There is nothing better than the Carolina sunshine warming your skin while you’re at the beach. You’re ready to make memories playing in the saltwater and building sand castles with the family. The last thing on your mind is everything that could go wrong. Rip currents, jellyfish stings, and third degree burns are all things that you need to be prepared for before hitting the sand. Keep reading below to find our best tips and tricks for sunburn safety at the beach.
Sunburns at the Beach
All winter we wait for the warmth of the sun. We crave the way our skin tans and our hair lightens to match the bright days of summer. Our bodies are designed to soak up the sun. In fact, we need it for a healthy and balanced body. Your body creates vitamin D when your skin is exposed to the suns rays, and we need this vitamin to help absorb calcium and promote bone growth. However, stay out in the sun too long or forget to put on sunscreen and you’ll find yourself getting burnt! Below are a few helpful tips and tricks to avoid and treat sunburn at the beach. As much as you might enjoy a great lobster dinner, you certainly don’t want to look like one!
While a healthy body needs the sun to create vitamin D, too much sun can be damaging both in the short and long term timelines. The best way to prevent damage from the sun is to be informed and prepared. Below are a few tips to go to the beach with sunburn prevention in mind.
How to Prevent Sunburn:
- Be aware of the UV index.
- Cloud cover and cooler weather doesn’t mean you can’t get a burn. The time it takes to risk sunburn depends on the UV index, which is on a scale of 1-10. There are some great free apps available where you can monitor local UV index and it will give you warnings of how long you can safely be in the sun without getting a burn.
- Seek shade and take a break from the sun.
- Going to the beach for a long day? Make sure to bring some form of cover to provide cover when you need it. The sun is great but finding a balance between in the sun and in the shade makes for a beach trip without the sunburn.
- Wear sunscreen and reapply as per the instructions.
- Proper sunscreen use will help protect your skin from burn while still allowing you to enjoy your day at the beach. Sunscreen use shouldn’t be used alone though, and you should be aware of the above two tips.
- Wear a hat and sunglasses.
- A hat helps cover the sensitive skin of your head and face from receiving direct sunlight. Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and protect the sensitive skin around your eyes from sun exposure. The two combined give you the greatest protection for one of the easiest to burn areas of your body.
- Stay hydrated, drink plenty of water.
- If you’re not drinking enough water your skin will be drier and less protected. A combination of dehydration and too much sun can lead to dangerous situations at the beach. If you’re spending the day in the sun, make sure to drink enough water.
- Wear clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor.
- The clothing you wear is very important to protect yourself from the sun. Thin materials, or clothing with non-solid cloth, leave more room for the sun to hit places that may feel like they are protected. Don’t let a sunburn surprise you when you think you’re covered, and you may not be.
It’s easy to lose track of the time and forget to reapply your sunscreen or fall asleep on the beach and wake up resembling a tomato. We have all been there, and we don’t want it to happen again. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you have a sunburn, there are some simple at-home treatment options. Take a look below to see a few tips to ease your pain.
- Take a COOL shower.
- Hot water will dry your skin out and cause more discomfort. A cool shower will help relieve the sting and rehydrate the skin after a sunburn.
- Apply aloe.
- Aloe is designed to hydrate the skin and protect from burning and itching sensations. One extra tip, apply after taking your cool shower. This is best done by damping yourself dry, instead of rubbing, and applying the aloe to the slightly damp skin. The moisture gained from the cool shower will be held in by the layer of aloe on top.
- Wear soft and loose fitting clothes.
- The last thing you want to do is irritate your skin any further. By wearing soft, and loose fitting, clothes you minimize the risk of rubbing the area and causing irritation.
- Leave blisters alone and let them heal on their own.
- It may be tempting to get rid of a blister on heling skin, however this may make the damage worse or leave scars. Blisters are the bodies natural reaction in order to protect the healing skin underneath. By getting rid of the blister you expose the newly healed area before it is ready to be exposed.
- Take a over the counter anti-inflammatory.
- Regular anti-inflammatory medication can help with discomfort as well as bring any swelling from the sunburn down.
- Take a tea bath.
- Steep 7-8 tea bags in a bathtub with cool water and hop in. This may seem odd at first but it helps to remove the sting of the burn. Trust us, with a bad sunburn this is a secret trick to pull out of your back pocket!
- Stay out of the sun!
- This one should go without saying, but if you already have a sunburn, stay out of the sun! The only thing worse than sunburns at the beach, is more sunburn.
Sunburns at the Beach: Summary
This may seem like a lot to think about, but we want you to not only enjoy your first day at the beach but the whole week! The best way to enjoy a vacation is to prevent sunburns at the beach before it happens. Keep covered, use sunscreen, be aware of the UV index, stay hydrated, and have your fun in the sun when following sunburn safety guidelines.
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