10 Tips on how to treat sunburn
If you forgot to put on your SPF, or you didn’t top it up after you had been for a swim, then you are likely to get burned by the sun and that, as anyone has been there will know, hurts, and it hurts a lot! Your skin will get red raw, you may blister, and your skin can become so sensitive that even your clothes hurt when they rub on you. What’s more, instead of that gorgeous glowing tan you were hoping for, you end up looking like a lobster. If you act fast though, you can soothe the pain and save some of that tan. So read these ten tips on the best way to deal with summer sunburn and save your tan.
1. Take a painkiller
Step one, is to ease some of the pain and to reduce the inflammation. The quickest way to tackle sunburn is to take a couple of anti-inflammatory painkillers. The best ones for sunburn are those that are known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like aspirin or ibuprofen, which will cool down inflation as well as reduce the pain.
2. Cool off
Another good tip on how to treat sunburn is to cool off. It goes without saying that you should get out of the sun and into the shade as soon as possible. Get somewhere cool and, if possible, go and have a slightly cold bath (but not too cold). The cold water will reduce swelling and redness and it helps to stop the itching. Don’t use any soap, just a gentle cleanser, and let the cold water gradually bring your body temperature back to normal.
3. Leave your skin alone
Next tip on how to treat sunburn is to simply leave your skin alone. No matter how much your skin itches, don’t touch! No picking, no scratching, no peeling and no rubbing; just leave it alone and let nature do its job of healing. It’s going to be sore and it will itch, but if you pick at it, you will make it even sorer and you might cause a skin infection to add to your problems.
4. Don’t slather yourself with anti-ageing lotions
Your first thought might be about all those things you have read about how the sun can cause wrinkles, but now is not the time to be using anti-ageing lotions on your burned skin. Your skin will need hydrating, but anti-ageing lotions often contain ingredients that are far too strong to use on tender, sunburned skin. Check out some of our ideas on gentler natural moisturisers in the next few paragraphs instead.
5. Aloe vera
One of the best home remedies for sunburn is aloe vera, it is actually the classic treatment for sunburn, and it works. It calms the irritation, cools the skin and it contains vitamins A, C and E that your skin will need to repair itself. Apply aloe vera gel as soon as you can and it will provide you instant relief from the pain and it will help jump-start the healing process.
6. Potatoes paste
Potatoes are one of the oldest home remedies for sunburn. You can either apply slices of potato to your skin, or you can mash up a potato in a blender and apply the paste with some cotton wool. Potatoes work extremely well on minor cases of sunburn. They reduce the inflammation, they cool the skin down, and they help to reduce the pain.
7. Oatmeal bath
Another good tip on how to treat sunburn is to take an oatmeal bath. We’ve already mentioned that a cold bath will help to cool your skin down, but you can make your cool bath extra effective by adding some finely ground oatmeal to your bath water. Oatmeal works as a natural anti-inflammatory, so it will soothe the pain and reduce the redness of sunburn. Don’t scrub, though, because oatmeal also works as an exfoliator and removing more skin is definitely not a good idea when you have sunburn.
If you get sunburned in the garden at home, then the quickest and easiest way to cool it down is to grab some milk from the refrigerator. Soak a clean towel, or some gauze, in cold milk and then lay the towel over the sunburned area of skin. It will quickly cool and soothe your sunburn, and the protein that is contained in the milk will help the skin to heal.
9. Witch hazel
Witch hazel is another one of great home remedies for sunburn. Just dab on some witch hazel with some clean cotton wool and it will reduce the inflammation and stop the raw skin becoming infected. Witch hazel contains tannins, which will help to repair the damaged skin and it also acts as a natural pain killer too.
10. What to do about severe sunburn
All of the above remedies will work great with mild or moderate sunburn, but sunburn can be more serious than you might have thought. If you have been burned over more than 20% of your body, or you feel excessive pain, have a fever or feel nauseous, and the symptoms persist, you should really go and see a doctor.
How to treat sunburn? What are your favourite tips?