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23 July 2013

Five Ways to Treat Sunburn & Sun Safety Facts

how_to_treat_sunburn

  As the weather has been hot, hot, hot recently I thought it would be a great time to address the issue of sun burn and sun safety. 

Here are my 5 tips on how to best treat sunburn along with some interesting facts at the end. 

1.Medicate with Ibuprofen 
As soon as you notice you are burnt start taking Ibuprofen and keep doing so for the next 48 hours. This may seem a little drastic when you don't feel you are badly burnt but taking Ibuprofen will reduce the redness and swelling that can occur. It may even prevent some long-term skin damage if the sun burn is severe. Paracetamol can also be taken to treat pain and reduce fever.

2. Moisturise with Aloe Vera 
An organic Aloe Vera gel is the best after sun product you can apply to sunburn. If the sunburn is severe you may have broken skin from blisters so you want a product that is organic. Also Aloe Vera helps to repair the skin whilst also being very soothing. You can even place it in the fridge to get the maximum cooling effects from it! A great product is Dr Organic Aloe Vera Gel 200ml from Holland & Barret - £5.19 here

3. Hydrate! 
As sun burnt skin wants hydration, the body draws fluid to the surface of the skin and away from the rest of the body. So to prevent possible dehydration it's important to keep up your fluids (especially at night when sweating) and avoid alcohol.

4. Cool Down 
Sun burn can definitely make you feel unwell or at the very least hot. So taking a cool shower or bath that brings down your temperature will relieve some symptoms you may be experiencing. You can also apply a cold flannel to the worst affected areas to cool the skin and use a water spray... however I would recommend a thermal water spray such as the one by Avene as a lot of aerosol water sprays contain quite a lot of chemicals. Another tip to cool down your body temperature is to run your pulse points on the insides of your wrists under a cold running tap until they feel very cool.

5.  Cover up & Stay out of the Sun 
This may be an obvious one but it is so important that the burnt skin doesn't become exposed to sun as it will be so much more likely to burn even more as it's damaged skin. Wear loose fitting clothes so not to aggravate the sun burn and cover all areas where you are sun burnt. If you're on holiday and still want to sit outside make sure it's in the shade and under a parasol.


Sun_protection_UK_facts

Interesting information on why protecting your skin from UV rays is important!

I have a bit of an interest with anything to do with sun damage and keeping sun safe so I have looked at many sun advice infographics and found quite a few points that I don't think are shared enough!

  • Reflected UV light can cause the most damage as you a receiving a double hit from both the sky and the reflective surface - Water reflects up to 100%, snow and ice reflects up to 85% and dry sand reflects up to 25%. 
  • You should always go for sunglasses with both UVA and UVB protection (Total UV Protection) to prevent eye damage now and in later life, such as Cataract and cancer of the eye. 
  • Indoor tanning (going on a sun bed!) before you're 35 increases your risk of melanoma by 75% 
  • A child that is under 2 that receives sun damage is 200% more likely to develop skin cancer in later life 
  • Seek shade when the sun is at it's highest mid-day. Remember the rule - "Watch your shadow - No shadow, Seek shade!" 
  • Since the mid-1970s in Great Britain, malignant melanoma incidence rates have increased more rapidly than any of the current ten most common cancers in males and females. 
  • Highest percentage distribution of malignant melanoma diagnosed on the body for males is the trunk (41%) (mainly back). For females it is mainly legs (39%). Between 2008-2010.

Hope you have found this informative! Especially if you are suffering from sunburn or are going on holiday this summer. 

Fee xo. 

PS. Remember to always wear a minimum of SPF 30 when in the sun!


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