How to bounce back from a nasty sunburn
It's one of the hallmarks of summer, but not exactly a welcome one! Whether you forget to apply sunscreen or linger in the sun for too long, the pain and discomfort of a sunburn will let you know that your sun care regimen needs to change for the better.
But now that you have a sunburn, it's time to treat it! Sunburn will clear up on its own after time, but in severe cases, additional treatments may be necessary to combat pain, itching and discomfort. Alleviating sunburn is even easier if you are enrolled in a flexible spending account (FSA) to cover these treatment options! Here are a few ways to get started.
- Utilize cold compresses
Cold packs and other forms of cold therapy are FSA-eligible, and the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends these products to treat sunburns soon after you have come out of the sun. Cold packs can combat the itching and burning that is associated with sunburns, as well as reduce any skin inflammation present. While your skin is still damp, continue therapy with gentle moisturizing lotion (but not petroleum or oil-based ointments, which may trap the heat and make the burn worse).
- Non-Steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Inflammation is what makes a bad sunburn even worse, but you may be able to find relief in your own medicine cabinet. WebMD reports that non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like over-the-counter pain relievers including ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin, can treat the pain of sunburns with the added benefit of controlling the body's immune response to become inflamed.
- Cortisone Cream
Another reliable means of treating sunburn with your FSA is hydrocortisone cream, a topical steroid that is ideal to treat skin conditions that result in inflammation, redness and swelling. This is the best option in the case of extreme sunburns, but the Mayo Clinic recommends sticking with the 1 percent hydrocortisone cream that is easy on the skin and will soothe scorched areas in moments of extreme itchiness and discomfort.
Depending on the severity of your sunburn, there's a good chance that your skin will crack and peel no matter what you do, but dermatologists recommend moisturizing burned areas with skin fortifying lotion in the days following your sunburn. Medicated moisturizers that are fortified with aloe vera and other skin enhancing ingredients are best for this purpose, and they're FSA-eligible with a prescription! Apply twice a day after your sunburn to keep these damaged areas from drying out and blistering.