Hopefully, you have plans to enjoy the long days of sunshine this summer. It’s the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends, while you scarf down countless frozen treats to keep cool. But along with the wonderful things about summer comes a few no one looks forward to enduring: tiny pests biting your ankles, humidity ruining good hair days and scorching-hot temperatures leaving you sunburned.
The good news is you can handle those bothersome bugs with natural insect repellent and manage the rising temps with A/C and portable fans. The bad news is sunburns are tougher to prevent, and you can’t assume all sunburns are the same. Some burns can easily be treated with a little extra TLC at home, while others may require you seek medical treatment. Before you step outside this summer, bone up on the types of sunburn you could experience and how to treat them effectively.
There are Different Types of Sunburn
Most sunburns will heal within a couple days. They may be tender to the touch, have a distinctive red hue and cause peeling of the skin. But luckily, this first-degree sunburn is easily treatable with topical ointments and some simple home remedies.
However, some types of sunburn are cause for much greater concern. If your sunburn is accompanied by severe nausea, headache, skin rash or dizziness, immediately go to the doctor or emergency room. You may have sun poisoning.
Prescription medications can make you more at risk for sun poisoning. The most common medications associated with increased sunburn risk include oral contraceptives, diabetes drugs, diuretics, antibiotics, tranquilizers and antifungals (such as Diflucan). If you take any of these, speak with your healthcare professional before you head outside. They may recommend a certain type of sun protection that best suits your needs.
How to Treat Sunburn Naturally
Natural sunburn treatments work well for mild types of sunburn. If you are not feeling any out-of-the-ordinary symptoms along with your sunburn, go ahead and try these tips to treat your red-hot skin:
1. Chill out
Run a slightly chilled bath with unscented Castile soap. Taking a cold bath (not ice cold) with non-irritating soap can help ease the discomfort while gently cleansing skin.
2. Nourish dry skin
After a bath, moisturize with a restorative body lotion, preferably one that’s fragrance-free so you don’t cause further irritation. Look for ingredients like ceramides, cocoa butter and aloe vera, which are natural healers and moisturizing agents – great for nourishing dry, sun-damaged skin.
3. Drink up
Hydrate! Sip on ice-cold water before, during and after time in the sun. You can even accent it with lemon, lime or sliced strawberries to infuse flavor without adding artificial sweeteners. When you’re thinking about snacks, first fill up on water-rich fruits and vegetables. Watermelon – one of summer’s most popular snacks – is made of 96 percent water and is great for the skin. Cantaloupe and other types of melons are also water-dense, as are tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, lettuce and oranges. Just remember: food is not a replacement for water.
4. Soothe the redness
Using aloe vera is one of the oldest, most widely used tricks for soothing mild types of sunburn. Pure aloe vera gel is derived from the actual aloe plant’s leaves and glides onto skin with easy. Aloe plants are easy to upkeep if you want to bring one into your home. They require hardly any water and are useful for many home remedies. If you don’t have a fresh plant on hand, packaged, pure aloe vera gel will work just as well. Apply it post-sun to keep skin healthy and to help ease the burn.
Sunscreen is Always the Best Treatment
It’s not just important to understand the different types of sunburn. Your summer skin care routine should include preventative measures, as well. The safest thing you can do is stay out of the sun as much as possible if you aren’t wearing sunscreen. Definitely avoid going outside untreated when weather warnings are issued for dangerously high temperatures. The next best preventative measure is a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen. Keep a bottle handy all year long, so you’re always prepared for some (safe) fun in the sun!