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How to treat a sunburn

by Jared Mallalieu, D.O. Cosmetic surgery

Catching those summer sunrays is fun, but what if you’ve caught a bit too many and ended up with a sunburn? To help heal and soothe sun burned skin we recommend the following steps:

  1. Get out of the Sun! It sounds like common sense, but once you’ve burned don’t just apply sunscreen and think you’re OK for more sun. Stay inside for a few days. Additional sun exposure will only make things worse.
  2. Take frequent cool showers or baths.  
  3. Use a moisturizer that contains Aloe Vera to help soothe the skin. Apply the moisturizer multiple times a day. It should be applied in thin coats to allow the skin to breathe!
  4. Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help reduce inflammation. Use over the counter dosing.
  5. Increase your water intake. A sunburn increases the skins surface temperature, potentially leading to dehydration. Increasing water intake (not soda, coffee or alcohol!) can help keep skin refreshed and prevent dehydration.
  6. Never pop blisters! Blisters form in second-degree sun burns, and is actually the body’s mechanism for protecting itself.
  7. Visit the Laser Center of Maryland for treatment with the Gentle Wave Light source to speed up cellular repair and to ease the symptoms of sunburn.  This wavelength of light cuts healing time in half, and stimulates the cells to repair damage.

Homemade-Cooling-Sunburn-Treatment-2-1024x770 Finally, keep in mind that a sunburn will increase your chances of developing skin cancer in the future. Be diligent about checking your skin for new or changing lesions. Any mole changing in size, shape, color or that fails to heal should be examined. We offer free skin exams at the Laser Center of Maryland. Feel free to give us a call at 410. 544. 4600.

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