Lately, have you seen yourself looking red and flushed after sometime in the sun? Chances are, you got sunburned. Nearly, 70 percent of children and more than one-third adults complain of sunburn every year. We often ignore warnings and dangers of sun-exposure and complicate matters for ourselves.
So you know what the obvious cause of sunburn is – that you have been sitting out and exposed in the sun for a long time and the skin burns and becomes red and irritated. But there is more damage that happens beyond the visible. Ultraviolet rays of the sun penetrate the layers of the skin and can wreak havoc by altering your DNA, prematurely aging the skin and leading to skin cancers. The degrees of sunburn depend on skin type, intensity of the sunrays and period of exposure to the sun.
Typical signs and symptoms of sunburn are burns and blisters, swollen red skin, slight flu and fever, chills, nausea, headache, weakness, peeling and itching of skin once the body sheds the sun-damaged cells. Extreme cases display dry mouth, thirst and low urine output.
The only possible ways of relief from sunburn can be had with the following:
- Avoid stepping out in the sun until the burns heal, especially during the peak hours between 10 am and 4pm.
- If stepping out in the sun is unavoidable, wear sun-protective, preferably full-sleeved clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, good quality sunglasses and broad spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor(SPF) of at least 30 even on cloudy days which you need to reapply every two hours if swimming or sweating heavily.
- Application of cold compresses on the burns.
- Cold water baths to soothe the burns.
- Applying refrigerated Aloe-vera gels or lacto-calomine lotions to soothe and heal the burns.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve swelling and pain in other parts of the body.
This summer, be sure to avoid sunburns and do not forget your sunscreen.