Can You Workout with a Sunburn?

Summertime is here, which means plenty of opportunities to get sunburned. But can you still workout if you have a sunburn? Let’s find out.

What Causes Sunburns

Sunburns occur when our skin has been over-exposed to the ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. They are brought about by either extended exposure of too much intensity or short-term, high-intensity exposure. These UV rays can cause skin damage in two forms: sunburns or long-term skin damage. The symptoms of sunburns are skin reddening, pain, and sometimes itching. Let’s look into what causes sunburns in more detail.

UV Rays

Ultraviolet (UV) rays are the wavelengths of energy in sunlight that can cause sunburns and other skin damage. UV rays are divided into three types based on how much energy they contain: UVA, UVB and UVC. All three types of UV rays exist naturally in sunlight, and it’s UVA and UVB rays that cause skin damage.

UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin and are responsible for the visible signs of skin aging, including wrinkles, fine lines and loss of firmness. These rays also increase your risk of developing malignant melanoma, a type of cancer that develops from pigment cells called melanocytes.

UVB rays have shorter wavelengths than UVA and also contribute to skin aging by breaking down collagen, elastin and other connective tissue. These are considered “burning” rays because they produce redness and pain after exposure to the sun, which is what most people refer to as a sunburn. Although these effects can be uncomfortable or even dangerous in some cases, there is an added bonus to this particular type of radiation; it helps protect us by aiding Vitamin D production! This process happens when our bodies absorb UVB light on our skin while we’re outside in the sunshine; Vitamin D helps regulate cell growth within our bodies which plays an important role in overall health maintenance.

Skin Type

Someone’s skin type is determined by a combination of genetics and pigment protection from melanin. There are six types of skin classified from the least resistant (Type I) to most resistant (Type VI). Skin type is an important factor in determining how likely someone is to get sunburned, as well as how long it would take for a sunburn to occur.

Individuals with lighter, fairer skin tone tend to have less melanin and may be more likely to sunburn. Individuals with darker skin tones are typically less prone to burning because they typically have more melanin than those with fair skin tone. For example, people with Type I (very fair) and Type II (fair) skin tones are considered most at risk for sunburn whereas people with Type V (brown) and Type VI (dark brown-black) generally don’t burn easily but can still become tanned if exposed for long enough times. It is important for each individual to know their own personal risk factors so that they can adjust their SPF accordingly as well as choose clothing or any other means of protection that best suits them in order avoid getting sunburned.

Time Spent in the Sun

It’s no secret that spending too much time in the sun can result in a sunburn. But what causes a sunburn? Sunburn is caused by ultraviolet radiation (UV Rays) from the sun and certain artificial sources, like tanning beds and lamps. The intensity of UV rays is related to the amount of time someone spends in direct sunlight or under indoor tanning equipment. In general, the greater the intensity of sunlight and duration of exposure, the more intense a person’s sunburn can be.

Sunburn protectors like sunscreen can be hugely beneficial for those who spend extended periods outdoors or who want to reduce their risk of long-term damage from UVA/UVB radiation. Sunscreens with higher SPFs provide greater protection against UV rays, but sunscreen must still be reapplied frequently when exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period. It’s also important to consider other protective measures such as avoiding the midday sun, covering up with clothing when possible, and wearing sunglasses with 100% UVA/UVB protection while outdoors.

Symptoms of Sunburns

Sunburns can be incredibly painful and if they are severe enough can even require medical attention. Sunburns are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet rays, which can damage the skin and cause redness, swelling, and pain. Working out with a sunburn can cause additional harm to the skin and worsen the existing symptoms. In this article, we’ll look at some of the common symptoms of sunburns and discuss how to safely exercise with a sunburn.


Sunburns result when the skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation for longer than it can naturally tolerate. This can lead to a painful reddening of the skin and feeling of warmth. Redness usually begins to appear within a few hours following sun exposure and can become more vivid over time. In some cases, redness can be accompanied by blisters, bumps, or peelings on the affected areas. If left untreated, sunburns can cause swelling, discomfort, and even nausea or dizziness due to fluid loss or dehydration. A large burn area may also cause fever-like symptoms such as chills or dizziness in extreme cases. It is important to immediately treat redness as well as any other symptoms with cooling ointments like aloe vera or calamine lotion and consult a doctor if necessary.


