Week of:
Mar 09, 2018

Sunburn cures?

Hi Alice,

I was in the sun for seven hours yesterday and I got a pretty bad sunburn. My face has blisters all over it. The redness is severe, and the pain is severe. Any suggestions that you may have will help. To top it off, I am a diabetic and am worried about infection of the blisters. Thanks.

Help! I was stung by a jellyfish!

Dear Alice,

I was at the beach about a week ago and got stung by a jellyfish about six times. It stung and hurt, but everything was healed up by the end of the day. However, just a few days ago, I got these very itchy pink bumps all over my leg, almost exactly where the bites were. The bumps seem to be mostly in straight lines and will not go away. Please help — the itchiness is driving me mad!

— Crazy

Plant-based sun protection

Dear Alice,

Recently I bought a sun protection cream from a health food store. The cream claims to provide sun protection (it's labeled SPF 15) by a plant complex made of PABA, willow bark extract, myrtle and myrtus leaf extract. It says that myrtle and myrtus leaf help protect from both UVA and UVB.

My questions are as follows:

1) Can this PABA complex provide the sun protection it claims (SPF 15 for both UVA and UVB rays)? The reason I am asking this is because until now I had only heard of sun protection by titanium dioxide or chemicals like octyl mexaoxycinnamate (did I get it right?). So I am curious to find out.

2) I notice a slight burning sensation in my eyes after I apply the product on my face. Is it true that PABA is a common irritant? (Since I notice many products proudly claiming PABA-free I wonder if it's really not good for you.)

Please help. I hope this question falls within your realm of expertise. After all, you are the 'know it all' around here, aren't you?

Thank you,

'Burning' to find out

Clothes to protect oneself from the sun

Hello, Alice!

As the summer is soon to arrive, I was wondering what type of clothing should I wear to protect myself from the sun? Also, what color works best, light or black? I seem to be getting conflicting answers on the Internet. I am a fair skinned male. Thanks for your help!