Summer is a favorite season for many an outdoor enthusiast. The weather is warm and sunny, and there are lots of fun activities we can participate in. But while we’re out enjoying the beautiful sun, it is important to protect ourselves from sunburn.

Sunburn can be very painful and unpleasant, and it can cause us to age prematurely. But it can also be dangerous. Sunburn can lead to skin cancer, so avoiding it can not only allow us to have a more fun and active summer, it can also save us from serious health problems later in life.

Preventing Sunburn

The best way to prevent sunburn naturally is to either stay in the shade or wear protective clothing. Long-sleeved cotton shirts in light colors will protect the arms without being too hot. A wide-brimmed hat can provide protection for the face and neck. If you’re going to be in one spot for a long period of time, a large umbrella or awning can provide protection without the need for extra clothing.

Sunscreen is the most effective sun protection option for those who do not want to stay in the shade or wear protective clothing. SPF 15 or higher is sufficient for most people. For babies over 6 months of age and young children, however, SPF 30 may provide more protection.

If you’re going to be swimming or doing something to work up a sweat, waterproof sunscreen is crucial. Products that are not marked as waterproof will rinse or sweat off, leaving you unprotected. It is also advisable to reapply sunscreen every 8 hours, even if you remain dry.

Treating Sunburn

There are lots of products on the market for treating sunburn. Hydrocortisone cream and calamine lotion are two popular commercial remedies. But there are several all-natural remedies that also work very well.

Aloe vera is a popular natural sunburn remedy. You can buy aloe vera gels and creams at most drugstores and discount stores. Or you can get an aloe plant, and break off the leaves and squeeze out the juice when you need it.

Witch hazel is also great for sunburn. You can gently rub it on the skin as needed, or you can add it to bath water and soak to soothe the sunburn if it covers a large portion of the body. You can also do this with vinegar, but you will need to dilute it well.

When it comes to sunburn, prevention is the best way to keep it from putting a damper on your summer fun. If you do get mild sunburn, a good remedy can reduce the pain and help you get back to your favorite activities sooner. However, for extreme sunburns, particularly those that blister, it is best to see a doctor.

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