How to Treat a Sunburn

Feb 10, 2016 by Sarah (Day Styles)

We’ve all had it happen. We’re outside in the sunshine all day and forget to apply our sunscreen, or if we did, we definitely forgot to reapply! Before you know it, your skin is red, and you can barely handle the sting of clothing touching against your body. Sunburns are awful, and we should try to avoid them at all costs, but what happens when it does happen? How can we treat it effectively so that we are in the least amount of pain possible?

Start Treating Early

As soon as you feel any of the symptoms of sunburn (like your skin feeling hot to the touch, redness, or itching) start treating it. Sunburns have a tendency to creep up on people and symptoms have been known to take up to six hours to show, so as soon as you feel it happening, get out of the sun and use the following ideas to help!

Anti-Inflammation

Work from the inside out. When you notice your skin is becoming a little red, take an aspirin or ibuprofen to help combat any inflammation that comes with a sunburn (and help it from getting any worse), and it will also ease the pain of the burn itself.

Cool Down

When you’re able, get in a shower and use cool water to help soothe the burn while removing any excess pool chemicals or sand from the beach. If you’re able to have a bath that’s even better. Have the water as cool as you can handle it and just soak your burn until the water has warmed up. Add a cup of whole oats to the water for an extra soothing effect.

Cold Compress

You can create your own soothing cold compress by soaking a towel in skim milk, egg whites or green tea. The proteins in the milk and egg whites coat the skin and calm it down, and the green tea helps reduce inflammation in the skin. It’s all natural and super effective.

Moisturize

When you tan or get a sunburn, the sun pulls water from your skin directly, so if you’re burnt make sure you’re replenishing that moisture intensely over the next few days. Look for moisturizers that have cooling and soothing agents built in such as aloe vera, glycerin, or hyaluronic acid. If you’re treating a small spot like your nose or ears, try a hydrocortisone cream to help reduce inflammation as well. Looking for something extra soothing? Keep your moisturizer in the fridge so it’s cool on contact!

Drink Your Water

The sun not only steals water from your skin, but it actually dehydrates your entire body. Make sure you up your normal intake of water while you have a sunburn to keep yourself from becoming dehydrated. Also, try and up the amount of water filled fruits and vegetables that you’re eating like watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber or grapes.

You can get a serious burn any time of year, summer or winter, so always wear sunscreen when you’re outside with exposed skin! But if you get a sunburn, use one of these easy ways to reduce the pain and inflammation!

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