Sunburn results from too much sun or sun-equivalent exposure. Almost everyone has been sunburned or can be sunburned at some time. People visitinf a beach, goeing fishing, working in the yard for long hours, or is outdoors for long hours in the sun can get sunburned.
Why should I be aware of this?
- One or more blistering sunburns in childhood or adolescence more than double a person's chances of developing melanoma later in life, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Morever, a person's risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns at any age.
- Improper use of tanning bed can also be a cause for sunburn.
- Though sunburn is rarely ever life threatning, severe sunburn or sun poisoning can cause quite a bit of discomfort.
- Normal limited exposure to UV radiation produces beneficial vitamin D in the skin.
- If a person has been recently exposed to sun or suffred from skin injury, he or she is at a reater risk of getting sunburnt, even with limited exposure to the sun.
- It is best when you apply sunscreen a half hour before going outside.
- Lycopene boosts skin's natural SPF. You can get it from red fruits & vegetables (tomato, watermelon, pink grapefruit, guava).
- Sunscreen is not capable of blocking all UVA or UVB rays. The ultraviolet rays can still penetrate even in the shade. Skin always needs to be protected with sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and long sleeved shirts for extended sun exposure.
All about sunburn
Sunburn is literally the burning of the skin from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This results in inflammation of the skin. Injury from sunburn usually starts within 30 minutes of exposure.
- UVA and UVB refer to different wavelengths in the light spectrum. UVB is more damaging to the skin, especially for risk of skin cancer. Both UVA and UVB are responsible for photoaging (premature aging of the skin and wrinkles) and sunburn. Tanning beds produce both UVA and UVB rays.
- Individuals who travel to reions close to the equator, and places at high altitudes are more prone to sunburn.
- Light-skinned and fair-haired people are at greater risk of being sunburnt.
- Mild and uncomplicated cases of sunburn usually result in minor skin redness, and pain.
- Initially, the skin turns red about 2-6 hours after exposure and feels irritated. The peak effects are noted at 12-24 hours.
- More severe cases (sun poisoning) are complicated by severe skin burning and blistering, massive fluid loss (dehydration), electrolyte imbalance, and possibly infection.
- Untreated sunburn and with enough exposure, a person can experience shock (poor circulation to vital organs) and even death.
Other common symptoms
- Nausea or vomiting, or both
- Flulike symptoms
- Blistering may range from a very fine blister that is only found when you begin to "peel" to very large water-filled blisters with red, tender, raw skin underneath. When blisters pop, the skin that covered the blisters will slough off.
- Skin loss (peeling) at about 4-7 days after exposure.
What can I do?
- Use an anti-inflammatory agent. For example, Ibuprofen, if you have a headache, slight fever or chills.
- Use a cool, damp cloth with skim milk and rest it on the burned spots. The coolness takes out the initial fire, and the milk creates a protein film that helps ease the ensuing discomfort.
- Drink water, juice, or sports drinks to replace body fluids. When you have a sunburn, you get dehydrated easily.
- Bathe with tepid water and avoid soap on the affected area, which can cause irritation. Sometimes a cool or luke warm shower can take away the pain and itchiness.
- You can also try taking a bath with green tea. The tannin in the tea draws out some of the pain and can soothe the redness.
- If your burn is extremely painful, a spray from most drugstore/chemists with lidocane (a topical anaesthetic) will help it be bearable until it heals.
- Use the succulent aloe vera plant. Cut it down the length of the leaf and open it, revealing the inner portion of it. Rub the clear gelatinous part over the burned area. Repeat as often as you like.
- Sea Breeze is an astringent for the skin and scalp. It's common use it to remove oils from the hair and skin, but you can use it for your sunburn by putting it on a cloth. Making sure it's damp you can place the cloth on your burn and it takes away some of the sting and heat and just makes it feel better.1
- You can make a paste from baking soda and a little bit of water and put it on the sunburnt area. Remove when it s completely dry and starts to flake. May help cool down skin.12Use olive oil.
- Using olive oil on the sunburn keeps it moisturised and usually prevents your skin from peeling.
- Wear sunscreen
- If the burn is very recent (still red and not peeling), use a tomato. Tomato juice is acidic but it doesn't hurt and helps the redness.
- Apply a cold wet teabag to the afflicted area; put some warm water in a small bowl and put a teabag in it, then shake the teabag off and dab on. The moisture slowly evaporates off the skin cooling it, and the tea soothes the skin helps bring out the tan (wash the brown tincture off afterward).
- Calendula ointment is also a very effective treatment, especially good for severe burns with blistering. You can find it at a naturopathic store.
- Apply witch hazel lotion, a good aloe alternative.
- Unless you have abrasions on the burned skin, try vinegar. Mix 50-50 with cool water, soak towels in the solution and drape over the burns.When you have a bath, add ½ a cup of baking soda or some oatmeal to it. This will help to reduce the swelling.
- Try aloe vera gel to soothe a sunburn. It may help ease the sting.you can also put burn gel on it also with unkers and it will take the itch and hot burn away and as quick as possible.
- UVB causes tanning or sunburn, and UVA is responsible for skin cancer and aging. Many sunscreens claim to block both, but actually provide UVB protection only.
- According to the American Cancer Society, UVA can be up to 1000 times more intense than UVB!
- A person needs only need 10 minutes of sunshine per day! Ten minutes a day is equal to 3,650 minutes (or almost 61 hours) of sun exposure annually.
- The key ingredients to search for UVA defense are Mexoryl or Mexoryl-Sx, Avobenzone or 3% (not 2%) Parsol 1789, Zinc Oxide, and Titanium Dioxide.
- Avoid Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Sunscreen in sheer or clear form. They are nano-sized that can create free radicals and damage our DNA. Moreover, a lot of products do not disclose that nanotechnology is used in their manufacture.
- UVA rays can easily penetrate all windows and shades. Vehicles, offices, homes. What, you ask, airplanes too? Truth is, it’s worse because of the higher elevation!
- For prolonged exposure like outdoor sports or job, the entire body needs to be covered with sunscreen.
- The average cotton shirt has an SPF of only 5.
- How To Treat Sunburn
- Sunscreen Facts and Myths