How to Avoid and Prevent Sunburn

What is sunburn? Before diving into how to avoid and prevent sunburn, let’s learn the basics. Sunburn is caused by extended exposure of the skin to ultraviolet (UV) radiation that comes from the sun. It can lead to redness of the skin, painful irritation, inflammation, and in severe cases, blisters forming on the skin. Now let’s understand how to avoid getting sunburned.

Sunburn 101: Navigating Sun Safety

How to be sunkissed, not sunburned as we head into summer! Welcome to learning to enjoy the sun without being in pain the day after. It is crucial to remember the importance of protecting your skin from harmful UV rays. Sunburn is not only a painful discomfort but can also lead to long-term skin damage and increase your risk of developing skin cancer, so let’s be careful out in the sun! Lucky for you with the right prevention measures and precautions you can enjoy sunny days with no worries!

Protection 101: Shield Against UV

How to avoid being sunburned at all costs! Do not let an easily avoidable sunburn ruin the rest of your vacation and be on top of protecting your skin. We all love a day of laying out in the sun, but not the red coloring we bring home after the day. Well, fear not, I have the solution for you!

Let me teach you how to enjoy the sunshine all summer long, but safely. Here are a few reminders to come home radiate, instead of brought down by painful redness.

1. Power of Sunscreen:
The most effective way to prevent sunburn is the use of sunscreen, especially when heavily applied regularly. Use sunscreen with a SPF (Sun Protection
Factor) of 30 or higher protection. 30 should be the minimum SPF you use when out in the sun. Make sure to reapply sunscreen regularly because it wears off
over time. Especially when you are swimming, laying out, or sweating it off. Around every two hours, you should be reapplying!

2. Making Sun Protection Fashionable:
Cover up! Protective clothing helps avoid too much skin exposure to the sun during the day. Wearing clothing that covers your arms, legs, and head can help
prevent your skin from burning. If you have sensitive skin that sunburns easily, it is suggested to wear pants, hats, and long-sleeved shirts if in the sun for a long
period during peak UV hours.

3. Seeking Shelter:
Even if it is a cloudy day the sun can still penetrate through the clouds and burn your skin, so shelter is so important. Limiting your time in direct sunlight during peak UV hours is key to avoiding sunburn. Around noon is when the UV is at its highest, and peak hours are between 10 AM to 4 PM. Keep these times in mind when stepping out into the sun!

4. Hydration is Key:
Drink plenty of water throughout the day when being out in the sun. Drinking water helps to keep your skin hydrated. Hydrated skin provides a natural barrier
that maintains moisture and reduces the risk of sunburn from occurring.

5. Warning Signs:
Skin redness is the first sign of sunburn. If you notice your skin beginning to look red when out in the sun, it’s time to reapply sunscreen or head inside for the day. It usually begins to appear after a few hours of sun exposure, so be aware.

Aftercare 101: Healing Your Sunburn

Been burned, we have all been there! With the right care and treatment, you can heal and recover your skin quickly. No one enjoys the painful experience of sunburn, so follow these steps to heal your sunburn and find relief to restore your skin health effectively.

1. Cool Down:
Your first step after realizing you have been sunburned is to cool your body down. A great way to do this is by taking a cold shower or cold compress on the
burned areas. This helps in relieving some of the pain and reducing inflammation of the skin.

2. Moisturize:
Sunburn takes most of the moisture out of your skin, leaving you feeling dehydrated. So it needs a good dose of moisture, so gently apply moisturizer or
aloe vera gel to the burned areas. This helps to soothe and rehydrate the skin. Also, it gives the skin some relief and aids in cooling down the skin.

3. Pain Relief:
If you don’t notice improvements or if the burn is too severe and painful, we recommend contacting a doctor for consultation.

4. Avoid the Sun:
To avoid further skin damage, stay out of the sun for the next few days. Further exposure to the sun can just cause more irritation and damage to the skin. Try to
stay indoors or out of the sun by seeking shelter and wearing protective clothing.

Sunburn is more common than you think, but is so preventable. The serious consequences associated with exposure to sun and sunburn are not worth it. Neither is the pain and discomfort that come along with a sunburn. Follow these tips above to make sun protection your top priority this summer! Remember it is so easy to reapply sunscreen throughout the day and stay out of the sun during peak UV hours. With proper sun protection, you can enjoy your summer pain-free. Keep the balance of fun and safety. Enjoy the sunshine responsibility!

About the Author: Elizabeth Mayer

I am a junior at Miami University of Ohio pursuing a Public Health and Gerontology degree with minors in Global Health and Art History. I am studying abroad in Florence, Italy for the semester where I hope to increase my knowledge concerning Public Health and gain a deeper understanding of Italy's healthcare system.