So, you for­got to slap on the sun­screen at Bat­tle Bay, and your skin looks bat­tle-burnt? Here’s what to do to al­le­vi­ate the pain.

Men's Health (Singapore) - - FIELD GUIDE -

Take A Shower When you do get indoors, take a cool shower or bath to start eas­ing the burn­ing sen­sa­tion.

“Cool wa­ter also de­creases ex­cess blood flow to the skin, which will help re­duce in­flam­ma­tion and red­ness,” says Dr Neil Reddy, the Med­i­cal Di­rec­tor of Pre­ci­sion Health­care.

If the burn is only on a small part of your body, like your face or your shoul­ders, a cool com­press will work, too.

Just avoid putting ice di­rectly on your burn, since it can ir­ri­tate your skin, ac­cord­ing to the Skin Can­cer Foun­da­tion. (Putting ice di­rectly on your skin can even cause dam­age like frost­bite.)

Slather Up Your Skin When you get out of the shower, dry off by pat­ting your sen­si­tive skin gen­tly with a towel. Then, while your skin is still damp, ap­ply a mois­tur­izer that con­tains sooth­ing in­gre­di­ents like soy or aloe vera. Try Der­ma­log­ica Af­ter Sun Re­pair, sug­gests Dr. Reddy.

Mois­tur­iz­ing is key: Sun­burns dry out your skin by dam­ag­ing its out­er­most layer and mak­ing it more sus­cep­ti­ble to wa­ter loss, says Dr. Reddy. Prod­ucts like these, how­ever, re­hy­drate your skin, which make the tight­ness and itch­ing feel bet­ter.

For re­ally painful spots, the Amer­i­can Academy of Der­ma­tol­ogy rec­om­mends ap­ply­ing an OTC hy­dro­cor­ti­sone cream, which re­duces itch­ing, red­ness, and swelling. Be sure to steer clear of any lo­tions or creams with in­gre­di­ents like ben­zo­caine (or other in­gre­di­ents that end in “-caine”), though. They can ir­ri­tate your burned skin or cause an al­ler­gic re­ac­tion.

Hit Up Your Medicine Cabi­net Next, pop an NSAID pain re­liever like as­pirin or ibupro­fen.

Both work by fight­ing in­flam­ma­tion, Dr. Reddy says, which can help you feel more com­fort­able as well as take down some of the red­ness and swelling.

Play The Long Game Over the next few days, con­tinue keep­ing your skin hy­drated by ap­ply­ing your mois­tur­izer reg­u­larly.

Make sure to drink plenty of wa­ter, too, which will hy­drate your skin from the in­side, Dr. Reddy says.

You can keep tak­ing as­pirin or ibupro­fen as di­rected un­til the pain eases up, too. While your burn is heal­ing—which should take about a week—try not to do any­thing that would ir­ri­tate it more.

“You should avoid peel­ing, pick­ing, or scrub­bing at your skin,” Dr. Reddy says. That means no scratch­ing or pop­ping blis­ters. You should also ap­ply soap or body wash di­rectly to your skin in the shower in­stead of us­ing an abra­sive wash­cloth or bath sponge.

And of course, stay out of the sun. Burned skin is dam­aged, which makes it more sus­cep­ti­ble to fur­ther sun­burn, Dr. Reddy says. If your burn doesn’t seem to get bet­ter af­ter a week, or if you have se­vere pain or blis­ter­ing, a fever or chills, or nau­sea or vom­it­ing, you should seek emer­gency care, Dr. Reddy says. All are signs of a se­vere burn, which may re­quire treat­ment like skin dress­ings, wound care, and ad­di­tional anti-in­flam­ma­to­ries.

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