A painful and bothersome side effect of summers spent at beaches, lakes, and parks can be sunburn. Unfortunately, hours spent outside can result in red, painful skin. It is also possible to develop swelling and blisters if the burn is bad enough. Symptoms usually occur 3-5 hours after exposure, peak at 12-24 hours, and subside at 72 hours. Long term effects of sun exposure and frequent burns are premature aging and skin cancers.

Sunburn Prevention

The best ways to prevent sunburns if you are going to be outside is to wear clothing and hats that covers the skin and apply sunscreen SPF 30 or higher to exposed areas. Sunscreens should be broad-spectrum with UVA and UVB protection. Aerosol spray sunscreens can be easy and convenient to use, while sunscreens with physical blockers can be a good choice for people with sensitive skin. Also be certain to reapply after 2 hours or immediately after swimming.

What To Do If You Get Sunburned

Treatments to try if you do get burned are cool compresses, calamine lotion, and aloe-vera based gels. NSAIDs such as ibuprofen can be helpful as well for the pain and inflammation. However, if you have a severe burn, make an appointment to be seen and evaluated to assess the need for more intensive treatments. Tips like this and more are proudly brought to you by the Family Practice Center of Atlanta, if you or any of your family memebers need to be seen by some of the best doctors in the metro Atlanta Area set up an appointment today.