Sunburn Treatment: 7 Remedies to Try at Home
The smell of spring is in the air and soon summer will be rearing its head prompting everyone to pack up their coats and galoshes, put on those bikinis and swim trunks, and head out to the lake, beach, pool or even just the backyard for some much-needed fun in the sun. However, with the fun of summer comes the very real possibility of being sunburned. In today’s world, very few people don’t realize how important it is to apply sunscreen when you’re outside and one with a very high SPF is recommended as well. However, even when applied diligently and the way it should be, there is still always the possibility of sunburn.
It’s important to note that sunburn is more than just a nuisance that is painful and keeps you out of the sun for a few days. According to a study done by the Environmental Protection Agency, there is more diagnosis every year of skin cancer than there are of lung, colon, breast, and prostate cancer combined. It is also estimated that one in every five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetimes. Those are scary statistics for sure. In other words, avoiding sunburns is key to your health and your happiness.
Yes, we know that even when you do your best to not get sunburned it does happen on occasion. Yes, we know that you can’t stay cooped up in the house forever and never get out in the sun for fear of being sunburned. We get that! There are ways that you can prevent that sunburn from happening to the best of your ability, however. That’s why in this blog, we’re going to go into the ways to prevent sunburn, the symptoms of sunburn, and of course, some remedies and tips you can try at home if you do end up with a sunburn anyway.
So, with that in mind, grab your glass of iced tea, pull up a lawn chair, slather on the sunscreen and join us as we dive into our blog on sunburn treatment and everything you need to know to make it go away.
There are quite a few things you can do to treat sunburn after the deed is done. There are five steps that the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends to treat a sunburn quickly and efficiently. We will go into those steps below.
Step One: Don’t Wait to Treat the Sunburn
If you have ever had a sunburn, then you already know that you rarely realize that you’re burnt until the sun goes down and you’re at home or when you get in the shower and feel like your skin is on fire when the water touches it. That’s because sunburn can take some time to develop, so start treating it right away, when you get out of the sun, for the best results.
Step Two: Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Using a cream or lotion to soothe your sunburn is the next step in the process of getting relief. Many of these lotions and creams won’t help to cure the sunburn, but they will take the heat out of it, helping with the pain of the burn as well. Make sure to repeat this step of the process often for relief.
Step Three: Drink a Lot of Water
One of the biggest side effects of sunburn is the fact that it brings all the fluid to the surface of your skin. This means that it’s much easier for you to get dehydrated. Combat this by drinking plenty of water while you’re sunburned.
Step Four: Take Anti-Inflammatory Medication
If you take an over the counter medication such as ibuprofen, It will be easier to relieve the redness and swelling of the burn. Take the medicine as soon as you feel the sunburn developing and then take as needed and directed until the burn is gone.
Step Five: Seek Medical Help if Needed
Most sunburns will clear up or turn to tan in a couple of days, but if you have been out in the sun way too long, it is possible that you should seek medical help. If you have a fever, chills, or experience bad blistering, it’s best to contact your primary care provider for an appointment as soon as possible.
These are just a few of the steps you should follow to treat a sunburn when you get home from the beach, pool, lake, or wherever you’ve been all day. Now that we know the steps of treatment, let’s move into the part of our blog that will deal with how to prevent that sunburn from happening to begin with when you’re out and about this upcoming summer season.
Top Tips for Preventing Sunburn
Of course, we all know that the best way to prevent sunburn is to stay out of the sun. However, we all know that this is unrealistic and not going to happen, especially if you are an avid outdoorsman, to begin with. Below you will find a few tips listed to help you prevent that sunburn before it gets started.
- Use a sunscreen with the right SPF
- Apply that sunscreen from 30 minutes to two hours before you will be in the sun
- Reapply that sunscreen every two hours, unless you are in the water or sweating a lot, then you need to reapply every 80 minutes for full effectiveness
- Make sure that you wear your sunglasses
- Wear a shirt or cover up after you have been out for a bit
- Always wear a wide-brimmed hat that will shade your eyes and your face
- Between the hours of 10 am to 3 pm it’s best to stay in the shade instead of in the direct sunlight as this is the hottest part of the day with the most UV damage being possible
Of course, all the prevention in the world doesn’t help us from getting sunburn on a hot summer’s day quite often. You get out on the beach or in the pool, have the time of your life and only as you are in the car on the way home do you realize that you and your family had a little too much fun and forgot that the sun was hot and you are all burnt. For those times, you want relief from the sunburn as soon as possible. That’s where the home remedies we’re going to talk about in this next section of our blog come in. Ready? Then let’s get started.
