short vacation post

July 5, 2010

I am currently on vacation, but I don’t want to leave this blog empty for too long, so I figured I could post something of relevance for this time of year. Sunburn.  Yesterday I got a little crispy at the beach, so I just wanted to send out the reminder of what to do if you get burnt from the omnipotent source that is wikipedia:

Treatment for Sunburn

The most important aspects of sunburn care are to avoid exposure to the sun while healing and to take precautions to prevent future burns. The best treatment for most sunburns is time. Most sunburns heal completely within a few weeks. There are also a number of treatments that help manage the discomfort or facilitate the healing process.

Topical Applications

Lidocaine or Benzocaine can be administered to the spot of injury and will generally negate most of the pain. Lidocaine and benzocaine are popular FDA approved local anesthetic pain relievers for sunburns, and are available at most drugstores in the United States in the form of ointment or spray.

The pain and burning associated with a sunburn can be relieved with a number of different remedies applied to the burn site. The skin can be hydrated by applying topical products containing Aloe vera and/or vitamin E, which reduce inflammation. Hydrocortisone cream may also help reduce inflammation and itching. People with sunburn should avoid the use of butter; this is a false remedy which can prevent healing and damage skin.

When treating open sores caused by a sunburn, like any other open skin wound, it is best to avoid lotions or other directly-applied ointments. Antibacterial solutions and gauze can be used to prevent skin infections.

Oral Medication

Sunburns can cause a headache or mild fever in addition to the pain, so an analgesic may be indicated. Acetaminophen can help to relieve the pain. Taking NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen may help to reduce pain and inflammation. Aspirin may also be used, but it is advised not to give aspirin to children as it may cause Reye’s syndrome.

Growing up we used to keep an aloe plant in the house specifically for burns (and because it looked cool) it’s quite easy to find a good Aloe + Vitamin E lotion amongst the many vegan skin care companies out there.  A helpful hint if you can handle it, keep your after sun bottle in the fridge.  It will be a shock when you first apply, but it helps with the radiating heat from the skin for a little bit and feel pretty amazing!


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