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Lori’s Summertime Tips to Help Prevent & Treat Sunburns

Lori Crofford

Summertime is a great time for everybody because it means school is out, the Amarillo pools are open, Lake Greenbelt and Ute Lake are busy with boating and water sports.  People are planning their sun and fun vacations and more.  Most of the summer activities are outside and that is why we want you to be safe in the sun.  Here are a few tips on how you can keep your skin and your little ones skin safe from the burn.


How to Prevent Sunburn

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The obvious prevention for sunburn is sunscreen.

With so many sunscreens on the market which are the best for you and your kids.

According to WebMD, sunscreens work in one of two ways, by scattering the UV (ultraviolet rays) by reflecting them or they absorb the rays before they hit your skin.

It’s best to choose a sunscreen with a SPF 15 or higher.  SPF is the sun protection factor.  SPF 15 works well for most people, but if you are fair skinned, or blonde headed then it is best to use a SPF 30 or higher.

If you are concerned about to what to use on your kids it is best to choose a

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Kid friendly sunscreen because some of the chemicals in regular sunscreen can irritate their skin.

Pediatric Dermatologist, Patricia Treadwell, on BabyCenter.com suggests that you always go with a “physical” or “chemical free” sunscreen made with Zinc Oxide or titanium oxide, for your children.

If you are wondering which works the best, spray or lotion, its a 50/50 spilt between people.  Some swear by lotion and the other swear by the spray.

Kristian Dowling/Getty Images for IMG

Personally, my family uses the spray because it is less fuss and easier to cover my toddler with it and it is faster.  It works just as well as the lotion.

Oh and if you sweat a lot or are in the water make sure your purchase the water and sweat proof versions.

Always, remember to apply sunscreen every few hours.

On another note about sunscreen, just because it is more expensive doesn’t always mean it works better.

Stay in the Shade as much as possible.

Don’t get me wrong shade is not sunscreen.  I found that out the hard way a few weeks ago at the Taste of Country BBQ Nationals.  I was under a tree and out of most of the sun but I realized a few hours later that I did indeed burn.

Dress appropriately

I understand that most people dress for comfort in the summer and that doesn’t include long sleeve shirts or pants.  It includes, shorts, tank tops, swimsuits and capris.  Keep in mind when you are going out in the sun to dress for the temperature, wear loose fit clothing and include a hat with your outfit.

How to Treat a Sunburn

So you forgot the sunscreen and now you are as red as a lobster and crispy as a critter.  How do you get rid of the pain.

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Aloe Vera:

my grandmother used to always treat my sunburns as a little girl with Aloe Vera.  She would go over to her plant stand and break a piece off and put the gooey stuff from the plant onto my sunburn.  It would always feel better afterwards.  However, you can always find Aloe Vera gel in your favorite store and it soothes and helps just as well as the plant.  Lori’s Tip: put it in the refrigerator and let it get cold and it helps the pain even better.

Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen:

This is a great pain reliever and it reduces the pain and swelling in a sunburn.

Take a Cool Shower or Bath:

If you are burnt DO NOT take a hot shower, if you do it will make the sunburn worse.  From personal experiences it feels like a 1,000 needles shooting into your skin.  Turn the water to cool and step in.  For extra relief add oatmeal to your bath.  It helps pull the heat and itch out of the sunburn.

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Apply Cool Compresses:

Place a rag dipped in cool water on the burn to soothe the pain, or wrap a bag of frozen veggies in a towel then apply to the burn.  You could even place cool cucumber slices, cold tea bags or plain yogurt to the area.

Do Not Pop Blisters:

If your skin is burnt so bad that it blisters, DO NOT pop your blisters it will just make the pain worse.  Blisters may pop on their own, however you want to avoid touching them, if you have to touch them make sure your hands are clean to avoid spreading bacteria.

Drink Water:

Sunburns dehydrate the body, so make sure you are drinking plenty of water.

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Peeling Skin:

Let the skin peel on its own.  It is the body’s way of getting rid of the dead layer of skin that was burned.  Keep the area that is peeling moist with a moisturizing lotion.

When enjoying Summer, and summer time activities.  Sunburns are inevitable sometimes.  It’s best to know how to prevent them and how to treat them so you don’t end up with those summertime sunburn blues.

So what are some of your sunburn treatments.  We would love for you to share yours with us.  Who knows you could be helping out someone with a horrible sunburn this summer.

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