Summer holidays are upon us and this usually means long lazy pool days, camping trips, beach visits and outdoor play dates. Summer brings with it the warmth of the sun that can both makes us feel energised and alive, but if precautions are not taken, can cause our fun summer days to turn into miserable evenings with sunburnt bodies.
Sunburn is something we all have experienced at least once in our lives. That sensitive skin that not even the softest of material can touch. We know the sun is the culprit, but we do not always understand how it happens. Let us explore this a little.
The sun emits different types of UV (ultraviolet) rays, the two most common being UVA and UVB. UVA rays are the most common form of sun exposure and are usually responsible for the tanned appearance of the skin after exposure. This darker shade is due to the melanin pigment in the skin, this is activated as a defense mechanism and how your body protects itself from the UV rays. The more melanin you have in your skin, the darker shade you will turn once exposed to UVA rays.
UVB rays can reach deeper into the skin, and too much sun exposure at one time can lead to what is known as sunburn. Sunburn is characterised by redness, skin feeling hot, the sensation of goose bumps or chills, pain, itchy skin, blisters, dehydration, and sunburn usually results in skin peeling. When sunburn occurs, the body’s response is to try and heal by sending more blood to the area. This leads to expanded blood vessels and inflamed, red and hot skin. This immune response does not always result in the repair of all skin cells. The damaged or dead cells are removed by the process of peeling or shedding of the skin.
Thankfully, there are ways that we can protect ourselves from sunburn this summer:
- Make sure you are using a SPF 30+, this needs to be applied at least 20 minutes before going into the sun. Reapply throughout the day in at least 2-hour periods and after swimming.
- Always ensure that you have some form of shade either by use of a shade cloth or umbrella. Remember you can still get sunburnt on an overcast day and in the shade.
- Try and use clothing and accessories that can protect you from the UV rays, such as hats, light cotton clothing, a rash vest, and sunglasses.
If you end the day looking more like a lobster, it is important that you stay hydrated, take frequent cool baths to help with the pain and a cold compress placed on the sensitive skin will provide additional relief. Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Cream is a great solution for sunburnt skin because of its anti-inflammatory action. The anti-inflammatory effect of tea tree oil will help to soothe and relieve painful and irritated skin. Tea tree can help to reduce redness and swelling caused by excessive sun exposure, helping the skin to recover sooner. Apply the Tea Tree Cream as often as needed. When the burnt feeling returns, it is a sign to reapply more cream.
If you are vomiting and have a splitting headache, please seek medical attention immediately.
Summer days should be spent exploring nature outdoors but remember to take the necessary precautions to protect you and your family against the sun, and should you experience sunburn, make sure you have Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Cream on hand.
- Lhsfna.org. 2020. What The Sun Is Actually Doing To Your Skin - LHSFNA. [online] Available at: https://www.lhsfna.org/index.cfm/lifelines/june-2018/what-the-sun-is-actually-doing-to-your-skin/ (Accessed 8 December 2020).
- familydoctor.org. 2020. Effects Of Sun Exposure - Familydoctor.Org. [online] Available at: https://familydoctor.org/effects-early-sun-exposure/ (Accessed 8 December 2020).