Here are a few things you can do to help your skin and ease your pain.
You know you’re supposed to wear sunscreen. How many times has your mother told you that even on the cloudy days you can get burned? And even if you’re not burned, your skin is exposed to damaging UV rays that can cause melanoma. Why don’t you listen to your mother?
All right, maybe you did. Maybe you put on some sunscreen in the morning, but you were out on the water and it was one of the first sunny days in a LONG time and you just forgot. Or maybe you just thought it’d be nice to get a little extra sun. It was a silly mistake and now you have a sunburn.
Dang! You’ve forgotten how much it hurts. Not to worry, here are a few things you can do to help your skin and ease your pain.
A cool bath with baking soda or vinegar. Chances are that your skin is dirty and caked with remnants of sunscreen, sand, maybe salt water and you’ve got to get clean. Rather than using soap in a shower (ouch!) draw a lukewarm bath and add a half to a full cup of baking soda or white or apple cider vinegar. The vinegar or baking soda should help ease the inflammation. When you’re ready to get out, rinse with fresh water and be careful of the towel. Let your skin air dry.
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Moisturize your skin with aloe vera. Aloe vera is known as the burn plant for good reason. It can be so soothing to a sunburn. You can get it straight from the plant or in a bottle from a drug store. If you can’t come up with any aloe, you can try a vitamin E oil. Be careful of lotions that contain petroleum, benzocaine or lidocaine that can trap the heat in and irritate your skin.
Drink lots of water. Your mother called. She says you’re also dehydrated. Maybe you could help your body rehydrate and recover by eating some fruit. There’s not much tastier on a summer’s day than a wedge of cold watermelon.
Stay in the shade. This is kind of a no-brainer but, well, based on your recent mistakes perhaps we’ll make sure it’s clear. Let your skin heal. That means you need to stay inside, keep your skin covered, or use sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher.
Still in pain? Talk to an expert. This doesn’t mean you have to call your doctor’s office. Now Bartell Drugs is offering minor medical care at 13 of its pharmacies around the city. Here sunburned people (and those with stings and bites and other common summer ailments) can pop in to talk to a pharmacist about how to get some relief from their pain. Maybe hydrocortisone cream would help or an over-the-counter pain reliever. The pharmacist will know what to do. They can even write some prescriptions.
“Our pharmacists can assess non-life threatening, minor ailments,” Christina Schwartz, the clinical programs manager for Bartell Drugs, says. “They can initiate treatments and even write some prescriptions. The patient doesn’t even need to make an appointment. It’s fast, easy and convenient. You can just walk in and ask the pharmacist, what do you think I should do?”
Well, I know what you should do; you should wear your sunscreen. Now you know for next time. Until then, your mother wanted me to let you know that you can always come to her house. She’ll have the bath and a cold slice of watermelon waiting.
Bartell Drugs’ team of health care professionals are here to help you live a PNW summer to the fullest. Speak to a pharmacist about the right medicine to fit your symptoms, or visit one of their 15 CareClinics for walk-in care.