As long as we have the summer sun, the chances of getting sunburns are still high. They’re caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or even artificial sources such as tanning beds and sunlamps.
UV light damages your skin cells, causing an immune system reaction, which increases blood flow to the exposed areas. The result is inflamed red skin, we commonly know as sunburns. And, down generations, we’ve always known that a cold shower is a good, natural remedy for sunburns. But is it?
Yes. A cold shower is a good remedy for sunburns, as it quickly eases the burning sensation on our skin after we spend too much time in the sun. Cold or cool water reduces blood flow to the skin and reduces redness and inflammation.
And What If It’s Only a Small Section of Your Body?
Sometimes, you may forget to use sunscreen on some parts of the body, such as on your ear lobes or even sections of your back. In these instances, a simple cold compress works well if you opt not to bathe in cold water.
However, don’t place the ice directly on the burns, as it might irritate your skin or even result in frostbite damage. Additionally, frequent cool or cold showers are a good remedy, but may dry your skin.
After a cold shower, ensure that you gently pat your skin when drying up. Don’t rub your towel against the burns, as it may work against you, resulting in greater pain and discomfort.
What’s the Best Cold Shower Pressure?
Your skin is a sensitive organ that we often take for granted. When treating it against sunburns, we need to be extra cautious with the water pressure we’re using. If you can control it, we advise that you keep it low.
High-pressure showers may burst sunburn blisters or cause irritations to your skin. Consequently, open blisters put you at a greater risk of skin infections – something you might not appreciate. And, if possible, you can opt for a cold tub to bathe. It’s better for those people who can’t control their water pressure from the shower head.
Here, add a few tablespoons of baking soda to the cold water. Baking soda helps balance the pH levels in your burnt skin, reducing discomfort and irritation. Just ensure not to stay in the tub longer than 20 minutes to avoid drying out your skin.
What About a Hot Shower?
Some people swear that taking hot showers after getting sunburn is the best thing to happen in the 21st century. However, this information is not only false, but also slanderous and misleading.
Skin experts are against taking hot showers after getting a sunburn as you’ll be aggravating the injuries. Hot water strips natural oils from the skin, making your burns more painful and at danger of developing into blisters.
Also, it would help if you avoided soaps as they remove natural skin oils, leaving the skin dry and irritating.
Finally, see a doctor when:
- The sunburn is accompanied by extreme pain or high fever
- Blisters form across large sections of your body
- The sunburns start producing red streaks or yellow drainage around the blisters