I'm sure it's happened to you. Summer starts, you remember how red you got last year and you think: "this time I'll get to September with perfect skin". But then you go on a trip, you forget your sunscreen (you're not even aware of it), and the next morning you're already looking for sunburn remedies again.
Will the After Sun that you have in the drawer and don't know if it's out of date work?
Maybe some ice cubes in a sachet?
Read on and you'll see how soon you'll be able to solve this.
Today we tell you...
What are the symptoms of sunburn?
The 5 most effective remedies for sunburns
What NOT to do?
What are the symptoms of sunburn?
After prolonged unprotected exposure to the sun, a first-degree sunburn is most common, although it can be a second-degree sunburn.
The most obvious sign that appears within a few hours is erythema or redness of the skin, which feels hot to the touch, sensitive and even painful.
Depending on the case, other symptoms such as swelling, headache, fever, nausea or fatigue may also appear over the course of a day or two.
In more severe cases, small blisters may appear.
Watch out for complications
We tend not to make a big deal out of these burns, but they are no trifle.
If you're the kind of person who gets crabbed every week, you're more likely to suffer:
- Premature skin ageing: dry, rough skin, deep wrinkles, macules, freckles... Get ready to look older.
- Precancerous lesions and cancer. UVA radiation can alter cellular DNA and promote carcinogenesis. Melanoma, for example, often starts with moles that follow the ABCDE rule. The risk doubles if you used to burn as a child.
- Eye damage. Excessive ultraviolet light can burn the eyes, which can hurt or feel gritty.
Incidentally, as the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology points out, inappropriate exposure to artificial sources such as UV cabins is also harmful to health. Caution!
Prevention is better than cure
If you like to tan, do it safely.
Use the most suitable sunscreen for your skin type (don't go cheap) and apply it often, avoiding exposure between 12 noon and 4 pm.
And don't forget to apply sunscreen when you go outside in general, even if it's cloudy. Believe me: it's worth it.
On the other hand, cover up as much as possible. Hats, long clothes, sunglasses or the shade cast by the buildings on the street. Anything goes.
And bear in mind that any part of your body is susceptible to sunburn, even your ears, scalp and lips.
The 5 most effective sunburn remedies
The skin itself is capable of healing in about a week. However, there are some sunburn remedies that can speed up recovery and reduce discomfort.
Apply cooling and soothing cloths
Several times a day and for about 20 minutes, wet a towel with cool tap water (at 15-20°C) and gently press it on the affected area.
Another option is to bathe in water with about 60 grams of baking soda. In both cases you will notice relaxation.
You can also use gauze pads with diluted vinegar (prevents infection), green tea (reduces erythema), chamomile (soothes), milk (relieves) or liquid formulations based on organic silica (regenerates very effectively).
Use a moisturising and repairing cream
When you get burned, your skin becomes dry, weak, and loses elasticity, leaving it tight and dull. When it starts to peel, it is usually itchy as well.
For all this, it is essential to use a topical product that reduces discomfort and facilitates the full restoration of the skin barrier. There are many alternatives: aloe vera, calamine, etc.
The recently named organic silica stands out above all. Thanks to its high moisturising power, its ability to increase collagen synthesis, and its optimal penetration into the skin, it regenerates and heals the tissue very quickly.
You can find it in formulas such as Silicium G5 Gel, which is also enriched with vitamin E to reduce cell damage.
Hydrate from the inside
It's important to drink plenty of water to restore lost moisture so you don't get dehydrated or suffer from dizziness or fainting.
It is also advisable to take a drinkable supplement that provides the benefits of silica from within. For example Silicium G7 Original Bio-dynamised: up to 90mL per day if the burn is severe.
The body assimilates it very well, so it will give you extra hydration and accelerate tissue healing very effectively. You can also use it in cloths as I mentioned before.
Protect yourself more than ever
This is not a remedy as such, but a basic tip.
Avoid exposure to the sun until your skin is completely healed, peeled and has a normal tone.
Stay indoors during the brightest hours of the day. And if you have to go out, follow for shade and wear loose-fitting cotton clothes that don't chafe.
Take an analgesic under medical advice.
If you are in severe pain, you can take a painkiller.
But ask your doctor or pharmacist first. Self-medication is never a good idea.
Also ask them about the possibility of using a corticosteroid cream to reduce inflammation or an oral antihistamine to soothe itching.
What NOT to do?
There are several practices you should avoid at all costs:
- Scratching or picking at the peeling. Although it may be itchy or tempting to pick the flakes off your skin, avoid the temptation if you don't want to cause infection.
- Applying ice or very cold water. Under no circumstances should you do this, as it can cause the circulatory system to narrow and aggravate the injury.
- Apply toothpaste, mud, butter, honey or any oil-based product. These are strongly discouraged as they occlude the pores and hinder recovery.
- Use anaesthetic creams. Stay away from anything whose active ingredient ends in "caine" (benzocaine, lidocaine...) or contains alcohol. They may cause irritation or an allergic reaction.
- Break blisters. If you have broken blisters, let them heal without bursting them. They could become infected.
Remember, while these sunburn remedies are effective, a severe or overly prolonged injury needs clinical assessment. If you have blisters on your face, hands, feet or genitals, excessive swelling or pain, signs of infection or high fever: go see your doctor immediately.