In most scenarios, nipples aren’t something people tend to ignore. Sunbathing apparently isn’t one of those scenarios: 46 percent of people never apply sun protection to their nips, according to a recent survey. They should, though, since nipples are even more prone to sunburn than other areas of the skin, according to dermatologist Lisa Chipps.
“All of our skin, including thin and sensitive areas like nipples and lips, can be burned by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation,” Chipps emphasizes. Because they’re so delicate, nipples are also particularly prone to flakiness and itchiness when sunburned.
That said, there’s no need to panic if your nipples turn red like Rudolph’s nose after a lengthy tanning session. “If you do get a sunburn on your nipples, wash them with cool water, apply bland moisturizers or topical hydrocortisone cream and take an ibuprofen,” Chipps advises. Following this advice, your nipples will be back to their subtle selves in no time—admittedly, a few shades darker than they were before (yes, nipples can tan, too).