Protect Yourself from the Sun
Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15.
Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours when outdoors, even on cloudy days.
Wear protective, tightly woven clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt and pants.
Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses when outdoors.
Stay in the shade whenever possible.
Avoid reflective surfaces, which can reflect up to 85 percent of the sun’s damaging rays.
Minimize sun exposure and apply sunscreen to children aged 6 months and older.
No shadow…seek the shade!
If your shadow is shorter than you are, you’re likely to sunburn.
Avoid tanning beds.
The sun’s rays are strongest between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Caring for a Sunburn
Sunburns occur when your skin has had too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can happen without proper protection with sunscreen and/or clothing. This results in temporary redness, burning, and stinging. The long term effects from this damage are an increased risk for skin cancer and premature aging of the skin.
If you find yourself with a sunburn, follow these tips:
- Get out of the sun as soon as you notice a sunburn
- Take cool baths or showers. Pat yourself dry but leave a little water on your skin then apply a moisturizer to help trap the water in your skin. This minimizes the dryness.
- Apply moisturizer containing aloe vera or soy, as these products can be soothing.
- For the extra sensitive areas, apply cool vinegar water soaks with the following recipe:
- Mix 3 tablespoons of light or dark vinegar in 1 quart of water. Keep it in the refrigerator. Using a clean, wet cloth, apply vinegar solution to burnt areas for 10-15 minutes, 3-4 times per day, then apply a moisturizer or over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream.
- Take pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen. In addition to helping with the pain, these products may also reduce redness and swelling.
- Drink extra water to prevent dehydration. Sunburns draw fluid to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of your body.
- Peel or pop blisters. Blistering skin means that you have a second-degree sunburn. These blisters form to help heal and protect the skin from infection.
- Use any “-caine” products (such as benzocaine), as these may cause more skin irritation or an allergic reaction.
- Use any fragranced or antibacterial soaps or moisturizers as these are also more likely to cause irritation.
- Expose burned skin to the sun. It takes several days, and sometimes even weeks, for a sunburn to heal. Keep these areas protected from further sun damage.
If you have extensive burning and blistering, or fever and chills, contact your dermatologist or primary care provider. Further treatment advice and prescription medication may be needed.
Sun Safety: A Goal For All Soccer Enthusiasts
U.S. Soccer Magazine/ Summer 1997