Burn Baby Burn: The Best Treatments for Sunburns
Too much sun will leave you feeling, well…not so hot. Here are some ways to find relief after a sunburn.
The dog days of summer have arrived — and while this time of year offers the opportunity to enjoy all sorts of fun outdoor activities, from watersports and beach-going to leisurely hikes, the aftermath of prolonged sun exposure on those blissful days can be quite painful. If you find yourself slapped with a nasty sunburn or even a case of sun poisoning, take note of our treatment tips to find yourself some sweet relief.
Cover It Up
Topical creams and ointments can prove to be effective in treating your burn — but the ingredients they contain are crucial. Aloe vera is one of the most popular options, and an aloe gel or lotion that contains lidocaine can be an even more effective means of relieving pain. For particularly severe sunburns, try using a 1% hydrocortisone cream for a few days until the pain subsides.
Cool It Off
Exposing your burn to cooler temperatures can provide some relief, as cold is a natural anti-inflammatory. You can do this by simply running cool water over your skin, applying a cold compress, or even jumping in a pool. Likewise, topical treatments like aloe will feel better when chilled. Try keeping yours in the refrigerator until it’s time to slather it on.
If the very thought of touching your own sunburned skin sends a shiver up your spine, don’t worry; topical treatments aren’t the only option available to you.Taking aspirin or ibuprofen can reduce inflammation, and drinking cold water can help you feel better in the short-term, since sunburns usually lead to dehydration.
Sometimes, a sunburn can be so severe that blisters break out on your skin. If this happens, don’t attempt to pop them on your own; instead, visit a dermatologist, who can use a sterile needle to drain them for you. Call a doctor right away if you’re feeling feverish or nauseous; these could be signs of sun poisoning.
If you’d prefer to steer clear of the drugstore, there are a handful of home remedies that can mitigate the effects of sunburn. You can even combine them with the aforementioned cool water treatment: for example, adding baking soda to a cool bath can relieve your discomfort. Applying a compress of chilled milk or plain yogurt can also help.
The most important advice we have when it comes to sunburns: avoid getting them in the first place! If you’re worried about sun exposure, make an appointment with a dermatology professional today.