Not only are sunburns unpleasant in the moment, they have long-lasting repercussions. One blistering burn in childhood doubles the lifetime risk of developing melanoma. Despite trying our best to protect ourselves from dangerous UV rays, accidents happen. Here are a few remedies that should help you feel better if you’ve gotten a bit too much sun:
Stay cool → apply a cold compress or a cold, damp towel to your skin, or take a cool shower or bath. Staying cool will help take the heat off the burn.
Moisturize → check the ingredients on the back of your moisturizer. If you see lidocaine or benzocaine, stay away. Instead, opt for one with aloe vera or soy.
→ drink enough water. Staying hydrated on the inside is just as important as moisturizing your skin on the outside.
Medications → try an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) like ibuprofen to help lessen the swelling and inflammation. You can also try a hydrocortisone cream. Make sure to read and follow the package directions when taking either or both of these drugs.
Natural remedies → try applying aloe vera gel, oatmeal, or honey to your sunburned skin.
Loose clothing → this one goes without saying. Tight fitting clothes and sunburned skin just don’t mix well.
Leave blisters alone → this can be a hard one for kids, but popping blisters increases your risk of infection and slows the healing process.
Visit the doctor
→ if your child under 1 year old gets a sunburn, seek medical attention right away. If you have severe blisters, a fever and chills, or if you feel nauseous or disoriented, visit the doctor yourself. Otherwise, sunburns should heal on their own and professional treatment is not required.
- Skin Cancer Foundation. (2016). 5 Ways to Treat a Sunburn. Retrieved July 25, 2016
- Skin Cancer Foundation. (2013). Treating Sunburn in Children. Retrieved July 25, 2016
- American Academy of Dermatology. (n.d.). Treating sunburn. Retrieved July 25, 2016
- Moninger, J. (2012). 10 Natural Remedies for Sunburns. Retrieved July 25, 2016