How do I put this other than just coming right out and saying it…The sun can be a real pain in the neck, arms, back, face, and everywhere else. As humans, we typically love spending time basking in the sun. The problem is that it’s bound to cause a sun rash if precautions are not taken to protect the skin.
Sun Rash & Allergy – What Is It and How To Care For It?
Summer just arrived and with it, none other than the beach season. You guessed it, lots of fun, swimming, and sunbathing. What you likely did not know was that an integral part of the season is the sun rashes and burns. Sun-baked skin feels tight, itchy and usually develops a red rash. This is almost always due to too much exposure to direct sunlight. The skin reacts and you may even develop an allergy to the sun, or a sun rash, even sunburns.
It’s FAR MORE COMMON than you think.
These sun rashes and sun allergies usually occur in late spring and early summer, when the skin is not yet used to being exposed to direct sunlight. That’s when it develops sun poisoning – also known as a sun allergy or rash.
The symptoms of sun allergy and sun rashes vary and they often differ from one person to the next. Some of the most common symptoms are itching, redness, tiny bumps on the skin, hives, scaling, crusting, and pain. It does not take very long at all for these symptoms to develop, as they can become obvious in a matter of minutes or even after spending a couple of hours in the sun.
Sure, knowledge is power when it comes to avoiding sun rashes, but taking action is what counts the most.
How To Protect Yourself If You Have A Sun Allergy
No one is immune to developing a sun allergy. The first exposure to direct sunlight after a long period of time spent indoors can really do damage to your skin. This is something that can be prevented, you simply need to know how to properly protect your skin.
Sunscreen is not just for a day at the beach. Those that go desk-diving daily should be wearing it as well. It is something that we need to apply regularly when we go outdoors, especially in sunny weather.
A sunscreen with SPF 15+ is essential, and it should be applied regularly. Not just once in the morning, but in regular intervals, especially if you are doing stuff outdoors and are being frequently exposed to direct sunlight. If you are participating in water activities like swimming or anything else that requires you to get wet often, then, by all means, use waterproof sunscreen. Don’t be a hero or tough guy, just apply it. If Hugh Jackman uses it, then you should too.
Prepare Your Skin
Prep your skin for direct sunlight. Preparation is key here, no doubt about it. If you’ve spent the long winter and cold spring inside under layers of clothing, then preparation is crucial for you. Assuming you disregard this and rush out in the early summer sun, you are definitely going to have a bad reaction on your skin. The sudden exposure to direct sunlight can be the main reason you’ve developed this annoying sun allergy. So, to adequately prepare yourself for sun exposure, you should slowly but surely increase the amount of time spent in the sun. Allow your body to slowly adapt to UVA and UVB exposure or you’ll burn to a crisp.
The rays typically affect the skin that is fully exposed to it. Sure, some clothes which are see-through can cause issues too. Take for example the ripped jeans trend causing burns today. However, for the most part, it’s exposure to the sun that causes most issues. That said when first venturing out in direct sunlight after a long season of a lack of exposure, wear clothes to protect your skin. Things like hats with a wide brim, long-sleeved shirts, pants, and light but closed shoes so your skin will not get overly exposed to direct sunlight.
Going Out? Watch Out!
Did you know that the intensity of the sun is not constant during the day? True story. So, be sure to keep track of this and avoid being in direct sunlight from 10 AM until 4 PM, as the sun is most intense during these hours. Forget about sunbathing in gallons of coconut oil during this period of time.
You’ve Been Burned – Here’s What To Do
Sun allergies and sun rashes occur/develop very quickly. Even though they are uncomfortable, these are fairly simple to treat. If you don’t do anything and avoid sunlight, they will typically go away on their own after a few days. But here are some remedies you can try if you have a mild sun rash.
Calm The Skin
The sun rash causes the skin to dry and become itchy. To prevent it from completely drying out, you can apply a light moisturizing cream that will protect the skin from drying and becoming cracked and scratchy. I’ve covered the best water-based moisturizers, just make a selection or two and you’re good to go.
Stay Away From The Sun
If you’ve been basking in the sun for too long and you see the beginning stages of a sun rash, then get out of the sun immediately. Move to a cool place, a shaded area or indoors.
Apply damp towel on the areas where you see the sun rash has developed, this will help draw out the heat from your skin. In doing so, it will hopefully reduce the pain and the chances of further aggravating skin.
Apply A Calming Cream
Skin affected by a sun rash is usually scratchy. To calm the skin, reduce the scratching sensation and urge to do so as well as reduce inflammation, you can apply a cortisone cream. This is an OTC cream and does not require any prescription. I love it when a simple over-the-counter cream does the trick, which it will in most mild cases.
A sun allergy and sun rash is not something to chance or mess around with. It’s not a long-term issue or any serious skin condition, but still annoying, itchy and bothersome. It’s best to take action when necessary to avoid any issues that commonly occur. More questions? Contact us and we’ll help in whatever way we can.