A trip to the beach or hills often gets you ‘sunkissed’ — haven’t we seen those gorgeous photographs of our favourite celebs basking in the sun? But this time around, Bollywood actress Parineeti Chopra’s latest social media post shows her being ‘snowburnt’ at minus 4 degrees celsius in the mountain ranges of Nepal.
Like most of you, we too are curious to know what snow burns mean, and what is the best way to prevent them. That’s why we got in touch with celebrity dermatologist Dr Jaishree Sharad to understand all about this!
A snowburn is a burn on the skin that occurs due to exposure to sun in the mountains or in snowy regions.
“The risk of a sunburn is greater in the hills and the mountains, where it is actually snowing. That’s because the atmosphere is thinner, and snow can reflect about 90 percent of ultraviolet rays,” shares Dr Sharad with HealthShots.
She explains that even when it’s cold, we can still get exposed to UV rays, much more than we would in the plains.
“Therefore, it can lead to burns, painful blotchy skin, skin peeling, and red rashes. And the long term side effects are premature aging of skin or fine lines, wrinkles, dilated pores, hyperpigmentation and even skin cancer,” she adds.
We must have heard this time and again, but it is important to always apply sunscreen throughout the year. This is critical even more, when you are traveling to the hills.
“The only way to prevent a snowburn is by using a broad spectrum sunscreen, something which protects you from ultraviolet A and B. It is advised to use a sunscreen with SPF 50 and PA ++++,” says Dr Sharad.
“Every two hours, make sure you apply a dollop (at least two fingers full) all over your face, two fingers on the arms, neck, and other exposed parts. Try to wear full-sleeved clothing, and cover yourself as much as possible. Wear wide-rimmed hats. Eye protection is equally important, so wear tinted ski goggles. Do not forget to moisturize your entire body at bedtime,” she advises.
“If you get a snowburn, you must immediately get in touch with a dermatologist. You may need a prescription steroid cream, but apply a lot of ice. Also, apply cold calamine lotion, and take antioxidant and vitamin C supplements,” concludes Dr Sharad.