Having More Fun in the Sun

Lying on the beach in the sun with a cool beverage in hand is the ideal vacation for many people. But, for those who are not used to the sun and heat, it can become less than ideal very quickly. Here are ways to recognize and treat sunburns and heat exhaustion, as well as tips to avoid them entirely. 

Sunburn
Sunburns may seem like a small issue, but they can become very serious. Sunburns are a form of radiation damage caused by the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. They turn skin red and swollen, sometimes making it painful to touch. If you develop a rash, itching, fever or blisters, you should see a health care professional, as you might have a second-degree burn. 

The main way to recover from sunburn is to give your skin time to heal. You can also apply hydrating and moisturizing creams to the skin to aid recovery and temporarily relieve pain. Avoid using soap initially since it can be irritating. 

Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is a serious condition. It occurs when the body’s mechanism for controlling temperature fails. When the body loses more water than it has the chance to intake, it prioritizes getting liquid to our internal organs over cooling us down with sweat. This leads to overheating. 

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include moderately high core temperature, cool clammy skin, muscle cramps, headache, nausea, fatigue, and dizziness. To help someone suffering from heat exhaustion, move them to a cool place, lay them down, and have them drink rehydration solution every few minutes.  

Sunshine Tips
There are easy ways to make sure sunny vacations stay enjoyable. First, dress for the warm weather. Wear loose-fitting and light-coloured fabrics, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses that protect against UVA and UVB rays. Second, avoid dehydration by drinking lots of liquids even before you feel thirsty. Refrain from consuming alcohol or coffee as these lead to fluid loss. Finally, use sunscreen with a minimum SPF30 liberally and frequently. 

By making these small adjustments to your habits in warmer weather conditions, you can decrease the risk of sunburn or heat exhaustion. For more information about these issues, or other tips on enjoying the sun, visit your local pharmacist. 

The information in this article is presented strictly for informational purposes only, and should not be taken as medical advice. Please see your health care provider if you have any questions about your condition, medication, or treatment.