TODAY   |  July 02, 2013

5 expert tips for preventing and treating sunburn

No matter how much we try to avoid it, we’ve all experienced the pain of sunburn. Just one blistering sunburn can double your risk of malignant melanoma, so New York City dermatologist Dr. Debra Wattenberg offers her tips on sunburn relief.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> how much you try to avoid it, we all experienced that pain of a bad sunburn. with the 4th of july almost here, a lot of you will be spending extra time outdoors. what's the best way to get relief? good to see you.

>> good to see you.

>> first we should talk about preventing it.

>> key, key is preventing. wear lots of sunscreen with spf greater than 30. apply it liberally or frequently. wear a hat, wear protective clothing . avoid high altitudes and be careful of things that cause you to burn, water, sand, concrete increase tris k.

>> there's debate about how to go over a number.

>> go above at least a 30. if you have at least a 30 you're blocking out 90% of the rays.

>> above that you don't need.

>> no, above it, you don't need it.

>> what are the red flags that you may have a medical problem? something that's not so minor.

>> if you develop fever and chills, light headed, dizzy or nauseous or large blizers receive help.

>> one thing is take an antiinflammatory like aspirin or advil. it will help with the fever and flu-like symptoms you can get.

>> i want to ask you quick about whatnot to do. that's as important as anything else.

>> the things you don't want to do is apply cologne or perfume. don't use exfoliates. don't shave.

>> really.

>> i see you have milk out.

>> cool compresses work well and one of my favorite things is to take a little bit of milk. use real milk. not soy. use cow milk and mix it with a little bit of water and you can create a cool compress that's soothing. you can apply this. it contains lactic acid and enzymes that are soothing and follow with that cortisone. you can get it over the counter . biafine is a burn cream and you can get that from your doctor.

>> natural remedies here. how do these work?

>> water is very hydrating. you can become dehydrated and develop the symptoms where you don't feel well. you also want to eat fruits and vegetables with antioxidants. blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes. they'll keep the inflammation down and prevent it from worsening.

>> get those in our system right away. now the oatmeal comes out. i love this.

>> these are all home remedies you can use. most people have these at home. you can create an oatmeal paste or pour it into your bathtub. it will sooth the itching component. it will help with the redness. green tea contains an antiinflammatory. baking soda. you can pour milk into your bathtub and follow it up with moisturizer to seal the hydration back into the skin and prevent the peeling which can increase the risk for infection.

>> remember, fragrant free moisturers would be best.

>> all good tips but better to prevent.

>> doctor, thanks so much. good