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Sunburn Proof Your Face During Spring Break
With Spring Break upon us, you are most likely packing up for the first time this year and hitting the beach (or lake or river). As you organize your travel supplies, the first thing you should be thinking about is how to protect your skin and stop sunburn. Sunburns may seem like only a temporary irritation. But, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, sunburns can cause long-lasting damage to your skin, especially for children. Just one blistering sunburn can double a child’s lifetime risk of developing melanoma, a serious skin cancer.
Your best strategy for saving your skin is prevention, attention and action (PAA). Let’s break each category down in fives.
Being proactive is always the best strategy. But using sunscreen alone isn’t always enough to prevent a sunburn.
- Don’t let yourself burn. Even one single sunburn can increase your risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. And suffering five or more sunburns doubles your lifetime risk!
- Seek out shade, especially between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm. This is when the sun’s rays are the strongest and your risk for burn is the highest of the day.
- Cover up with a hat, sunglasses and clothing. Look for special fabrics that block UV rays and protect skin.
- Slather on sunscreen with a broad-spectrum SPF of 15 or higher everyday. If you are planning on being outdoors more than usual, like when you are on Spring Break, use a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Time your sunscreen application properly by applying at least one ounce of sunscreen to your body at least 30 minutes prior to going outside. Then reapply every two hours, after swimming and after excessive sweating.
Knowing the signs of sunburn can help you take action faster to prevent further burning. Paying attention could save your skin.
- Tender red skin is one of the most common symptoms of sunburn. As soon as you start to “feel” your skin burning, get in the shade.
- Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, naseau, headache and weakness, can all be caused by sunburn. These symptoms can appear within a few hours or a few days after sunburn occurs.
- Swelling is caused by an inflammatory reaction in the body as the skin tries to heal itself. However, not every sunburn causes this reaction.
- Blisters can develop hours or even days after a particularly bad sunburn. If you notice yellow drainage (puss) coming from an open blister or red streaks leading away from the open blister, seek medical attention.
- Peeling and itching are some of the last signs of sunburn and your body’s way to rid itself of sun-damaged cells. Reduce the urge to scratch and pick at skin. It will only make the healing process take longer and could permanently scar your skin.
Sometimes sunburns still happen, even with preventative efforts. If you start to see red or feel yourself burning, take action to stop sunburn!
- Act quickly at the first sign of skin reddening. Get out of the sun and start treatment. Sunburns can take up to six hours for symptoms to develop. So if you’re seeing red, chances are it will only get worse.
- Moisturize thoroughly after taking a cool bath or shower to soothe skin. Use a product that contains Vitamin C, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, like our EnviroExpose Repair and Restore Crème, which has been clinically proven to reduce skin inflammation by 31%.*
- Hydrate extra well. Any burn will draw fluid from your body to the surface of the skin to help heal it. So make sure you drink extra water, juice and sports drinks for a few days following your sunburn. And watch for signs of dehydration.
- Medicate Take a dose of ibuprofen at the first sign of a sunburn and keep it up for the next 48 hours. This will reduce swelling and redness, and may even prevent some long-term skin damage.
- Assess the damage. Most sunburns can be treated at home. But if a blistering burn covers more than 20% of the body and/or you are suffering from fever or chills, seek immediate medical attention.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, each year more than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States, and more than 90% of those are cause by the sun’s UV rays. Similarly, most of the skin damage we associate with aging – wrinkles, sagging, leathering and discoloration – is UV related and can be prevented.
Tell us in the comments how you are going to stop sunburn and save your skin from sun damage this Spring Break, or any tips and tricks you use to stay sun safe.
*Study results on file.