Caring for Your Sunburn

woman with red sunburned skin on her back.

Sometimes, despite your best efforts to protect your skin, you end up with a sunburn. Sunburns can be dangerous and can increase your risk for skin cancer – but they can also be quite painful! Read on for some tips to relieve the pain.

Take care of your burn

It’s important to slather on the sunscreen, reapply it often, and stay out of the sun in the middle of the day when it’s at its harshest. But sometimes, for one reason or another, you might just end up with a sunburn. There’s no quick and easy way to get rid of sunburn, but you can take some steps to relieve your pain and discomfort:

• Take an over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or aspirin.

• Keep your skin cool. Take a nice cool bath or just use a towel that has been dunked into cold water.

• Use aloe vera or a moisturizing cream to help with the pain, but don’t use anything with alcohol. Products with alcohol can dry out the skin even more.

• Keep using moisturizing products even when your skin begins to peel.

• Leave your blisters alone. If blisters start to form, don’t break them – this can slow the healing process and they may get infected. You can lightly cover blisters with gauze if you need to.

• If your sunburn doesn’t start to get better within a few days, if a large part of your body is covered in sunburn and blisters, or if you have severe pain or a high fever with your sunburn, you should see a doctor right away.

• If a young child has a sunburn, take special care. Children shouldn’t take aspirin or use certain skin creams, such as benzocaine.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, having five or more sunburns can double your risk for melanoma; that’s why it is so important to take care of your skin and check it regularly, and make an appointment with your doctor if you see anything that looks unusual. Have fun this summer and call Stockton Dermatology in Phoenix, AZ, if you need help taking care of your skin. Call (480) 610-6366!

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