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Q: What should I know about sunburn?

Posted July 17, 2013 in Advice Column, Downtown

A: It is important to provide protection from UVA and UVB rays. The best treatment for those sunburns this summer is a good preventative measure. Wearing a hat, sunglasses, tightly-woven fabric and the application of sunscreens are good ways to provide protection. SunGuard is a laundry aid that will provide a UPF (Ultraviolet protection factor) of 30 to clothing washed up to 20 future washes.

The U.S. FDA is requiring labeling changes to sunscreen products no later than June 2012 for products that protect against both UVB and UVA labeled as “broad spectrum.” Next consider water resistance of 40 minutes or 80 minutes. No longer will products be labeled waterproof or sweat proof. As far as a sunscreen recommendation, choose a sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or greater, states “broad spectrum” and your desired water resistance.

After the burn it is best to maintain hydration and be in a cool and shaded location. Oral NSAIDs (naproxen Aleve, ibuprofen Motrin/Advil) can reduce redness and swelling if used immediately before or after exposure to the sun. They can be beneficial for other symptoms that may occur with sun burning such as headache, fever and pain. A good moisturizer can prevent moisture loss, provide cooling relief and reduce the itching associated with burns. Avoid moisturizers that contain fragrance that can irritate the skin. Moisturizers that contain dimethicone or aloe vera are great options. Remember, prevention is key. Check with your local pharmacist or provider for any further questions.

Information provided by Hammer Pharmacy, 600 E. Grand Ave., East Village, 243-4177.

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