As you enjoy the warmer weather, it’s important to take extra care to protect your skin from the sun and sunburn. This can be particularly difficult during pregnancy when you may feel more tired or less energetic than usual. Even if you’re not pregnant, there are plenty of ways to avoid the risks of getting a sunburn while still enjoying the outdoors! Here’s some information on why it’s important to protect yourself from sunburn and what steps you can take to keep yourself safe this summer.
What is sunburn?
Sunburn is a form of skin inflammation caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation. It has been linked with premature aging and skin cancer. You can prevent sunburn by avoiding the sun during peak hours, wearing sunscreen, and using protective clothing.
Signs & Symptoms
Itching, redness, blistering, swelling and pain are all signs that you may have a sunburn. These symptoms can be even more severe during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant and have a sunburn, it is important to see your doctor right away. A pregnant woman’s skin is more sensitive than usual and will react differently to a burn. It is also important to drink plenty of fluids while recovering from a sunburn because your body needs the liquids to heal.
First Aid & Prevention
To prevent sunburn, use a broad spectrum sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends avoiding all sun exposure between 10 AM and 4 PM. When outdoors, wear loose-fitting clothes, a hat with a brim, and sunglasses. If your skin starts to burn put on clothing that covers the exposed area and get into the shade. Find relief by cooling the skin with iced water or applying cool compresses until swelling subsides.
Protecting the Unborn Child
In order to protect the unborn child, it is important for expectant mothers to take care of their skin and avoid spending long periods in the sun. Be sure to wear sunscreen, a hat, and stay in the shade as much as possible.
Your baby is sensitive to UV rays, so it’s important to avoid sun exposure while pregnant. However, if you do get a sunburn, there are treatments available from your OBGYN that can help ease the discomfort and prevent the burn from worsening. To learn more about the risks of sunburn during pregnancy and how to treat a burn, read our blog post!
Sun Protection for Babies
You should also be sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 on babies and young children who are less than six months old. This will protect them from the sun’s harmful rays and reduce the risk for their developing skin cancer later in life.