Sunburns may seem like a rite of passage, but the truth is that these injuries can actually be extremely dangerous. Even one serious sunburn can put your parent at much higher risk of suffering from skin damage, including skin cancer. Caring for a sunburn properly is critical to reducing the risk of damage and guarding your loved one against further consequences of these painful burns.
Use these tips to help your parent heal after a sunburn:
- Cool the skin. Just like if your parent was to touch an extremely hot surface, the skin continues to burn in the deeper levels even after they get out of the sun. It is important to draw the heat out of the skin to allow it to start cooling. Get your parent in a cool room as soon as possible and cool the skin with wet towels, cool water, or even a fan. Use cooling products such as aloe gel to continue the cooling. Avoid applying ice or cold water to the skin. This can cause more extensive skin damage. If you are going to use a cold pack to ease the immediate pain and cool the skin, be sure that you wrap it in a towel or cloth to provide some protection between the pack and your aging parent’s skin.
- Hydrate. Your parent’s body will respond to the sunburn by sending fluids to cool and protect the skin. This can lead to dehydration and damage to the various systems throughout the body as they go without the level of hydration that they need, especially during the summer months. Make sure that your parent drinks extra fluids to keep their body properly hydrated and to keep the skin as cool as possible so that it can heal. Talk to their doctor about supplementing hydration with sports beverages or other electrolyte beverages to boost hydration.
- Rest. Rest is essential to helping the body to heal. Though it may seem as though the most uncomfortable issues of the sunburn will be the pain, itching, and tightness of the burn itself, many people suffer more from the exhaustion, soreness, headaches, and other challenges that can come after a sunburn. Encourage your parent to get plenty of rest after suffering a sunburn. This will not only help them to cope with the symptoms that they are suffering, but will also encourage the skin to heal. Talk to their doctor about using over the counter pain relief medications to ease their symptoms and improve their sleeping while they are recovering.
Homecare can be an exceptional resource for your aging parent during the summer months. This homecare services provider can help your parent to enjoy a more active, engaged lifestyle while also helping them to stay healthy, safe, and comfortable. This can give you peace of mind that your loved one is enjoying the highest quality of lifestyle possible even when you are not able to be with them.