Safety in the Sun: Prevention and After Burn Tips

With summer temperatures rising, people want to go outside and enjoy the outdoors. Protecting yourself and your family from a sunburn is likely a top concern as you spend more time outside. Here are several ways that you can help prevent sunburns and the best ways to soothe your skin if you already have a sunburn.

How can I prevent a sunburn?

  1. Find a sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher that is water-resistant. Apply the sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every 2 hours. Sunscreen is safe to apply every day, even when it is cloudy.
  2. Check for shade to give yourself a break from the sun’s powerful rays. Take an umbrella to the beach/pool or find cover in the shade from a tree!
  3. Always wear a hat when in the sun. A wide-brimmed hat will cover more of your skin.
  4. Consider investing in sun-protective clothing, including hats, shirts, shorts, and more.
  5. Eat tomatoes! According to research, there is a component in tomatoes called lycopene that could help protect our skin from UV damage.

I have a sunburn, now what?

  1. Rest! Sleep and relaxing will allow your skin to heal much faster.
  2. Apply fresh aloe vera or after sun cooling gel with lidocaine to your skin.
  3. Take cool baths or showers to soothe your skin.
  4. Soak a hand towel in apple cider vinegar and water, then press against your burns.
  5. Drink plenty of water! Your body needs to stay hydrated to heal and replace lost electrolytes.
  6. Take Ibuprofen, Tylenol, or other anti-inflammatory drugs to decrease irritation.

Why should I care?

Although the sun has health benefits, being out in the sun too much increases your risk for sun poisoning, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, skin damage, eye damage, melanoma (skin cancer), and more. Those who have had sunburns may experience dark spots and dry, wrinkled skin as a result of severe sun damage. By wearing sunscreen and staying in the shade (when you can), you protect your body from too much sun exposure and decrease potential health problems in the future.


This article was created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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