Sunday, July 18, 2010


'Tis the season for sunshine and the great out doors. Unfortunately we can feel the negative effects of the sun if we don't protect ourselves. I have happen to encounter such events this last weekend.
We went out to the lake and I had just got a new pair of shorts and was very excited to get some rays on my legs, that never seem to tan no matter what. So all day, I layed in the sun, basking in it's warmth. After dinner I realized I had some redness on the tops of my knees, I thought at first this was from crossing my legs for long periods of time. Nope, the beginning of a nasty burn.

Everyone had their own say about sunburns, from slather it in calamine lotion, to put vinegar on it. YIKES! Both of those are baaaaaad ideas. Here's what you should do when you get a sunburn:

1. Remove the heat! This is so very important. You want to treat a sunburn just like any other type of burn.  You want to either place something cool on it, such as a cloth, or soak it in cool water. Don't spray it with water, using a hose or a running tap. This can cause damage to the delicate skin. Also the key word is COOL. Not cold. Do not put ice on the skin. You can freeze the skin, and that does more harm than good on a burn. You want to remove the heat before you put anything thick or creamy on the skin, not removing the heat and trapping it on the skin will only force the burn to go deeper, which can cause more permanent damage, such as scarring.

2. Repair and Replenish.  Once the heat's gone THEN add the creams, lotions, and gels.  Burns dry out the skin so you want to use something very hydrating and soothing. Which is why we have always reached to aloe vera. Other soothing ingredients to look for are Chamomile, Avacado, and even honey are great. Hydrating the skin will help prevent peeling and blistering. Hydrating from the inside is good too, drink lots of water to make sure your skin is getting everything it needs to be healthy.

3. Prevention. The best way to deal with a sunburn is to not get one in the first place. Always apply sunscreen with an spf of at least 15 when you plan on going out in the sun, apply it about 15 mins before going out, and continue to apply it every 30 to 60 mins. Don't forget high points, such as shoulders, ears, and your nose. Wear a hat, and long sleeves, I know it sounds crazy when it's super hot, but there are a lot of very light fabrics that don't feel warm, but protect you from the sun.

I hope we can all learn from my painful mistake. Now I have to go lotion up my knees, feet, ears, nose and forehead. :(

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