It’s all fun and games until someone gets sunburnt. Sunburn is caused by the overexposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Everyone is familiar with the initial stage of sunburn, which is the burnt exterior, but there are other factors which can begin to feel like flu symptoms: fever, chills, nausea, headaches and weakness. It is after these symptoms that your body will begin to rid itself of sun-damaged cells, which is what peeling and itching come from. Applying sun block and staying hydrated are two important factors when being exposed to the sun, but many people continue to ignore them, as beach fun does not always leave room for you to stop and protect yourself.

Thanks to the August Monday festivities, it will be rampant in St. Maarten and Anguilla for a few weeks. Were you one of those who ignored the rules, or do you simply burn easily? Everyone will be able to point you out from afar because of your darkened and peeling epidermis. Whatever your situation at this point, you’ll need a solution rather than a finger being pointed at the tip of your peeling nose.

Cool down: Before your skin begins to peel and flake, make sure to add cold compresses to your body, or take a cold shower to soothe the burnt flesh.

Lather up: Apply gels that contain aloe, vitamin E, menthol or camphor to your skin to stop the burning and moisturize the skin in the process.

Water: If you’re really in pain, perhaps you should pop your gels into the refrigerator to give the relief an extra kick. Did you get severely burnt? Are you experiencing the flu-like symptoms? Remember, you want to keep water very close at this point and consume as much as possible. Staying hydrated is essential in every process of bodily functions.

Pain relief: If your doctor has prescribed you a Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory (NSAID) drug like ibuprofen or naproxen, maybe now is the time to take a low dose for additional relief.

Stay shady: Avoiding overexposure to the sun for the next few days would make the most sense as your cells purge and regenerate.

Sunburn can be very harmless and treatable at home, but there are some risky situations you may want to look out for in case you have a more serious problem. See your doctor immediately for medical treatment if you experience any of the following:

• Fever of 102 degrees or higher
• Chills
• Excessive pain
• Sunburn blisters covering more than 20% of your body
• Dry mouth, thirst reduced urination, dizziness and fatigue, which are signs of dehydration