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Aftercare Sunburn Tips

The red. The painful. The tender.

Every summer, it seems like at least one family member ends up with a sunburn – usually in the upper part of the shoulders and back.

IMG_7007I’m referring to the infamous sunburn. Besides the obvious prevention steps, such as avoiding the sun altogether, what are the most effective ways to relieve a sunburn?

Phon H. Vuong, physician assistant, Coast Dermatology and Laser Center in Laguna Beach offers these important aftercare sunburn steps for her patients:

Cool skin by running cold water over the affected site.

Apply either cortisone cream or Aloe Vera (both over the counter). Chill the cream in the refrigerator for more effective relief.

Make sure to rehydrate and rest.

According to Vuong one of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to sunburns is “continuing to sunbathe in an effort get a base tan so that they won’t burn in the near future.” Building a base for tanning to prevent burning is a common myth.

The fact of the matter is that a sunburn can be serious if not treated properly. However, when is it necessary to seek medical attention?

She recommends looking for these warning signs and get to a doctor immediately:

  • Feeling unwell (fatigue, lethargic, feverish and/or have symptoms of nausea)
  • Vomiting, chills
  • Development of blisters in sunburned areas

Without a doubt, not getting sunburned in the first place is the ideal situation. Vuong suggests: “Make it a habit to apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and reapply it every one to two hours. This is especially important for those engaged in water sports and/or any other activities that cause excessive perspiration.”

Knowing my family’s summer schedule filled with trips to the pool, parks and beach, that’s easier said than done. But I guess putting on sunscreen before hitting the rays is way better than a nasty sunburn.

Kristal Zacharias is the mother of two beautiful, vivacious girls, and wife of a hunky husband who works in the action sports industry. For the past 15 years, Kristal has worked for several Fortune 500 companies as a professional communicator. Follow her journey at Clearly Kristal or on Facebook and Twitter.


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  1. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs really nice,
    keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later.

  2. If I may ; I would add this to the good Doctors advise.. A GOOD LATHERING OF ALOE VERA ” BEFORE ”
    YOU GO OUT IN THE SUN> Blessings.RNR ..

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