How to Treat Sunburns

If you are not using sunscreen or stay in the sun too long, you may end up with a sunburn. A sunburn is damaged skin that takes on a red appearance and can be very painful. As soon as you notice your skin beginning to turn red, you should immediately get out of the sun. If you cannot get out of the sun, cover any areas of exposed skin or apply sunscreen, to help keep your sunburn from getting worse.

If you do end up with a sunburn, there are several treatment options that can help reduce the pain they cause and help your skin heal quickly. These options include:

  • Drink water! Sunburns can cause dehydration, which in turn will dry your skin out and make the burn more painful. Drinking water will help keep your skin moister and will help with the healing process.
  • Take a cool bath or shower. The coolness of the water will help reduce the “heat” that you feel from the sunburn.
  • Do not pick at your skin! If your skin begins to blister, do not pick at the blisters as that will only damage your skin further. Once you notice blisters, pay attention to how you feel and watch for any worsening symptoms.
  • Use aloe vera or products that contain aloe vera. If you are lucky enough to have an aloe vera plant at home, simply break open a branch and rub the aloe on your burn. You can also purchase a sunburn soothing gel that contains aloe vera in it.
  • Take ibuprofen to help with any pain. Because Ibuprofen helps with inflammation, it is the best over-the-counter pain medication for a sunburn.

With any sunburn, watch for signs of sun poisoning. If you begin to feel nauseated, have a severe headache, or feel ill, call your doctor or go to the nearest ER (depending on how you feel).

Disclaimer: This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about medical, cosmetic, mohs, and surgical dermatology. The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed dermatologist or other health care worker.