Everyone has probably experienced a sunburn at one point in their lifetime. It’s painful and potentially dangerous, depending on the severity of the burn. Luckily, there are several home remedies to help relieve the pain from sunburns. Try these tricks (approved by dermatologists) to start feeling better.
Cool Your Skin
Once you notice a sunburn, it’s time to get out of the sun as soon as possible to prevent further sun damage. Then, you’ll need to cool your skin. According to dermatologist Michelle Henry, the cold helps “soothe inflammation, pain, and the stingy, itchy sensation of sunburn.”
However, you need to be careful to not apply ice directly on your skin, or else you can develop frostbite. Instead, wrap a cold compress in a towel or thick cloth to apply to the skin. Don’t apply the compress for longer than 20 minutes at a time, and then wait at least one to two hours before reapplying the compress.
Soak in Oatmeal
This might seem like a bizarre suggestion, but an oatmeal bath is one of the best remedies for severe sunburns. Scrubbing soap on your skin can actually dry out and irritate the sunburnt skin. Instead, use oatmeal to soothe your skin.
Henry explains, “Finely ground oatmeal (colloidal oatmeal in drugstores) has anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective at controlling inflammation and itchiness associated with sunburn.” If you can’t find colloidal oatmeal, grind up plain oats in a food processor. Mix the oatmeal with the cool bath water and soak in the bath for at least 20 minutes. After the bath, gently pat dry your skin to avoid any irritation.
Heal Your Skin with Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a classic remedy for healing sunburnt skin. The cool gel from the cactus plant heals first-and-second-degree burns and speeds up the healing process. It works wonders, especially if you chill the gel before applying. Make sure to use pure aloe vera without any alcohol, colors, and fragrance. Henry adds, “Avoid anything that contains alcohol, as it can cancel out the moisturizing, soothing effects of this plant.”
While using sunscreen helps protect your skin from sun damage, you can still get a sunburn if you don’t reapply sunscreen or if you missed an area on your skin. If this occurs, try these remedies so you can feel better and have fun again in the sunshine.