10 Things That Aggravate a Sunburn

  • Sunburns need immediate treatment, and taking anti-inflammatory medications right away can help with the healing process. 
  • Letting your sunburned skin breathe can prevent swelling and blisters.
  • Sunburn treatment products that contain petroleum jelly and alcohol can worsen the symptoms of sunburn. 

While a sunburn cannot be undone, it’s essential to know how to manage it by avoiding these things:

1. Wearing tight clothes

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When you have a sunburn, letting your skin breathe is crucial for speedy healing. As your body heals, it increases blood flow to the affected area, which causes inflammation. Wearing tight clothes can result in more severe swelling and blisters.When you wear tight clothes, it can result in more severe swelling and blisters. 

2. Using petroleum jelly

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Using products that contain petroleum jelly prevents heat from escaping your skin. Likewise, the American Academy of Dermatology says products with benzocaine or lidocaine may further irritate the skin.

3. Neglecting hydration

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According to Keith LeBlanc, Jr., MD, a dermatologist and founder of The Skin Surgery Centre, burns pull fluid towards the skin and away from the rest of the body, which makes you dehydrated. Make sure to drink enough fluids to stay hydrated. 

4. Covering it up with makeup

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Dirty makeup sponges and brushes may carry bacteria that can cause infection or allergic reaction, which will eventually make your burn worse and uglier. 

5. Peeling or scratching your skin

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When your burn starts to peel, it means it’s beginning to heal. Let the skin peel off naturally, and use a moisturizing lotion to help it exfoliate naturally and make it look better. Do not interfere with the natural process by peeling it off. 

6. Popping your blisters

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A blister serves as extra protection for your wound, so refrain from popping it. If the pain is bad, apply a home-based blister remedy like unscented aloe vera. 

7. Exfoliating

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Glycolic acid, retinoids, or salicylic acid found in exfoliating products can severely damage your skin, especially if it’s suffering from a burn. About three days after your skin has peeled, you can use an exfoliating product, but exercise caution.

8. Using alcohol-based products

Alcohol in skincare products can strip away the skin’s natural oils and decrease the skin’s healing abilities.  

9. Not taking anti-inflammatories immediately

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The body’s initial response to a burn is inflammation, so popping medicines to lessen the swelling and pain at the first sign of burns is crucial. While it takes about 4-6 hours for burns to develop, the medication may not work as effectively if you wait that long. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, immediately treating a sunburn is crucial, and taking an anti-inflammatory medicine is one way to promote healing. 

10. Using a chemical-based sunscreen

When you have a sunburn, it’s crucial to avoid direct sunlight. However, if you must go out, applying sunscreen is essential. Make sure to reapply it every two hours or so for as long as you are outside. Watch out for chemicals like trolamine salicylate in some sunscreens as they may irritate. The Food & Drug Administration lists zinc oxide, oxybenzone, and aminobenzoic acid as safe active ingredients for the skin. 

Source: The Healthy

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