We are in the dog days of summer and that means the temperatures are soaring. Just because it’s getting hotter doesn’t mean we stop enjoying the outdoors. When you spend time outdoors, you expose yourself to UV rays from the sun, which is what causes sunburns. Most people know they have to wear sunscreen, but sometimes we forget to put it on, or we miss some spots and severely burned. Here’s what to do if you get a bad sunburn. If you get a very bad sunburn, you can always come to any of our Houston and Austin ERs for 24 hour emergency care for quality, compassionate care.
Why Do We Get Sunburns?
What causes sunburns is when your skin tries to produce more melanin to protect itself against the over-exposure to UV rays from the sun. Melanin gives pigment to your skin and your natural color, and it’s your body’s natural sunblocker.
Depending on your DNA and genetics, you may not have a lot of melanin and so your natural protection isn’t as great. If you are fair-skinned with light colored eyes or hair, you are probably well-acquainted with sunburns. It’s very important to protect your skin when you go out in the sun because studies have shown that getting sunburns regularly can increase your risk for skin cancer.
Protect Your Skin
The best way to protect your skin from sunburn is to apply sunscreen before you go outdoors and then reapply every two hours. Make sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays.
It should also be water-resistant and has an SPF of 30 or higher. If you must be out in the sun, avoid going out between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when UV rays are at their most intense. Wearing protective clothing, like a wide-brimmed hat, will also help too.
Save Your Skin
If you’ve already been burned, here’s what you can do to soothe the sting. Apply a cool compress, like a washcloth soaked in cool water to the affected area. Do not put on ice on a sunburn as that can cause the skin to become irritated or even blistered.
You can also get an aloe vera plant, break off one of the leaves and gently rub the broken end to your sunburn. If you develop blisters, lightly cover them with gauze. Do not pop them. If they do happen to pop on their own, apply some antibiotic cream and cover them with gauze.
Follow these tips to tips to avoid getting sunburned, and if you do get severely sunburned, come to any Neighbors Emergency Center for treatment. We are open 24/7 and have Board Certified ER physicians on staff to treat you quickly with care and compassion.
Neighbors Emergency Center offers 24 hour emergency care in Houston and Austin 365 days a year, and our board certified emergency physicians can treat all medical emergencies. We know you’re time is important, so we will treat you quickly and effectively so you can get back to doing what you love. If you are looking for a quality emergency room with little to no wait time, come to Neighbors Emergency Center.