OK – let’s say you haven’t been reading my past blogs about the importance of sunscreen, or you did, but you chose not to wear sunscreen and cover up in the sun anyway – so now you have ended up with red, swollen, painful, possibly blistered skin. Well, I’m going to help you anyway: here are some tips on how to help the pain.
First of all, the most important thing to do is to drink LOTS of water over the next few days! Drinking water is important all the time, but especially now as your body is depleted of fluid and needs a lot of help healing its largest organ – the skin.
There are a few things you can apply to the skin to help bring down the redness and swelling – you can apply a thin layer of aloe, or use cool compresses soaked in skim milk or green tea. A cool bath is also very soothing. Wear loose fitting, cotton or silk, clothing until the pain subsides. If the skin starts to peel – apply a thin layer of non-greasy moisturizer and be sure not to cover the area with any bandages or tight clothing. And stay out of the sun until the burn fades!
A bit of swelling and a few blisters developing is part of your sunburn and, although painful, not much to worry about. However, if large areas of your body are swollen, or any part is severely swollen, or if blisters form rapidly and cover large portions of the skin – please seek medical care. It is also important to note that if you have a fever, difficulty breathing, or have a very hard time cooling down even in the shade, this could be a sign of heatstroke and also require urgent medical attention.
Sunburns are quite painful and very damaging to the skin – even one can possibly contribute to skin wrinkling and even cancer in the future – so try your best to prevent one by covering up and wearing (and re-applying!) sunscreen each and every day!