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Understanding and treating sunburn

Sara Vandal, cosmetician, Brunet downtown Comments

Who’s never stayed out in the sun too long? Who hasn’t been tempted to sunbathe for a while without sunscreen? It’s very tempting, and if you happen to give in, you can be sure you’re not alone. Sometimes you get away with it, but on other occasions the results are unforgiving – that’s right, sunburn! Here is some insight into sunburn and how to treat it.

UV rays

We’ve all heard about UV rays. There are three kinds of UV radiation: UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC rays aren’t harmful since they’re blocked by the ozone layer and don’t reach the ground. UVA rays, which account for about 95% of all ultraviolet light that reaches the Earth’s surface, are responsible for most skin cancers as well as skin aging. Their dangerous effects have been shown scientifically. The ultraviolet rays that cause most cases of sunburn are UVB.

When you use sunblock, make sure it protects against UVA and UVB. If you’re not sure which product you need and how to use it, seek advice from our specialists.

Melanin

The body guards against UV rays by producing melanin. The darker your skin is naturally, the more melanin it contains. Tanning resulting from sun exposure is the skin's reaction to deep cell damage. That's why you shouldn't associate a tan with health and beauty.

Sunburn

What happens when you’ve been exposed to sunlight without protection for too long? In response to the sun’s rays, histamine and other inflammatory substances are released in the skin, giving it a reddish tinge and making it warm to the touch. These symptoms will disappear only to reappear a few hours later, along with pain.
The technical term for sunburn is actinic erythema, which is a burn that results when you expose skin to the sun’s rays. In certain cases, this may be a second-degree burn, leading to the development of blisters, dehydration, nausea, and fever.

What to do in case of sunburn

So, it’s happened to you, too: you’ve got sunburn. If you have high fever, feel confused or dazed, and feel you’re getting worse, see a doctor right away. Otherwise, take a cool bath or shower. Drink plenty of water. For pain relief, take ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).

Relief for sunburned skin

There are many traditional remedies for dealing with sunburn. Yogurt, vinegar, baking soda, aloe vera and calendula oil are all examples of such homemade solutions. If you’re willing to try something out of the ordinary, you may find a soothing product right in your fridge or pantry.
For those who prefer specialized products, there are plenty of creams available on store shelves, including many hydrocortisone creams designed to relieve pain and favour skin regeneration.
In the case of light sunburn, thermal spring water soothes discomfort and restores smooth skin.
Don’t take sunburn lightly and always keep in mind that overexposure to the sun can lead to cancer later on. So be careful!

For you, I suggest

  • SOS Sunburn Care Balm Vichy
  • Thermal Spa Water Vichy

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