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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

Have questions about sunscreen or how to best protect your skin? 

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La Crosse, WI 54601

(608) 782-7300

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