You don’t want even a hint of risk to ruin your or your family and friends’ fun while you splash around in your backyard pool and enjoy the outdoor oasis you’ve built. You may significantly improve the benefits of your time spent outdoors by lowering your risk of drowning and being prepared to act in case it does happen. You can also increase the fun while minimizing danger by properly addressing the risks related to sun radiation.
We’ve been emphasizing understanding and preventing sun damage so far in this series (see Parts 1, 2 & 3), but let’s face it – we’re all human and occasionally we forget to put what we know into practice. Therefore, today’s topic will focus on how to handle sunburn, especially for older kids, teenagers, and adults.
Step 1: Cooling
Because a sunburn is a sort of burn, you should try to cool it down as soon as you are able. But you’ll want to submerge the body in cool water, because the sunburn is usually not confined to a solitary place. Since you have a pool, it can undoubtedly provide the required cooling, but take care to avoid extending your exposure to UV radiation and causing further harm. You can pat the skin dry and then apply a cold compress to keep the skin cool after a brief swim in the pool or a slightly longer soak in an indoor cool bath.
You should avoid taking long showers or baths while the burn is still healing, because excessive water exposure might actually make the skin dry up even more. Additionally, you should exercise caution when using soaps, since they could aggravate your skin.
Step 2: Moisturization
You should hydrate the skin ideally while it’s still damp. Applying a light moisturizing lotion is essential, and you should do so every time the burned skin stops feeling wet to the touch. Products containing petroleum or other oils should be avoided, because they will just trap the heat. Additionally, you should avoid any lotions that contain a fragrance, because they may irritate already damaged skin.
Step 3: Medication
A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSID), can help lessen discomfort from a sunburn, because sunburn is an inflammatory reaction of the body. Popular NSID choices include ibuprofen and aspirin. Cortisone cream (1% cortisone) is another over-the-counter choice that can aid in reducing burn-related edema and redness. Aloe Vera is an additional topical remedy that is effective in curing less severe sunburns. Of course, before using any of these, it is always wisest to first consult with your doctor.
Step 4: Hydration
Like any burn, the area where you got a sunburn will draw fluids from the rest of your body to help it recover. Dehydration may thus become a problem. You should aggressively rehydrate your body by consuming lots of water. If you’re like many Americans, you might not be adequately hydrating on a regular basis; use this handy hydration calculator from Camelbak to determine how much fluid you need to consume based on your weight and gender. Sports drinks are something else you might want to think about, because they can restore your electrolytes while your body is recuperating.
Wear soft, breathable clothing with lots of coverage and take extra care to avoid being in the sun while your skin recovers.
Continue reading with Part 5.
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