For severe sunburns, blisters may form. Blisters develop when too much fluid builds up between layers of your skin and causes the layers to separate. If a blister forms, don’t pop it as this can increase your risk of infection. Instead, cover the area with a cool bandage or dressings. When attending outdoor activities or exercises the essential advice is to wear an extra layer of protection such as clothing or sunscreen to protect yourself from ultraviolet (UV) radiation and heat stroke symptoms. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying sunscreen with an SPF-15 or higher at least 20 minutes before going outdoors and reapplying every two hours while out in direct sunlight.


If you have a sunburn, swelling in the affected area is quite common and can be severe in some cases. This swelling can cause the skin to tighten, causing it to feel itchy and sore. In most cases, the areas that are most exposed will be swollen more than other areas of the body. Swelling is usually accompanied by redness and warmth in the affected area due to increased blood flow and inflammation. Pain usually follows within several hours of exposure, as this is when sunburns become noticeable. If your sunburn is severe with blistering or excessive pain, see a doctor for proper treatment or relief from your discomfort.

Treating Sunburns

When your skin has been burned by the sun, it’s important to take the necessary steps to treat your sunburn and protect your skin from further damage. Sunburns can be extremely painful, and it’s important to stay hydrated, soothe the skin, and avoid further exposure to the sun. Additionally, it’s important to consider how the sunburn can affect a workout routine. Let’s take a look at how to effectively treat a sunburn and how it may impact your workout.

Over-the-counter medications

To ease the pain associated with sunburn, over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be taken. For more intense skin irritation, topical steroid creams, aloe vera, or hydrocortisone spray can be used. Additionally, cold compresses and cooling gels may help to reduce swelling and discomfort.
When taken as directed on the label instructions, these medications can help to reduce symptoms of sunburn while promoting faster healing of the affected area. It is important to remember these medications are not intended to replace medical care — if symptoms persist or worsen it is important to seek medical assistance as soon as possible.

Cool compresses

Cool compresses can help a sunburned area feel better. Use one of the following treatments:

-Soak a clean cloth or cotton gauze in cool water and apply to the sunburn for 10-15 minutes.
-Make a mixture of baking soda and cold water to use as a compress.
-Wrap some ice cubes in a towel and gently apply to the affected area for up to 10 minutes at a time — be sure not to hold it on too long, otherwise it may cause more irritation.
-Make an aloe vera gel by mixing fresh aloe vera with cold water and applying it directly onto the sunburn. This method is often used by people who have had severe or prolonged exposure to sunlight but it may still be beneficial if your sunburn is mild.

Hydrating lotions

Hydrating lotions are often the first line of defense for sunburns. They help prevent the skin from becoming overly dried and irritated, which can heighten discomfort. After a sunburn, it’s important to use a good moisturizing lotion regularly to help your skin heal from any damage. It is also recommended to avoid cosmetics and products with alcohol in them while healing; they can actually worsen the drying associated with sunburns. Generally, the following types of moisturizing lotions can be used on sunburns:
-Aloe Vera gel: Can be applied directly onto burned skin cells, or included as part of an after-sun cream
-Coconut oil: Highly hydrating for burned skin and contains fatty acids that aid in healing
-Shea butter: Contains natural anti-inflammatory properties to reduce redness and swelling
-Milk: The proteins found in milk are thought to soothe dry, burned areas
-Olive oil: Contains vitamin E which helps keep skin healthy

For most people, applying these lotions multiple times a day can provide temporary relief until their burn has healed. Additionally, taking cool showers and baths will also help promote healing. Keeping affected areas away from direct sunlight is also important since UV exposure will only increase burning sensation.

Working Out with a Sunburn

Getting a sunburn can put a damper on your plans to stay active and fit. If you have a sunburn, you may be wondering if it’s still safe to workout and what precautions you need to take to protect your skin. This article will discuss the best ways to exercise safely when you have a sunburn.

Low-impact exercises

Exercising with a sunburn can be tricky because even the slightest brush against clothing can cause irritation and pain. Low-impact exercises like walking, yoga, swimming, or stationary cycling are all good options; however, it’s important to take extra precautions when you’re outside. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing that is comfortable against your skin and don’t forget to wear plenty of sunscreen for extra protection.

