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Preventing and Treating Sunburns

sunburned child

The short Canadian summer is here and while we may be tempted to soak up all the sun we can, it’s important to protect our skin while we bask, play, and relax.

 

Prevention

Timing

If you’re planning to go outside, try to limit the time you spend outside from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the sun is the hottest. Some people have a sun umbrella they use during this time.

Clothing Choice

Wear tightly knit clothes or several layers of a lighter fabric. Some clothes even specify they offer a certain amount of sun protection or ultraviolet protection factor (UPF). Hats help protect your noggin from getting burnt. Contrary to popular belief, wearing black can help you stay cooler in the heat. While black clothing absorbs more heat, it also absorbs bodily energy better, so when we release energy, the black clothing takes it in. White clothing reflects a lot of energy but also reflects the bodily energy we release right back at us, acting like a self-cooker! If you’re interested in the physics behind this, check out this article.

Sunscreen

There is a right way to choose sunscreen. You may have heard rumblings about whether SPF coverage numbers really matter and the answer is more complex than that. The best sunscreen has UVA and UVB protection, SPF usually measures UVB protection. UVB rays are the ones that make you burn, but UVA rays are the ones that accelerate skin aging and may contribute to certain skin cancers. When shopping, look for multi spectrum, broad spectrum or UVA/UVB protection in the 30-50 SPF range. For more details, check out this article.

Sunglasses

Sunglasses are a fun, stylish way to protect your peepers while you’re outside. Look for a pair that block 99 to 100 per cent of UVA and UVA rays and that screen out 75 to 90 per cent of visible light.

 

Treatment Options

Extract the Heat

Using a damp cloth for ten to fifteen minutes each day on the burn helps extract some of the burn’s heat.

Moisturize

Soothe the burn using a moisturizer that contains aloe vera or soy. If you have an aloe vera plant, pure aloe vera can do wonders for burnt skin as well as other cuts and scrapes.

Hydrate

Since burns dehydrate you, it’s important to replenish your skin to compensate.

Leave Blisters Be

If you notice your skin bubbling up, it’s blistering as a way to heal. Popping the blister will worsen the burn underneath, so be ginger with your blister.

 

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