(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) We all know that incessant heat can have a huge impact on our skin. Direct sun exposure especially during the scorching summer can cause acute and chronic cumulative effects which include mild or severe tanning hyper pigmentation ageing & sunburns.
The skin reddening caused by overexposure to the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation may seem to be a temporary irritation but these are sunburns that can lead to long-lasting damage to the skin. In fact children are at increased risk due to sun burns.
There are some preventive measures one can take to keep the skin looking young and healthy despite the environmental changes the most crucial being limiting its exposure to the sun.
Dr James Zachariah P dermatologist at Kaya Skin Clinic “ the largest international skincare clinic chain in the region offering customised skin care services for over ten years “ says it is vital to apply a sunblock above 40 SPF in ample quantity at least 15 minutes before venturing out.
'The skin is the victim of harmful gases that inhabit the air and the stabs of the sun's rays. The sunscreens should be applied at least 15 to 20 minutes before one steps out in the sun; and then should be re-applied every three to four hours for ideal skin protection' he says.
The prominent areas on the face “ cheeks bridge of nose sides of forehead and upper lip are frequently missed causing sunburn and discolouration. The sunburn is caused by direct photochemical reaction at the cellular level causing break-up and cellular fluid collection leading to a blister in severe cases.
This leads to dehydration and weakness and extensive and permanent discolouration or scarring could be the end result.
Darker skin types can do with lower SPF creams whereas the fairer skin types would ideally need higher SPF sunscreens. 'For those with sun-sensitivity avoiding sun between 12pm and 4pm wearing hats or using umbrellas helps to a good extent' adds Dr Zachariah.
A stinging sensation with burning hot skin is the first sign of sunburn. Come indoors immediately and follow some steps to prevent the permanent harmful effects of sunburns.
'It is recommended to put a damp towel on the skin for ten to 15 minutes every hour till the skin cools down. Frequent cool baths or showers will also relief pain. After bath mop dry but leave a little water on the skin. A moisturiser can be applied immediately to entrap water and keep skin moist' adds Dr Zachariah.
It is also recommended to use a moisturising lotion that contains aloe vera or soya to help soothe the sun burnt skin.
A hydrocortisone cream would be useful if advised by the doctor in case of persistent redness.
Avoid creams with thick textures that include petrolatum and benzocaine because these prevent heat escape and irritate the skin.
Paracetamol tablets can be used for swelling and pain twice or thrice a day. One should seek expert advise in case of no change in symptoms. It is also recommended to drink water equivalent to two litres daily which keeps you away from dehydration since sunburn cause dehydration.
Take extra care to protect the sun burnt skin while it heals by wearing clothes that are soft on your skin like cotton