No one likes getting a sunburn. However, there are some things that can make your sunburn worse. Learn all the things not to do after getting a sunburn here.
Without sun protection, you can get a sunburn in just 10 minutes. Just imagine what can happen if you're exposed to UV rays all day.
The truth is, most of us have experienced a painful sunburn or two. Whether we spent too long at the beach, fallen asleep outside, or spent too long on the golf course, the resulting sunburn is the same.
The difference between misery and relief comes down to your sunburn aftercare.
Luckily, we're sharing all the things NOT to do after getting a sunburn. Read on to learn how to avoid these sunburn treatment mistakes so you can get some relief and care for your skin.
1. Take a Hot Shower
While you may be used to taking hot showers, you should skip it when you have a sunburn. Hot showers can dry out your skin by stripping away its natural oils.
When you have a sunburn, the outer layer of your skin has been damaged by sun exposure. That means it has even less of these natural oils to protect itself.
Plus, a hot shower might irritate your sunburn even more. It's best to take a cool or lukewarm shower when you have a sunburn. Your skin will get some relief from the cool water and you'll be able to rinse off any irritating sand, sweat, or saltwater.
2. Skip Drinking Water
Staying hydrated is important to our overall health and wellness, but it's especially important when you're treating a sunburn.
When you have a sunburn, your body sends extra fluids to your skin. It's an effort to heal your damaged skin, but it can also pull moisture away from the rest of your body. That's why it's critical that you drink even more fluids than usual.
Make sure to drink plenty of water, sports drinks, and juice over the next few days. You can also eat hydrating foods like watermelon and cucumber to further hydrate your body.
3. Go Back In the Sun Without Skin Protection
Sunburns can make you feel miserable which is why you have a natural desire to stay inside or sit in the shade. Your body is telling you that you need to stay out of the sun.
If you have to spend time out in the sun, take care to wear sun protective clothing. If you can't find clothes with a UV rating, look for tightly-woven fabrics that you can't see sunlight through. This will protect your sunburned skin when you're outside.
It's also important to wear plenty of broad spectrum sunscreen when you venture outside again. Stick to mineral sunscreens over chemical ones as they're often less irritating on your skin.
4. Wear Tight Clothing
If you're wondering how to help heal a sunburn, wear loose clothing that's not itchy or scratchy. Avoid tight clothing as it can irritate your skin. Stick to lightweight, breathable fabrics too.
Not only will you feel more comfortable in loose clothes, your skin will be less prone to further damage. Tight clothes can rub off your peeling skin and make it harder to heal.
5. Forget to Moisturize
The outer layer of your skin relies on natural oils to protect it from damage and stay hydrated. When you get a sunburn, you lose that outer protective layer.
The best way to heal a sunburn is to moisturize your skin. Start with aloe vera to soothe and cool down your skin. Then, you can switch to an alcohol-free moisturizer.
It's best to avoid products with alcohol or lidocaine as they can sting. Also skip any products with petroleum jelly as it can make it difficult for the heat to escape your skin. This can make you more uncomfortable and slow down the healing process.
You can apply lotion anytime you need some relief. Try to put lotion on your sunburn at least twice a day until it heals.
6. Peel Your Skin or Disturb Your Blisters
Peeling skin is a sign that your sunburn is starting to heal. But, it can leave you with unsightly sheets of skin that feel uncomfortable.
If you want your sunburn to heal, fight the urge to peel off that loose skin. Peeling it off will only expose your new skin to more harm. If it bothers you, try reapplying moisturizer to help it soak in.
The same goes for blisters. Blisters can be very painful, but disturbing them can expose your skin to infection. Try to avoid disturbing them or popping them and they should go away on their own.
7. Forget to Take Pain Relievers
Sunburns can be very painful, but this pain often takes hours to set in. The best way to prevent discomfort is to take some anti-inflammatories before that happens.
If you've been out in the sun all day and forgot to apply sunscreen, take a few ibuprofen to get ahead of any inflammation. This will help you get a head start on healing and ease your pain.
Avoid Getting Sunburns in the Future
Once you know what things not to do after getting a sunburn, you'll enjoy faster recovery. With the right aftercare, you can get back to enjoying time outdoors in a few days.
That said, the best thing to do is avoid getting sunburns in the first place. Severe exposure to harmful UVA rays and UVB rays can lead to skin cancer. Remember to apply (and reapply) plenty of sunscreen and wear sun protective clothing.
If you're looking for UPF 50+ sun protection clothing, BloqUV can help. We offer a wide range of protective clothing for the whole family and all skin types. Shop clothing by activity or check out our entire collection today.