Tips For Treating Sunburn - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Tips For Treating Sunburn

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(WLNS) - With the Memorial Day weekend comes the return to outdoor activities for many Michiganders.

Whether you're working in the yard or lazing on the patio or beach, you might be getting a sunburn and not realize it.

The Skin Cancer Foundation has five ways to treat a sunburn.  Of course, the most obvious tip is prevention: use sunblock or cover up to prevent the burn in the first place. 

First: Act Quickly.  If you feel the tale-tell tingling of a burn or see any sign of skin reddening on yourself or your child, get out of the sun and start treatment. Sunburn takes about four to six hours to develop.  A touch of pink at the beach can be a big problem later.

Second: Moisturize.  After a cool shower or bath, slather on a moisturizing cream or lotion to soothe the skin. Repeat frequently to make peeling and flaking less noticeable.  It's also OK to use a hydrocortisone cream for a day or two to relieve discomfort. Not OK: scrubbing, picking or peeling your skin or breaking blisters.

Third: Hydrate.  Any burn draws fluid to the skin surface and away from the rest of the body. So drink extra water, juice and sports drinks for a couple of days and watch for signs of dehydration: Dry mouth, thirst, reduced urination, headache, dizziness and sleepiness. Children are especially vulnerable, so check with a doctor if they appear ill.

Fourth: Don't Wait To Medicate. Doctors at the Skin Cancer Foundation say to take (or give your child) a dose of ibuprofen (for example, Advil) as soon as you see signs of sunburn and keep it up for the next 48 hours. Acetaminophen (for example, Tylenol) will treat the pain, but does not have the same anti-inflammatory effect.

Fifth: Assess The Damage.  Most sunburns, even those that cause a few blisters, can be treated at home. But if a blistering burn covers 20% or more of the body (a child's whole back), seek medical attention. Anyone with a sunburn who is suffering fevers and chills should also seek medical help, he says. Finally: Consider the burn a warning that your sun-safety net has failed and vow to do better.

More information on sunburn treatments:
Skin Cancer Foundation

Got a sunburn? Tell us how you're treating it on or @WLNS on Twitter.

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