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Whether you’re looking forward to making a splash in the water, playing tennis with friends or just relaxing with a good book, your vacation at North Beach Plantation offers an opportunity to spend time outdoors enjoying the resort’s beautiful beaches and outdoor activities. With so much to do and see outside, it’s important to protect your skin from excessive sun exposure so you don’t get sidelined from the fun with a painful sunburn.
Of course, the best sunburn-prevention method is to avoid the sun altogether, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the UV level is at its highest, but who wants to spend a beautiful beach vacation looking at the sunny days from inside? So when you do go outside, take some precautions.
Wearing hats with wide brims and sunglasses with UV resistance will protect your face and your eyes from sun damage, and loose-fitting, lightweight clothing will help to keep you cool and offer protection at the same time. UV rays can go through normal clothing, so look for clothing that is specifically designed for UV resistance.
Sunscreen is another basic precaution. SPF30 should be the minimum protection level for everyone, but it is especially important that SPF30 is the minimum used for children, because their skin is more sensitive and will burn more quickly. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that will protect from both UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreen should be applied at least 30 minutes before going out, and it should be reapplied every two or three hours.
If your child is 6 months or younger, he or she needs a shaded spot to sit in during the peak hours of the day. An infant’s skin is too sensitive for even the highest SPF sunscreen to protect.
If you plan to be on or near the water for the day at the ocean or the pool, it’s a good idea to increase the SPF of your sunscreen. Wind and humidity reduce the effective SPF. You should also wear lip balm with SPF protection. Waterproof sunscreens will keep your skin protected even when wet, but only for about 40 minutes, so reapply frequently! And be sure to lather up with sunscreen even if you’re going to be wearing clothing in the water. You can still get sunburned through a shirt or other clothing when the clothing is wet.
For especially sensitive skin such as your face, if you are planning to spend a full day in the sun, a complete sunblock like zinc oxide will let you relax and enjoy yourself without worrying about whether you’re getting too much sun.
Sunburn can happen despite best efforts at prevention, so what should you do if your day at the beach leaves you feeling more like a lobster than a sun god? A cool (not cold) compress or cool shower can take the sting out of a mild sunburn. Adding milk or yogurt to the compress will make it even more effective. Products with aloe vera or Vitamin E, or a bath with oatmeal, chamomile oil or lavender oil, can also help reduce pain. Stay hydrated and keep skin from drying out by drinking lots of water and juice to promote healing, and take ibuprofen if the burned area feels swollen. And remember, skin that is already sunburned is very sensitive to getting further burned, so be sure to avoid getting additional sun on top of an existing sunburn!
A little awareness goes a long way in sunburn prevention. Take the time to protect your skin before heading out to enjoy your fun in the sun at North Beach Plantation.