Timely tips for reducing sunburn risk this holiday weekend

Timely tips for reducing sunburn risk this holiday weekend

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Cool (as in trying to stay that way) is the rule this holiday weekend.

Many people this weekend will be traveling to beaches or backyard barbecues. That means food and fun.

But it also means increased sun exposure and higher chances for sunburn.

A few timely tips could help lessen the risk of a painful post-holiday recovery.

Stay out of the midday sun (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). This is the strongest sunlight of the day. Find shade if you need to be outdoors.

A quick rule of thumb about sun exposure is short shadow rule.

You can calculate UV exposure by the length of the shadow.  A longer shadow means UV exposure is low. A shorter shadow indicates higher UV exposure.

More sunburn prevention tips include:

  • Take frequent cool baths or showers to help relieve the pain. As soon as you get out of the bathtub or shower, gently pat yourself dry, but leave a little water on your skin. Then, apply a moisturizer to help trap the water in your skin. This can help ease the dryness.
  • Use a moisturizer that contains aloe vera or soy to help soothe sunburned skin. If a particular area feels especially uncomfortable, you may want to apply a hydrocortisone cream that you can buy without a prescription. Do not treat sunburn with “-caine” products (such as benzocaine), as these may irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction.
  • Consider taking aspirin or ibuprofen to help reduce any swelling, redness and discomfort.
  • Drink extra water. A sunburn draws fluid to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body. Drinking extra water when you are sunburned helps prevent dehydration.
  • If your skin blisters, allow the blisters to heal. Blistering skin means you have a second-degree sunburn. You should not pop the blisters, as blisters form to help your skin heal and protect you from infection.
  • Take extra care to protect sunburned skin while it heals. Wear clothing that covers your skin when outdoors. Tightly-woven fabrics work best. When you hold the fabric up to a bright light, you shouldn’t see any light coming through.

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