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Soothing Sunburn

July 16, 2014, 6:13 PM by Brittany Larson

Soothing Sunburn

While many of you spend a lot of time outside during the summer, don't forget the sunscreen.

Taking advantage of the bright sun and warm temps, Melissa Johnson admits she likes to spend time working on her tan despite the dangers of too much sun exposure.

"It's not very important. I have my oil down here. If I do get red then I will just, I mean at some point, I will put sunscreen on but for now, I am working on my tan so I go without," Johnson said.

Brittany Larson: Do you feel confident that's going to protect you from the harmful UV rays?
Johnson: No, I don't. Not at all.

Health experts say it's best to limit your time outside when the sun's rays are strongest between 10 a.m. between 4 p.m.

"I really don't take it to heart because I tan easy. But I know deep down that I should definitely wear sunscreen, on my face and on my chest.  I do feel like I probably should and like I said at some point, I will," Johnson said.

Experts recommend using a SPF 30 or higher and re-applying every two hours.

"Any type of sun damage or sunburn increases your risk for skin cancer, and that's what we are really worried about protection of skin and skin cancers," Sanford Health Dermatologist Dr. Jacob Kusmak said.

You can use simple at home remedies to soothe a burn.

"Easiest thing you can to do is just use the plain old household white vinegar and put three tablespoons into about a quart of water," Kusmak said.

Kusmak says to set it on the areas of really burnt skin for about 20 minutes.  He also recommends Aloe Vera.

"We just know that it's soothing and it's a gel that doesn't really exclude the skin, but there's no real science of why it actually works but it is effective," Kusmak said.

The gel helps with the healing process, especially if you experience areas of sunburn that are blistering. Regardless of the damage the sun can cause your skin, some people still want to sunbathe while it's nice outside.

"All winter long I am white, so yes when summer comes, I enjoy to be tan," Johnson said.

Kusmak says if you notice any type of bizarre spot on your skin that isn't going away, see your doctor.

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