It is a known fact that sunburns can be easily prevented as long as you use the appropriate protection when performing activities under the sun, especially when spending some time in the beach or working in your garden. The treatment for sunburn basically starts with prevention. The proper use of sunscreen products can help prevent sunburns. Just make sure that you know how to properly use the right sunscreen products as well as appropriate gear such as hats and umbrellas.
Always remember that sunburns are caused by exposure to UV radiation. When you get sunburned, it destroys the skin which is responsible for controlling the amount of heat the body releases or retains, holds fluids as well as protecting the body from infection. Take note that if the sunburn is severe, do not hesitate to call for emergency assistance right away.
Sunburn will develop depending on the skin type of the individual, the intensity of the sun and how long the individual was exposed to the sun. A person with an olive complexion will not quickly get sunburn than those who have fair complexions.
Signs of sunburn
If an individual gets sunburn, the skin turns red in color and hurts. In case the burn is severe, it can lead to swelling and the formation of sunburn blisters. For some, they can feel like having the flu along with chills, fever, headache, nausea and weakness.
After a few days, the skin will start to peel and itch. This is how the body eliminates the cells damaged by the sun.
First aid for sunburns
1. As the initial first aid step, remove the individual away from the sun. Take note that staying under the sun after the skin has already been burned will make it worse.
2. Check if blisters are present. If blistering is present, the skin is entirely damaged and complications are expected to occur. In case the part with blisters is larger than a whole arm or abdomen, it is important to seek medical attention or go directly to the emergency department at the nearest hospital.
3. Instruct the individual to take a cool shower or bath in order to sooth the pain.
4. A cooling agent such as aloe should be applied. Avoid using butter or oil to any type of burn.
5. For pain relief, over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be given. If the pain does not go away, it is best to consult a doctor or go to the emergency department in the nearest hospital.
Important considerations when dealing with sunburns
• Burns can cause swelling. Burns on the face or neck can often swell, thus leading to difficulty of breathing. If this is the case, call for emergency assistance right away.
• For burns that involve the entire feet or hand, it can result to severe swelling which limits the flow of blood. If swollen hands or feet become numb or bluish in color, it is considered as a medical emergency.
• During the healing process of the burn, it is best to wear loose clothing especially silk and light cotton.