What to do if ... you get a bad sunburn

With summer on the horizon, so is being outdoor in the sun. Here is what to do if you get a sunburn, according to Wendi Slay, an RN with the Alexander Burn Center at Hillcrest. While Slay cautioned the treatment of sunburns depend on the severity of symptoms, here are a few tips:

1. Take a cool or lukewarm bath.

2. Place a cool, wet cloth on the sunburned area.

3. Moisturize the skin with non-fragranced white lotion.

4. Apply aloe vera gel.

5. Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief.

6. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.

7. With a sunburn, more sun exposure can make the sunburn worse.

8. Do not pop blisters. This can lead to infection.

Here are some of Slay’s tips to decrease the likelihood of a bad sunburn:

1. Wear waterproof or water-resistant sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.

2. Use broad spectrum sunscreen that blocks UVA and UVB sunrays.

3. Apply sunscreen to all exposed areas of skin including the ears, lips, scalp, back of the neck and tops of the feet.

4. Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside and re-apply every two hours during outdoor activity.

5. Stay out of the sun from the hours of 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

6. Wear a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses.

7. Wear clothing rated with UV protection factor to protect your skin from the sun.

8. Stay in the shade.

9. Use sunscreen even in the shade. UV rays can reflect off surfaces such as sand, snow, cement or water.

10. Children under 6 months old should always be kept in the shade when outside