Skin Care Tips: 5 Things to Avoid When Treating a Sunburn

We all know that sunscreen is a skin care product that should not be ignored. But there are times when you may forget to apply it or reapply it after a few hours. Ultimately, it can cause your skin to get sunburned. Yes, sunburn makes your skin hot when you touch it. But should you put ice packs on the affected area to cool it down? Read on for things to avoid after getting a sunburn.

Health Shots connected with Delhi-based dermatologist and hair transplant surgeon, Dr. Navnit Haror, to learn about sunburn.

Sunburns are the result of too much sun exposure. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

What is a sunburn?

It’s an aggravated skin condition that can be blamed on the sun. Yes, excessive exposure to the sun can cause your skin to swell, says the expert. It can be painful or make you feel sore. It can feel hot to the touch and even cause your skin to flake or peel a few days after you get sunburned.

Things not to put on sunburn

The parts exposed to the sun will be greatly affected in case of sunburn. But not all, since the parts covered by caps, sunglasses, gloves or long-sleeved shirts will be saved. With sunburn, the skin gets aggravated, so there are a few things that can make sunburn worse. Here’s what to avoid:

1. Do not use Vaseline

Vaseline is great for dry skin as it helps soften the skin. But it also tends to block skin pores, says Dr. Haror. When that happens, the heat and sweat cannot escape and this will cause infections.

2. Stay away from ice packs

Ice packs are often used to cool us down and seem to be perfect for summer. But they inhibit the formation of moisture and dry out the skin, and the dryness can add to the pain.

3. Don’t break blisters

If you pop blisters caused by a sunburn, you can delay healing and further damage your skin. You shouldn’t even scratch or peel the skin as there may be chances of scarring or infection, says the expert.

4. Do not wear tight clothing

When you have sunburned skin, you should avoid wearing clothes that stick to your skin. Tight clothing over a sunburned area will be painful, irritate the skin, and trap heat. All of this will slow down the healing process. Furthermore, it will aggravate the condition, causing extreme discomfort. So, say no to tight leather pants or body-hugging outfits during sunburn.

5. Do not treat sunburn with products that end in “-caine”

Some use products such as benzocaine for self-treatment in times of sunburn. But they should be avoided, as they can irritate the skin or even cause an allergic reaction, says Dr. Haror.

Follow the do’s and don’ts of sunburn. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Tips for treating sunburn

You can take steps to prevent sunburn or find some relief, but it can take days for sunburn to fade.

Here are some helpful self-care measures:

• Stay indoors in a cool environment.
• Take frequent cool baths or showers to provide some pain relief from sunburn.
• As soon as you get out of the bath, dry yourself gently, but leave a little water on your skin.
• Apply a moisturizer to help trap water in your skin after a bath. This can help relieve dryness.
• Use a moisturizer that contains aloe vera to help soothe sunburned skin.
• If there is a particular area that feels very uncomfortable, you can apply a hydrocortisone cream.
• When you get sunburned, you draw fluid to the surface of your skin and away from the rest of your body. Therefore, drinking extra water when you are sunburned helps prevent dehydration.

Even after going through the dos and don’ts of sunburn treatment, you still feel pain or the symptoms do not go away, see a doctor.

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