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Safety Corner: sunburn protection tips

Posted 4/21/2011   Updated 4/21/2011 Email story   Print story


Commentary by Staff Sgt. Ashley Johnson
2nd Bomb Wing Safety Office

4/21/2011 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- It's spring time and, with warmer weather, we all take to the outdoors. More time outside means increased sun exposure, which significantly increases the threat of sunburns.

It can happen before you know it, but sunburn treatment starts with prevention. Correctly using sunscreen will help prevent sunburn before it gets started. Visit the following Web site for a detailed explanation of sunscreen:

Sunburns are caused by ultra-violet radiation rather than heat, which is why it is possible to get sunburn on cold days. Sunburns destroy skin, which controls the amount of heat our bodies retain or release, holds in fluids and protects us from infection. If you think you have a burn, there are several things you should do.

If you believe you have a sunburn the first course of action to take is to get out of the sun and look for blisters. Blistering means the skin is completely damaged and complications are likely. If this occurs, it is extremely important that you seek medical attention. You may also want to take a cool shower or bath to soothe the pain. Over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can also be used. Applying aloe or other cooling agent is another antidote to relieve the pain.

Whatever you do, do not apply butter or oil to any burn. Oil based products can cause the pores of your skin to clog and keep the burn from breathing, thus creating an infection.

If sun exposure is a necessity, make sunscreen a priority. Remember always, if you think a burn of any type is significant, do not hesitate to seek medical attention. Enjoy the sunshine.

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