With more skin exposed to the more intense sunlight this time of the year it can be a setup for sunburn.  It is said that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.  And this certainly holds true for sunburn.  But in case you should find yourself beyond the prevention stage and suffering from a sunburn here are some suggestions:

1) Cool the skin–this can be done with cool compresses or a cool shower

2) Take aspirin or ibuprofen–this will decrease redness, inflammation, and discomfort of the skin

3) Moisturize the skin–use a bland lotion or cream

4) Drink fluids– the burn will divert fluid to the skin which may result in dehydration

5) Allow blisters to heal– do not unroof blisters

6) Protect the skin from further sunburn–newly healed skin is more prone to further damage

Although a sunburn may seem temporary, the damage from sunburn cannot be reversed.  Remember that just a few blistering sunburns in childhood can significantly increase the risk of skin cancer later in life.

Written by Margaret Kontras Sutton, M.D.



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