Here’s how to heal that Memorial Day sunburn (cause you know it could happen)
We really do try, but sometimes, even the most cautious of us get sunburns. Sometimes, no matter how much SPF 50 you dunk yourself in, the sun is just out to get you. And is it just us, or is Memorial Day the prime time to get a sunburn?
We aren’t here to tell you to cover up, wear a hat, slather on sunscreen, or stay inside. You already know all of those tips. We’re here to help you with the aftermath — once the damage is already done and you’ve stepped into summer.
Sunburns take between 3 days and a week to heal. According to an article in Cosmopolitan, Shari Lipner, MD says,
"What you do after sunburn can play a large role in how fast you heal."
Whether you’re grilling by the pool, or jumping into a lake, here are some simple steps to healing quickly from a sunburn.
So you’ve noticed you’re a little red? This is your excuse to jump into a body of water. Cool your skin in chilly water to avoid irritating your skin. Don’t stay in the water too long, and get out of the sun as soon as possible. Make sure to layer up on sunscreen after exiting the water, and continue applying cool compresses.
"Milk proteins help calm your skin," she says. "Also, pick up an over-the-counter cortisone cream and an aloe gel, and apply as needed. You'll also want to stock up on Advil or Ibuprofen. It decreases inflammation while helping to decrease the pain."
Moisturize, always, but especially now .
Make sure to moisturize your burn to avoid any flaking of the skin and a ensure a fast recovery. A little hint? Moisturize when your skin is damp and use a gentle moisturizer. Find a moisturizer that contains aloe vera for extra soothing power. Hydrocortisone cream can be used for areas that are extra sensitive.
As for your normal skin regimen, don’t exfoliate in the days after a sunburn. According to Dr. Grossman:
"Your skin has already been traumatized."
And if you blister or peel, leave it alone. Your skin is doing its thing to heal itself. Trust the process.
The best cure is hydration. While you’re moisturizing topically, make sure to drink a lot of water to keep your body hydrated. The intake of extra fluids help replenish your skin. Dr. Lipner suggests drinking more than usual and to stay away from alcohol, as it dehydrates the body.
Stay covered up
Look, you don’t want to burn your already present burn. Blisters are not cute. According to the American Association of Dermatology, you should make sure to cover up with loose fitting clothing, but tightly woven fabric, to avoid irritation and any further burning.
One more thing, if you begin to feel dizzy, weak, or nauseous, contact a doctor ASAP.
While having a sunburn may seem temporary, the long-lasting affects of a burn can damage your skin and your health. Invest in a SPF rated moisturizer, pay attention to common signs, and keep an eye out on your body while celebrating this weekend.