For many, summer means fun in the sun with family and friends. And, while that can be a ton of fun, if you don’t protect your skin by applying (and reapplying!) sunscreen, you could end up with a sunburn. In this blog, we’ll explain what causes sunburns and how you can treat one if you forget to reapply your sunscreen this coming summer.
What is sunburn?
Sunburn generally appears within a few hours after too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, whether that be from sunlight or artificial sources such as sunlamps, and can occur on any exposed body parts. It’s important to remember that your earlobes, eyes, scalp, and lips can burn as well as areas of the body that are clothed and that sunburns can develop even on cool or cloudy days.
Sunburns usually appear within a few hours after UV light exposure, though it may take a day or more to know the full extent of the sunburn. The most common symptoms of sunburn include:
- Pink or red coloration to the skin
- Skin that feels warm or even hot to the touch
- Pain, tenderness, swelling, and itching at the site of the burn
In more severe cases, you’ll likely notice the following symptoms:
- Headache, fever, nausea, and fatigue if the sunburn is severe
- Small fluid-filled blisters, which may break
What happens after a sunburn?
Your body begins to heal itself within a few days, a process that is evident by the peeling of the top layer of damaged skin. More severe sunburns may take longer to heal, but regardless of severity, it isn’t uncommon to have irregular coloring or patterns after a sunburn.
Coconut oil for sunburn
As your sunburn goes through this healing process, there are a few ways you can use coconut oil to help relieve the symptoms associated with a sunburn, such as dryness and itching.
Benefits of coconut oil for sunburn
Coconut oil can help to combat the dryness that accompanies a sunburn. The high fat content of the oil makes it an ideal moisturizer. In fact, one study showed coconut oil to be more effective than mineral oil for treatment of very dry skin over the course of two weeks.
In addition to moisturizing dry skin, coconut oil can also help provide itch relief, as shown in studies related to eczema. While the conditions are different, both lead to itchy skin, so it is fair to assume coconut oil will benefit your itchy skin that follows a sunburn.
Finally, coconut oil contains antioxidants which are known to fight inflammation, As a result, it may be able to decrease the skin inflammation caused by sunburn.
How to use coconut oil after sun
While coconut oil absolutely can benefit your skin after time in the sun, it should not be the first step to treating a sunburn. Instead, you should first take a cool bath to reduce the heat of the sunburn and immediately moisturize your skin. You’ll then want to wait at least one day after the sunburn sets in before using coconut oil on your sunburn skinned.
Once the healing process has started, apply Skinny & Co.’s Pure Beauty Coconut Oil to your skin as a moisturizer and to experience its anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties.
That being said, it’s important to remember that repeated sun exposure that results in sunburn increases your risk for additional skin damage as well as certain diseases. Your dermatologist can help with the treatment and care of these, including dry or wrinkled skin, dark spots, rough spots, and skin cancer.
Additionally, if you notice your sunburn continues to worsen or results in blistering, extreme pain, headache, confusion, high fever, or yellow drainage or red streaks leading away from a blister, you’ll want to see your doctor as soon as possible.