In the summer, with blue skies and white clouds, outdoor and water activities are at their peak. However, the UV index is very high and without proper sun protection, skin damage is easy to occur. When you find your skin looking like a lobster, it’s already too late. At this point, you need to take care of post-sunburn treatment.
Sunburn is an acute skin inflammation caused by UV rays. UV rays directly damage the cell’s DNA, causing cell death and skin inflammation. Skin inflammation causes blood vessels to dilate, causing the obvious sign of sunburn – redness. UV rays also cause skin pigmentation to deepen, which has two stages. The first stage is immediate, UV rays redistribute and oxidize melanin, darkening the skin. The second stage starts the day after sunburn, caused by an increase in melanin production in melanocytes, resulting in gradual skin darkening and even hyperpigmentation.
To treat the skin, you can use the following methods:
- Cool the skin You can immerse yourself in cooler water like a pool, lake, or sea to quickly freeze the skin. After a few seconds, remove from the water and use cold compresses to cool the sunburned skin. However, do not apply ice directly to the skin, as it can damage it. A more convenient method is to take a cold shower, but don’t stay too long to avoid drying out the skin.
- Moisturize When the skin is still moist, apply mild moisturizer containing aloe vera or shea butter. Avoid using too oily moisturizers like Vaseline, as they slow down heat dissipation and make the skin worse. Remember to keep the skin moist in the following days.
- Anti-inflammatory Due to skin inflammation, the injured skin becomes abnormally sensitive and swollen. In severe cases, doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs or low-concentration steroid creams to speed up the anti-inflammatory effect. Wear loose, breathable clothes to reduce skin irritation.
- Replenish enough water Extensive skin inflammation can drain the body’s water, causing dehydration. At this time, increase water intake and replenish electrolytes until the skin recovers.
Remember, if the sunburn is severe, seek medical attention promptly. Each sunburn increases the risk of skin aging and skin cancer. Prevention is better than treatment, and sun protection is essential!