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Sunburns Best way to treat and prevent this skin reaction

For the light skinned folks, letting down your guard and going into the sun can probably be likened to a blind date.

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These are one of those fringe benefits to being dark, sun burns are not black people problems.

All the same, it is a problem, seeing the amount of people going crazy about changing their skin colour.

For the light skinned folks, letting down your guard and going into the sun can probably be likened to a blind date.

Things usually seem fine enough one minute, and the next you're, wincing from intense pain.

These are some things you should know before you take that stroll in the sun.

Make the stinging stop.

Sunburned skin is inflamed, and cold brings down inflammation, that means a cold shower is one of the fastest ways to soothe a sunburn. It's even better if you cool off as soon as you notice the sunburn. If you're out, move into the shade (obviously), grab an ice cube from a drink, and run it over areas that are red.

Pop a pill.

Another way to reduce swelling and ease the pain? Ibuprofen, which dermatologists recommend taking ASAP after a burn.

Use the minibar.

Don't know about you, but sunburns make us want a stiff drink. JK (kinda). We're talking about chilling a travel-size after-sun lotion or gel, which work best when they're cold. Look for one with skin-soothing aloe, like Sun Bum Cool Down.

Hydrate, and then hydrate some more.

We mean that two ways. One: Drink up, since you lose more fluids when you're recovering from a burn. Two: Moisturize twice a day to minimize peeling and discoloration. But if you've ever made the mistake of using a scented lotion on sunburned skin, you already know it stings. Stick with fragrance-free lotions for sensitive or even eczema-prone skin (they often contain ingredients like ceramides that replenish your skin's natural oils, which are literally peeling away).

Put anti-aging formulas on pause.

Using them risks irritation. Resume when your skin returns to normal.

Next time, play it safe.

"Sunscreen builds up in your stratum corneum, so if you apply it daily for three weeks before a beach vacation, you'll be less likely to burn," says Jeannette Graf, a dermatologist in Great Neck, New York. When you're out in the sun, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 50 or higher and reapply it every two or three hours or after you swim or sweat (whichever comes first). Skip face and body oils—just like tanning oil, "they reflect light," says Graf.

Ditch the aviators.

Metal frames reflect enough light onto your cheeks to make them burn. Wear plastic frames on the beach, and reapply sunscreen frequently to your cheeks if sunglasses make you sweaty (sunscreen breaks down fastest on oily skin, says Graf. Other areas that need frequent reapplication (meaning more often than every two hours): Your chest, preexisting sun spots, and the highest points of your face, like your cheekbones and nose. "The nose is especially vulnerable and one of the most common areas for nonmelanoma skin cancers," says Graf.

Get covered.

When you apply sunscreen, make sure to slather it on the spots most people miss: around the nostrils, above your lip, next to your armpits, and on the tops of the toes. And keep in mind that spray sunscreens don't cover as evenly as lotions, which are your best bet. But if you're not willing to give up sprays, mist your entire body twice and you'll be more likely to get even coverage.

Don't fall for base tans.

Your sun-worshipping friend is wrong. Sun damage is sun damage, and a light tan 100 percent cannot protect you from the sun. In fact, base tans may even increase the risk of sunburn, according to a survey of 165 college students conducted by researchers at the University of Arizona.

Don't underestimate the importance of sunscreen.

We know you're well aware of the importance of sunscreen. The sun is responsible for up to 90 percent of lines and wrinkles. And even though skin cancer is largely preventable, it's still the most common form of cancer in the U.S.

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