If you've ever spent too much time in the sun without taking the proper precautions to protect your skin, you know the itchy, blistery aftermath of a sunburn can be painful. Feel better faster with these tips.
What is the best way to treat sunburn?
While there are steps you can take to ease the discomfort of a sunburn, there's no real way to speed up the healing process. It simply takes time. Expect three to seven days for a mild to moderate sunburn and up to 10 days if you develop blisters. In the meantime, you can find some relief by:
- Applying cool compresses to your sunburn
- Taking an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen
- Dabbing petroleum jelly on any areas that are blistering or peeling
- Keeping skin moisturized
- Rubbing aloe vera on effected areas to help cool your skin
- Keeping your sunburn covered and out of the sun when outside
When should I seek professional help for a sunburn?
Occasionally a sunburn can be severe enough that symptoms become dangerous. If you experience a fever, headache, vomiting, severe pain, dehydration or an extensive part of your body develops blisters, seek medical care.
What else can I do?
Prevent, prevent, prevent. After your sunburn heals, prioritize avoiding a repeat episode by:
- Slathering on sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and reapplying it every couple of hours or after sweating or swimming
- Choosing a zinc oxide/titanium dioxide sunscreen
- Wearing sun-protective clothing
- Protecting your face with a wide-brimmed hat
- Staying in shady areas when outside
- Not going outside from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the sun's rays are strongest
Help your teen become a safe driver
4 simple ways to connect with your kids
Why it's important to celebrate the small stuff
5 reasons to stay hydrated