Dealing with Sunburn

For me dealing with a sunburn at this point in my life and because of what I have gone through is fairly traumatic. Most of what I have to deal with when I burn involves my emotional and mental makeup. I try to avoid burning at all costs, but when I do, here is how I deal with it.

Mentally

I run through my day and ask myself how this happened. How did I not properly prepare for my day? What did I miss? Was my sunscreen old or applied unevenly? Did I allow others to sway me into poor decisions? Was I forgetful? Then, I begin to ask myself what I need to do differently moving forward. Do I need to leave sunscreen in all my vehicles? Do I need to communicate better with anyone? Do I need to take better control of my schedule? What can I do better? Was there anyone with me who is also burned and what do I need to say to them? Did I put others in harm’s way?

Emotionally

Sunburns can be an emotional experience for skin cancer survivors. It is easy to beat yourself up. I use the experience as motivation to redouble my efforts to protect myself and others. I might talk to a friend and offload my frustration. I don’t let it get me down for too long, but I do use it as a reminder to do better next time. I might use this experience to engage others for the sake of mutual accountability. I try to turn a negative into a positive.

Physically

First, I try to assess the damage by comparing my burned skin to areas that were not burned. I ask others to help me in this process. I ask myself if I need to go to the hospital. Are there others with me that may need treatment? If I can treat myself alone, then I try to cool my skin as quickly as possible. This involves a quick, cool shower, followed by laying down in an air-conditioned room for an extended period. I try to keep my skin moist and often use Aloe Vera or a moisturizing lotion. I try to limit my movement and exercise immediately. I hydrate and replace fluids. I remember to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables that are high in water content. Most of all I stay completely out of the sun. If I burned the first day of my vacation, then the rest of my vacation I am out of the sun. This is why it is critical to prepare ahead of time or risk losing out on a great time.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The SkinCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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