Your Overindulgence: Sun
What you did: You had so much fun frolicking in the waves that you forgot to reapply sunscreen, so your back and shoulders are untouchable.
Now what? Sunburn calls for a multistep treatment. “You have to deal with both the acute issue of discomfort and the potential long-term damage,” says Susan Weinkle, an assistant professor of dermatology at the University of South Florida, in Tampa.
- Apply damp compresses made from clean cloths soaked in a mixture of two teaspoons of baking soda and two cups of cool water. Or place chilled, used tea bags on the affected skin for about five minutes. “The tannins in the tea will relieve the sting,” says Weinkle.
- Prevent or lessen peeling with an emollient such as Aquaphor, which contains 41 percent petroleum jelly and holds in moisture. Or use aloe vera gel, which helps prevent peeling and takes away the sting. Apply it to damp skin.
- If blisters form, try not to pop them. They serve as little tents that hold fluid against the skin and keep bacteria out. If a blister ruptures, cover the area with an antibiotic ointment like Polysporin.