By Astrid Van Den Broek
For a few days after a sun burn, your skin will be swollen and sensitive to touch – be it from human contact or from water. You may also develop blisters that pop, leaving your skin vulnerable to infection from dirt and germs. Once the redness subsides, the skin will peel off, leaving fresh, vulnerable skin underneath. A sun burn also dehydrates your body, which can leave you tired and fuzzy minded.
Pop a pain reliever, such as ASA or ibuprofen. They both double as anti-inflammatories to help minimize swelling. “Then use wet compresses on your skin, where the burn is, or take a cool bath,” says Dr. Lisa Kellett, a Toronto-based dermatologist. Fridge-chilled aloe vera gel or skin moisturizer may help soothe skin, though studies can’t confirm that they are helpful to the healing process. Next time, apply broad-spectrum (look for UVA and UVB protection) sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 half an hour before heading into the sun, and reapply it every two hours after you come out of the water.