Oh the sunburn itch. That intense, itchy feeling that you might just be too scared to satisfy because of the idea of possibly making your sunburn hurt even more.
Why does a sunburn have to itch on top of hurt? It’s like kicking someone when they are already down, and laughing at them.
You might be wondering to yourself what you did wrong to deserve such torture, because itchy sunburns, those are torture.
You might be wondering even more what you can do to ease that itch, and there definitely is a few things you can do, but first, let’s look at why sunburns can become itchy in the first place.
What causes itchy sunburns?
Sunburn itch, AKA Hell’s itch, because that’s what it feels like, Hell. Burning, itchy, annoying, itchy, Hell. What exactly causes itchy sunburns? There’s a few reasons for the sunburn itch:
- Problem- Dry skin: Your leathery, sunburned skin is so dehydrated from all of those harmful UV rays. There’s a chance that you are dehydrated, too, if your skin is showing the signs.
- Problem- Peeling: Whether this is evolution’s cruel way of telling you that you’re skin is about to peel and needs the help of your fingernails, or just a symptom of the peeling itself, take a look at that itchy area and see if it looks patchy from peeling.
- Problem- Allergic reaction: If you’ve been using products on your skin that contain lidocaine or any other topical pain reliever, your skin may very well be having a reaction to the cream you’ve used!
- Problem- Poor circulation: With the formation of all of those new skin cells taking place, the blood vessels may seem a bit congested, although this is not what you would feel or see, you just feel the itch. Lucky you!
There may be other causes but these are the most common reasons why your skin would itch with a sunburn. Some might argue that it’s just a part of the healing process, and this can be true, but the problem tends to run a little deeper, and it is typically something that you can help. You don’t have to suffer!
How to relieve that sunburn itch
There is good news, after all! You can do a few things, depending on your specific itchy cause, to relieve the itchiness! Here’s some solutions to those problems:
- Solution- Dry skin: Have you been moisturizing enough? If not, you might want to consider rubbing on some lotion and this may help relieve that sunburn itch. Drink some water while you’re at it. Also, aloe vera feels nice.
- Solution- Peeling: Never peel skin that is not ready. Rub on some lotion, and gently exfoliate if the burning sensation is gone. Other than that, there’s not much else you can really do. It’s time to shed that old skin anyway, right? Try some aloe vera, too.
- Solution- Allergic reaction: If you think you are having an allergic reaction, it’s best to call your doctor. If you prefer to take the matter into your own hands, you might try rubbing on some type of hydrocortisone cream or taking an oral antihistamine. It never hurts to at least give the doctor office a call for additional suggestions.
- Solution- Poor Circulation: This one has the best or worst solution, depending on if the burning sensation is still present. Massage! Massaging increases blood flow and this might be exactly what your skin needs to aid in the healing process and relieve that pesky itch! Ask someone for a favor and hand them some lotion! Or Aloe, that feels nice.
It also helps to try to think of a time when your skin does not itch. If it doesn’t itch while taking a cool bath, then take a cool bath for some relief, or try a cool compress.
Hopefully I’ve touched on your issue, but not literally because that might hurt. If you found a good solution here, just be sure to share the information to another itchy friend in need for some relief. In the future, don’t forget the sunscreen!
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.