June 15, 2021
Everyone knows about the importance of sun protection, but most people forget to keep their lips safe too. It may even surprise you to learn that they’re one of the few areas that require extra care, especially during the warmer months. They’re just as vulnerable to sun damage as other parts of your body. Preventing sunburned lips is critical – otherwise, it can put your oral health at risk. Read on to find out why it’s important and learn a few ways to protect your lips from the sun.
Why Do Lips Need Sun Protection?
During summer, most people know to lather up with sunscreen before going outdoors. Unfortunately, lips are often forgotten about in this process. The skin on your lips is much thinner and contains less melanin, meaning it can’t protect itself from harmful UV rays. If left unshielded, it can increase your risk of sunburn and skin or oral cancer. And if it’s not diagnosed and treated early, mouth cancer can spread to other parts of the body and be life-threatening.
Moreover, sunburned lips can directly affect your oral hygiene routine. You may discontinue brushing and flossing daily to avoid discomfort, and that can put your dental health at risk. Stay on top of your regimen by protecting your lips from sun damage! Also, regularly visit your dentist for routine examinations and oral cancer screenings as an added preventive measure.
Tips to Protect Your Lips from Sunburn
There are a few ways you can protect lips from the sun, including:
- Apply a moisturizing SPF lip balm. If you’re going to be under the sun for an extended period, use a lip sunscreen with an SPF 30+ rating and reapply frequently.
- Avoid sunlight during peak hours. Minimize your risk of sunburn by avoiding the sun during peak hours (10:00 AM-3:00 PM CST).
- Shield yourself from direct sunlight. Other methods of preventing sunburn are lathering up with sunscreen (you can use it on your lips too!) and wearing a hat. These measures will provide you with much-needed protection from dangerous UV rays.
How to Treat Sunburned Lips
Did you forget to apply sunscreen on your lips? You might be wondering whether you have sunburn now. If your lips are redder than usual, tender to the touch, swollen, and have small, white blisters filled with fluid, then it’s likely they are damaged by the sun. Fortunately, you can expect a mild sunburn to last three to five days.
In the meantime, you can treat your lips by:
- Applying aloe vera to relieve the burning sensation
- Using a cold compress to soothe them
- Taking anti-inflammatory medication to alleviate discomfort
- Moisturizing your lips
Before you go out and catch some rays, make sure your lips are protected from the sun. Remember to stay hydrated and treat any sunburns right away – your oral health will thank you!
About the Practice
At On Point Dentistry, you can expect friendly, personalized service beyond what you can find anywhere else. Every treatment plan we create for our patients is centered around meeting their unique needs. If you plan on spending most of your summer days outdoors, make sure you schedule routine checkups via our website to keep your smile bright and healthy all season long.
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