A lot of places around the country are experiencing hot, sunny weather. If you don't protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun, you could end up with a nasty sunburn. The American Academy of Dermatology notes that not only does too much exposure to the sun's ultraviolet light cause a painful burn, but also it can cause long-lasting damage to your skin. And it increases the risk of developing skin cancer.
But sometimes, even if you're careful, you still get a sunburn. Your skin turns red, it feels hot, it's sensitive to the touch and may blister. Dr. Dawn Davis, a Mayo Clinic dermatologist, says you might even feel sick.
"When the sunlight hits our skin and we get what we call a "toxic" dose, which causes a sunburn, that can cause a rev up of our entire immune system," says Davis. "And people certainly will feel like they have the flu. They'll feel like they have a low-grade fever, they'll have chills, they'll feel rundown, fatigued, tired and just sore."
Davis says over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications may help you feel better, but they won't help the condition of your skin. She offers four tips to help you treat a sunburn.
Tips to treat sunburn:
- Get out of the sun, seek shade and cover up.
- Wash burned skin very gently.
- Apply cool compresses. Make sure compresses are not too cold, as cold ay also damage skin.
If you have a severe burn, Dr. Davis suggests you contact your health care provider for advice.
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