How to Avoid a Sunburn This Summer

A smiling woman in a hat applies sunscreen to her face with a lake in the background.

Summertime is often synonymous with outdoor adventures. From days spent in the ocean waves at the beach to afternoons by the pool with friends, summer is filled with a lot of fun but also a lot of sun. In fact, sun exposure increases when the weather gets warmer as does your risk of sunburn if adequate protection isn’t followed.

Although some level of sun exposure is healthy for your body, too much can quickly lead to serious burns and long-term skin damage. While applying sunscreen is the best way to prevent sunburn, there are other ways to avoid sunburn this summer.

If you or a loved one have a severe sunburn, we recommend visiting Coastal Urgent Care of Thibodaux for further evaluation and treatment.

If you plan to spend your time outdoors at any point this season, read on to learn about ways to avoid sunburn.

What Is a Sunburn?

A sunburn is a skin burn caused by overexposure to sunlight or artificial sun lamps.

Sunburns typically appear 6 to 12 hours after sun exposure and can last days to weeks, depending on the severity.

Symptoms of a typical sunburn include

  • Red skin
  • A burning sensation
  • Itchiness
  • Skin that is warm to the touch
  • Skin peeling, primarily upon healing

In some more serious instances, you may experience

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swelling
  • Skin inflammation
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Infected blisters
  • Severe pain
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Vision problems
  • Fainting
  • Dehydration

If any of the above symptoms accompany your sunburn, you should seek urgent care treatment right away.

Five Effective Ways to Avoid a Sunburn This Summer

While most people will experience at least one sunburn in their lifetime, it is important to mitigate your risk of developing one to avoid further adverse health conditions such as brown spots, uneven skin tone and skin cancer.

Here are five effective ways to reduce your risk of sunburn:

  1. Use sunscreen regularly and year-round with an SPF of at least 30. Although summertime is the most common time for sunburns, sun exposure at any time of year can affect your skin and cause it to burn without proper protection.
  2. Wear a hat, long sleeves and pants when outdoors to protect your skin from direct exposure to the sun. Choose lightweight and sweat-wicking options to avoid overheating.
  3. Stay out of the sun when it’s at its strongest between 10 am and 4 pm.
  4. Always wear sunglasses when outdoors. Choose a pair that protects against both UVA and UVB rays for the most optimal protection.
  5. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and ensure adequate coverage on all exposed skin.

Along with taking preventative measures, it is important to check your skin regularly for changes in skin texture, color and overall appearance. Speak with your doctor right away if you notice any sudden and worrisome changes.

Sunburn Treatment

If you do end up with a sunburn, most can be treated at home with

  • Over-the-counter ointments,
  • Aloe
  • Pain-relieving medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • Hydration
  • Applying a damp, cool washcloth to the affected area
  • Rest

More severe sunburns should be examined and treated by a medical professional.

Immediate Burn Care in Thibodaux

If you’re dealing with a severe sunburn that is accompanied by symptoms such as fever, chills, nausea or blistering, then you should seek urgent care treatment right away.

Serious sunburns can cause first or second-degree burns that could worsen over time if left untreated. 

Visit Coastal Urgent Care of Thibodaux to get your sunburn examined and treated now. We are open daily with no appointments necessary; simply walk in.