For those of us who have experienced a sunburn before, we know it’s no party. Sunburns can be painful, detrimental to your health and your skin’s health, and sometimes may even require medical attention. If you’ve been out in the sun and happened to get burned, make sure you’re taking the following steps to ensure your skin heals quickly and to minimize pain.
1) Take over-the-counter pain reliever. Ibuprofen and aspirin will minimize pain as well as fight inflammation of the skin.
2) Apply aloe vera and cortisone cream. Aloe vera has naturally cooling and healing properties. Apply it directly to your burn and don’t rub it all the way in- leave it slightly moist on top of the burn to prevent the skin from drying out. Cortisone cream will also help fight the inflammation of burns.
3)Take a cool shower. Don’t use hot water, but don’t use bone-chilling cold, either. If a shower seems painful, a bath is also an option. Otherwise, you can also use a cool compress and apply to the burned area as often as needed.
4) Stay hydrated. Make sure you drink plenty of water during your healing process- sunburns can very easily cause dehydration, which can lead to many medical problems.
5) Moisturize. Once your skin has begun healing, moisturize it twice a day until it heals with gentle, unscented moisturizer.
6) Stay out of the sun! Exposing sunburns to more UV rays can cause blisters and infection. Be sure to protect your fragile skin, especially after its already burned.
7) Wear loose clothing. Wearing tight, fitted clothing over a sunburn can be extremely painful and irritating to the burn. Opt for loose, comfortable clothing while your skin heals.
When to See a Doctor
Some sunburns can be so bad they require medical attention. If your sunburn covers a large portion of your body, has many protruding blisters, doesn’t start clearing up in a few days, or you experience infection-like symptoms such as fainting, fever, swollen lymph nodes, consult your doctor immediately.