How to Treat a Sunburn

Growth and Development, Health and Safety, Travel
Peeling dead skin after a sunburn

Love of the sun, its warmth and light, is elemental. Unfortunately, the sun’s light is a form of radiation that causes skin damage. The level of damage to the skin can be anywhere from mild to extreme. According to Mayo Clinic, the full effect of a sunburn may not be seen until 12 to 24 hours later.

You can’t undo sunburn damage, but treating sunburn will help the skin heal, which may take several days. In the meantime, try these tips to take the burn out of sunburn.

Remedies for mild sunburn. Mild sunburn usually heals quickly. Skin damage is minor, and the discomfort may not require pain medication. Remember to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration and assist healing. Also try:

  • Keep skin cool by applying a damp, soft towel to the skin that is burned. A cool bath can also be helpful.
  • Aloe vera and other mild moisturizers will soothe and help heal the skin.
  • Use sunscreen when going out in the sun to prevent the sunburn from getting worse.

Remedies for moderate sunburn. Moderate sunburn is slightly more severe than a mild sunburn. Skin will heal in a few days, and you may not need pain medication. Also:

  • Try ibuprofen if you notice inflammation or intolerable discomfort. The anti-inflammatory helps with pain and swelling. Use it as directed until redness and pain subsides.
  • If skin peels, moisturize the skin to support the skin’s healing process. Do not peel the skin layers off, as they are protective.
  • Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream may be used, recommends the Mayo Clinic. It speeds healing and aids in the reduction of swelling and discomfort.

Remedies for severe sunburn. A sunburn is considered severe when it covers a large portion of the body and it doesn’t heal within a few days, and you may even have a fever. It is important to note fair skin burns more readily than darker skin tones. Consider the following:

  • Severe sunburns are potentially dangerous. Consult your doctor for best care advice.
  • Apply cool compresses to the affected areas.
  • Ibuprofen may be used while the redness and inflammation persist.
  • Keep skin cool and moist. Use gentle moisturizers like aloe vera to soothe skin and help it heal.
  • If you have blisters, leave them intact. Popping them can lead to infection.
  • As your skin heals, use a gentle moisturizer, and don’t peel skin if it begins to shed. Hydrocortisone cream aids in the healing process and can relieve symptoms.
  • Do not rub or treat damaged skin harshly, as it is delicate and easy to injure further.

While you heal, stay cool with these summer favorites: 30 Frozen Treats

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