Home Remedies for Sunburns Revealed
While there is nothing more relaxing than curling up in the sun with a good book, listening to the waves crashing against the shoreline while you sip from a cold drink, spending too much time lazing away in the sun can lead to a sunburn that is anything but relaxing when you get home. Below you will find a few home remedies to help with that sunburn when you forget the time and come home beet red from your day in the sun having fun.
The easiest and most effective way to take the sting out of sunburn is to cool that sunburn down. A tried but true classic to take away that sting is using cold compresses on the affected areas. This helps to absorb the heat and take away the pain. However, one thing you want to watch out for is laying ice directly on the skin. This will just make the situation and the burn worse. Wrap the ice in a towel or put it in a plastic baggie, if you don’t have a cold compress laying around the house for the best results.
Many of the old-timers have at least one or two aloe vera plants around the house to treat minor burns. You can cut open a leaf of the aloe vera plant and use the sticky substance inside to bring instant relief from sunburn. There are also sunburn treatments in your local department and drug store that contain aloe vera and work just as well if you don’t have a green thumb and have a plant around.
Take a Cool Bath
Taking a cool bath is another home remedy for relieving the burning of a sunburn. Taking a hot shower or bath is a no-no and can make your skin feel like it’s on fire when you sink into the water, but a cool bath seems to work wonders for the pain. Adding a couple of cups of baking soda to the bath water will help with the process as well, just remember that baking soda has a drying effect so don’t soak in water with it in it for over 15 minutes at a time.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Most of us have a bottle of apple cider vinegar or even white vinegar stored in the pantry of the kitchen at all. These kinds of vinegar are known for being good for a number of things, including relieving the sting of a sunburn. Not only does this treatment relieve the pain, but it also helps heal up the healing process and can reduce the likelihood of peeling, blisters, and an infection from the sunburn as well.
Recent studies have shown that black tea has anti-inflammatory properties, therefore making it a great way to relieve the sting and pain of sunburn.
Although yogurt doesn’t have any type of healing properties, grabbing a cold container of it from the fridge and then applying it generously to your sunburn can help to chill it and give you temporary relief. If you have never tried it, it is certainly worth a try, isn’t it?
Many of the old-timers out there swear by Noxzema for sunburn relief. Once your shower is complete, take your Noxzema and slather it liberally over your sunburn. Don’t rub it in, instead, let the white cream sit on your skin. It will relieve the burn and take out the sting of the sunburn as well.
Over the Counter Options
If the above home remedies don’t do it for you, then there are plenty of mists, lotions, and sprays to help take the sting out of a mild sunburn. Don’t forget to take some form of over the counter pain reliever as well, as that will help with the swelling of the burn and the pain as well.
Get Professional Help
If nothing else is helping or the burn is getting worse and blistering, it is possible that you have sun poisoning. It’s important at this point to get the help you need from your doctor. The sun and severe sunburn is nothing to play with, so it’s important to get help as soon as possible.
These are just a few of the home remedies out there for helping to relieve a mild sunburn. We all know how easy it is to get out in the sun during the summer months and be having so much fun that you forget how long you’ve been out there or even forget to apply that all-important sunscreen. These are remedies that will help you, but they can not prevent you from getting skin cancer, especially if you get sunburned over and over again. Be smart and take the preventive methods above when you’re going out in the summer sun this season. You’ll be glad that you did in the long run.
This concludes our blog on sunburn treatment and a few of the remedies you can try at home to get rid of that icky burn. Remember, the sun doesn’t just cause skin cancer, being out in it too much can also cause you to wrinkle and look old before your time. Until next time, stay safe in the sun, everyone!
- ColoreScience: 10 Home Remedies for Sunburn Relief
- Nerdwallet: Sunburn Treatment, Prevention, and Dangers
- Dermstore: Home Remedies for Sunburn: The Best After Sun Products to Cool Down Sunburned Skin