Any exposed part of your body is susceptible to sunburn. Even covered areas can burn if, for example, your clothing has a loose weave that allows ultraviolet (UV) light through. The most sun-exposed area of our bodies is our face. It is important at all ages to wear sunscreen or sun barriers when you are going to be out in the sun for more than 30 minutes. Protecting your skin from the sun will prevent painful sunburns in the short term, but sun protection will also prevent accelerated aging of the skin and wrinkles later in life. If you do get sunburn, here are some ways you can treat it at home:

  • Take frequent cool baths or showers to help relieve the pain. As soon as you get out of the bathtub or shower, gently pat yourself dry, but leave a little water on your skin. Then, apply a moisturizer to help trap the water in your skin. This can help ease the dryness.
  • Use a moisturizer that contains aloe vera or soy to help soothe sunburned skin. If a particular area feels especially uncomfortable, you may want to apply a hydrocortisone cream that you can buy without a prescription. Do not treat sunburn with “-caine” products (such as benzocaine), as these may irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction.
  • Consider taking aspirin or ibuprofen to help reduce any swelling, redness and discomfort.
  • Drink extra water. A sunburn draws fluid to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body. Drinking extra water when you are sunburned helps prevent dehydration.
  • If your skin blisters, allow the blisters to heal. Blistering skin means you have a second-degree sunburn. You should not pop the blisters, as blisters form to help your skin heal and protect you from infection.
  • Take extra care to protect sunburned skin while it heals. Wear clothing that covers your skin when outdoors. Tightly-woven fabrics work best. When you hold the fabric up to a bright light, you shouldn’t see any light coming through.

Another summertime health risk is swimmer’s ear. If you develop ear pain and loss of hearing a day or two after swimming, you are probably developing a swimmer’s ear. There are over-the-counter products that dry out your ear canals, but you can also use over-the-counter isopropyl alcohol for the same effect. Fill the ear canal up with the solution and then let the solution drain out. If at-home remedies for either sunburn or swimmer’s ear don’t seem to be improving your condition, come see one of our medical professionals at Immediate Care. The mission of Immediate Care is to consistently provide superior­ quality and compassionate care by combining medical expertise with understanding and sincerity. We offer cost­-effective and convenient services while consistently focusing on exceptional patient treatment. Our goal is to provide outstanding care every day, every visit, one patient at a time.