Watch for the Sunburn – Prevention and Relief

It seems every year at this time we put together something about sunburn and sunburn relief.  Well…the late spring and early summer is when we seem to get hit hardest (and exposed the most), so it stands to reason the topic comes up.  Also, considering we manufacture 200+ products, we have a few things on our plate(s), but the first week of summer we are overwhelmed with customer calls complaining about sunburn.  It quickly comes to mind and becomes a “hot topic” when your daughter comes home with burned, blistered shoulders and nose as mine did last week.

I guess the general comment is prevention with a secondary comment on relief.

At the beginning of the year, the sun is not as high in the sky so many of the UVB/UVA is filtered by the atmosphere.  As the summer solstice approaches (and is in fact here), the sun is higher and radiation is more direct.  Meaning, burning happens very fast especially for those fair-skined like myself.  I was working in the garden this weekend then hung-out by the pool for an hour or so with the kids and sure enough my shoulders, back of the neck and stomach were a bit burned.

With that said, prevention comes in the form of keeping covered with light clothing, staying hydrated and using a sunscreen.  Since I don’t like using lotions, I’m particularly fond of the sprays that came out a few years ago.  At first, they were effective but had poor dispersion.  In the past year or so, they work great…especially when applying outdoors.  The point is – you can and will become burned quickly in as little as 15 minutes for most folks especially if you have not established a tan.

Second, once a burn has occurred, treatment is necessary to avoid blisters, pain and to provide general relief.  We manufacturer a sunburn relief product, Regeneval Dermal EM Sunburn Relief…we refer to it only as “sunburn relief”  It’s a combination of menthol that soothes and cools the tissue and emu oil that is used extensively for treating burns and cuts to heal the skin.  My daughter tried it on her shoulders and they felt better immediately, but more importantly helped heal the burn quickly over the next few days.

Another option which has made some headlines recently is the use of black tea.  While I don’t understand the chemistry, it has shown to rapidly diminish the effects of the sunburn.  Apparently you take black tea, soak in water and apply to the skin and affected area.

Bottom line is prevention is the best cure, but there are some effective relief products available.

The Best Psoriasis Treatments

Psoriasis treatment can be broken down into two different types: systemic and topical. Systemic treatments are administered by medical professionals and work to eliminate the underlying causes of psoriasis outbreaks. These are usually necessary in the most severe cases of psoriasis. Topical treatments work to alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis on the skin.

For the purposes of this article, topical treatments can include anything from skin ointments to the use of ultraviolet rays, and even soft light lasers. These treatments are designed to relieve the effects of psoriasis on the skin surface, and to slow the turnover of the skin without creating secondary side effects. In most cases, preference is given to topical treatments because of their relatively low impact with regard to potential side effects.

So what is the best topical psoriasis treatment?

The answer to this question will vary from person to person. Some people will respond positively to creams, sprays and other medicines applied directly to the skin. Among some of the most popular types are corticosteroids, topical retinoids, and salicylic acid.

Corticosteroids work to reduce the amount of inflammation on the skin’s surface to help relieve psoriasis symptoms. These are usually only used during an outbreak to avoid potential side effects. Topical retinoids are usually used to treat acne, but some have now been developed to treat psoriasis. These also work to reduce inflammation. Salicylic acid is now available both by prescription and over the counter. Its principal function is to reduce scaling.

Vitamin derivatives, moisturizers and other botanicals are also combined with these treatments to help reduce the discomfort associated with psoriasis. While moisturizers alone will not relieve symptoms and causes, it can relieve discomfort and itching. Other botanicals and vitamins work in concert with stronger medicines to promote the health of the skin during treatments.

Is phototherapy, or the use of light or lasers, an effective option?

In many cases, the use of light or of lasers can be helpful. Ultraviolet light, the same light emitted by the sun, can be beneficial in the proper doses. While sunburn can exacerbate the symptoms of psoriasis, a proper dose of ultraviolet light serves to eliminate activated T cells, which slows skin turnover.

Lasers are limited to use on areas of skin affected by the psoriasis outbreak. Their use specifically attacks the small blood vessels that cause a buildup of plaque on the skin. They can have side effects. In some instances, bruising may occur on the treated areas. However, they are also capable of being an effective tool to treat the symptoms of psoriasis.

As demonstrated by the large variety of treatment options, such as Psoria, topical therapy can work to eliminate the symptoms of psoriasis. It is important to consult with a medical professional to find a set of solutions that will best work for each individual. While there are many treatment options, psoriasis can be difficult to control without a comprehensive treatment plan. It is also important to find the right mix of treatments to avoid any lingering side effects.