Skin Health

Sunburn Help

When You Play in Fire, Sometimes You Get Burned!

Everyone living in Arizona knows the intensity of our sun. Most of us spend a great deal of time and energy preventing the danger that the sun can inflict on our skin. Even the most prudent sun screen wearers may find themselves with a burn. Obviously, continue the preventative measures like SPF, hats, SPF clothing, and avoidance. The degree of a burn is determined by the depth of the damage. Second degree burns most often blister and have significant pain, redness and swelling. Third degree burns will have a white, grey or even black appearance. Pain may be absent with the third degree burn. Sunburns are usually first or second degree burns. If you suspect a third degree burn,  seek immediate medical attention.

If you or your loved one unexpectedly gets a sunburn, follow these tips to minimize the damage and the pain:

1)      If the skin blisters, try not to pop the blister. If it is very large and on an area that is in danger of breaking open, like the back, use this sterile technique to drain it:

  •  Use a sterilized needle and gently pierce at the side of the blister.
  • The intact skin is a barrier to infection. Once a blister is opened, it loses that protection.
  • Also, remember that anything applied to the skin, especially open skin, will penetrate directly into the body. This is especially important when treating children.

2)      A well known therapy for burns is Aloe. If you do not already own an aloe plant, get one. Aloe grows easily in Arizona. The best source is right from the plant.

  • Open the aloe leaf and apply the internal gel directly to the skin.  This is non-toxic and is safe even on open or very young skin.
  • If you do not have access to a plant and need to buy aloe gel, make sure it is pure 100% aloe and keep it refrigerated.
  • Calendula creams or ointments are another natural remedy that helps speed the healing of the skin.

3)      To reduce the sting and pain of a sunburn use white vinegar diluted in purified or spring water.

  • Put 1/2c of vinegar into a liter of pure water.
  • Put in a spray bottle and refrigerate.
  • This can be sprayed repeatedly to the area to offer relief. The odor dissipates quickly if you are concerned.
  • If a spray bottle is not available make compresses to place on the burn.
  • An old time remedy is to put yellow mustard on a burn. This undoubtedly works because of the vinegar content.

4)      OTC ibuprofen is priceless to help one suffering from a sunburn.

  • Using IBU short-term can alleviate pain and inflammation.
  • If you prefer a more natural anti-inflammatory, Curapro, available at EVND, can be used. This is a bio-available standardized curcumin supplement well known for its anti-inflammatory effects.

5)      When should you seek medical help for a sunburn?

  • If you are experiencing systemic symptoms like: Fever, nausea, dizziness, etc. make an appointment immediately.
  • Another cause for seeing a doctor would be if a secondary infection presents. Symptoms of an infection are worsening pain, redness and any yellow or discolored discharge.

6)      Nutritive Vitamin IV’s  are an excellent treatment to boost the system following a sunburn.  This can help with dehydration as well as giving the body the nutrients it needs to speed the healing process.

I hope this helps you and your family stay safe. Have a wonderful summer!