6 Tips for Dancing with a Sunburn

November 28, 2001

Ballet dancers spend so many hours in the studio that they often don’t get much sun—which makes Memorial Day beach or barbeque time all the more delicious. But watch out: Red, sunburned shoulders and tight leotard straps don’t make a happy couple. What can you do when your skin feels like its on fire in class? Try these easy steps suggested by the Mayo Clinic:

1. Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen, to relieve the swelling and sensitivity. This is most effective if you do it within the first 24 hours of getting burned.

2. Before class, apply aloe or hydrocortisone cream to keep the burned skin from drying out. Hydrocortisone cream might also help speed healing.

3. Stash a damp towel next to you at the barre. Pat down your skin whenever you have a chance in order to keep it cool.

4. Drink lots of water—if you got enough sun to get burned, you probably lost fluids and need to be careful to avoid dehydration.

5. Try to resist the temptation to peel your skin or pop blisters, which could slow down the healing process.

6. Next time you’re outside, use more sunscreen!