When the weather gets warmer and the sun grows stronger, it can be very tempting to spend every day outdoors. While it’s great to get outside and absorb some of that healthy vitamin D, basking in those sunny rays without proper protection puts people at risk for developing sunburns. These burns, which can range from mild to severe, are often painful and can even result in permanent skin damage. Fortunately, Robin Mossing, the wound care expert, has put together this list of tips for avoiding sunburns that you can communicate to your patients.
1. Apply sunscreen
The sun can be both a blessing and a curse. Sunscreen that contains SPF 15, 30, or 50 are the best to protect your skin if you’re spending time outside. For optimal protection, apply sunscreen about 30 minutes before going outside, giving it time to set in. Remember to reapply every two hours and even more frequently if you’re sweating or swimming. Don’t forget to cover the lips and ears!
2. Wear protective clothing
For everyday activities such as going to work, traveling, or any other outdoor activity, it’s ideal to wear tightly woven and loose fitting clothing. This kind of attire acts as a protective barrier against the sun’s rays while keeping you cool and comfortable.
3. Limit exposure
Between the hours of 12pm and 4pm, the sun’s rays are especially dangerous and your skin is the most vulnerable at this time to burn. If you can help it, try not to be outside for an extended period during this time. However, if you have no choice, remember to load up on sunscreen and take cover in the shade whenever possible.
4. Protect your eyes and head
Hair will only protect your head so much, and if you have a child, it’s especially important for them to stay covered. The scalp can get burnt quickly without you even realizing it. Protect your head with a hat that covers the shoulders from sun exposure. The sun can also negatively impact your eyes because of how thin and fragile our eyelid skin is. Investing in a good pair of sunglasses that block those harmful UV rays is always a smart idea.
5. Beware of overcast skies
It doesn’t have to be a hot, sunny day in order for you to get a sunburn. Overcast, hazy weather can also do some significant damage to your skin which is why it’s so important to apply sunscreen and protect your skin whenever you plan to spend time outside.
6. Watch what you eat
Consuming a healthy and balanced meal plan is not only good for your overall health, it’s also good for your skin. Foods that are rich in omega-3 help protect your skin against sun damage and bolster immunity against the sun. Add antioxidant-rich foods to your diet as well to increase that immunity even more against harmful sun rays. Cherries, blackberries, kale and spinach are all foods that are rich in antioxidants and protect cells against the sun.
Unfortunately, sunburns happen, even when we take the precautions mentioned above. If your patient has a sunburn or any burn-related wound injury, use the Trust Robin Wound Care App to determine which bedside practice would be the best treatment. Download the app today, available on the App Store and Google Play, and start gaining access to expert wound care knowledge immediately.