Swimming is a great way to cool down your sunburned skin while getting in some exercise — just make sure to stay in the shade as much as possible and drink plenty of fluids to rehydrate your body. The same goes for other low physical impact workouts such as yoga or regular walking — try to find a shady area and walk at a relaxed pace so as not to aggravate any heat issues while exercising.

Stationary biking is also a great option — this low-impact exercise gives you the benefit of being inside away from direct sunlight so there’s less risk of further irritating your burn. Plus, you have complete control over intensity levels and duration – allowing you to tailor it according to your comfort level while still getting in some good workout!

Wear protective clothing

When working out with a sunburn, it is important to protect yourself from further overexposure. While physical activity can help people with skin conditions such as psoriasis, sunburns should be treated with caution and care. Make sure to wear clothing that offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Wear breathable, light-weight fabrics such as cotton and synthetic materials that wick away sweat. Long sleeve shirts, long skirts or pants, and tightly woven hats are good options for sunburn protection during exercise. Depending on the severity of your burn, you may also benefit from wearing sunscreen underneath your clothing.

Avoid sun exposure

In order to protect your skin from further sun damage, it is important to avoid sun exposure during exercise. When exercising outside, take precautionary measures such as wearing a broad brimmed hat or athletic clothing that cover exposed skin. If possible, exercise in the shade. Make sure to pack the necessary sunscreen, hats, and clothing for when you are outdoors and can’t easily avoid the sun.

When exercising indoors, try using a cooling mist like aloe vera on sensitive areas of your body to relieve discomfort associated with sunburns. Alternatively, cooling compresses can also be effective in providing relief from the hot sensations that accompany a sunburn. Additionally, wear lightly fitting clothes that will help prevent additional chafing and irritation of skin affected by the burn. Though it’s hard to stay away from physical activity during summer months, don’t forget what kind of damage the sun can cause if you’re not properly protected while exposed outdoors!


It is important to take the necessary precautions to prevent getting a sunburn before engaging in any sort of physical activity outdoors. When it comes to exercising outdoors, it is best to apply sunscreen about 30 minutes before you start sweating. Furthermore, wearing the right protective clothing, such as hats and sunglasses, can also help you avoid sunburns. Let’s discuss these prevention strategies in more detail.

Wear sunscreen

When going outdoors, especially for exercises, it is important to wear sunscreen for protection against sunburn. Sunscreen helps protect your skin from the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. UV radiation is invisible and consists of UVA and UVB rays. Sunburn can be caused by short bursts of exposure to sunlight or long-term exposure over months or years.

Apply ample amounts of sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least SPF 15 (higher are better). The SPF determines how long you and your exposed skin can be out in the sun before being burned. To ensure complete coverage and protection, apply generously to all areas exposed to the sun and re-apply frequently, approximately every two hours when outdoors, more often if swimming or sweating heavily – as sweat causes sunscreen to become less effective. Be sure to also wear protective clothing such as a wide brimmed hat, sunglasses, long-sleeved shirt, pants or swimwear with a tightly woven fabric that doesn’t allow sunlight through it.

Limit your time in the sun

If you have a sunburn, it is important to take steps to limit further exposure to the sun. Wear clothing made of tightly woven fabrics (that blocks both ultraviolet A and B rays) as well as wide-brimmed hats and other accessories that prevent burning. When you are outdoors, look for shady spots and avoid excessive sun exposure during the hottest parts of the day (which is usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.). It is also important to use broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 which should be applied at least 15–30 minutes before going in the sun and should be reapplied every 2 hours for beachgoers or after sweating or swimming. Be sure to cover all exposed areas, including your head, neck, ears, hands, feet, and any other area not covered by clothing.

Wear protective clothing

Wearing clothes that protect you from the sun is very important in preventing sunburns. They can be made from any material, as long as they are thick enough to block out ultraviolet rays. Lighter colors are more effective than dark ones because UV rays cannot penetrate through the dark colors in the fabric. Long-sleeved shirts, pants and wide-brimmed hats should be worn, particularly when being between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., which are peak hours for UV radiation exposure. Sunglasses with UV protection can also help minimize your exposure to ultraviolet light that causes sunburns. Additionally, you can apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more on any exposed areas of skin at least 20 minutes prior to going outdoors, and re-apply every two hours while outdoors and after swimming or sweating heavily. Applying sunscreen regularly helps you prevent those painful sunburns and allows you to continue exercising outdoors worry-free!

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