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Sun erythema: some practical tips against sunburn

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In summer, you know, it is time for sun, sea and well-deserved relaxation. Days spent at the beach or pool are a pleasant alternative to the many hours of work or study spent at the office and school. However, we need to protect ourselves with due care from the sun’s rays, especially during the hottest hours, as improper exposure to the sun’s UV rays could lead to serious consequences for our skin, many of which are truly painful. The most prevalent of all is undoubtedly sun erythema, or as it is more commonly called, sunburn, due to prolonged and excessive exposure to sunlight without proper protection for the skin.

Erythema is a true first- or second-degree burn that usually occurs 6 to 12 hours after sun exposure and brings with it: reddening of the skin, blisters, vesicles, highly itchy skin papules, extreme sensitivity of the skin to touch, and skin dryness.

The main remedies for sunburn

The first thing to do when you find yourself battling a sunburn is to moisturize the reddened skin with specific lotions, creams or milks for immediate relief and pain relief. It is then appropriate to take a cold shower or apply an ice pack (wrapped on a soft cotton cloth) to the most affected and painful areas. It is also helpful to apply soothing compresses to the skin and to wrap arms and legs with cloths soaked in cool water, which should be replaced as soon as the pain starts again.

After a shower or a cool bath, gently dry the skin with an extremely soft cloth, so as to avoid scratching or irritating the reddened skin even more, and nourish the skin with an oil specifically for sunburn. Application of creams and other moisturizing compresses should be done for 7 to 10 days following the sunburn.

Absolutely avoid

In a condition such as this, it is absolutely inadvisable to continue sun exposure in the days immediately following the erythema. One should not forcefully scratch or scrape the skin as this may increase irritation and consequently pain, let alone break up any blisters or boils formed as a result of the burn, to avoid infection and complications in healing. It would also be best not to dry the skin with rough sponge cloths (although they may be an aid against itching at first impression) since they can aggravate the redness.

Prevention

To avoid sun erythema, it is necessary to expose oneself to the sun armed with a good amount of sunscreen, which should be rubbed on the skin every 2 hours and after every bath in the water. Avoid sun exposure from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: during these hours, the risk of sun erythema is higher. It is also not recommended, especially for young children, to avoid direct exposure to the sun, but to use bandannas, caps and goggles.

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    Basic Doctors, Therapist

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