Living in South Florida means getting plenty of sunshine! Between the beaches, parks, and so many other outdoor activities, it is pretty easy to overdo it sometimes. DCSI wants to make sure you know how to properly protect your skin or how to treat sunburn if you already have one. To protect your skin from getting sunburnt, our South Florida Dermatology offices recommend using sunscreen with at least SPF 30. This level of SPF blocks 97% of the sun’s UV rays. *Note: No sunscreen can block 100% of the sun’s rays. If you are already burnt, here are some ways to relieve the pain and treat your skin.
There are many ways to treat sunburn and relieve some of the pain. First, it is important to keep the skin covered from any further sun exposure. Get indoors and begin treatment as soon as you notice you’re burnt.
Cold Bath for Sunburns
Taking frequent cool baths or showers can help relieve some of the pain from a sunburn, while a warmer shower would only intensify the pain. After the bath or shower, pat dry but leave the skin moist. Then apply moisturizer to help keep the water trapped on the skin. Following these steps will help keep the skin hydrated.
Aloe Vera or Soy Moisturizers
The lotions, moisturizers, or ointments you use on a sunburn are also key to the healing process. It is recommended you don’t use anything ‘caine’, like benzocaine. These products can cause allergic reactions and further pain. Products containing aloe vera or soy are going to be the best options. If a certain spot is more painful or bothersome than others, hydrocortisone can also be used.
Does Ibuprofen Help Sunburn?
Sunburn is an inflammatory reaction of the skin to too much sun exposure. Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatories can help block this reaction. It can be taken to reduce swelling, redness, and discomfort. Taking anti-inflammatories, in addition to treating the skin with topical treatments, is one of the best ways to handle being sunburnt.
As you work through how to treat a sunburn, make sure you are drinking plenty of water and fluids to stay hydrated. Sunburns pull fluids from the skin’s surface and can cause dehydration.
How Long Does It Take Sunburn to Heal?
As you figure out how to treat a sunburn, know that mild burns could take 3 to 5 days to heal when taken care of properly. Other, more severe burns could take up to a few weeks to fully heal. The rate at which your body heals could also be genetically determined, depending on your age and overall health. All these factors come into play when going through the healing process of a sunburn.