Avoiding the Phases of a Sunburn
Thirty years ago, the requirements for a sunny day were a bikini and baby oil, with a reflective blanket a secondary option. In those days, we were naïve enough to willingly drench ourselves in oil and fry ourselves in the sun. Doesn’t sound very smart – not only were we courting a progression of a sunburn, we were also doing some serious sunburn damage to our skin.
The best way to avoid sunburn damage is to wear sunblock, reapply the sunblock through the day, wear protective clothing and hats, and stay out of the sun. Even with the best of intentions, we sometimes can’t avoid a sunburn.
There are three possible phases of a sunburn. Basically a sunburn is the same as any other burning of the skin – there are 1st degree, 2nd degree, and 3rd degree burns. Let’s take a look at some of the sunburn symptoms that are associated with the progression of a sunburn.
Sunburn Damage Symptoms
1st Degree Sunburn – In this phase, you may not be aware that you are even burning. Your skin will become pink or red. At this stage, the most important thing is to keep your skin moist. Using a cold cream or applying aloe vera will help keep your skin moisturized, and you can even apply some sprays that will provide sunburn relief. Avoid using any products containing alcohol – the alcohol will further dry out your skin, making the burn hurt even more.
2nd Degree Sunburn – This is a very painful stage. Not only is your skin red and hot to the touch, but you will also experience small blisters. It’s the blistering that indicates that you are in the second phase of sunburn. When you blister, you can count on your skin peeling afterwards. This is stage is painful. You may want to contact your doctor to see if he or she recommends an antibiotic cream.
3rd Degree Sunburn – This stage of sunburn is not only painful but dangerous. With the progression of sunburn to a 3rd degree burn, your skin will have large water filled blisters and eruptions. It’s essential that you seek medical treatment immediately. This type of burning can cause wide-spread infections and cellular damage.
Not only will avoiding a sunburn keep you from experiencing pain, it will reduce your risk of skin cancer. Repeated sun exposure and sunburn damage can lead to cancer. Even if you manage to avoid skin cancer, constant sun exposure affects the quality of your skin. As you age, your skin will lose elasticity. Remember, the sun dries your skin – so sun damage simply accentuates that dryness and loss of elasticity. Welcome the sun and welcome the wrinkles.
Thankfully, we are a lot smarter about our approach to the sun today. Be careful to protect your skin and use sunblock – you definitely want to avoid sunburn damage.