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How can I protect a burn from sun exposure?

Q: I received a second degree burn on my hand and forearm two weeks ago. There was extensive blistering on my arm. I was treated at a burn clinic. The doctors mentioned that if the skin gets sunburned, it will be permanently scarred deep red. How much exposure to sun is safe. I have noticed darkening of the skin and wonder whether it is due to sun exposure? Am I risking permanent scarring by exposing it to the sun? I have been covering the area with a thin layer of moisturizer and a thin layer of gauze, but was told not to apply sunscreen yet.

A:If your doctors have not asked you to apply sunscreen then they must have a reason. You can however take the following steps to protect the skin:

  • Avoid peak sunlight hours — 10 AM until 4 PM — when the suns rays are the strongest.
  • Wear protective clothing e.g. long-sleeve shirt and pants.
  • Seek shade while outdoors during the day.
  • Avoid reflective surfaces such as water, snow, and sand that can reflect up to 85% of the suns damaging rays.

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