Skin protection from burns: tips that really work


Always carry a bottle of clean water with you and drink green tea

“Rehydration is essential. If you’re hot, you’re probably dehydrated, and when the skin tans, our body’s repair mechanisms divert fluid from the entire body part to the surface of the skin, says Dr. Paul Stillman. “Yes, water is good, but green tea is better because it is high in antioxidants that help repair damaged DNA.”

Studies confirm that a cup of green tea also reduces the risk of skin cancer. Dr. Stillman offers another tip for using this drink: “You can even try taking a cool green tea bath, which will cool your skin if you do get burned.”

Cover early damage

Pharmacist Raj Aggarwal says that if you develop a sunburn, you need to cover the damaged area to prevent further skin damage. For this, thin, light-blocking fabrics work best. Remember that fabrics become more transparent when wet.

Don’t rely on shadow

A recent study found that being under a beach umbrella does not protect against burns. A group of 81 volunteers were divided in half and put under umbrellas. One half did not use sunscreen, and the second was smeared with a special cream. In three and a half hours, three times as many participants who did not use protection were burned.


Avoid fast-acting anesthetics

New York City dermatologist Erin Gilbert, whose client list includes many actors and models, advises avoiding topical anesthetics containing benzocaine and lidocaine when it comes to sunburn blisters.

“They only help relieve pain for a moment and won’t help with the healing process,” she says. “Also, as the anesthetic is absorbed or worn off, you will feel even more pain.”

Carefully choose ointments after burns

According to Dr. Stillman, there is only one product that can alleviate the effects of excessive sunburn – Soleve Sunburn Relief.

The ointment combines two active ingredients: a therapeutic level of analgesic ibuprofen, which reduces pain and inflammation, and isopropyl myristate, which soothes and moisturizes the skin, which promotes healing.

“This ointment really relieves the pain and reduces the elasticity of the skin,” says the doctor. “It contains only 1% ibuprofen and about 10% isopropyl myristate. This low concentration allows the product to be used over a larger area without the risk of exceeding the safe dose.”

In pharmacies you can find analogues of this ointment. Pay attention to the active ingredients and their concentration.

Let the blisters heal on their own

Severe sunburn can lead to blistering – this is considered a second-degree burn. Dr. Stillman strongly advises against bursting blisters, as they protect damaged skin from infections.

He adds: “If you don’t see blisters on your skin and don’t tan too badly at all, but you feel nausea, chills and a high temperature, you may have heat stroke. In this case, seek medical attention.”

Debunking misconceptions

Dark skin does not burn

Melanin, which determines skin color, provides some protection against sunburn, and dark-skinned people may spend more time in the sun, but they can still burn.

The study showed that dark people are still at high risk of sunburn.

“We are concerned that people with more melanin might think they are protected,” said study author and dermatologist Tracey Favreau. “This is fundamentally wrong.”

Base tan protects against further burns

Primary tanning provides the skin with the equivalent of a sun protection cream (SPF3), which is not enough for further prevention. Sunburn is a reaction to damaged DNA in the skin as the body attempts to repair damage that has already occurred.

Using a sunscreen with a high SPF will prevent unwanted effects.

SPF indicates protection time

In fact, this is correct. Theoretically, you can safely spend 10 minutes under the hot sun with SPF 30, which will provide protection for 300 minutes or five hours. But the cream should be applied quite thickly at least every two hours.

Studies show that most people wear half as much sunscreen as they should. When you consider that some SPF products are less concentrated than indicated on the packaging, they lose their effectiveness even faster.

It is also important to remember that SPF only indicates theoretical UV protection.

Facts about the sun and the body

– Sand increases sun reflection by 17%.

– Bathing in water can increase the risk of burns. Water also reflects the sun’s rays, increasing the radiation level by 10%.

– Even with an overcast sky, about 30-40% of the ultraviolet still penetrates through the clouds. If, say, half the sky is covered with clouds, 80% of the ultraviolet rays still shine on the ground.

Wet clothes do not help protect from the sun. Wear dry clothes, hats and sunglasses.

– An adult needs about six teaspoons of sunscreen per body to provide proper protection. Half of the people reduce this amount by at least 2/3.

– About 85% of sunscreen is washed off after contact with a towel and clothing. Be sure to repeat the application of the product.

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