How to Treat a Sunburn

blankIt doesn’t matter how it happened. Maybe you forgot to reapply, you were fooled by the clouds in the sky, or you weren’t planning on spending time outside – but it happened. You were sunburnt!

Red, painful, burnt skin may be common in the summertime, but that doesn’t mean it’s fun. Luckily, you don’t have to suffer for long. Follow our tips for quick, effective ways to treat a sunburn – no matter how lobster-like your skin looks.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it’s important to begin treating your sunburn as soon as you notice it. Step one: getting out of the sun! Next, follow these tips: take cool baths or showers to relieve the pain, moisturize with aloe vera or hydrocortisone cream to soothe skin, take ibuprofen to relieve swelling and discomfort, drink extra water (the sunburn will draw extra fluids from your body), allow blisters to heal by avoiding popping them, and wear extra clothing to protect your skin from further sun exposure.

There are also products on the market that can help reduce burnt skin faster. Addison-based Mary Kay offers a Sun Care After-Sun Replenishing Gel ($15) that contains botanical extracts filled with antioxidants that cools, hydrates and refreshes skin. The Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Deep Hydration Serum ($49 from Sephora) is another great option. This serum, made without harsh chemicals, answers your skin’s call of distress. It is made with 100 percent organic grape water, olive squalene, hyaluronic acid and grape seed polyphenols to heal irritation, chapped skin, dryness and give it plenty of refreshing hydration.

Of course, if you ask family and friends, everyone has heard of a way to heal a burn. My grandma always kept an aloe vera plant outside. If we got burnt, she would break off a leaf, open it up, and rub the gel all over our skin. My mom uses castor oil, available at your local drug store, and applies a light layer on the burnt areas. Finally, my husband says sour cream helps heal a burn (although it doesn’t smell very nice!).

No matter what you do to treat your burn, the important part is to protect your skin from further damage by taking extra precautions to not get burned again. This means wearing SPF 30 or higher and reapplying every two hours, trying to avoid being outside during peak sun hours between 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and wearing hats and staying in shade whenever possible.

Don’t let sunburns ruin the fun of summertime. With these tips, you’ll be better and back to lounging by the pool in no time. 


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