Recently, a mom in Texas gained 15 minutes of fame after sharing a longstanding family secret on social media. Her secret is apparently one that people want to know; they want to know because we can always use new strategies for beating a nasty summer sunburn, and that is exactly what this mom had to offer. This was made evident by the 200,000-plus shares her original Facebook post received. So what is this secret? Shaving cream.
Even dermatologists agree that this shaving cream trick can work. Here’s how it’s done. According to the user, relief can come from coating a sunburned area with menthol foam shaving cream and letting the product sit. After about half an hour, the shaving cream may dry out and can be rinsed off the skin with cool or lukewarm water. During the time that the menthol is sitting on the skin, it is providing a cooling effect. As we discussed in a recent blog post, cooling is one of the priorities of treating a sunburn.
Most dermatologists who have heard of the menthol shaving cream strategy can admit that the cooling of menthol might improve the discomfort of a mild sunburn. However, there are other ways to soothe the skin that may be safer and more effective. For example, aloe or aloe-based products can be applied to both cool and nourish skin that has absorbed too much UV light. Aloe can be especially soothing when it is kept in the refrigerator or a cool place.
Applying any product to a sunburn can help but should not be mistaken as a “cure all.” Burns that blister or peel should be left alone so as not to irritate or infect the delicate skin beneath the epidermis. Dermatologists recommend white petroleum jelly for the treatment of severe sunburns. This hypoallergenic salve can be kept in the refrigerator, as well.
The theory that prevention is the best medicine is particularly relevant for sunburns. The best way to treat a sunburn is to avoid it altogether. Sunburn means your skin has been damaged. The darkening of the skin means that skin cells have absorbed UV light and are making more melanin to protect the epidermis from further damage. Limiting sun exposure and wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen significantly reduce the risk of sunburn and longstanding damage.
Does your skin need help overcoming sun damage? Call our Teaneck, NJ office at 201-836-9696.