Despite even our best efforts to protect our skin, sometimes you have to deal with the aftermath of a sunburn
Nobody wants to admit it, but it happens: sunburn. And it’s not pretty either, especially underneath the skin. “The ultraviolet rays of the sun cause damage to the cells, leading to inflammation and skin cell death,” says Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, co-director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in Washington, DC of what happens to your skin when you are exposed to too much sun. “The skin cells are sustaining damage and will eventually die and slough off.” Tanzi notes the worst sunburns can cause blisters, and in these instances “the DNA damage can be permanent, which leads to skin cancer in the future.”
“A bad sunburn requires a lot of hydration (water is best). An over-the-counter NSAID like Motrin or Advil can help, and cool milk-water baths can help soothe the skin. If available, pure aloe vera gel is helpful too,” notes the derm. She suggests one quart of milk per bathtub for the right ratio or try soaking towels in the mixture and applying those to the affected area. Tanzi also cautions against using any “butter” products as treatment.
“A sunburn is not ‘not a big deal.’ People need to know that even one blistering sunburn in their life will dramatically increase the risk of skin cancer in the future. Be sure to protect your skin now to make sure it stays healthy for years to come.”