When the weather gets warmer and the sun grows stronger, it’s tempting to spend every day outdoors. After all, you’ve waited all winter long – now’s your chance to soak up the sun and have some summer fun.

While it’s great to get outside and absorb all that healthy vitamin D, basking in those sunny rays isn’t free from negative consequences – without proper protection, you’re at risk for developing sunburns. These irritations, which can range from mild to severe, are often painful, unsightly and can result in permanent skin damage.

Fortunately, you can still participate in all that summer has to offer without getting burned. Check out these tips for avoiding and treating sunburns:

Coverage is key

Before heading outside each day, make sure to lather all exposed areas of your skin with plenty of sunscreen, advised The Mayo Clinic. The source recommended using a broad-spectrum lotion with a sun protection field of at least 30 to ensure maximum protection. Don’t skimp on how much sunblock you use, and make sure you’re reapplying at minimum once every two hours. In addition to sunblock, cover as much skin as possible with loose, comfortable clothing, and protect your face by sporting a wide-brimmed hat.

Beware overcast skies

It’s important to note that sunburns aren’t only a threat on hot, sunny days. In fact, overcast, hazy weather can do some pretty significant damage. This is why it’s important to apply sunscreen and protect your skin whenever you plan to spend some time outside.

Do damage control

If you suspect you’ve sustained a sunburn, there are a few steps you can take to reduce pain and promote healing. Allure magazine recommended applying cold water to the burn, as this may help reduce inflammation. You can also benefit from taking an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Know when to seek professional care

At the end of the day, sunburns are just that – burns. And, many times, burn wound care requires a professional opinion. Best Health magazine noted that while minor sunburns can be treated at home, burns that cause fevers, chills, nausea, fainting, changes to pulse or blisters should be brought to a clinician. The source explained that these could be signs of dehydration, second-degree burns or other serious medical issues and may require hospitalization or prescription medication.

Innovative Outcomes is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.