stop the itch
At all costs, you should avoid scratching your skin when it's peeling. You can actually do permanent damage to your skin in the form of scars. If you get the urge to scratch, the best thing to do is to use ice to dull the sensation. Put ice in a piece of soft cloth and gently place the cloth on top of the area of your skin that itches. The itch should subside once the ice begins to cool down the skin.
3. Moisturize your skin
Once you get out of the shower and dry your skin, apply a moisturizing lotion. Look for a moisturizer that is specifically designed to work on sunburned or peeling skin. Generally, the lotion should contain aloe vera, which will cool your skin, reduce inflammation and slow the peeling. Aloe vera is a natural cactus extract that has long been hailed for its soothing properties. You can actually buy pure aloe vera gel (or break open the plant, if you have it) and apply it directly to peeling skin to aid healing, fight pain and avoid infection.
How to prevent sunburn
- Skin cancer expert says the face and neck are the areas most commonly affected by sun damage, so apply sunscreen to lips, ears, around eyes, neck and scalp if your hair is thinning.
- A stick application with a high SPF is useful for exposed areas, such as your nose, ears and lips.
- Avoid the hottest part of the day (between 11am and 3pm), apply liberal amounts of sunscreen with a SPF of 30+ and wear a hat, loose clothes (tightly woven) and sunglasses.
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