Anyone can get sunburnt at anytime of the year. That is why it is important to take preventive measures to protect yourself against it. The best way to prevent sunburn is to avoid exposure to the sun. This can be achieved in various ways.
How to avoid exposure to the sun
Stay out of the sun when it is at its hottest. This is usually between 10 am and 4 p.m. If you have to be outdoors, try and stay in the shade. To know how much Ultra Violet (UV) rays you are exposed to, use the shadow rule. The longer your shadow is compared to you, the lower your exposure to UV rays is and the shorter your shadow is, the the higher your exposure to UV rays.
If it is not possible for you to stay indoors during the day, you can take other measures. This includes covering yourself up, so that only a minimal part of your skin is exposed to the sun. You can do this by wearing a wide brimmed hat that covers your eyes, ears, face and neck. The hat should also cover your hair. The other option is to use an umbrella to cover up.
In addition, wear clothing that covers up your arms and legs. This can be a loose fitting long sleeved shirt and trouser or a long skirt or dress. There are some special clothing which are specifically made from fabric that helps to protect the skin against sun exposure.The labeling on the clothes will provide you with more information about there effectiveness against UV light.
The other option is to use sunscreen on any areas of your skin that are exposed to the sun. For maximum effectiveness, you have to keep reapplying the sunscreen after every few hours. Always follow the instructions given on the packaging of the sunscreen, so as to derive the most benefit from it. Reapply the sunscreen after swimming or taking a bath, as it will have washed off. Alternatively, use waterproof sunscreen.
You can also use a chap stick on your lips. Large sunglasses with UV protection will help to protect your eyes and the areas around it, as it may be hard to apply sunscreen around your eyes. Don’t forget to apply some sunscreen on your hair too or you can opt to use a shampoo or hair oil, which provides sunscreen protection. This will prevent you from getting sunburns on your scalp.
Simple and fast home remedies against sunburn
Sometimes, even your best measures to protect yourself against the sun may not be that effective and you may end up with sunburn. When this happens, you can take a number of steps to remedy the situation. Here are some quick home remedies that you can try out.
Use a cold compress soaked in cold water or milk or green tea or egg white to reduce the inflammation on the affected area. Moreover, you can use potato paste. Wash a potato until it is clean and then blend or grate it with its skin still on. If the resulting potato paste is a bit too dry, add a little bit of water. Then dip some cotton balls in the paste and dub it on the affected area.
You can also mix baking soda or corn starch with cool water until it forms a paste like consistency. Soak a cotton ball or gauze in it and then apply on the sunburned area until you get some relief before washing it off. Moreover, you can use plain, unflavored yogurt. Clean your hands, deep them in the yogurt and apply on the affected areas. Leave it on for a few minutes before washing off.
Drinking lots of water will help to keep you hydrated. This is because your skin is dried out and your body is most likely dehydrated. Drinking water will help to restore your damaged skin. Furthermore, topical lotions, sprays or ointment can be bought over the counter and used to soothe the inflammation or irritation on the skin.
When to seek medical help
If the sunburn is severe, that is it covers a large part of your body or it is accompanied by other symptom such as chills, nausea or faintness, go to the hospital for medical attention.
Taking some painkillers when you notice signs of sunburn may help to reduce the swelling and redness of the skin and any aches that you experience. In addition, using an anti-bacterial ointment may help to prevent infection on the affected area.
Tips to keep in mind
Do not stay out of the sun completely, as this may result in vitamin D deficiency. Spend a little time daily in the sun without sunscreen. This is best done when the sun is not at its hottest.
Combining two methods of protection will be much more effective in protecting you against the sun. For instance, covering up with clothing, while at the same time using an umbrella or hat.