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Avoid Sunburn While Swimming

What is a Sunburn?

Sunburn is the result of not using proper skin protection while sunbathing or even from routine sun exposure. The skin becomes red, tender and swollen. You may have a stinging sensation and blistering may occur. Some people even get a low grade fever. The skin will eventually shed or peel, once the skin underneath has renewed itself.

Everyone, even dark skinned persons, are at risk for sunburn.

Redness, pain, swelling, and even blistering can occur from this over exposure. Peeling of the skin usually follows several days later. The pain of sunburn is usually greatest between 6 and 48 hours after exposure.

Tips to Avoid Sunburns while Swimming

  1. Swim either early in the morning or late in the evening.
    • The sun causes the most damage to your skin between the hours of 10am and 4pm
  2. Wear sunscreen on your entire body.
  3. Apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before sun exposure.
  4. Reapply waterproof sunscreens every 80 minutes or so, after being in the water.
  5. Protect your scalp.
    • Wear a swim cap to protect your scalp from the sun.

Sunburn and Over-Counter Medications

If you become sunburn while swimming, the following medications will help you heal:

  • Aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help combat pain.
  • Anesthetic creams or sprays containing benzocain and lidocain provide temporary relief.
  • Antibacterial and antimicrobial soaps and antiseptics help prevent infection.
  • Aloe-based products soothe and cool overheated skin.
  • Moisturizers can help keep your skin from drying out and tightening up.

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