I wore sunscreen on our trip to the zoo, but, in the midst of the chaos with all of the little ones that day, I completely forgot to re-apply it. The end result was a horrid sunburn on my arms and my face. My face has nice tanned, but my arms are peeling like a snake shedding its skin. I really want to pick at it, but you are not supposed to peel a sunburn.
However, you’re not supposed to peel a sunburn. Instead, you should use a small pair of scissors, such as cuticle scissors or eyebrow scissors, to gently trim away the dead skin.
Why Aren’t You Supposed To Peel A Sunburn?
Your skin is badly damaged by the sun, which is why it’s peeling. As the skin forms a new layer underneath, the damaged skin on top will peel off. This is why sunburns peel a little here and there. The skin does not heal in a uniform fashion.
The skin underneath the burn that is not peeling yet is not healed yet. Because of that, you’re exposing vulnerable skin when you peel the skin away. Instead, simply trim away dead skin as it heals to avoid exposing fragile areas.
How To Take Care Of Sunburned Skin
It can be beyond painful. Every time you move in your sleep your skin rubs against a pillow or blanket and wakes you up. Warm showers are impossible. Thankfully, most sunburns heal in 7-10 days. In the meantime, follow these tips to find relief.
Don’t Do Anything That Will Accelerate The Peeling, And Don’t Peel A Sunburn
It’s easy to justify doing something that will make your skin peel faster. You can also accidentally do a thing or two that will accelerate peeling. This isn’t a good idea. Your skin will peel in its own time. Avoid:
- Coarse washcloths
- Scrubbing excessively
All of these will make your sunburn peel faster, and should be avoided.
Use Aloe To Find Relief From The Burn
Cooling, medicated aloe products are specially designed to help you find relief when you need it most. Rub a small amount of aloe on your sunburn to soothe the burning sensation until it heals enough that you can sleep at night.
Stick With Cool Or Lukewarm Showers
Hot showers will hurt quite a bit, which is why it’s best to avoid them in the beginning. Make sure that you can handle lukewarm showers before returning to your previous water temperature. If you can, stick a tiny bit of sunburned skin under the water to make sure that it’s not too hot before getting in the shower.
Cool Compresses Will Provide Relief
Cool compresses can help you find relief from both the burning and itching. You can use a medical grade compress or a cold washcloth. Both will work fine and alleviate the symptoms of a sunburn.
Protect Sunburned Skin From Further Damage
If you already have sunburn, make sure that you protect your skin when you go outside. Try to avoid sitting on the back deck for the time being. If you do, wear clothing that covers the sunburned skin to avoid making it worse.
Use A Moisturizer To Avoid Wanting To Peel A Sunburn
Using a moisturizer will help keep your skin hydrated, making this an exceptional option if your sunburn is too itchy. Apply a hydrating lotion twice daily until the skin heals.
Sunburn can quickly make your life miserable. Peeling skin is simply not attractive. However, peeling it is going to make matters worse. Instead, follow tips for sunburned skin to find relief and let it heal in its own time.