Sunburns are caused by excessive exposure of the skin to the sun's rays. Although they may seem like a minor problem, they actually create long-term damage to the skin by increasing the risk of skin cancer and photoaging, i.e. wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. If you burn yourself once, it doesn't have to mean anything, but sometimes even that one time can be enough to cause DNA damage in the skin cells, which cannot be successfully repaired that very time, and this triggers the growth of abnormal cells, i.e. the development of skin cancer. Sun protection measures are very important for maintaining our health and our skin, but we don't live in an ideal world, so we have to ask ourselves - once we burn, how can we repair the damage? That's why we bring you these burn care tricks.
1. PROPER SKIN HYDRATION
When you get a sunburn, the reaction is similar to when you get a heat burn from an oven - redness and swelling or erythema. The best way to restore hydration to the skin is to start from the "outside in", i.e. restore moisture to the skin with a gel or cream that has the effect of calming and cooling the skin. Look for creams with aloe vera, and since you have to work from the "outside to the inside", you also have to work the other way around, with lots of water.
2. REDUCE SKIN SWELLING
In addition to using soothing gels and creams, in consultation with your doctor, consider taking an anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen or paracetamol) to further soothe the skin and relieve unpleasant pain.
3. WATCH OUT FOR BUBBLE DEVELOPMENT
With a second-degree burn, there is also the possibility of developing blisters on the skin. In this case, refrain from touching or removing the blister, not only because your skin will recover faster, but you will also reduce the risk of infection. In case of severe burns, be sure to consult a general practitioner or dermatologist.
4. USE INGREDIENTS TO PROTECT AGAINST HARMFUL FREE RADICALS
A burn can heal in a few days, but the damage caused by free radicals caused by UV rays is often long-term. UV rays stimulate the formation of free radicals in the skin that lead to premature aging, i.e. photoaging (wrinkles, pigmentation disorders, damage to microcirculation, rough texture of the skin...), and due to DNA damage, they can also cause skin cancer. By applying topical antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, coenzyme Q10, green tea, carnosine, beta carotene and other carotenoids, you can reduce the resulting damage. Topical preparations with these antioxidants help the skin to prevent and recover from harmful UV radiation, so include products containing them in your summer face and body care routine. Other valuable ingredients, such as ectoin, act preventively against damage from UV radiation by other mechanisms that are not fully clarified, but the prevailing opinion is that they preferentially accumulate in the environment of macromolecules, creating a kind of "hydration molecular shield", which pushes out harmful free radicals from the vicinity of macromolecules, and in this indirect way they protect against free radicals. Topical preparations with these ingredients are valuable allies for skin health in the summer months.
In addition to creams and gels, you can increase the skin's natural resistance to the sun with diet and nutritional supplements. Fortunately, nature has ensured that in the summer months we have a large selection of foods with carotenoids, so increase your intake of red and orange fruits and vegetables that are rich in carotenoids: carrots and melons (beta carotene), watermelons and tomatoes (lycopene) and consider food supplements based on astaxanthin.
5. PREVENT FURTHER SUN DAMAGE
While your skin is recovering from the burn, it is important to maintain your hydration status (externally and internally), stay away from the strong sun by staying in the shade and avoiding sun exposure during periods of extremely high UV index, use products with a high SPF (renew the protective layer regularly and according to the instructions on the product declaration!) and protect the body with additional physical means of protection such as hats and clothing.