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With summertime just about in full swing, we are being called into the outdoors. More of us get out and get social during the summer months. We hike, we bike, we swim, we may even plant a garden. During our excursions, we may be feeding our sense of wellness, but we also may be putting our skin in harm’s way. No one sits in the sun too long with the intention of getting a sunburn. If you’ve ever had a decent burn, you know the symptoms – and the resulting sun damage – are just no fun. Still, most of us can say we’ve had more than one instance where we let our sun-loving go too far. Here, we want to discuss what to do if your summer fun causes sunburn.

Cool the Skin

One of the first steps to take to soothe a sunburn is to mitigate damage with cooling. Depending on where you are when you notice your skin getting red, you might rinse off in a refreshing shower or splash cool water on your skin. You might make a cold compress from a towel wet with ice water. Once your skin is showing signs of a burn, you want to get out of the sun as quickly as possible. Cooling the skin might decrease the severity of symptoms, including the potential for blisters.

Sooth Inflammation

Sunburn, or any other kind of burn to the skin, will lead to inflammation. The more severe the burn, the more swelling and inflammation may occur. You can get a jump start on managing resultant inflammation by taking over-the-counter ibuprofen. Skin can also be soothed by soaking in lukewarm bathwater that contains 1 cup of apple cider vinegar or baking soda, or both. These ingredients reduce irritation such as itching. Pat dry or air dry only slightly before replenishing your skin.

Replenish Moisture

One of the secondary effects of sunburn is dryness. There are two ways to decrease the dehydration that may occur after a sunburn. One is to apply a light bath oil immediately after a shower or bath, while the skin is still moist. Moisturizing cream or lotion (cooled in the refrigerator for extra pampering!) can be layered on top of oil to prevent lingering dryness.

Any sunburn is bad news for your skin. Recommit to protecting skin cells by wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers comprehensive filtering against UV light. To repair sun damage and better understand your skin’s needs, call our Westport, CT office at (203) 226-3600.

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