How to Treat a Bad Sunburn

If you wear sunscreen every day, apply it properly and reapply it every few hours (or whenever you sweat, swim, or towel off), you don’t need this item. But we’re here. You’ve been smoking, hurting. What’s it?

A sunburn can not go away, but there are a few things you can do to help it feel better while waiting for it to heal. And it’s healing — a sunburn is a real injury your body needs to recover.

Get out of the sun and put on sunscreen

The number one thing to do is not make it worse. When you see a sunburn in the sun, get out of the sun immediately. If you don’t see redness until the next morning, be sure to sunscreen before leaving the house.

The American Dermatology Academy suggests wearing sun-blocking fabrics. Some beach-specific clothing may come with an SPF label on the tag, but generally you want something not seen-through when you hold it to the light.

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Find aloe, soy or calamine lotion

Aloe gel feels good on sunburned skin, and the AAD recommends it too, along with soy lotions. Calamine lotion can feel soothing.

Hydrocortisone cream, available in drugstores over-the-counter, is an anti-inflammatory that can reduce swelling, itching and redness. It’s good to have mosquito bites on hand anyway, but you can use it for sunburns.

Put nothing unpleasant on your skin

There are several different home remedies out there, so you can miss them all. For example, don’t put vinegar or witch hazel on sunburn. Many experts advise against topical anesthetics, as they can also irritate skin. (I personally love lidocaine aloe powder, but consider yourself warned.)

Hot baths or showers

One of the simplest ways to get relief is: just soak in a cool bath. Don’t scrub, it could irritate the skin, and don’t use more soap than you need. Upon leaving the tub, pat your skin dry and apply a moisturizer.

Incidentally, these should be cool baths — not cold. Ice and ice baths can irritate the skin. Go on yourself easily.

Take care of your entire body

Since sunburn is a healing injury, you’ll want to give your body a chance to recover. Stay hydrated and consider taking ibuprofen anti-inflammatory to temporarily reduce pain and redness.

Sunburns often occur alongside heat or dehydration, so keep an eye on those symptoms. If you have chills, nausea , fatigue, dizziness, or rapid pulse or breathing, seek medical aid.

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