Men, it’s time to stop your rain dancing. With the warmer seasons shifting towards the southern hemisphere, the hours spent frolicking outdoors are sure to increase and with that comes the debilitating effects of that nasty son of a bitch, sunburn.
Sunburn is caused by prolonged UV exposure from the sun. As “healthy” as a tan may look, prolonged tanning over the years can age a man’s skin quicker than Donatella Versace or worse, lead to skin cancer. And now for the bad news. Once you’ve been burnt by the sun, the deed has already been done.
The good news? Here are the best ways to alleviate the stinging pain and speed up the skin recovery to get you back in the game.
#1 Cool It Down, Quick Fast
You’ll know you’re sunburnt when you feel a tingling sensation on your skin which is tender. Don’t push your luck by staying out. As soon as you notice this it’s your job to cool it down for a few seconds to ease the burn.
If you’re at the beach or lake, look for a fresh water shower and run cold water over the burns for 30 seconds to a minute. Any longer and you’ll dry your skin out further to cause irritation.
Also avoid using soap or detergents and apply cold compresses where necessary with ice water. Avoid applying it directly to the burn, instead dampen a towel and use that instead.
#2 Moisturise When The Skin Is Still Damp
There’s no point in applying sunscreen after the burn has been done. Instead, opt for a moisturising lotion specifically made for burns and cracking skin.
It’s a sure bet you’ll look like a tomato or a peeling Leather Face for the next week so go for non-petroleum or oil-based ointments to treat the burnt area.
#3 Contain The Inflammation
If the sunburn is severe and the pain is unbearable, taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug is also recommended. This is your typical over-the-counter ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin which can help alleviate the discomfort. The drugs can be taken until the pain resides.
As a more practical solution, be sure to wear loose fitting clothes over the coming days to allow the skin to breathe and avoid chaffing or itching.
#4 Drink Lots Of Fluids
Your body is working overtime to restore dead skin cells on the burnt skin so help it out by replenishing it with fluids. Drink fluids such as water and sports drinks with electrolytes – no alcohol as this will dehydrate you even more, causing your body to work overtime as it attempts to break down the alcohol whilst regenerating your skin.
#5 Visit A Doctor If Unsure
If the sunburn is severe and has occurred on over 50% of your body, it’ll be best to drop by the doctors to see what they say (unless you want to be a walking ointment). If blisters occur then definitely see a doctor as leaving it to be could lead to infection and prolonged recovery time.
#6 Lesson Learnt (No chance)
Once sun damage has occurred there’s no reversing it. You’ll also remember the pain quite vividly so use this as a warning to apply sunscreen and proper UV protection the next time you’re ready to hit the beach. Your 50-year-old self will thank you for it later.