“Gio, stay in the shade. And don’t take off your hat again!,” my mum said, as she put the damn thing on my head again.
I hated that hat. It was an old, ugly red and blue thing that had obviously seen better days. None of my friends had to wear anything like that. In fact, they didn’t have to wear anything at all.
So, when my mum wasn’t looking, I’d dump it somewhere. Anywhere. It’s not like anything bad had ever happened. Sure, if my mum found out, she’d scold me, but mums always scold you. It’s their job.
Then, one day, my friend asked me why I looked like a lobster. “Your face is all red,” he said. I thought he was being annoying, like young boys often are.
But, then, my face started to hurt. My skin began to peel. Ouch! I ran to my mum, who told me I had just got a sunburn. A sunburn?! While playing in a friend’s garden?! Wasn’t that something you only got at the beach?
“A sunburn can happen anytime you spend too much time in the sun without protection,” my mum explains. “You haven’t been wearing your hat, have you?”
Sure, a hat doesn’t protect you as well as sunscreen does but who the heck wore sunscreen anywhere but the beach in the 80s? And a hat would have helped somewhat. Mums do know best.
Anyway, the damage was done. A good scolding – and trust me, I got one – wouldn’t fix it. Here’s what does:
How To Treat A Sunburn
A sunburn is a sign that UV rays damaged the DNA of your skin cells, killing them. Your immune system has stepped in, removing those dead cells and trying to fix the damage. But, in order to do it, it makes your skin all red and painful.
(Don’t ask me why your body can’t heal itself in a gentler way. You’ve damaged it so I guess it’s taking its revenge on you. Next time, wear sunscreen).
You can give it a helping hand, too. Here’s how:
1. Stay away from the sun: sunscreen can worsen the inflammation and you can’t go out in the sun without it. If you must, wear loose fitting clothes that won’t irritate your skin and a wide-brimmed hat.
2. Take an antinflammatory: aspirin or ibuprophen stop the inflammation and reduce redness and pain.
4. Don’t peel off skin: and don’t pop blisters, either. That only causes more damage. FIY, those blisters are there to protect the sensitive layers of skin underneath.
5. Shower with lukewarm water. If you use hot water, you’ll burn off more skin.
6. Drink plenty of water. A sunburn can dehydrate your body so the keep the water coming in!
7. Visit your doctor: if you get open wounds or extensive skin damage, go immediately.
How do you treat a sunburn?