Understanding Sunburn: Skin Care Advice You Must Have!

Sunburn DamageSkin care advice you must have starts with understanding sunburn.  A lot of us out there have suffered Sunburn at one time or another, but what’s the best way of dealing with sunburn damage during the phases of a sunburn?

The Stages of Sunburn

The first stage of sunburn occurs when you’ve been out in the sun for prolonged periods of time. Your skin will steadily turn red, and then look slightly damaged. When this happens, it’s because the UV Radiation from the suns rays is effectively killing the topmost layer of your skin, and sensing this occurrence, your immune system increases blood flow in the affected areas, opening up capillary walls so that white blood cells can come in and remove the damaged cells. The increased blood flow makes your skin warm and red.

The first phase of a sunburn, although still considered equally dangerous, is actually the least painful of all the phases, and quite easy to manage. At this stage, the most important thing you can do is to keep your skin moist. Using a skin care moisturizer cream will help keep your skin moisturized. It’s very important you avoid using products that contain alcohol.  Alcohol dries out your skin, which will make sunburn even more painful than usual. If afterwards your skin is hot and tingly, some people find that draping damp cloths over the burns help take the heat out. As long as you keep your skin well moisturized you should be able to successfully avoid phase two.

Phase two is usually indicated by small blisters. These blisters can be considerably painful, but as long as you stay in phase 2, they should disappear within 5-10 days at the most. The most important thing is that you leave them alone – don’t pop, pierce, or scratch them. You may want to contact your doctor to see if it would be worth having an antibiotic cream, but in most cases, they tend to heal by themselves.

You can pretty much guarantee that your skin will peel afterwards but luckily, for most people, this symptom is not painful, and is the process your skin goes through in order to dispel dead skin. Some people even enjoy the process of peeling away the skin! This is okay to do, just be sure to do it slowly so as not to remove any healthy skin lurking underneath! If you want to help this process, use a skin care moisturizer cream to help the new skin underneath and generally speed up the healing process.

Phase Three is not only the most painful stage, but also, the most dangerous, and it is imperative that you seek medical advice as soon as possible. If you reach this stage, you will be suffering large water filled blisters and skin eruptions. Both of these things are very dangerous because, if left, they can lead to wide-spread infections and cellular damage.  I can’t stress enough the importance to seek medical advice should your sunburn reach this phase. You will most likely be prescribed something that will help the skin heal. Again, it is imperative you do not pop these blisters.  After showering, don’t rub any badly blistered areas dry, pat them dry, and Aloe Vera is often recommended, as it’s known for soothing bad burns. It’s also important that you wash the area daily, and dry with clean towels.

Effects of The Phases of Sunburn

All three phases of a sunburn carry some surprising side effects, such as fever, headache, chills, nausea, flu-like symptoms, blistering, skin loss, and aging skin as well as some less surprising side effects, including aggravation of underlying skin disorders such as eczema, dehydration, burns, and infection.  Most of these only tend to last as long as the burn, and are fairly manageable as long as you take it easy while recovering.

If you want to do your utmost to prevent sunburn damage, it’s very important that you apply sunscreen frequently. Depending on your skin type, you should be using SPF 15 upwards in order to correctly shield your skin.

Conclusion

But let’s face it, we can’t exactly just avoid the sun, and we’re all going to get burned at one point or another, phases 2 and 3 of sunburn often only occur when no sunscreen was used, and when no effort was made to help the skin heal post burn. As long as you wear plenty of sunscreen, use a skin care moisturizer cream, and avoid prolonged bouts of sun bathing, especially around lunchtime and early afternoon (when the sun is at its highest, and most lethal point!) you should be fine, and at most suffer minor symptoms of phase one and avoid sunburn damage. Don’t panic, just be careful out there!

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