Sunburns are one of the main problems our skin faces in summer. There is practically no such person who has not experienced this displeasing situation at least once in a lifetime. Apart from temporary pain, itching, a feeling of tightening and burning of the skin, burns caused by inadequate sunbathing and staying out in the sun for long periods of time, can have much more serious and long-lasting consequences. Although we are aware of it, we usually forget everything while enjoying the beach, so it only becomes clear to us in front of the mirror what we did wrong. What to do when the damage is already done and how to sooth sunburns? Find the answers below.
How to Prevent Sunburns
Before answering the question how to cure sunburns the fastest, it is important to point out that prevention is the best medicine. Of course, this does not mean that you should spend the whole summer indoors, but rather adequately protect your body and gradually expose it to the sunrays.
If you are getting ready for the sea or going to the beach, do not forget to prepare sunscreen cosmetics with a protective factor. However, these creams and lotions should not stay all day in your bag, but on your skin.
- A few minutes before going outside, apply a cream with an appropriate protection factor (SPF 30 or SPF 50) on your face and body. It is important to cover with the cream all parts of the skin that will not be covered by adequate clothing during exposure to the sunrays. Be sure to use creams that protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
- Use creams and lotions several times a day, even if they are waterproof products. Their effect lasts a certain period of time. The general recommendation is to reapply every two hours.
- Use sunglasses with UV filters and wide-brimmed hats, which create more shade and makeshift shade. In this way, you will additionally protect your face, head and shoulders.
- Avoid long and constant sunbathing in the period from 11 am to 4 pm, when the level of UV radiation is high.
- Sunbathe at intervals of 15-20 minutes and use “thick” natural shade or canopies made of solid material for rest and additional protection. Parasols can also serve as a secondary protection, but be careful. UV rays also pass through the fabric of the parasol. So you can get burnt under it, so do not skip steps 1 and 2.
Why Do Sunburns Occur
Our skin is our protection against various harmful external factors. It is directly exposed to all the influences of the external environment, and if we do not protect it well enough, it will be damaged. Too much exposure to direct sunlight, without using creams with UVA and UVB protection factor, leads to skin burns. Depending on the degree of burns, unwanted reactions can manifest in several different forms.
As accompanying symptoms, the most common are:
- increased body temperature,
- intense redness of the skin,
- itching from sunburns,
- painful areas to the touch,
- pimples and blisters on the skin,
- dehydration of the whole body.
Read the doctors` advice on this topic in the text written by dr. Ivana Cerovina Djuric and dr. Ivan Djuric.
Increased body temperature, as a defense mechanism of the body, can occur immediately or even 24 hours after sunbathing. This is a common side effect after getting sunburns. If it is accompanied by headache, nausea and vomiting, consult a doctor instantly. Under the influence of heat, blood vessels expand during sunbathing, which further leads to the appearance of redness. Redness is a clear indication that there has been a damage to the skin and is usually accompanied by other side effects, such as pain, burning, itching and blisters. When the redness subsides, after a few days, the skin acquires a nice dark shade. However, this tanned complexion does not last long, because soon after the burns, the skin begins to “peel” and flake.
Itching after Sunburns
Itching and burning are a common reaction, which can be alleviated by soothing creams, gels and other skin care products after sunbathing. Regardless of the intensity of the itch, try to avoid scratching, as this further irritates the skin. Instead, apply a sunburn spray, which will ease the discomfort.
Pain on the body, as a result of too long and direct exposure of the skin to the sun`s rays, can be extremely unpleasant. It makes sitting, lying down, dressing, even walking and other normal daily activities difficult. Cold compresses for sunburns can significantly relieve pain and burning, but they are not practical if you have to spend most of the day at work, for instance. Moreover, these compresses should be used carefully even at home, without directly applying ice to the burned skin, as this can have counter effects.
Small pimples on the skin after sunbathing are an indication of allergic reactions. They usually go away after a few days of rest, but if they spread and last longer, you should consult a dermatologist. Blisters on the skin indicate more serious injuries and burns of a higher degree. They are also an alarm that signals that you need to consult a doctor. Every burn “extracts” fluids from the body and is accompanied by dehydration of the skin and the whole organism. The best solution to avoid and alleviate this problem is to drink a large amount of water throughout the day. In this way, the natural processes of skin regeneration and hydration are triggered. Also, fresh fruits, vegetables, and avoiding fatty and heavy food can be of great help.
How Long Do Sunburns Last
Depending on the type of skin and the intensity of the burns, the symptoms may last for several days. Severe sunburns also require the intervention of a doctor. The most unpleasant reactions usually occur 24 to 36 hours after the injury, followed by a period of skin recovery. If the burns are not extremely serious, the reddening starts to fade after two or three days. The complete healing of the skin takes much more time and requires deep hydration and proper care of the face and body.
Regardless of the degree of injury, burns usually do not go away quickly on their own. The good news is that the recovery time of the skin and relief of pain after burns can be shortened with cosmetic products. The following can be used as first aid:
- calendula cream for sunburns;
- skin soothing gel with aloe;
- chamomile-based lotion;
- panthenol ointment for sunburns, and similar products.
What Is Good for Sunburns
The first aid for the appearance of burns and redness on the skin is certainly to avoid further sunbathing. Having a shower with lukewarm or colder water can also be helpful. Avoid aggressive shampoos and bath soaps, as they can further irritate the skin. After taking a shower, just use a soft towel to pick up the excess water. It is desirable that a few drops remain on the body, because after burns the skin is further dried. After showering, be sure to apply a moisturizing cream or lotion, so that the skin cells compensate for the loss of moisture as soon as possible.
We suggest that you use Ostwint moisturizing face and body gel with aloe because it has a soothing effect on the skin. Thanks to its composition, which is enriched with vitamin E, aloe extract and panthenol, the gel relieves irritation after sunbathing, refreshes, nourishes and hydrates dry and damaged skin.
Panthenol for Sunburns
Panthenol is well-known for its moisturizing and soothing properties and is commonly used as the main ingredient in many burn creams. Foams, balms and gels with panthenol are excellent for immediate relief of burning. They soothe the skin and achieve a cooling effect.
Our recommendation is Revuele Gel for Cooling and Soothing the Skin after Burns, which contains 7% of panthenol. It does not contain parabens, artificial colors and silicones. Skin cells quickly absorb D-panthenol from the gel and convert it into pantothenic acid, which plays an important role in healing injured skin. It helps to strengthen collagen fibers, promotes tissue regeneration, normalizes cell metabolism and has an anti-inflammatory effect. In addition to panthenol, the active ingredients of this product include extracts of aloe and chamomile (bisabolol), which have soothing and antibacterial properties.
Summer is made for fun and enjoying on the beach. In order to enjoy all its charms and prevent the appearance of burns on the skin, be sure to use protective sunscreens. Do not let burns ruin your holiday. If a slight redness does appear, make sure you have a sunburn gel on hand, which will immediately alleviate the discomfort. How do you take care of your skin after intense sunbathing and solve problems with burns? If you have proven tips and recipes for reducing redness from sunburns, write to us in the comments. Surely, someone will need them this summer.