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The sun kissed look is in every summer, but can turn nasty if the sun kisses you for too long without adequate protection. We all know that horrible, burning sensation you start to feel at the onset of a sunburn when you know it’s already too late. You look down only to see your skin turning red, and quickly try to find a shady place to cool down.
Once you are home, you get this brilliant idea to cool off with the shower, only to feel an intense, electrified feeling the moment that water touches your skin. It hurts. It burns. It’s a sunburn, and it’s here to stay for a few days, but what helps sunburns?
How To Treat a Sunburn
You may not be able to get rid of the sunburn, but you can soothe, learn how to treat a sunburn, and learn what to put on sunburns during the healing process.
According to stoneybrookmedicine.edu, the pain and burning sensation from a sunburn usually lasts up to 48 hours, and peeling will take place in about a week. They state that hydrocortisone cream or lotion on sunburn, when applied three times a day is effective at treating swelling, itchiness, and pain when this remedy is started early on after the onset of sunburn.
What to Put on Sunburns
Other than making sure your skin stays moisturized with lotion, there’s a few other things that you can put on your skin to help relieve that lingering burn.
- How to treat a sunburn without blistering: Apply moisturizer throughout the day to keep the skin hydrated. Oil-based products block your pores and therefore should be avoided as they can help cause infection. Also avoid products containing benzocaine, lidocaine, or alcohol as they can cause allergic reaction or make the situation worse.
- How to treat a sunburn with blistering: If you have a sunburn that is blistered up, do not pop the blisters. Skip the lotion and apply antibiotic cream two to three times daily to help avoid infection, especially if the blisters are broken. Also, according to nlm.nih.gov, dry bandages can help prevent infection also. If the burn is bad enough, you may need to seek medical attention for treatment.
- Sunburned lips: If you have sunburned lips, try not pop any blisters that may be present. You can apply lip moisturizer, aloe, or antibiotic ointment to aid in the healing process, but like a sunburn anywhere else, avoid products with benzocaine, lidocaine, and alcohol to avoid further irritation to your sunburned lips.
Other than putting lotion on sunburn, what helps sunburns? Aloe vera. You can find aloe at any store, and sometimes right in your yard (which is even better)! Aloe is by far one of the most soothing things you can apply to a sunburn, it’s all-natural and cheap!
Sunburn creams and lotions are on the shelves typically near the sunscreens and they are specifically designed to relieve sunburn while moisturizing them. While not completely necessary to go out and buy these types of products, many people do swear by them and opt to use them instead of regular lotion on sunburn.
What Helps Relieve Pain?
When trying to figure out what to put on sunburns, try taking a look at some of these common things around your home:
- Cool bath: Taking a shower might be painfully out of the question, but a cool bath may very well be just what you need! According to stoneybrookmedicine.edu, adding 2 oz. of baking soda to a bath can help ease the burn.
- Cool compress: If you really want to know what to put on sunburns, try a cool compress and see for yourself just how good they can feel!
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! What helps sunburns? Lots of water! Your skin has been drained by the sun and it’s up to you to drink plenty of water to replenish any dehydration. Once your urine is running clear, you’ll know that you are well enough hydrated.
- OTC pain meds: If the burn is too much to handle, you can always try taking pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Do not give aspirin to children.
- Avoiding sun exposure: Naturally, it will hurt too much to feel the sun on your skin again for a while so just do your skin a favor and remain out of direct sunlight until you are all healed up.
As with anything that can go wrong, prevention is key. Prior to going out into the sun, apply sunscreen and allow yourself 15-20 minutes before going into direct sunlight. Nobody likes leaving the beach looking like a lobster, so do your part and run on that sunscreen!
For additional tips on prevention and when to seek medical attention, please visit www.nlm.nih.gov.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional medical advice. As with any health concern, it is best to seek proper help from a medical professional.