Many people know the importance of protecting their skin from the sun’s harmful rays by applying sunscreen, wearing hats, and protective clothing. However, one area that is often overlooked is the lips. Can your lips get sunburned, and if so, what can you do to protect them?
The short answer is yes, your lips can get sunburned. In fact, your lips are one of the most sensitive areas on your body to the sun’s rays. The skin on your lips is thin and does not contain melanin, the pigment that helps protect your skin from the sun. Additionally, your lips are often moist, which can make them more susceptible to sun damage.
Symptoms of sunburned lips can include redness, swelling, pain, and peeling. In severe cases, blisters can also develop. Sunburned lips can be uncomfortable and can even make it difficult to eat, drink, or speak.
So, what can you do to protect your lips from the sun? Here are some tips:
- Wear lip balm with SPF:
One of the best ways to protect your lips from the sun is to apply a lip balm with SPF. Look for a lip balm with at least SPF 15 and reapply it every two hours, especially if you are spending a lot of time outdoors.
- Wear a hat:
Wearing a hat can provide shade for your face and lips, reducing your overall sun exposure. Wearing straw hats that have holes does not fully protect you from the extreme sunlight, thus you might want to avoid them.
- Stay in the shade:
If possible, stay in the shade during the hottest parts of the day, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. According to United States Environmental Protection Agency, during these hours, the sun is at its strongest emitting of rays, making you exposed to nearly half of the sun’s radiation when under the open daylight.
- Avoid certain activities:
Certain activities, such as skiing or spending time on the water, can increase your risk of sunburned lips. Consider wearing a protective face mask or balaclava when skiing, and wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses when spending time on the water.
- Stay hydrated:
Drinking plenty of water can help keep your lips hydrated and prevent them from becoming dry and cracked, which can increase your risk of sunburn.
If you do end up with sunburned lips, there are a few things you can do to help ease the discomfort. Applying a cool compress or aloe vera gel to your lips can help soothe the skin. Avoid picking at any blisters or peeling skin, as this can increase your risk of infection. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can also help alleviate pain and inflammation.
In conclusion, your lips can get sunburned, and it’s important to take steps to protect them from the sun’s harmful rays. By wearing lip balm with SPF, staying in the shade, and avoiding certain activities, you can help prevent sunburned lips and enjoy the outdoors safely.