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How to Treat Sunburns

Have you spent too much time in the sun and now look like a lobster and feel terrible? Not only can sunburns be very painful with red, hot, and inflamed skin but sunburns can also increase your risk for skin cancers and lead to other long-term problems such as premature wrinkling, spotting, and aging of the skin. It’s best to begin treating your sunburn as soon as you notice it. FIRST, avoid direct sunlight and seek shade-indoors is best. NEXT, try these suggestions to help relieve and treat your burn.

Don’t Touch!

If your skin has blisters, avoid popping them. Do not touch, pop, or you’re your sunburn as it can worsen and could cause infection. See your healthcare provider if you have severe blistering on a large portion of the body.

Keep Cool & Moisturize

No one enjoys the pain and itchiness from a sunburn. Treatments like aloe vera and cool showers can soothe your burn and give you some relief. After taking a shower, gently pat yourself dry and leave a little water on your skin. If the direct stream of water feels too intense on your skin, try a bath at room temperature. Moisturizing with lotion after showering can also ease the dryness of your skin. Use a moisturizer that contains aloe vera or soy. Stay away from gels or creams with benzocaine or other “-caine” ingredients. They can further irritate your skin.

Another way to cool down and soothe your burn is to place a cold, damp towel on your skin for 10-15 minutes a few times every day.

Drink Plenty of Water

A sunburn draws fluids to the skin’s surface and away from the body which can lead to dehydration. So drink plenty of water throughout the day and the days after—enough that your pee looks more clear than yellow.

Consider OTC Products

Take over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers like ibuprofen or aspirin. They can provide relief and help to ease redness, swelling, and discomfort. If you have a particular area that is causing you discomfort apply a hydrocortisone cream.

Protect Your Skin While Healing

Wear extra clothing when outdoors while your sunburn is healing. Deck yourself out and consider wearing a hat that covers your face. Also, wear loose clothing made of tightly woven fabrics (these are best for keeping UV rays off your skin).

If You Feel Sick

If you have a fever, chills, feel weak & dizzy or just not yourself then you may need to visit your healthcare provider for further treatment.