Over the weekend, I did something I try to avoid: I got a bit of a sunburn. I’m usually adamant about sunscreen, but having too much fun (and too many beers) caused me to be complacent. It’s not bad- just a little red on my nose and shoulders. This is an easy thing to do if you’re not vigilant, so here are a few tips on treating a sunburn:
1. Medicate. Take the recommended amount of over-the-counter ibuprofen to help with pain and swelling.
2. Drink lots of water. A sunburn dehydrates the skin. Staying hydrated is a good way to combat that effect. Duh.
3. Relieve with aloe or hydrocortisone cream.
4. Use a cold compress. Try soaking a washrag in witch hazel for anti-inflammatory purposes, or use an icepack or bag of frozen vegetables.
5. If you shower, avoid soap- it will dry the area more.
6. Moisturize. Slather the area with lotion (try a gentle brand like Aveeno or Eucerin). For added relief, pop lotion in the fridge before applying.
7. Apply used teabags soaked in cold water (green and black tea works best) to your eyelids, which will occasionally swell if you burn your face.
8. If your sunburn is accompanied with chills and/or fever, seek medical attention.
*While I already implemented most of these ideas in my life, I pulled some information from other sites; most notably skincancer.org.
As a reminder, here are a few basic tips on avoiding sunburn altogether:
1. Apply sunscreen about 30 minutes before heading outdoors (even if it’s cloudy).
2. Use SPF 15-30.
3. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen everywhere, including hands, neck, ears, and lips. Wear a hat to avoid burning your scalp (that’s a vulnerable spot for me).
4. Reapply often, especially if you’re in water.
Don’t let booze and a good time overshadow good sense! What ways have you tried to avoid and/or treat a sunburn?