What to Do (and Not Do) When Your Sunburn Starts Peeling
Summer is a time for fun in the sun, but it can also lead to painful sunburns. While it’s important to take preventative measures to avoid sunburns, sometimes they happen despite our best efforts. If you do end up with a sunburn, it’s important to know how to properly care for it to prevent further damage and discomfort. One common symptom of sunburn is peeling skin, which can be unsightly and uncomfortable. Here’s what to do (and not do) when your sunburn starts peeling.
Do: Keep the affected area moisturized
When your skin starts to peel after a sunburn, it’s important to keep it moisturized. This will help prevent further peeling and soothe any discomfort you may be experiencing. Look for a moisturizer that contains aloe vera, which has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce redness and swelling. Apply the moisturizer to the affected area several times a day, especially after showering or bathing.
Don’t: Pick at the peeling skin
It can be tempting to pick at the peeling skin, but this can actually make the problem worse. Picking at the skin can lead to further irritation and even infection. Instead, let the skin peel naturally. If you’re concerned about the appearance of the peeling skin, try covering it with clothing or a bandage.
Do: Take cool baths or showers
Taking cool baths or showers can help soothe the skin and reduce inflammation. Avoid using hot water, as this can further irritate the skin. You can also add oatmeal or baking soda to your bathwater to help soothe the skin.
Don’t: Use harsh soaps or exfoliants
When your skin is peeling after a sunburn, it’s important to avoid using harsh soaps or exfoliants. These can further irritate the skin and make the peeling worse. Instead, use a gentle, fragrance-free soap and avoid scrubbing the affected area.
Do: Drink plenty of water
Sunburns can be dehydrating, so it’s important to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. This will help your skin heal and prevent further damage. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, and avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can further dehydrate the skin.
Don’t: Wear tight or restrictive clothing
When your skin is peeling after a sunburn, it’s important to wear loose, comfortable clothing. Tight or restrictive clothing can further irritate the skin and make the peeling worse. Stick to lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen.
Do: Use over-the-counter pain relievers
If you’re experiencing discomfort from your sunburn, you can use over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. These can help reduce pain and inflammation. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label and don’t exceed the recommended dosage.
Don’t: Go back out in the sun without protection
Once you’ve had a sunburn, your skin is more susceptible to further damage. It’s important to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays by wearing protective clothing, using sunscreen, and seeking shade when possible. Avoid going out in the sun during peak hours, which are typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Do: Seek medical attention if necessary
In most cases, sunburns and peeling skin can be treated at home. However, if you’re experiencing severe pain, blistering, or fever, you should seek medical attention. These can be signs of a more serious condition like sun poisoning, which requires medical treatment.
In conclusion, peeling skin after a sunburn can be uncomfortable and unsightly, but there are steps you can take to care for your skin and prevent further damage. Keep the affected area moisturized, take cool baths or showers, drink plenty of water, and avoid picking at the peeling skin. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms, seek medical attention. With proper care, your skin will heal and you’ll be back to enjoying the summer sun in no time.