Not only are sunburns unpleasant in the moment, they have long-lasting repercussions. One blistering burn in childhood doubles the lifetime risk of developing melanoma. Despite trying our best to protect ourselves from dangerous UV rays, accidents happen. Here are a few remedies that should help you feel better if you’ve gotten a bit too much sun:

Stay cool → apply a cold compress or a cold, damp towel to your skin, or take a cool shower or bath. Staying cool will help take the heat off the burn.

Moisturize → check the ingredients on the back of your moisturizer. If you see lidocaine or benzocaine, stay away. Instead, opt for one with aloe vera or soy.

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Stay hydrated → drink enough water. Staying hydrated on the inside is just as important as moisturizing your skin on the outside.

Medications → try an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) like ibuprofen to help lessen the swelling and inflammation. You can also try a hydrocortisone cream. Make sure to read and follow the package directions when taking either or both of these drugs.

Natural remedies → try applying aloe vera gel, oatmeal, or honey to your sunburned skin.

Loose clothing → this one goes without saying. Tight fitting clothes and sunburned skin just don’t mix well.

Leave blisters alone → this can be a hard one for kids, but popping blisters increases your risk of infection and slows the healing process.

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Visit the doctor → if your child under 1 year old gets a sunburn, seek medical attention right away. If you have severe blisters, a fever and chills, or if you feel nauseous or disoriented, visit the doctor yourself.  Otherwise, sunburns should heal on their own and professional treatment is not required.

  1. Skin Cancer Foundation. (2016). 5 Ways to Treat a Sunburn. Retrieved July 25, 2016
  2. Skin Cancer Foundation. (2013). Treating Sunburn in Children. Retrieved July 25, 2016
  3. American Academy of Dermatology. (n.d.). Treating sunburn. Retrieved July 25, 2016
  4. Moninger, J. (2012). 10 Natural Remedies for Sunburns. Retrieved July 25, 2016