6 Effective Tips To Prevent Sunburn

Dr. Ravi Khambhati

Table of Contents

It’s true that your body requires sunlight to maintain a healthy level of vitamin D. However if you are not careful, then prolonged exposure to the sun can also cause sunburn. In fact, a mere 15 minutes are enough for harsh sunlight to cause some serious damage.

The following are some tips on how you can protect your skin from the sun:

  1. Use Sunscreen

Sunscreen lotions are the simplest and most effective protection against the sun. However, it’s important that you apply the lotion evenly at all the exposed parts of your body including your face, hands, and legs. You should also pick the correct SPF.

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor (SPF) which denotes the effectiveness of sunscreen lotion in blocking the harmful UV rays. Experts recommended using a product that has SPF of at least 15, although it can go as high as 50.

When using sunscreen, keep the following points in mind:

  • Apply the lotion around 30 minutes before stepping out.
  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours if you are going to stay in the sun for a long period.
  • If you are going swimming, then don’t forget to reapply sunscreen when you come out of the water.

2.  Pick Your Outfit Wisely

If it’s a particularly hot day, then it’s better to pick an outfit that covers most of your body. So, instead of a polo t-shirt and shorts, you can wear an oxford shirt with jeans or trousers. Similarly, instead of a small dress, you can wear something that’s less revealing to the sunlight. You can also purchase arm sleeves from the market and wear them when you have to drive a two-wheeler and remove them when you reach the destination.

3.  Wear a Cap or a Hat

Most of the times, your hands and legs are covered by clothes. However, your face remains exposed to the sun which is not good for the skin. So, it’s a good idea to develop a habit of wearing a cap or hat that can block sunlight and the UV rays as much as possible.

4.  Get More Omega-3

Studies have found that omega-3 fish oils can protect your skin from sun damage and may even help prevent skin cancer (ScienceDaily). So, you can either start taking omega-3 supplements or include more of the following foods in your diet to increase the level of omega-3 in your body:

Cod liver oil: Cod oil is extracted from the livers of codfish and it’s an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also rich in vitamins A and D which improve your immune system.

Salmon: Salmon is one of the healthiest fishes you can eat. It’s loaded with nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B. Of course, it’s also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.

Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds are cheaper than the options above but they can provide your body with enough supply of omega-3 fatty acids to protect it against sunburn.

5.  Protect Your Eyes

Research has found that at least 5% of the skin cancers occur on the thin and sensitive skin of the eyelids. The UV rays of the sunlight can also damage your retina and impair your vision. It can also cause corneal sunburn which is a very painful condition.

To protect your eyes from the sun, buy a good pair of sunglasses. Make sure that they have a “100% UV protection” or “UV 400” label.

6.  Stay Hydrated

Sun causes a loss of hydration and makes your skin vulnerable to sunburn. So, take care to avoid dehydration and drink plenty of water for as long as you are in the sun. Also, try to avoid caffeine and alcohol as these have a dehydrating effect on your body.

Both heat stroke and sunburn are serious conditions. Sun damage is also one of the leading causes of skin cancer. So, if you spend a lot of time in the sun on a regular basis, then be sure to take these basic precautions.

For more info on skin care tips & skin health:

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Dr. Ravi Khambhati

MBBS, DVD - Dermatology